"Team Profiles"

Compiled by:  Doug Hume 




NEBA Team Profiles



If you were to ask what makes the NEBA of NH Trail so competitive, the overwhelming answer members would give is the talented teams that fish the trail. We see, sometimes chat with, and compete against these teams each tournament but often don’t know much about the individuals that comprise these teams. In this series, we will look at, a bit more in depth, many of the anglers that compete on our trail.

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        Check back for more Team Profiles by Doug!

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Dave LeBlanc and John Vernalia



One of the most successful teams on the NEBA of NH Trail over the past several years is the team of Dave LeBlanc and John Vernalia.  They have consistently been a  top finishing team on the Trail and have earned a spot in the TOC numerous times.  In the past five years, the team has earned a TOC Championship on Wentworth, as well as 3 top five TOC finishes. This is added to the 4 Trail tournament victories they have earned over the same period of time.


Dave lives in Springfield, NH with his wife Lisa and son Nickolaus. Dave is the general manager at Brown’s Marine in Newport, NH.  He is a member of the Sunapee Anglers and has been Angler of the Year for that club 4 of the last 5 years.  He earned a spot on the NH BASS Nation State Team for 2015.  This is the 6th time Dave has earned a spot on the State Team and has fished at the Divisional level. 


Dave’s favorite local lake is Lake Sunapee. Dave has lived within a few miles of the lake for many years now. He knows the lake well and can “find them” even when the fishing is tough. Dave proved this last year as he captained his team ( John was out with an injury ) to a victory in last year’s NEBA of NH spring tournament on Sunapee. 


Dave’s hobbies include snowmobiling and restoring old cars. Check out the picture of his 1978 Camaro Z28 he finished recently.  When asked why he fishes the NEBA of NH Trail, Dave cites “the camaraderie amongst the NEBA members even though there is strong competition on the water”.


John lives with his wife Rosa in New London, NH. Although in the colder months you will find them residing in Florida, just a few miles from Lake Okeechobee.  John is a retired attorney. He is a member of the Sunapee Anglers bass club and has won several club events. John is also a member of two clubs in Florida and can be found most winter days fishing on the “Big O”. 


John’s favorite local lake is Little Lake Sunapee. Often overlooked because of its much larger namesake, Little Sunapee offers some excellent smallmouth and largemouth fishing.  John knows the lake extremely well and has no problem finding and catching both species.  You can also find John out on his local private pond checking for the rainbows he has stocked it with. 


John’s hobbies include hunting and teaching Dave’s son to fly fish. John recently had a successful hunt for a wild pig in Florida.  John is passionate about fishing.  “Fishing is a way of life for me. The NEBA of NH Trail is by far the most competitive and enjoyable trail I fish. I can’t wait for May!”



Dave LeBlanc and John Vernalia are one of the Trail's most consistent and successful teams. Their ability to make adjustments and find the fish, along with the skill to get them in the boat should make them one of the teams to beat on the 2015 Trail.

                 Hooper & Hooper


Another of the Trail’s most successful and consistent teams is the team of John Hooper and his son John Hooper II.  As with most successful teams, they are versatile fisherman.


Their preference, however, is to fish for smallmouth. Over the years, the team has consistently earned a berth in the TOC and has several top five finishes in that event to show for it. Last year, their successful NEBA Trail season was highlighted when they “smoked” the field by finding a deepwater bite on Moore Dam. They won that Trail tournament by several pounds.  The team, in their Pinnacle Tackle sponsored red Champion, is always on the list of teams to beat on the NEBA Trail.


John Hooper (Dad) lives on Rockybound Pond in Croydon, NH with his wife Debi and their French bulldog, Louie.  He is a machinist/mechanic and is owner of Hooper Racing Engines in Goshen, NH, which specializes in high performance two stroke engines and snowmobile racing parts.  Check out his website for all of his racing accomplishments which include Hooper built engines and chassis’ that have won world championships in ice oval, snocross, and sled drag racing.


