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Louie Bernardo wins his six Angler of the Year



Louie Bernardo inducted into the Massachusetts Bass Nation Hall of Fame

March 21, 2017

It was an honor for me last night at the 2017 Mass Bass Nation Banquet to be inducted to the Mass Bass Nation Hall of Fame Class. I am truly humbled, honored and blessed to be in this year’s class with the great Jerry Ramasci. I would like to thank the Hall of Fame Committee for its decision to induct me into the Hall of Fame. This is such an incredible honor and privilege, an accomplishment I will always cherish with great pride. There is no possible way I could write and thank everyone that played a role in my being here, but I would like to take this time to recognize some of those individuals.


First, I would like to thank my grandfather, I wish you were there with me - he taught me everything about life and always believe in me when nobody else did!!! Teaching me between right and wrong and to be confident to always choose right as well as to be confident in who I am and what I stand for. You were instrumental and carried a heavy load in my younger days when I starred in this sport walking me every step of the way thru the good times and the bad that I have experienced throughout my life. You were always there to encourage, console, and motivate me when I needed it most.


Next I would like to thank my parents a huge support system throughout my entire life. Thank you for believing in me through it all. I know that in whatever endeavors I decide to pursue in my life you will always be proud of me no matter what. Thank you and I love you. Also my girlfriend Karen for putting up with me because this, sport can put tremendous stress on a relationship.

Finally thanking GOD every day for my family, health, trials, success, tears and laughter. Everything which makes me and matures me.





I’d like to thank you for all that you do for me and the Massachusetts B.A.S.S.
Nation. You put in countless hours for the Nation most of it behind the scenes
not noticed by the membership. To me your dedication of time I put above all of your accomplishments on the water. You are a gentleman with an out going personality and a gift of promoting your beliefs.
Your accomplishments in the past six years as a Mass B.A.S.S Nation fisherman
will more than likely never be duplicated. Countless wins on the trail and club level,
3 time Massachusetts Angler of the Year and two state teams. Your hard work and dedication shows.

Chip Servant
President Massachusetts B.A.S.S. Nation





2014 Angler of the Year Story: Louie Bernardo. LOUIE DOES IT AGAIN!! On a bright & sunny day, Louie Bernardo began his quest to three pete for the Angler of the Year title. He ended his day by blowing away the field by over 3.5lbs. e had a 13.33lbs. sack & did himself proud. He culled out 4 limits & showed @ the scales. At the weigh in, most anglers talked of tough bite. With just 42 fish weighed in, w/a combined weight of 85.7lbs., the average fish weight was 2.00lbs. By the way, only 2 limits were brought to the scales. Other than Louie's bag, Jay Guidaboni had the other limit. The big bass weighed in was a 4.32lbs. largemouth bass & was brought in by new ABA member, Mike Capaldi. We all welcomed to our ranks, two ABA D-5 new members, Nick Ambrosinii & Mike Capaldi.

Taken from http://www.abanewenglandeast.com


2013 Angler of the Year Story: Louie Bernardo.  What a year this young man put together by setting a new Division 5 points total record of 1195 points out of a possible 1200.
Louie had two first place finishes and a 3rd & 4th place in the other one day events.
To top it off, he won the two day divisional championship, held on two separate bodies of water & that alone secured him the coveted Angler of the Year trophy.
By the way, prior to the ABA AFT National Championship, he was ties Nationally for the most points on the entire ABA AFT tournament trail.
Like prior division AOYs, Louie maintained the same focus from the beginning of the year to his final cast.  He exuded confidence, dedication & commitment towards attaining the AOY goal.
Speaking for the past AOYs, we all know that’s what it takes towards becoming a champion.
From all of the D-5 anglers, congratulations on putting together an excellent competitive year.  You have the bragging rights for the next year until someone attempts to unseat you.  Who will that be?


Rapsody Pro Louie Bernardo Wins Angler of the Year - Again

For the third time in four seasons, Louie Bernardo is the Angler of the Year in the American Bass Angler's New England East Division 5. This trail is fished by 70 -75 anglers who compete in 5 tournaments held in April through July. The top 22 fishermen compete in the 2 day championship which was held on August 10th and 11th.

