UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Welcome to victory, Lane

Pro Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., caught a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win the Stren Series Northern Division tournament on the Potomac River with a four-day total of 20 bass weighing 65-14.

LA PLATA, Md. - It took him 20 tries and a whole mess of Potomac River largemouth bass this week, but Bobby Lane finally won an FLW Outdoors tournament.

Lane sealed the deal at the Stren Series Northern Division opener by catching a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 3 ounces in Saturday's finals and finishing the tournament with a winning four-day weight total of 65-14.

It was the smallest limit of the week for the pro out of Lakeland, Fla., but the 7 1/2-pound lead he carried into the day was enough to fend off a surge from runner-up Ryan Park, who finished with 60-1 for the tournament.

"This is what it comes down to. You just try to keep it exciting, I guess. They sure were bigger earlier in the week," Lane said. "It did get tougher as the week went on, but things just kept going my way. I missed some great opportunities today, and I thought it was going to kill me."

Lane won this event on the merits of his first three days of fishing. Every day, he started flipping grass mats in Chicamuxen Creek and then would move later in the day to a little grassy spot he found near Smallwood State Park to try to cull some bigger fish. Doing that the first three days, he pounded out more than 15 pounds of bass each day, including the week's heaviest stringer on Thursday, a 23-3.

He used the same approach Saturday, but fishing pressure and some lost fish left him with just over 9 pounds at the end of the day.

"I didn't think they weighed 9 pounds, to be honest. I only had eight bites, and I lost two of them," he said. "But I didn't do anything crazy today; I didn't go blind-fishing or anything. I just flipped and flipped and flipped the same areas I have all week."

The flipping phenom from the shores of Lake Okeechobee found the Potomac to be very receptive to his grass-fishing mastery, not just this week, but also last month in FLW Tour competition, as well. He finished third in that big-money event.

For his victory, Bobby Lane earned $25,000 cash and a $40,000 519VX Ranger boat powered by Yamaha.This week, he flipped a 1 1/3- to 1 1/2-ounce weight with a Berkley Chigger Craw on 50-pound Spiderwire line. He started the morning throwing green-pumpkin baits, and then switched over to watermelon-candy as the day wore on and the sun came out. Another trick he used is that he "shined" his Tru Tungsten weights, sanding them a touch to give them a little extra sheen.

"Yeah, the Potomac's been good to me this summer," he said. "Switching to watermelon-candy in the afternoon was the ticket, though. It looks more like the baitfish they feed on here during the day punching through that mat instead of that brown stuff they eat in the morning."

It's been a good month all around for Lane, who had 19 prior FLW Outdoors top-10 finishes throughout the Wal-Mart BFL, Stren Series and FLW Tour ranks and more than $275,000 in career earnings. He finally closed the deal in his 20th visit to the final round, and with the win he added another $25,000 in cash and a new Ranger to his trophy chest, plus all the boat, motor and Ranger Cup contingency money. His total haul topped $75,000 this week, which will come in handy considering the birth of his son, Robert Jr., some two weeks ago.

"It feels really good to say you won one finally," he said. "You join a pretty small group of guys who can say they've done it."

Pro Ryan Park of Mount Joy, Pa., caught a relatively good limit Saturday - 11 pounds, 1 ounce - and finished second with 60-1.Park settles for second

Park, who hails from Mount Joy, Pa., caught a relatively good limit Saturday - 11 pounds, 1 ounce - but he knew he'd need the catch of a lifetime to overtake Lane, who had a 7 1/2-pound lead on him coming into the day.

"I figured coming into today that, realistically, the only way I could win was if I caught them really good and (Lane's) Spiderwire got caught in a crab pot and pulled his flipping stick into the river," Park said. "I won't say that I `fished chicken' today, but I went out to make sure I got a limit today. I was just worried about maintaining No. 2. But maybe next time I won't do the same thing."

Park said he avoided fishing his main area of grass mats early Saturday, opting instead to grab a quick limit in Mattawoman Creek before going hog-hunting. But even that wasn't easy.

"With the wind yesterday, the grass mat on my best spot broke into three pieces and blew into the bank, so there wasn't even really that much to fish," he said. "I caught four or five fish after Mattawoman Creek, though, so I'm satisfied. I don't think I played it too safe."