John’s favorite lakes are Newfound and Conway. He loves the spring jerkbait bite and would much rather use finesse tactics on those brown fish than fish the slop.  Locally, you may find John out on the pond he lives on enjoying the day with one or more of his five grandchildren.  John’s main hobby is hunting.  He scored a bear in New Brunswick last spring and another in New Hampshire in the fall.  He also loves to deer hunt in the fall and like most excellent fisherman, he is an excellent hunter.


John enjoys fishing NEBA and feels the trail size, which limits the number of boats to 31, is “just right” and “the guys that run the Trail don’t have an agenda”.


John II lives in Newport, NH with his wife Jayna and their four children.  John II is owner of Pinnacle Tackle in Newport, which is a full service hunting, fishing, and gun shop.  Check out his shop to find everything you need for all your hunting and fishing needs. John II is a life member of BASS and the NRA and his shop sponsors many youth events each year. He is the coach and boat captain for the Newport High School Bass Fishing Team. John II enjoys sharing his fishing expertise with the students and his contribution of time and knowledge has helped the high school launch a very successful program. He is also a very active member of his church in Sunapee, NH, which further illustrates his willingness to give back to his community.


John II’s favorite bodies of water are the Connecticut River, Sunapee, and Newfound.  He enjoys the challenges the ever-changing river conditions provides and likes those deep, clear lakes with big smallies in them.  John II enjoys throwing a jig or spinnerbait around light cover to catch fish. He will usually be found with his kids on Rockybound Pond, or some other small water body, when he has some free time available.


John II finds fishing NEBA enjoyable and likes that the “regulars, just enjoy themselves and the sport of bass fishing.  NEBA has always been good stewards of the lakes they fish and of the sport itself and that’s great.”


Watch out again in 2015 for the Hoopers. When the checks are handed out at the end of a tournament, there is a very good chance they will be at the front of the line to get theirs.  The ability to find fish, make the necessary adjustments, and get the fish in the boat and to the scales makes this team a threat in every tournament they fish.



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Rod Richmond & Warren Mills

Rod and Warren teamed up 4 seasons ago and have seen improvement in their overall finishes each year since.  The team has several top-five trail finishes over that period of time and has earned a berth in the NEBA of NH TOC the past two seasons. This is a team that “flies under the radar” but is in contention at many of the NEBA events.


Rod Richmond lives in Swanzey, NH with his wife Peg. He has two grown children, a son and a daughter.  Rod is the dispatcher for Allen and Matthewson Energy, a heating oil and propane delivery service in Rindge, NH.  He is a member of the Sunapee Anglers, a NH BASS Nation club and has had several club tournament wins, the most impressive being on Lake Ashuelot in Washington NH.  He weighed in a 4 fish, 19. 40 # limit of bass and won the tournament by over 10#! Rod also weighed in a smallmouth bass in a recent fall tournament on Lake Sunapee that tipped the scales at 6 pounds.  


Rod’s favorite local lake is, you guessed it, Lake Ashuelot.  Rod frequents the lake and continues to put quality fish in the boat. He is a versatile fisherman but prefers to cover water with fast baits like a spinnerbait.  When he does slow down, you’ll find Rod throwing soft plastics to entice the bass.


Rod’s hobbies include deer hunting and more recently golf.  Here the theme of good fisherman, good hunter seems to hold.  The jury is still out on the good fisherman, good golfer connection!   Rod is a frequent volunteer for the NH BASS Nation youth events. He is very willing to give of his time to promote fishing to our youth.  Rod was the boat captain last year for the Hillsboro-Deering High School bass fishing team in the NHIAA sponsored bass events.


Warren Mills lives in Manchester, NH.  He has two grown sons and a daughter. He is proud that he introduced fishing to his children and his sons continue to enjoy fishing today.  Warren is the Vice President and Chief Numismatist of Rare Coins of New Hampshire in Milford, NH.  He has been selected as one of the ten leading numismatists in the country the past seven years. Warren is a highly recommended dealer and has been asked to speak about coins on many national radio shows.