Louie entered the championship event as the leading angler and had a strong weekend performance as he weighed the biggest bag on both Saturday and Sunday. The opening round was held on South Watuppa Pond near Fall River, Massachusetts, and Louie caught 5 largemouth bass that weighed 11.31 pounds. The championship moved to Long Pond in Lakeville, Massachusetts on Sunday, and Louie again caught 5 largemouth. His Sunday bag weighed 14.30 pounds.

Louie was honored by this victory because "there are a lot of great fishermen on this trail who know these bodies of water that we fish. I was fortunate to catch some good fish early Sunday, and I could only hope it was enough to keep me in the lead." It was.

Louie caught most of his fish in shallow water using a Rapsody 7' Medium Power Fast Action Maestro 2 prototype. Louie told us "I love that rod. I was throwing a black and blue Owner Yubi Bug and I felt every bite and landed every fish. This really helped me on Saturday because I did a lot of culling to get to 11 pounds."

As the principal in LB Graphics, a company that offers high quality printing services, Louie is fortunate that he can balance fishing with business. "While I don't get to fish as much as I would like," stated Louie, "I do fish enough to be competitive."

Congratulations, Louie. We at Rapsody enjoy your friendship and are proud of your success. Now what are you going to do next year?


Louie Bernardo wins AGAIN @ Long Pond, Freetown, MA.

From Division 5, New England East, on July 14, 2013, Louie Bernardo of Taunton, MA is one step closer to the ABA National Championship with a 1st Place win and $585.00 in the American Fishing Tour bass tournament held on Long Pond, Freetown, MA this past weekend. Louie’s 5 bass limit weighed in @ 12.72 lbs. Second place went to Rich LaChance with a weight of 12.56 lbs, third place was Russ Kleekamp with a weight of 12.07 lbs. Big bass was awarded to Rich LaChance for catching a 5.21 lbs. largemouth bass.

These anglers are acquiring valuable points to insure their birth in division’s two-day champion and the American Fishing Tour National Championship that will be held this fall. The top angler, by points earned, in this division will represent the division in the Angler of the Year final round.

The top 5 anglers were:

1st place: Louie Barnardo - 12.72 lbs.

2nd place: Rich LaChance - 12.56 lbs.

3rd place: Russ Kleekamp - 12.07 lbs.

4th place: Mark Welch - 11.42 lbs. - Non boater

5th place: Paul Leblanc- 10.93 lbs.

Conditions: We had very hot 96 degree air temps w/sunny skies, 100% humidity. Water temps were in the low 80s.

Winning Strategy: Louie found his fish in 4' - 6' of water buried in the grass on the south side of the lake. He used a white rattle trap lipless crank bait & also a black & blue Yugo Bug w/a 3/4 oz. weight. He casted these baits on a Rhapsody M2 prototype casting rod & also a Miestro prototype Rod to seal down this tournament win.

The American Fishing Tour offers low cost, close to home bass tournaments that are designed for the weekend angler. All ABA anglers fish for money and points. The points advance the angler to their divisional championship and the top 500 anglers in the US are invited to the American Fishing Tour National Championship.

About American Bass Anglers American Bass Anglers is the largest tournament organization for the weekend angler. American Bass Anglers operates the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series and the American Couples Series. Each tour is design specifically for the weekend angler offering low cost and close to home events so the anglers can qualify for larger championship. For more information on American Bass Anglers visit www.americanbassanglers.com







From Division 5, New England East, on September 9, 2012 - Louie Bernardo of Taunton, MA is one step closer to the ABA National Championship with a first place win in the American Fishing Tour bass tournament held on Wequaquet Lake in Centerville, MA this past weekend. Louie's five bass limit weighed in at 15.95 pounds

Conditions: We had cool air temps w/cloudy skies & on & off showers but the day turned out to be decent w/intermittent partly and sunny skies. Air temps were in the low 60s & water surface temps were in the high 60s to low 70s.

Winning Strategy: Louie's pattern was to attack the early morning bite with Pop-Rs & once that bite turned off, he switched to catching & culling his fish w/a Yamamoto black spider jig in 8-10 feet of water. He also caught some quality fish casting a Strike King KVD Red Eye Shad. Making wise decisions, as weather conditions dictated, proved to all why Louie was declared the champion of this event.