Park said he caught about 75 percent of his fish this week flipping a Sweet Beaver with a 1 1/2-ounce weight.

He earned $8,917 for second place in the Pro Division.

Coming in with the heaviest catch in the finals was Jess Caraballo of Danbury, Conn., a 16-pound, 4-ounce limit. He finished third for the pros with 57-14.Caraballo lands biggest sack, climbs to third

Coming in with the heaviest catch in the finals was Jess Caraballo of Danbury, Conn. His 16-pound, 4-ounce limit outweighed the next-heaviest bag by 5 pounds and launched him up the pro ranks into a third-place finish with a four-day total weight of 57-14. He earned $8,026.

"I was fishing right next to Bobby (Lane). We talked all day long just back and forth about what we were catching. In the morning I'd fish Chicamuxen Creek, and then I'd go up to Mattawoman," Caraballo said. "Yesterday, he kind of got lucky because I made a mistake not staying with my fish. After I left, another guy went in there, and he told me he lost a 6-pounder in there. So I went back there today."

While he finished third, Caraballo wasn't unhappy with his results this week. He usually fishes FLW Outdoors events as a co-angler, but he has fished the Stren Northern Division as a pro the last three years. And his results at the Potomac River have only gotten better each year: He's gone from a complete zero the first year to 109th the second year to third place this year. Plus, he won the Co-angler of the Year title on the FLW Tour this season, and he saw a certain symmetry to his finish this week.

"It's only right that I came in third," he said. "At the first FLW Series this year at Okeechobee, I came in third. At the first FLW Tour at Lake Travis, I was third. And here (the first Stren Northern event), I'm third. It makes sense."

Nick Gainey of Charleston, S.C., finished fourth for the pros with a four-day total of 54 pounds, 15 ounces. He caught a limit weighing 11-4 Saturday.Gainey fourth

Nick Gainey of Charleston, S.C., finished fourth for the pros and earned $7,134 with a four-day total of 54 pounds, 15 ounces. He caught a limit weighing 11-4 Saturday.

"Today was my worst day. I had a limit by 7:30 and I culled two or three times, but than that was it. I didn't get that 5-pounder, which you need here," he said. "But I feel like I got a little revenge on the Potomac River. Last year in August here, I finished dead last. So this is a little payback."

Gainey said he caught his fish flipping a jig with a Zoom Speed Craw trailer.

Pro James Kemper of Frankfort, Ky., tallied 54 pounds, 1 ounce for the tournament and finished in fifth place. He caught a limit weighing 10-13 Saturday.Kemper fifth

Pro James Kemper of Frankfort, Ky., tallied 54 pounds, 1 ounce for the tournament and earned $6,242 for fifth place. He caught a limit weighing 10-13 Saturday.

"I did a lot of just junk-fishing this week," he said. "I could go out and limit with a finesse worm. Then I'd leave that and catch them on a Strike King jig. I had one grass mat about as big as that (weigh) table where I caught five good, solid fish."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 Pro Division finishers at the Potomac River:

6th: Terry Olinger of The Plains, Va., 52-12, $5,350
7th: Thomas Wooten of Huddleston, Va., 51-14, $4,905
8th: George Acord Jr. of Lancaster, Pa., 50-7, $4,459
9th: Michael Hall of Annandale, Va., 50-6, $4,012
10th: Sparky Petersen of Laytonsville, Md., 48-5, $3,568

Coming up

The next Northern Division event, the second of the year, is scheduled for the Detroit River at Trenton, Mich., Aug. 15-18.

