North Adams resident Andrew Bostwick shows off the 23.12-pound bass he caught in the Hudson River in Troy, N.Y., that netted him second place in the Ale House Striped Bass Tournament on Saturday, May 3.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Andrew Bostwick was 10 minutes away from glory.
Instead, he had to settle for $700 and more than 20 pounds of fish to deep-fry in beer batter.
Bostwick, a North Adams native, participated in the ninth annual Ale House Striped Bass Tournament in Troy, N.Y., on Saturday. Last year, his first attempt in the tournament, one of his boat-mates came in third. This year, he came in second — after leading most of the tournament.
Recounting the scene on Monday, Bostwick said he had the biggest fish — a 23.12-pounder that was 36.25 inches long — until right near the end of the contest, when he watched Bill Peaslee of West Sand Lake, N.Y., reel in a 32.1-pounder that was 41 inches long.
"I was like, are you kidding me?" Bostwick said Monday when he came into the iBerkshires office to show off his pictures, sporting several fish tattoos on his arms and an appropriate "Sharks" ballcap on his head.
Bostwick didn't claim to have caught any sharks in these waters, but he said he does catch a lot of large fish right here in the Berkshires, including the Hoosic River.
"I catch 7- to 8-pound trout in the river," he said.
Bostwick said he has been fishing his whole life and likes to enter tournaments all around the region. In 2001, he set a Massachusetts state record for catching an 18.2-pound channel cat in Windsor Pond in Savoy.
For second place in Saturday's tournament, he did get the $700 prize, plenty of fish fillets (already made and eaten) and the fun of doing something he loves. While the cool mid-spring day on the Hudson River started and ended rainy and chilly, the sun broke out in the middle, warming up the 165 fisherman whose entry fees went to support Military Moms in Action, a charity that sends boxes of treats to soldiers overseas, and the Troy Flag Day parade.
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