Capitol gains

Leveraging the outgoing tides delivered the wire-to-wire BFL All-American win for Brian Maloney.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - During his final day on the Potomac River, Brian Maloney heard Coast Guard vessels cutting through the waves; he heard government helicopters buzzing overhead; he heard the thunder of a 21-gun salute. Nothing, however, compared to the memorable sound of a standing room only crowd cheering his victory in the Wal-Mart BFL All-American. After leading the event on days one and two with 15 pounds, 4 ounces and 14-10, the Osage Beach, Mo. boater nabbed a final-round limit that weighed 13-6. His three-day total of 43-4 allowed him to slip past second-place Dick Shaffer by 6 ounces and claim a $120,000 prize. "I still can't believe this," an emotional Maloney said. "I didn't think I had (enough)."Brian Maloney caught most of his fish on a football head jig with a Garneau Baits paddle tail worm. All three days, Maloney has leveraged the daily tide schedule by staking out a 75-yard stretch of shallow flats where ditches carved by storm water drains provide natural drop-back areas for fish on outgoing tides. All three tournament days saw outgoing tides from takeoff until early afternoon. Tides advance a little less than an hour each day, so the falling water scenario lasted progressively longer with afternoon incoming cycles starting later each day. While rising water grants fish expanding access to shoreline cover, falling tides pull them away from the shallows and into deeper sanctuaries until the water returns. Comparing tidal fisheries to the seasonal floodwaters of his Midwest home, Maloney noted that the fish get nervous when they don't have sufficient water over their backs. Knowing he'd face outgoing tides through most of the tournament time, he made finding low-water retreats his practice priority. "Those ditches may only be a foot or two deeper than the surrounding flats, but it was enough for them to be comfortable," Maloney said. "When the water started falling off the flats, the fish were coming to me." Although a chartreuse silent crankbait produced some of his fish, the top boater did most of his damage with a black Garneau Baits Slap Stick hand-poured paddle tail worm on a 5/16-ounce football Brian Maloney isnhead jig. Maloney said he made long casts on 10-pound fluorocarbon line and used an aggressive presentation to startle and irritate bass into biting. "I was ripping the bait - I wasn't playing with them," he said. "I wanted them to react to it. I was pulling it up off the bottom and hopping it 6-8 inches. I guess you could call it stroking a paddle tail. "I looked around me in practice and everybody was finessing the fish and using green baits. I decided to go with a darker bait and a more aggressive retrieve. What I was doing, I thought was the right thing and it seemed like it turned out pretty good today." With an FLW Tour Major event running concurrently out of National Harbor, the BFL All-American field was restricted to fishing north of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, while Tour anglers fished south. Every day, the All-Americans had to idle past the bridge en route to the check-in point, so the massive pilings presented an option for late-day limit fillers. Maloney said he took advantage of this giant fish-attractor each day of the event. "I made a last-minute decision to run down to the bridge," he said. "Every day I've been getting one that culled out. There's one pillar out there that likes me for some reason. The first two days of the event, every pillar had 10-12 boats around it. The first one I pulled up to I caught three there. It was on the Virginia side, just a couple of pillars off the main channel." Shaffer improves to second After posting weights of 14-7 on days one and two, Dick Shaffer, of Rockford, Ohio added another 14Second-place boater Dick Shaffer caught his fish on wood and boat docks. even in the final round to finish second with 42-14. Shaffer caught fish by flipping Junebug colored tube around wood in six to 10 feet and skipping docks in 15-25 feet of water with a Kinami Flash stick bait on a 3/16-ounce jig head. He dyed the stick bait's tail chartreuse for added fish-attraction. Docks yielded most of his productivity and this scenario, Shaffer said, was not tide-dependent. "When I was fishing boat docks, it did not matter what the tide was doing," he said. "Those boats floated up and down with the tide and so did the fish." Shaffer said he started out flipping the wood, but quickly transitioned to the docks when the hard cover failed to produce the kind of fish he needed. Williams improves to third Catching the dayDavid Williams, of Maiden, N.C., tied for 15th on day one, moved up to sixth on day two and added three more notches in the final round to finish third with 42-3. Williams' limit catch of 15-5 was the heaviest of day three and the tournament's second heaviest. Moreover, Williams was the only competitor to break 15 pounds twice. (He weighed 15-3 on day two.) Williams caught his fish on a 1/2-ounce white spinnerbait with double willow blades, a 3/8-ounce black/blue jig with a Zoom Speed Craw trailer and a custom chatterbait made by his father. Williams said he located the spot he'd fish during the tournament during his pre-practice visit a couple of weeks ago. "Me and dad came up here and I really struggle the first two days but right before I came in (one day), I pulled up on a place and they were stacked up," Williams said. "When I came back for the tournament, there were there. I was able to put it together and add a couple of things to it with my practice time and it worked out." Marina bite moves Newberry up to fourth Dicky Newberry, of Houston, Texas found a good bite in a marina toward the end of day one and heFishing weightless Senkos around docks was Dicky Newberry stuck with that for the next two days. Pitching weightless Senkos around the docks and patiently waiting for them to sink down to the suspended bass was his game plan. Newberry said the weekend traffic and the noise of boaters cleaning their vessels and stomping along the docks may have spooked the fish. He was convinced that big bass inhabited the area he was fishing, but his limit catch of 13-9 fell short of his expectations. Newberry ended his tournament with a fourth-place total of 40-13. Bolt finishes fifth Conrad Bolt sacked up a nice limit and improved to fifth place.Conrad Bolt, of Seneca, S.C. got off to a slow start, but he eventually dialed in what he needed to do and sacked up a 12-pound limit. His final-round effort lifted him from seventh to fifth with a total weight of 38-1. "I was scratching my head about 11 o'clock today," he said. "My co-angler (second-place Bobby Drinnon) put an old-fashioned butt whooping on me. He kinda made me think a little today so I adjusted and caught fish. Bolt caught his day-three fish on a dropshot baited with a Robo Worm. He had been using the Margarita Mutilator color, but switching to a Junebug color today proved effective. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the BFL All-American:Lily Grace Saint watches closely as her dad Corey Saint 6th: Roger Fitzpatrick, of Eldon, Mo., 37-3 7th: Christopher Jones, of Bokoshee, Ok., 36-1 8th: Corey Saint, of Lexington, Ala., 35-2 9th: Scott Hamrick, of Denver, N.C., 32-11 10th: Marc Snyder, of St. Johns. Mich., 28-14

