July 9, 2004

Individual Winners
Team Standings


Lake Champlain, VT – July 9, 2004
By Ray Kerchal

(Editor’s note: In 2004, ESPN/BASS agreed to take over the Junior Bassmasters Invitational program and the Junior Bassmasters National Championship tournament previously sponsored by the Bryan V. Kerchal Memorial Fund. The Invitationals became Divisional Tournaments along the same structure as the adult BASS Federation program and the National Championship tournament became the Junior Bassmaster World Championship tournament. In this transitional year, the BVK Fund provided the individual Championship plaques for the Divisional tournaments.)

Connecticut Takes Team Championship

The 2004 Eastern Divisional was held on Lake Champlain in the Colchester, Vermont area on July 9, 2004. The contestants launched out of Mullets Bay and found themselves in a special fishery, abundant with small mouth bass.

Zack Seal of New York won the 15-17 age division and was the overall tournament champion with a 5-fish limit, which tipped the scales at 13.65 pounds. He also caught the big bass in his division, which was 4.45 pounds. His teammate, Benjamin Galbreath, won the 11-14 age division with a total weight of 10.50 pounds and took big fish honors with a 3.65 pound bass. Their efforts enabled the New York team to finish second with 44.30 pounds, only 2.65 pounds behind the first place team. Connecticut, led by Jon Puhalski with 11.00 pounds, took the team championship with 46.95 pounds. Chris Baksay’s second place in the 11-14 division with 8.85 pounds and Dan Fitzgerald’s second place overall in the big fish category with a 4.10 pound bass were significant factors in Connecticut’s win.

This tournament marked the first time that Massachusetts and Rhode Island have participated in a Junior Invitational/Divisional since the concept’s inception in 1996. For the twelve participating teams, 186 bass were caught weighing 365.35 pounds.

The final team standings:

State lbs fish
Connecticut 46.95 23
New York 44.30 22
Virginia 37.35 17
New Jersey 36.10 20
Delaware 35.65 15
Maryland 34.15 18
West Virginia 27.40 17
Rhode Island 25.05 11
Massachusetts 23.85 12
Vermont 21.60 11
Pennsylvannia 20.75 13
Dist. Of Columbia 9.20 7

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