Tags: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2007-07-18-potomac-river 

/news/2016-07-23-thompson-co-angler-champ-on-1000-islands

Thompson Co-angler Champ on 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands is a great place to take a vacation, especially if you are from the south and want to escape the heat. That is exactly what co-angler Joe Thompson of Clayton, Ga., did and wound up capturing the top spot in the co-angler division bringing home a Ranger Z117 with a 90 hp motor. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-lake-ontario-out-for-day-2

Lake Ontario Out for Day 2

It is never good when you wake up the morning of a tournament and every flag you see is standing straight out at 3 a.m., but that was the case this morning for day two of the Costa FLW Series event on the 1000 Islands. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-1

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Past experience on this fishery seems to be a big advantage for the top pros through one day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. Scott Dobson leads the way with 24 pounds, 9 ounces, yet there are some serious hammers right on his heels. Dobson fished both the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for his limit, while others went straight to the lake and stayed there. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-dobson-drops-24-9

Dobson Drops 24-9

Despite the weights being dropped on the scale for the opening round of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands presented by Mercury, it has actually been a tough day of fishing. Strong winds made it hard for the anglers regardless of if they were fishing the lake or river. Smallmouth guru Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., sacked up 24 pounds, 9 ounces on day one to take a 1-8 lead over Canadian stick Cal Climpson. Dobson utilized both the river and lake for his limit, which could play to his advantage if the wind blows like the weathermen are forecasting tomorrow. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-professional-bass-fishing-s-forrest-wood-cup-set-to-visit-wheeler-lake

Professional Bass Fishing’s Forrest Wood Cup set to visit Wheeler Lake

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will visit Wheeler Lake and the Huntsville, Alabama, area August 4-7 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2016. Hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature 50 of the world’s best bass-fishing... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-midday-update-day-1

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 1

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands hasn’t been about if the wind will blow, but when. Everyone knew the gales were coming eventually. Still, the majority of anglers hung a left out of the dock this morning and charged toward Lake Ontario into a steady breeze that turned into a howling wind by midmorning. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-2016-forrest-wood-cup-angler-intro-music

2016 Forrest Wood Cup Angler Intro Music

Each season, the anglers that make the Forrest Wood Cup get to choose the intro music that will play when they walk out on stage at weigh-ins. Naturally, the selections vary as widely as the anglers’ personalities and backgrounds – David Dudley once selected the Chicken Dance song, if that tells you anything. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-transition-time-at-1000-islands

Transition Time at 1000 Islands

The second tournament of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division kicked off on 1000 Islands in an event presented by Mercury this morning out of the Clayton Village Ramp. The 137 pros and co-anglers are challenged with the tough task of dissecting not only the massive St. Lawrence River but also Lake Ontario in search of jumbo-size smallmouths. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-20-solving-the-1000-islands-puzzle

Solving the 1000 Islands Puzzle

For its second stop, the 2016 Costa FLW Series Northern Division heads back to the 1000 Islands region of upstate New York for the first time since 2012. The 1000 Islands region includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario and produces some of the best smallmouth fishing on the planet with 4- and 5-pounders being the norm, not the exception. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-forrest-wood-cup-attractions-

Forrest Wood Cup Attractions

Fifty FLW anglers all taking a run at the most coveted title in bass fishing will without doubt take center stage over the course of the four-day Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., Aug. 4-7, but fans won’t have to wait for the daily weigh-in times to soak up all the action. FLW and its sponsors and partners put together a full schedule of additional events to coincide with the 2016 Cup. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-2016-icast-wrap-up

2016 ICAST Wrap-up

Even at a distance, ICAST can be a blur of new fishing stuff. Below, we’ve gathered everything we published from the week at ICAST – if you missed something, you can find it here. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-sisk-by-ounces-on-ohio-river

Sisk by Ounces on Ohio River

Marty Sisk of Evansville, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Sisk took home $7,456. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-boggs-flipped-shallow-wood-for-title

Boggs Flipped Shallow Wood for Title

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament of 2016 on Old Hickory Lake. Boggs took home $3,028 for his victory. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-profile-jeremy-lawyer

Profile: Jeremy Lawyer

A year ago, Jeremy Lawyer endured a harsh reality as the door to a Forrest Wood Cup berth slammed shut on his runner-up finish at the BFL All-American on Kentucky/Barkley lakes. Flash-forward to June 11 and the boater from Sarcoxie, Mo., saw life come full circle with his All-American win on Barkley. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-poffenberger-found-the-right-four

Poffenberger Found the Right Four

Jake Poffenberger of Brookville, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 9 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Poffenberger earned $4,684. READ MORE »