TBF’s Eastern Division state teams traveled to the Connecticut River this week for the 2013 Eastern Division Championship presented by Cabela’s, TBF of Rhode Island and the City of Middletown. The Eastern Division consists of seven state teams and the Ontario state team. TBF anglers competed locally and on the state level for over a year to qualify for the no-entry fee division championship event.
After three tournament days, the top two anglers from each state earn spots in the 2014 Federation National Championship. The 2013 Northern Division Champions will also be crowned in both the individual and overall state team standings.
Out on top in the individual standings is Keith Cleary from Bethel, Conn. Cleary had a five bass limit today weighing 12lbs 12ounces. “The fish I found today, I found pre-fishing a spot I traditionally fish throughout the summer,” Cleary said. “They were there; the good fish were there. So, I left it alone the rest of practice and then went straight there this morning.”
Cleary is fishing his home lake, and caught his first five bass in that familiar spot. Then, he ran around the lake throwing a jig to cull two more keepers.
“Basically, that jig got me to the divisional. It’s what I use on all our big tournaments; actually, it got me to nationals last year.”
Cleary said the hot, muggy conditions weren’t favorable out there today. “I think the bite was tough; the fish weren’t positioned like the normally would be.”
Cleary is looking forward to an overcast day tomorrow as day two of the 2013 Eastern Division Championship continues, and anglers and their respective teams’ inch closer to those division champion titles.
“Hopefully, it will make the bite better; I guess time will tell.”