Crisp summer morning with the remnants of hurricane Elsa pushing north the RI Rebels get set to take on rivals Baystate Attack at Upper Slatersville Reservoir. 5 am the Rebels are rigging their plastic battle ships for a 5:30 launch time. Their energy was contagious and confident coming off a great week 2 win against these same opponents.
With a combined 30+ years of history on this body of water between team members the Rebels had a pretty good idea of what they needed to do and where they needed to go. The conditions on the other hand had a different plan for the boys this go around. With rain every evening for the past week and Elsa dropping close to 4 inches the day before this man made reservoir was ripping with current and debris. Water temps had dropped almost 10 degrees and visibility was decreasing. The river that the Rebels had planned to fish and defend based on their history here didn’t need defending! It was raging when they reached the mouth.
Coach Catucci made a solid attempt to move up river but after a few dangerous encounters with lay downs and floaters he quickly returned to the mouth but not before the player of the game Justin Lacasse landed a 21” gorilla on his second cast with the Terminator stainless buzzbait. This fish gave coach some information to try and duplicate in similar areas with a little current and flooded vegetation.
It didn’t take Catucci long to figure out that was the key as he landed a fish shortly after only 50 yards away. Greg missed a couple fish during this same time period running a similar pattern and still within that 50 to 100 yard range of the rivers mouth. Justin soon landed fish number 2 after it first spit the buzzbait he followed up with a Stanley top toad for full blown acrobatic display by this 15.5” fish.
Baystate was not going to go down without a fight and they brought in RI native Kevin Amaral Jr. to help put the Rebels in the losers bracket. Jack Tibbens came up with a pair of nice green fish that had the Rebels pushing and fighting for every bite they could find before Adam Petrone finds his groove in these unfamiliar North waters.
Greg Krasnowiecki landed a pair 16.5 and a 14.75 all before 10:30am to give the Rebels a comfortable cushion while Justin struggled with finding another bite after his 2nd fish at 6:45am. Toby Bonoyer contributed valuable information from practice earlier in the week and from what he was experiencing during competition. Catucci had a steady bite on you guessed it… the frog. Making sniper accurate casts under flooded trees and listening for that slurp proved he really is the frog master.
After what seemed like days Justin decided it was time to move and there was no more need to defend the mouth of the river. Moving out to the main lake Justin found that there was a little breeze that was adding some chop to the water. Spinnerbait, Justin’s go to technique for getting bit by quality fish. That proved to be true about 5 casts later on a flooded flat when the 18.75 nail in the coffin slack lined the Terminator Pro Series spinnerbait.
The Rebels showed up and showed out with a 169” to 80.25” victory over the Baystate Attack. The Rebels are set to take on the PA Bronzebacks at Stump Pond in the week 4 match up with hopes of sealing a playoff spot.