Received from https://m.bassmaster.com/news/hogan-wins-nation-eastern
After winning a team title Thursday as a member of Team Delaware, Mark Hogan of Milford, DE made it a clean sweep for “The First State” when individual championships were decided Friday in the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Eastern Regional presented by Magellan Outdoors.
Hogan caught a five-bass limit on Friday that totaled 15 pounds, 9 ounces. That limit, his third in the three-day tournament, gave him a 31-15 total and a victory in the boater division of the final B.A.S.S. Nation regional of the year.
Hogan earned $6,000 for the win. He bested 172 other boaters from 17 states in the eastern U.S. and the Canadian province of Ontario for the individual title. He also won a spot in the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan Outdoors. That tournament will be held later this year on a date and fishery to be announced.
It was a lot for the 50-year-old Milford resident to absorb. “I’m really emotional right now,” Hogan said. “I’m doing what I can to hold it back.”
He did everything but hold it back, however, on the Winyah Bay system in this week’s regional. Scorching temperatures near 100 degrees and inexperience with fishing tidal systems hampered the bite for much of the field, but Hogan consistently improved as the tournament advanced.
Hogan caught a 7-5 limit on Day 1, which was nearly 7 pounds behind Florida’s Dave Turner, who led the first two days of the tournament. Hogan chipped into Turner’s lead with a 9-1 limit on Thursday, and he blew past him on Friday with the tournament’s big bag. Hogan’s limit was anchored by a 5-4 lunker that was only 1 ounce shy of the Big Bass of the week.
The key to his upswing, Hogan said, was switching to a Senko worm on Friday. He also got out of creek mouths and hunkered down in the back of a pond off the Waccamaw River.
“It was a Gary Yamamoto black and blue laminate worm I went to,” he said. “I was in about 2 or 3 feet of water. Where I was at, there wasn’t much tide going on. Actually it was high water. Knowing tidal situations like I do living in Delaware, something told me to just try that Senko. I’m glad I did.”
Hogan has represented Delaware in numerous regionals through the years, but this will be his first trip to the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. He said after Delaware finished second in the team standings at last year’s Eastern Regional on the Upper Chesapeake Bay, winning both team and individual honors this year is very special.
“I joined the Tidewater Bass Club back in 1999,” Hogan said. “All those guys are really good sticks. If it wasn’t for them being really competitive, I probably wouldn’t be here. You have to get better to fish with them.”
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.