Congratulations to Rapsody Pro Louie Bernardo for winning 2012 Angler of the Year in the Massachusetts BASS Federation Nation tournament trail. Louie has won this title 2 of the last 3 years, narrowly missing out in 2011 when he was the runner up.
Consistency is a key to Louie's success. He had top 10 finishes in each of the 4 tournaments on this circuit in 2012, and he sealed his AOY title with a second place finish on July 14, on the Charles River, in Brighton, Massachusetts. Most of the fishermen were targeting fish around bridges in this event, but Louie found his biggest fish 50 - 100 yards upstream of the bridges. His theory was that baitfish were moving toward the bridges to find cover and the largemouth bass were preying on them in open water before they could get to the cover. Louie threw swimbaits and flukes to put a 5 fish, nearly 12 lb. limit in the livewell of his Skeeter boat
Louie runs a successful printing and silkscreening business. I can attest to the quality he produces because he has made our Rapsody Fishing shirts for the last 2 years. Louie admits that being self-employed gives him an advantage on the Mass Federation Nation trail. He tries to pre-fish each body of water enough to show up on tournament days with a confident gameplan. Louie is also a gym rat who keeps himself in great shape. He told me that he thinks his condition helps him avoid physical and mental fatigue on the water.
When asked what his strongest or favorite techniques are, Louie quickly responded, "Anything I can fish with the Maestro® dropshot rod." He is referring to the RMBS6101MXF, a 6'10" Medium power, Extra Fast action spinning rod that has developed a cult following. Louie told me, "I have won more money with that rod in the last 2 years than I won with any other piece of equipment in 20 years of tournament fishing." I asked Louie if he only uses it for dropshotting, and he replied, "No. I use it for wacky rigging, I throw small jigs, and I have invented some other rigs that I am not willing to share. The sensitivity of that rod is just sick, so I try to use it a lot because I get so many hook-ups."
Rapsody rods laid out on the deck of Louie's boat - note that the handle of "dropshot rod", second from the top, looks like it's been used a lot.
I think Louie is being sincere. As I was interviewing him for this article, his boat was parked next to his garage in a covered storage area with a full rod locker, but his "dropshot rod" was in a rack next to his desk. "That rod is irreplaceable to me," he said. Tournament fishing is a very mental game, and confidence matters.
Louie will continue to fish a number of tournament trails in the northeast, and he is planning on fishing some of the regional opens.
We are happy to have Louie on the Rapsody Pro Staff, and we wish him even greater success in the future. I think his combination of hard work, preparedness, and level-headed thinking will keep him in the money anywhere he chooses to compete.
Bob Penicka
Rapsody Fishing, LLC

Louie Bernardo and the I.E.M.E Sponsor Team 2008 Sportsman of the Year
From left to right: Andrew De Frias, Louie Bernardo, Gilbert Taylor and Chris SantosÍ Louie Bernardo
Two elite pro's made a special appearance from left to right: Mike Iaconelli (2003 World Champion, Earnest (Representing St. Croix Rods, Ish Monroe (Representing Ranger Boats and Daiwa) and Louie Bernardo (Representing Daiwa)

Louie Bernardo wins at Long Pond Harwich, MA

May 4, 2008
During the Tournament at Long Pond, Harwich, there was a total of 62 fish weighed in and released with a combined weight of 153.15 lbs for an average weight of 2 lbs. 7 1/2 oz. per fish. When it was all said and done, Louie Bernardo was declared the Champion w/a winning weight of 15.80 lbs.

R.I. B.A.S.S. Nation State-Fish
Offs at Great Sacandaga, NY
August 18-19, 2006

WOW, what a Great Lake! Yes, it is a great lake. To experience the smallmouth there was to reward yourself with an everlasting memory of the most wildest creatures, pound for pound, found on earth. After two days of fishing water in the low 70's, eight-eight anglers brought in 46 limits. 718 fish weighing 1315lbs. That is an average of 1.83 lbs. Great Sacandaga Lake truly is a jewel… the generous merchants proved to be real gems. They provided a tremendous amount of behind-the-scene help that made our stay and our Thomas Aguiar Memorial SQT event all the better. The SQT committee, many of who fished, did a tremendous job in staying focused and switching gears on the fly. After two days of fishing, the cream once again rose to the top to create the new 2007 State Team. This elite group even had the closet finishes in reordered weigh than ever before.