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-06-29-dobson-sticks-with-jerkbait-for-win

Dobson Sticks With Jerkbait for Win

Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament of 2015 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Dobson earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-johnston-targets-beds-for-big-limit

Johnston Targets Beds for Big Limit

Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ontario, Canada, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 25 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2015 on 1000 Islands. For his victory, Johnston earned $5,632. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-football-jig-helps-bates-net-title

Football Jig Helps Bates Net Title

Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Ferguson. For his victory, Bates earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-hipsher-hops-ledges-for-victory

Hipsher Hops Ledges for Victory

Craig Hipsher of Benton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, Hipsher earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-lauer-wins-on-ohio-river

Lauer Wins on Ohio River

David Lauer of McConnelsville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Lauer earned $6,289. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-creature-bait-does-it-for-berhorst

Creature Bait Does it for Berhorst

Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Truman. For his victory, Berhorst earned $5,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-wendlandt-back-at-the-top

Wendlandt Back at the Top

It’s been 14 seasons since Clark Wendlandt last stood on a Walmart FLW Tour stage and hoisted a tournament championship trophy. Since that time, the Texas pro has experienced ups and downs, including an Angler of the Year title (his third) in 2009 and a major medical issue that sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. All that’s in the past now, however, and Wendlandt is right back where he belongs in the world of bass fishing – in first place after the final day on the Potomac River in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-top-10-patterns-from-the-potomac-river

