UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Potomac Pressure Cooker

Morning clouds muting the Potomac sunrise bespoke a much-needed break from sweltering conditions.

MARBURY, Md. – It’s a fish-rich waterway, but the Potomac River is not likely to yield any easy fortunes for Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division competitors. FLW Tour pro Adrian Avena says the river is fishing a little behind where it should be for this time of year. This, he says, is due mainly to habitat issues. Recent harsh winters and the lingering effects of large construction projects have diminished the massive offshore grass beds that have long been the bread-and-butter of Potomac tournaments. Moreover, recent rains have turned much of the river’s upper reaches murky, while massive amountsNew Jersey pro Adrian Avena hopes to tempt big fish with a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper. of floating wood and debris have littered the water and created navigational concerns. “The grass really isn’t up to par,” he notes. “In the places where there is grass there are concentrations of fish, so you just have to keep yourself around it. “We had some mud come through and the north end is really muddy. The river is going to fish small. It’s going to fish, I’d say, from Piscataway Creek south. There will be a lot of guys in the community areas such as Chickamuxen, Mattawoman, Occoquan, Aquia. There’s a bunch of fish in those areas. You just have to hunker down and hopefully catch five good ones.” Avena will throw a Zorro buzzbait early during low tide, and a frog. As the water rises, he’ll use a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper on a weighted-shank hook.  Matt Stasiak adds scented chartreuse dye to his flipping bait.Pennsylvania pro Matt Stasiak also expects tough conditions and crowded fishing. Grinding it out in high-percentage areas will be his game plan. Fortunately, for him, today’s tide schedule favors his style of fishing. The outgoing tide turned about an hour and a half after takeoff, so incoming water will comprise most of the fishing day. “If I can catch them on the incoming tide, that’s going to be 90 percent of the day,” Stasiak says. “I’ll use a mix of reaction baits and flipping baits. If you get on a school of fish that’s fired up, it’s going to happen really fast.” Prior to launch, Stasiak accented the pinchers of his craw baits with garlic-scented chartreuse dye. He’s hoping this extra attraction will coax a few more bites. A few others also shared their thoughts and strategies: Jim Dillard (West Monroe, La.): The Capri-Su pro is no fan of finesse tactics, but he recognizesFLW Tour Pro  Jim Dillard thinks he may have to go finesse to get his bites today. the potential rewards of slowing down and going light in these challenging conditions. He’ll throw a wacky-rigged 7 Fifteen Tricky Worm with a nail weight inserted about an inch above the tail. This positioning, Dillard notes, maintains the enticing tail action. Troy Garrison (Topsham, Me.): Topwater frogs have produced bites in practice, so he’ll keep one tied on today, but Garrison believes his best be will be flipping/pitching a weightless, Texas-rigged Z-man Zinkerz into gaps within the fields of spatterdock. Rick Nitkiewiecz (Pittsburgh, Pa.): A 3/8-ounce Bigmouth Penrod Special spinnerbait with a red and a chartreuse blade should get plenty of attention. Nitkiewiecz  A chatterbait will be a primary tactic for Dan Welch.Daniel Welch (New Martinsville, WV): Fishing slowly around whatever grass he can locate, Welch will remain close and fish between Mattawoman Creek and Belmont Bay. He’ll fish a mix of flipping baits and chatterbaits. Morning clouds started thinning shortly after takeoff, but the day will likely see more sky cover by the afternoon, with scattered thunderstorms possible. Dillard predicts the shading and cooling effects could stimulate more feeding activity. Logistics Anglers will take off from Smallwood State Park located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, Md., at 6 a.m. daily. Weigh-ins will be held at the launch site beginning at 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Saturday’s final weigh-in will take place at 3:30 p.m. at Walmart, located at 40 Drury Drive in La Plata, Md. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public. Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or  Troy Garrison will fish a Z-man Zinker in gaps amid spatterdock fields.Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. The Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. The 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 30-Nov. 1 on Wheeler Lake in Rogersville, Ala. The Rayovac FLW Series tournament on the Potomac River is being hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners and the Charles County Office of Tourism. For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Rayovac FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.  Rick Nitkiewicz hopes his brightly colored spinnerbait will deliver a hefty limit.Thursday’s conditions: Sunrise: 5:43 a.m. Temperature at takeoff: 75 degrees Expected high temperature: 90 degrees Water temperature: 67-71 degrees Wind: NW 5-10 mph Day’s outlook: Partly cloudy, scattered thunderstorms