Warrens’ background in bass fishing includes a 2013 American Bass Anglers Divisional Championship which he accomplished as a nonboater. He also has spent time as a nonboater on the pre- Elite Series Bassmaster Trail and on the Bassmaster weekend series.  There he had the opportunity to fish with the likes of Denny Brauer.  On the weekend series, Warren had a 2nd place finish on the Hudson River and multiple finishes in the money, all as a nonboater.  Warren has one NEBA of NH trail victory under his belt partnered with our own Joe Catalano. In that win on Ossipee, he caught a 7.05# largemouth .


Warren’s favorite body of water is the Nashua River. His favorite technique is jig fishing. Other than fishing, Warren gets to make his living at his hobby…coins.  He feels fortunate to be able to earn a living doing what he loves to do.


Both Rod and Warren mentioned the competiveness of the NEBA field, but also the “sportsmanship” showed by many of the competitors.  The teams’ goals are to win a NEBA event together and to once again compete for a TOC title. They have been close several times to doing this and are looking to seal the deal this year.  Keep an eye out this year for this very competitive team.  They have the angling skills and knowledge needed to achieve these goals.  



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Chris Bolduc & Jason Faro



Since teaming up two years ago, Chris Bolduc and Jay Faro have been one of the most consistent and successful teams on the NEBA of NH Trail.  They are a team to watch at any weigh-in.   As history has shown, they are a constant threat to place at the top of the tournament leaderboard.


Chris Bolduc lives in Amherst, NH with his wife Kim and high school aged children Zack and Elaina.  Zack fished the 2013 Trail with his dad and they successfully qualified for the TOC.  Wife Kim is a schoolteacher and daughter Elaina competes as a competitive cheerleader.  Chris runs a business that sells, services, and calibrates all types of torque tools (hydraulic, electric, pneumatic, battery, & manual). His business’s primary product line is Hytorc Tools.


Chris started fishing tournaments in 1999 with the BUBBA Bassin club.  He has earned a position on two BASS State Teams. The highlight of his fishing career was winning a 19’ Basscat Pantera Classic with a 200 HP Mercury outboard at an Angler’s Choice TOC in 2004.  On the NEBA Trail Chris has qualified for the TOC every year since joining.  His team has finished 4th, 2nd, 10th, and  5th in the last 4 years NEBA TOC.

Chris’ favorite body of water is Squam Lake.  His preference is going after largemouth with a spinnerbait or jig.  When Chris is not involved with his favorite pastime, fishing, he enjoys golf, ATVing, and snowmobiling.


Jay Faro lives in Townsend, MA with his wife Kim and daughters Olivia and Jordyn.  He is an Insurance agent at the Braley & Wellington insurance Group.


Jay is a veteran angler in New Hampshire fishing having found success in many of the state’s tournament organizations.  Jay was successful in the old ABA days and now carries that success to the NEBA Trail. Jay has several tournament wins to his credit and has earned a spot on four NH State Teams.  In their first year together, Jay teamed with Chris to finish 5th in the 2014 NEBA TOC. The team held first place after day 1 and received bonus money for having the largest day 1 weight and the tournament lunker largemouth.


Jay’s favorite body of water is the Connecticut River.  As Jay states, “ Nothing is more awesome than a 7:00 AM misty boat ride on the river.”  Jay loves to throw jerkbaits in the spring for big smallmouth and then prefers throwing a jig for big largemouth. When Jay is not freshwater fishing, he enjoys going after stripers on the coast.  When not on the water, Jay can be found on the golf course working on his other hobby, golf.

When asked about the NEBA Trail, Jay cites how great it is to “ Interact with a great bunch of guys and to compete against them.  The membership and officers make NEBA of NH a great organization.”


Chris Bolduc and Jay Faro are excellent anglers and a constant threat to win on the NEBA of NH Trail.  In addition, they embody the qualities that make the Trail fun.  They are highly competitive on the water but genuinely nice guys off.  They are always there to help out and are always friendly and supportive of the officers and other anglers.  Keep an eye out for this team as they make another run for a NEBA of NH championship.  

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