Massachusetts B.A.S.S. Nation
Angler of the Year / 2020 Season
The 2020 fishing season was a year that many of us will never forget! And for Mark Burgess, the 2020 tournament season was a career best.
The 2020 season for Mark began in the fall of 2019, with Mark winning the TOC (Tournament of Champions) event on Long Pond Lakeville. (The “Big Three” tournaments are State Champion, AOY (Angler of the Year) and TOC Champion for the Massachusetts B.A.S.S. Nation.)
The 2020 MBN (Mass Bass Nation) Pro-Am Tournament Trail consisted of 4 total events, with the 4th event combined with the TOC. Mark’s finishes were 1st, 1st, 2nd, and 1st. Mark not only won back-to-back TOC championships, but was also AOY, for the 2nd time in three years.
The following is an overview of Mark’s winning season.
The first event of the season was held on Mashpee Wakeby Pond, located on Cape Cod. This event was rescheduled to July, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Originally, this event was to take place in April. Had this event had taken place in April; it would have taken about 23-25 lbs. to win, for a five fish limit. Mark loves fishing there at this time of year; lots of big smallmouth and lunker largemouth in the eight-pound class. However, fishing Mashpee in July has its challenges; boat traffic, fishing pressure, combined with warmer water temperatures with bass locating down very deep. Mark put in a solid day of practice several days prior to the event, and located an area, where he had never fished before, that was holding fish. A few fish came on a top-water Spook early on, with the rest on a drop-shot. The tournament day came, and sure enough, conditions were hot, slick, with big blue skies, and lots of boat traffic. Mark knew that his ‘window’ was really small, to catch a few good ones on top-water baits. He started in his confidence area with a Spook and caught a small keeper very quick. Then, after a super long cast, he hooked a four-pound Smallie, that proceeded to jump six feet in the air, non-stop! When the fish got close to the boat, Mark said he thought it was ‘done tired out… Nope! The fish changed direction from one side of the boat to the other, then made a surge right to the back of the boat. Mark says he then said to himself, “Self, stop this fish and bring it to the boat”. The fish had other ideas and pulled off! Now, Mark already knew that the day was going to be a grind, but losing a four-pound fish was not going to help him, knowing it was going to cost him big. He kept fishing and was lucky to locate a concentration of fish, that for every time he could make ‘the perfect cast’, he got bite. At the end of the day, he weighed the only limit of the tournament, winning with about nine pounds total. Go figure; when it’s meant to be, especially in fishing, it will be.
Well the ProAm Trail has ended. I have to say this has been a crazy year and how everything panned out. I would like to thank all of the anglers who came out and fished the trail this year.
1st your TOC winners for 2020 Mark Burgess who had 8.54lbs on the boater side and Guiseppe Andreoli who had 7.24 on the Co-Angler side. Congrats to you both on what was a windy and tough day at Johns Pond Mashpee.
Pro AM AOY's
On the Boater side Congrats to Mark Burgess on having an incredible year winning 3 out 4 tournament which is an incredible feet going against some of the best in the state.
On Co-angler side Congrats to Chris Forti on staying focused throughout all of the tournaments especially on how tight the standings where all year going into the last tournament.
Top 3 from from the trail that quailify for the 2021 state team.
1st Mark Burgess
2nd Josh Cotier
3rd Ben Hale
1st Chris Forti
2nd Guiseppe Andreoli
3rd Sophon Chhoeun
Congrats to you all in making the state team through what was a very competitive trail this year!
Again want to thank everyone for all the support and fishing the trail this year. Look foward to seeing all next year!
Full standings Boaters
Lentine & Delany: Back to Back to Back
Ray and Eli won the MBN Classic Team Championship for 2019. Because of the Covid the entire tournament schedule was thrown to the wind and after that September 2019 TOC the next team tournament wasn’t until July 10th on Congamond. Ray and Eli won that with 17+ pounds. The next tournament was this past Friday, September 11, on Webster Lake. They won their third tournament in a row with 20.44 pounds for 5 largemouth.
September 11th was a cloudy day with a 15 degree temperature drop from the day before. Webster Lake was lower than it had been in years. Add to the mix that the lake had been sprayed to where even some of the small coves were devastated. This team thought about low tide in some of the tidal rivers they had fished, to where the bass moved out on low tide. That’s where the bass were, but if there was any weed at all – the bass were there. The bigger bass came from the two marinas off the deeper ends of the boats.
There is no MBN Classic Team TOC this year. Eli and Ray would have been looking forward to it.
South Watuppa 8/2
The Sunday classic team trail had its second tournament. This past Sunday on South Watuppa. The day started with great weather. As the day progressed the wind kicked up and showers were closing In. For most the bite was slow to non existent for hours. Even with the weather moving in. That some of us thought would turn the fish on. However as it happens many times one team puts something together. That team was the Orsi’s with a great bag 15.73 and lunker a 5.51 largemouth. Congrats guys for a second great win. They earned every penny out there and points. Congrats again guys. I will see everyone at our next event on Long pond lakeville September 6th. Thank you everyone for coming out on Sunday and being a great crew of guys.
Thank you Ben Hale