UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Ohio River

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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/news/2015-08-31-top-10-patterns-from-lake-erie

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Erie

Most of the other top top-10 finishers found their fish over rocky bottom structure around the Pelee area. Drop-shots and crankbaits dominated the catches. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-matual-masters-erie

Matual Masters Erie

David Matual of Chicago, Ill., leaned on his spot hard and sacked up the biggest bag of day three weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces. For his final-day rally he claimed the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division victory on Lake Erie with a three-day total of 65 pounds, fending off Jared Rhode by a mere 7 ounces. Drop-shotting over shallow reefs delivered all of Matual’s fish and earned him a check worth more than $31,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-webster-runs-and-guns-for-win

Webster Runs and Guns for Win

Michael Webster of Gastonia, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 9 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division Super Tournament on Lake Wylie with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Webster earned $4,476. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-experience-pays-for-boggs

Experience Pays for Boggs

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, brought five bass totaling 13 pounds, 12 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division Super Tournament on Old Hickory Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 2 ounces. For his victory, Boggs earned $4,257. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-jig-crankbait-carry-gray-to-victory

Jig, Crankbait Carry Gray to Victory

Brandon Gray of Bullock, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division Super Tournament on Kerr Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 14 ounces. For his victory, Gray earned $5,886. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-hemken-searched-deep-for-bigger-bites

Hemken Searched Deep for Bigger Bites

Shawn Hemken of Walshville, Illinois, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division Super Tournament on Lake Shelbyville with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Hemken earned $6,882. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-topwater-lifts-ragan-to-top

Topwater Lifts Ragan to Top

Thadeus Ragan of West Park, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 26 pounds, 8 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 47 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Ragan earned $6,922. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-martinkovic-runs-away-with-title

Martinkovic Runs Away with Title

Chris Martinkovic of Hamilton, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Hoosier Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Martinkovic earned $6,244. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-lake-erie-day-3-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 3 Midday Update

Lake Erie put on a different face for day three of the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event. After a rough day one, yesterday’s calm and mostly sunny conditions offered comfortable running and fishing conditions. Today was still a far cry from the brutal waves of day one - and prior practice days - but windier conditions and overcast skies seemed to present a more challenging scenario. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Lake Erie Day 2

Pennsylvania pro Dave Lefebre and Ohio pro Jared Rhode tied for the day-two lead in Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on Lake Erie with 43 pounds, 9 ounces. Both pros caught their fish on drop-shots. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lefebre-rhode-tied-at-the-top

Lefebre, Rhode Tied at the Top

Notching his second day of 20-plus pounds, FLW Tour pro Dave Lefebre tallied 43 pounds, 9 ounces and tied day-one leader Jared Rhode for the day-two top spot at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. Lefebre caught his 22-3 limit on Rapala DT-10 crankbaits, while Rhodes tempted his 19-15 catch with drop-shots. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lake-erie-day-2-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 2 Midday Update

With winds shifting from yesterday’s northerly blow to a warmer southerly direction, day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie brought calmer conditions with greater ability to methodically work key spots. Offshore, waves ran 1 to 2 feet, with leeward areas behind the Lake Erie Islands nearly flat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-rhode-cracks-23-10-for-erie-lead

Rhode Cracks 23-10 for Erie Lead

Jared Rhode played his cards and the gamble paid off better than expected, as the pro from Port Clinton, Ohio, took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie with a limit catch weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Taking off this morning, the FLW Tour pro from Erie, Pa., knew the day’s north wind would keep him from making a long run to a big-fish spot close to his home. However, keeping it local and fishing a little past Pelee Island to the west delivered a solid second-place catch. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-lake-erie-day-1-midday-report

Lake Erie Day 1 Midday Report

Winds have subsided considerably since practice, but Lake Erie’s still showing her temperamental side to Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division anglers fishing the last divisional event out of Sandusky, Ohio. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-forrest-wood-cup

Top 10 Patterns from the Forrest Wood Cup

If you don’t believe that summertime bass fishing in the dog days of August is all over the map, just take a look at the top 10 patterns from the best bass pros on earth at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Brad Knight captured the Cup by mining one small creek end for four days. But beyond that, the rest of the top 10 patterns ran the gamut, from targeting schoolers over 40 feet to wolf packs of bass on the bank to brush piles to grass to mud flats and everywhere in between. Here’s a rundown. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-23-knight-slays-ouachita

Knight Slays Ouachita

Lancing, Tenn., pro Brad Knight won the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on Lake Ouachita with a four-day total of 51 pounds, 12 ounces. In front of a standing-room-only crowd at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., Knight weighed in 11-07 on day four to surpass Jacob Wheeler, who started the day with a 12-ounce lead. Fishing in just one area all four days, Knight locked up the first win of his FLW career. He earned $500,000 for his victory and pushed his career earnings total to more than $688,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-23-forrest-wood-cup-day-4-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-wheeler-back-in-front

Wheeler Back in Front

Jacob Wheeler loves Lake Ouachita. It’s where he fished his first Forrest Wood Cup in 2011, and it’s where he’ll take the tournament lead into the final day of competition at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Wheeler, the 2011 Cup champion, led this tournament on day one and slipped a couple spots on day two. He now has a very slim 12-ounce lead over Tennessean Brad Knight. The anglers will square off tomorrow on Ouachita starting at 7 a.m. against the rest of the top 10 pros for the top prize of $500,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 3

Jacob Wheeler may have regained his lead in the Forrest Wood Cup on day three, but Brad Knight is right on his heels. Going into the final day, the two pros are separated by just 12 ounces. The margin is tight, and what’s going to make the final day fun to watch is the difference in the two anglers’ strategies. Wheeler is running a topwater pattern on the main lake, and fishing new water is part of his plan. Knight, however, has caught almost all of his weight from one 250-yard stretch of bass-rich creek channel. He literally knows every target he is fishing by heart. On the surface, Knight’s area looks to be the better bet. But he has shared the general area with Brandon Cobb and Mark Daniels Jr. for three solid days. And the bad news, at least for Knight, is that both Cobb and Daniels will be sharing the water with him again on the final day as both made the top-10 cut. READ MORE »