2007 STATE TEAM Hosting in Connecticut River

Roy Costa, R.I. BASS Nation President
1st - Joel St. Germain
2nd - Joe Croteau
3rd - Todd Rana
4th - Louie Bernardo
5th - Mike Donovan
6th - Jeff Brousseau
7th - Steve Conde
8th - Mike Wolfenden
9th - Lewis Mendall
10th - Russ Wood
11th - Ron Larivee
12th - George Potter
13 - Mike Asciola

I want to thank all the anglers for their participation, and for their patience in making this a memorable and "Great" SQT.


Roy Costa, RI B.A.S.S. Nation Preident


Tough Weather Day for District
5 On Long Pond

Brewster-Harwich, MA. May 14, 2006. My phone call on Saturday night got veteran ABA Director Bo Medeiros out of bed. He had retired early so as to be at the ramp early for his Sunday tournament on Long Pond. Bob was concerned about the weather for the next day with heavy rains and high winds predicted. Some areas north of Boston had already had over 10 inches of rain.

Long Pond is the largest pond in the Cape Cod area with 740 acres. Bob describes the lake as "a glacier lake about 3 miles wide with some water up to 65 ft. It has sand points and chunk rock. The vegetation hasn't started growing yet, but the lake has a lot of elodea and fanwort."

"The water is very clear and often you can see the bottom 10 ft. deep. A lot of times you can see the fish and they can see you, so you have to back off. Friends have told me the water temp. is 54 and the fish are in a prespawn mode."

A major food source for the fish in the lake is alewifes. These are anadromous fish like salmon and spend their adult lives in the ocean and make a spawning run to freshwater. District 5 is always one of the highest in participation.

Tournament Day

Bob's concerns about the weather proved true. This is the way he described the day: "It was the worst day on the water I've had in 33 years of fishing. At three in the morning and it was 43 degrees and the wind was blowing 15 to 20 mph. City rules will not let us take off until 7, but it was held until 7:35. We had a vote on the stopping time and all but 2 wanted to fish until 3." "The wind increased during the day and it rained at least 2 inches. We ended up with 30-35 mph winds gusting to 45 and 3 to 4 ft. swells and the high for the day was 54."

For the day 39 anglers caught 44 fish with 2 limits weighed in. To say the least conditions
were brutal and by 10 o'clock fifteen boats had left. You don't expect to find fish bedding in 51 to 53 degree water, but that's what all of the top finishers reported. Water temperatures the week before the tournament were in the upper 50's and some smallies began bedding and a few were still hanging around their bedding sites. The full moon was Saturday night. The field was very tight with only .21 lbs. separating first from second place.

Louie Bernardo Finishes Second

Second place finisher was 40 year old Louie Bernardo of Taunton, MA with 5 fish weighing10.58 lbs. He had pre-fished on Thursday and located several bedding fish. Louie hand pours a small reeper look alike that he feels perfectly imitates alewifes and this lure produced all of his fish.

For the day, Louie caught a total of 9 fish. Two of his fish came from beds and the rest from the inside of points that were adjacent to deep water. He kept his boat in 18 to 20 ft. and his fish were in 4 to 6 ft. of water.

During the day he fished 5 points and caught fish on 3 of them. He fished the three point that produced fish two more times each. Louie felt the fish were staging on these points. He fished the plastic bait in two ways. One way was swimming it on a 1⁄2 oz. jig head, trying to keep it in contact with the bottom as best he could in the rough waters. The other way was on a drop shot rig with a 1⁄2 oz. weight that he would cast and slowly retrieve almost like a Carolina rig. Louie attributed his ability to see the bedding fish to his Costa Del Mar sunglasses. He was using Splash rods in 6'6' and 7-ft. lengths, Daiwa reels, and 8-lb test Trilene XT. He would like to thank his sponsors: Evinrude Motors, Charger Bass Boats, MinnKota, Costa Del Mar, Slip's Marina, Georgio's Pizza, Splash Rods and Bay Mortgage Service Corp.

by: Jimmy Yarbrough