Friday, September 30, 2022

Raymond angler savors pro bass fishing experience

By Ed Pierce

Jason Kervin of Raymond continues to shine while fishing in professional bass tournaments and is taking aim at competing once again for a Major League Fishing world title in North Carolina in March.

The first-round leader of last weekend's Toyota Series bass
fishing tournament in the St. Lawrence River was Jason
Kervin of Raymond. He's aiming to qualify for the 
REDCREST IV world championships for professional
bass fishing to be held in March 2023 on Lake Norman near
Charlotte, North Carolina. PHOTO BY SEAN OSTRUSZKA  
Kervin, 42, moved to Raymond several years ago and was the tournament leader entering the final day of the Toyota Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River last weekend. That day he caught fish weighing in at 23 pounds, 15 ounces and although he didn’t win the weekend event, he remains a promising contender for future professional fishing tournaments.

So far, Kervin has fished in 22 pro events and racked up $19,063 in prize money. Currently he’s ranked 50th overall among pro bass fishermen in America while only competing in a handful of tournaments this year.

Having posted two Top-10 finishes already this year, it appears certain that Kervin, a service manager at Goodwin Chevy Buick in Oxford, will qualify for the REDCREST IV, the world championships of pro bass fishing on Lake Norman near Charlotte, North Carolina starting March 8, 2023.

For last week's Northern Division event, he said he was fishing a place “they want to be for some stupid reason that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.” He had to relocate them every day, but said they’re there. The problem is, if they hear his trolling motor, they spooked off immediately.

First thing Saturday morning, it wasn’t a problem as he was able to silently drift above them. However,

storms rolled through midday with significant winds kicking up that made it impossible to fish his stuff.

“Once the wind picked up, I didn’t catch another fish,” Kervin said. “The wind direction was just bad and the fish I’m catching know you’re there. If they hear the trolling motor, they really take off running because there’s nothing holding them to anything.”

While there’s was more wind in the forecast on Sunday, Kervin said he knew he couldn't let off the gas with the significant number of big bags behind him. 

“I’m committed to making that run,” Kervin said. “The winning fish are down there. It has all the potential in the world. It’s just really tricky to get them to bite.”

He competed in the 2020 Toyota Series Championship at Lake Cumberland in December 2020 and continues to stand out during Toyota Series Opens in the Northern division, prompting optimism for success in more prominent national championship events.

“I have been fishing since I can remember, age 7 or 8 maybe,” Kervin said. “I’ve been fishing bass tournaments since 2010 and started out with a small bass club, Rocky Hill Bass Anglers, out of Brunswick.”

According to Kervin, his favorite local spot to fish is Panther Pond in Raymond and he says Androscoggin Lake is his absolute favorite place to fish in Maine.

“It's a beautiful, largely undeveloped shoreline lake, full of quality sized bass,” he said. “The early season high water also makes for some really fun fishing, allowing me to get my boat back in the brush areas to fish the shallow water that is usually marsh or dry land.”

To be at the top of his game each time out in professional tournament fishing, Kervin said that he needs to spend a lot of time on the water.

“Having a family, a job, and losing four to five months due to frozen water up north, I can only expect

to achieve so much,” he said. “I don't believe I will ever stop tournament fishing though. I love the competition and bass fishing too much.”

To date the largest bass that Kervin has caught was a 6.8-pound smallmouth bass on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River.

“It was caught on a drop shot in 20 feet of water using a Xzone slammer in green pumpkin purple flake,” he said. “It was caught during practice for an event and released. I didn't find it again during the tournament, but I looked like hell.”

His dream is to someday become a professional bass fisherman and tournament fishing offers Kervin an opportunity to achieve that dream.

Balancing work, family life and traveling to pro fishing tournaments is not easy, but Kervin says he’s content to just enjoy fishing, being on the water and visiting different lakes to take in an amazing view of nature.

“Our lakes in Maine are some of the most beautiful and scenic places in the world. The serenity and peace I find while fishing is something that I haven't experienced doing any other activity,” he said. “Fishing in tournaments is a bit different given the frantic and intense nature of being on the hunt, but the scenery remains the same and the experience is always a memorable one.” <

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