September 14, 2011-Casco, Maine- Nearly 650lbs of bass came across the stage today, coupled with all-smiles fishermen to kick off the 2011 Eastern Division Championship presented by Ranger Boats at Point Sebago Resort, in Casco, Maine. 96 anglers from seven states and Canada went head to head today to hedge their ways to the top spots overall and in their respective states. This week’s championship will be a three day contest to advance 16 anglers to the 2012 Federation National Championship and crown this year’s Eastern Division Champions. The first place finisher overall and the top finishing state team will earn the esteemed champion titles, the bragging rights and all the glory.
Out on top and leading his home state team of Maine is Scott Guimond from Sebago, Maine. Guimond caught a five bass limit weighing 18lb 13ounces. “I started out today fishing slow for smallmouth,” Guimond said. “I caught two or three, and then towards the end of the day I went for largemouth. I ended up the last couple of hours catching three nice largemouth.” Tomorrow, Guimond is gearing up for a similar day of fishing. “I plan on doing about the same thing starting off with some smallmouth and then largemouth at the end of the day.” This is not only Guimond’s home state but also his home lake. “Oh yeah I fished this lake before; I live it on.” Guimond has come out strong the last two years at this event, but had trouble holding it down. “I’ve been zero to zero on this lake plenty of times. The last two years I was leading or in second and then dropped to 8 or 9th. The green fish out there, it’s hard to stick ‘em everyday; it’s a tough lake, a pretty tough lake.” This week he’s looking for three solid days of fishing to earn that sweet ticket to nationals. “I’ve never advanced. I’ve probably been on 15 state teams and never made it to nationals; tomorrow, I’m looking to do something.”
Just shy of the leader board is Bruce Acox from Raymond, N.H. with a limit of bass weighing 15lb 13ounces. “It started off alright; we were catching our fish here and there,” Acox said. “I circled the lake twice; I don’t think I’m going to do that tomorrow. I’m just going to stay in one spot and grind it out.” Acox also brought in a 6lb 11ounce beauty; the tournament largemouth lunker. “The big fish came probably an hour and half into it. I could see it down there when I threw my line; when it hooked up I was like, ‘that’s definitely not a log.’” After that, Acox settled down with a limit around 9:30am to finish up culling. “I couldn’t get any more big fish, but I will take that ‘6 11’ and be happy with that.” Acox is no stranger to nationals, he knows what’s at stake this week and he’s ready to prove it. “Yeah, I’m definitely excited going into tomorrow. Looks like it’s gonna be a tough tournament, I will just try to get my limit everyday and go from there; just go and fish that’s about it.”
Leading the tournament in the team standing is the host state team of Maine. Maine state team caught 46 fish today weighing 109lb 9ounces. “Our game plan did pretty good today,” Maine President and Team Captain, Dave Austin, said. “Tomorrow, the guys got stuff on reserve they didn’t touch today. Hopefully, we will have more consistency with everybody coming in with a good limit of bass and we can maintain our lead.”