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Devere Takes BFL Wild Card Win

The decision of what to fish come tournament time can be difficult for most. For others – like Mike Devere – relying on a single bait that you have confidence in is all you need. Devere’s one bait, one rod method was strong enough to carry him to victory by nearly 2 pounds in the BFL Wild Card held on Lake Hartwell. READ MORE »


Hanselmania 4.0

Saturday, in Paducah, Ky., on the shores of the Ohio River, Ray Hanselman rewrote history for the second time this season. After winning all three 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division events, which had never been done before, Hanselman came to Kentucky and won the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 3 Coverage

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Hanselman on the Verge of Four-Peat

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River was fished primarily on the nearby Tennessee River and resulted in a major shuffling of the leaderboard. In the end, Ray Hanselman rose from second to first and will lead the top 10 into the final day with 30 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 2

After two days of competition, Ray Hanselman leads the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River, but as the leaderboard has reflected, the river’s hefty smallmouths are certainly capable of producing some fireworks and providing some surprises. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 2 Coverage

Down at Paducah, the start of day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship was just about perfect – a light wind, temps in the low 40s and no fog. That’s not the case elsewhere. READ MORE »


Barnes Blasts 21 on the Ohio

On day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River David Barnes Sr. of China, Maine, hauled exactly 21 pounds of smallmouth across the stage to take the lead on a day that was tough for many. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 1

Shortly after David Barnes electrified the Rayovac FLW Series Championship weigh-in with his leading weight of 21 pounds of smallmouths, Ray Hanselman followed suit with an all-smallmouth limit weighing 19 pounds. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 1 Coverage

Updates from day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River. READ MORE »


McCaig Wins Neely Henry Regional

There are times that a little local knowledge helps you in a bass tournament, and then there are times it does not. And sometimes, it pays to ignore past experiences altogether, as Mark McCaig figured out en route to winning the Oct. 22-24, 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Neely Henry out of Gadsden, Ala. By disregarding what his local experience might have suggested he do and approaching the tournament a little differently, the Oxford, Ala., boater posted a three-day total weight of 45 pounds, 7 ounces to take home the $20,000 winner’s purse as well as a 2015 Ranger Z518C with 200-hp outboard. READ MORE »


Goodwin Wins at Lake of the Ozarks

Day-two leader Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla., held on to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Mercury at Lake of the Ozarks Oct. 22-24 by bringing four bass to the scale on the third and final day. Those fish weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces. His three-day total of 14 bass weighed 43-13. For the win, Goodwin earned $20,000 and a new Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »


Walters Wins Wateree BFL Regional

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Uribe By An Ounce

After Jody Jordan brought 24 pounds, 5 ounces to push his total past 66 pounds on the final day the crowd waited with bated breath for day two leader Joe Uribe Jr. to bring his fish to the scale. As Uribe transferred his third bass from the bag to the scale, he shook his head and whispered back “you’ve got it,” to the watching Jordan. READ MORE »


Anderson Wins KY Lake Regional

You might say there weren’t any surprises at the 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake Oct. 15-17. The techniques of the top 12 pros who fished the final day were typical of the Tennessee River in fall: surface fishing with frogs and Zara Spooks and winding Rat-L-Traps and ChatterBaits. The winners weren’t surprising either: Ryan Sykes of Hamilton, Ohio, won the co-angler division for the second consecutive year, and Tennessee pro Brent Anderson earned his sixth win on the Kentucky/Barkley system since 2009. READ MORE »


Grover Takes Co-angler Title on Clear Lake

Rick Grover of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., pulled in 55 pounds, 5 ounces of bass for the Rayovac FLW Series co-angler win on Clear Lake. All told, it was worth a new Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 3



Uribe Takes Lead and AOY at Clear Lake

Joe Uribe Jr. jumped into the lead going into the final day of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake. Uribe caught 20 pounds, 13 ounces on day two for a total of 44 pounds, 8 ounces and was the only pro to weigh more than 20 pounds both days. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

When the scales had closed after the second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake, no doubt more than a few anglers breathed a sigh of relief that they were still in contention. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake has been a little slower than day one. READ MORE »


Crutcher Cracks 29-9

Midway through a weigh-in that was noticeably lacking in super-sized bags, Mark Crutcher of Lakeport, Calif., lit up the leaderboard with 29 pounds, 9 ounces of Clear Lake goodness. READ MORE »