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Clark Wendlandt didn’t pull off any secret techniques to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. He simply found an area with the right quality of bass to win and managed it perfectly despite facing a medley of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. The rest of the top 10 stuck with the standard Potomac targets too, namely grass, docks and wood cover. The only underlying trend of the top 10 is that they found areas to themselves. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 got it done at the 2015 Tour finale. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-potomac-river-day-4-coverage

Potomac River Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-wendlandt-receives-helping-hand

Wendlandt Receives Helping Hand

Not to discredit Clark Wendlandt’s skills as a bass fisherman, but if it wasn’t for an extreme act of kindness on the part of fellow competitor Shin Fukae, Wendlandt wouldn’t be where he is this evening – leading through three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 3

Pouring rain, gusting winds, a remarkable act of kindness, an Angler of the Year title on the line – day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River certainly was not boring. To say the top 20 anglers were waterlogged after Saturday would be any understatement, but as nasty as the weather was, it wasn’t the biggest story of the day. Shinichi Fukae generously helped Clark Wendlandt retain his lead, while Scott Martin sealed the deal on his first AOY title. Meanwhile, a number of other anglers scrambled to adjust with what the weather and the Potomac are throwing at them. Here’s how the rest of the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-potomac-river-day-3-coverage

Potomac River Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-wendlandt-in-familiar-territory

Wendlandt in Familiar Territory

A lot of flip-flopping took place on the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. When the scale closed, it was three-time Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt who found himself on top with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces. Wendlandt caught 17-13 today – the day’s second-heaviest limit – and leads Potomac local Bryan Schmitt by 1-12 going into the weekend. Wendlandt missed part of last season after suffering a heart attack but has rebounded with good success this season. He has won three times on Tour but hasn’t finished in first place since Beaver Lake in 2001. Details to come on the patterns of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-potomac-river-day-2-coverage

Potomac River Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-jersey-boy-leads-the-pack

Jersey Boy Leads the Pack

Talk about a traffic jam. And, no, we’re not talking about the streets around the Washington, D.C. area. We’re talking about the standings at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. Adrian “Jersey Boy” Avena leads the way with a 16-pound, 12-ounce limit, but a total of 41 pros weighed in at least 12 pounds. Many pros lamented the tough bite today, but the results say otherwise as 114 limits were brought to the scale on the pro side. Troy Morrow trails Avena by just 1-06, and 1 ounce behind Morrow is one of the most successful tidewater bass anglers of all time, Bryan Schmitt. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 1

It might seem impossible for 405 miles of water to fish small, but space was hard to come by on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The creeks near takeoff at Smallwood State Park have seen as much traffic as a Washington, D.C. highway at rush hour. On the flip side, anglers who were able to develop patterns that got them away from the crowds, such as day-one leader Adrian Avena, have been able to reap the benefits of what has been a stingy fishery. Here’s how the rest of the pros in the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-aoy-shake-up-martin-makes-his-move

AOY Shake-Up: Martin Makes His Move

Scott Martin has been talking about winning the Angler of the Year title since before the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season started. It’s on his mind and for good reason: Angler of the Year is the only major FLW title he hasn’t won in what Martin has built into one of the most decorated professional fishing careers in FLW Tour history. Today, on the first day of competition at the Tour finale on the Potomac River, Martin has unofficially moved into the lead in the AOY race for the first time all season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-potomac-river-day-1-coverage

Potomac River Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-richardson-wins-all-american

Richardson Wins All-American

Curtis Richardson has a way of surprising people – even himself. The Ontario angler had all but written himself off in the championship round of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, thinking his limit of five bass wouldn’t hold up for long with the likes of Jeremy Lawyer and Bill Schroeder breathing down his neck. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-all-american-midday-update-day-3

All-American Midday Update Day 3

Big changes might be coming in the standings of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, as some of the top 10 leaders struggled this morning to catch limits. Canadian angler Curtis Richardson, who currently is leading, had only one 3-pound keeper by midmorning. And second-place boater Billy Schroeder, who had fished just below the Paris Landing Bridge for the first two days, finally bailed out from there after catching four keepers this morning. READ MORE »