UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Eufaula

Tide timers

Tide timers
Stren anglers launched into warm, overcast conditions on day one of the Potomac River tournament. Day one tidal conditions will offer a long period of opportunity.

MARBURY, Md. - It's often confusing to mention tides when discussing freshwater fisheries. However, there's no escaping the profound effects of the ocean's movement on coastal waterways such as the Potomac River, site of the Stren Series Northern Division event.

Controlled by lunar movement, tides advance and decline every day. Rising water means more shoreline access for fish and fishermen, while falling water pulls the fish into deeper spots away from the bank and limits navigational range. Fish bite on both ends of the tide, but outgoing cycles are typically preferable to tournament anglers, as the leaving water positions fish more predictably and Co-angler Ted Hegner waits for his boater in the parking lot of Smallwood State Park.cranks up their feeding activity.

Tide schedules are essential to game plans, as water height and current direction bear significant influence on bass behavior. Fortunately, the tournament will begin with favorable conditions that will offer a wide window of opportunity.

An incoming tide peaks shortly after 9 a.m. (near the tournament's launch area), with an outgoing flow lasting until the afternoon low around 3:30. This means a long period of falling water, and that gives anglers plenty of time to figure out what the fish are doing and to capitalize on those findings.

Keebler pro Dave Lefebre said he that past experience has made him confident in fishing the Potomac River.Keebler pro Dave Lefebre said he has a high level of confidence and optimism, fueled by personal experience and the day's tide schedule: "This is one of the ones I look forward to every year. I've had a good history here. I started fishing (the Potomac) in 1991, and out of all the (FLW) tournaments, this is probably the one I have the most experience on.

"This area fits my style. I like fishing really shallow, and they're really shallow here all the time. Also, the tides for this tournament are set for the way I like to fish. That's rare. Usually, I'm looking at a one- to two-hour window to catch everything, and this time I have a lot more time.

"We're going to have low tide in the afternoon, so you know you're going to catch some late. That gives you the day to kind of screw around and try to get a big bite or two, because you have the confidence in knowing that the afternoon bite is coming."

Lefebre said that abundant grass - more than he's seen on the Potomac since the early 1990's - will playWorking jigs in the grass will be a popular and productive tactic on the Potomac River. a key role in keeping big bass in the area. As for baits, he's laser-focused.

"I have six rods on the front deck, and there's five jigs on them," Lefebre said.

Coming up from Florida, Matt Greenblatt noted that a full moon one night earlier may complicate matters: "With the full moon, (fishing) is a little off because these fish will be feeding at night, so that will make it a little harder on us during the day. But the outgoing tide is definitely the key to catching fish today."

Predicting a top-10 cut of 16 to 18 pounds for day one, Greenblatt said a variety of baits such as topwater plugs, spinnerbaits and ChatterBait-like lures will work in local waters: "They're hitting on just about Anticipating a good day of Potomac River fishing, Florida pro Matt Greenblat predicts a range of 16-18 pounds for top-10 stringers on day one.everything, and everything relates to the grass. The grass is up everywhere, you almost can't get away from it. That spreads the fish out, and if you get on the right little patch, you're going to put them in the boat quickly."

Greenblatt said working with the falling water will extend an angler's productive patterns: "Basically, you just follow the tide. If you run upriver, you can follow the tide as it goes. You start at the back end and move your way forward. "

Dropping Senkos into pockets in the grass will produce strikes, as will running a frog across the vegetation. Co-angler Frank Harris will spend much of his day flipping and pitching a Texas-rigged Brush Hog with a 1 ¾-ounce bullet weight and a 5/0 hook. Targeting dense mats of vegetation will be his plan.

"If you can't walk on it, don't fish it," Harris said. "It's all reaction strikes. If they don't bite the second (the bait) hits the water, take it away and try somewhere else."

Logistics

Anglers will take off from Smallwood State Park located at 2750 Sweden Point RoadDuring high water periods, working a frog bait across the tops of grass beds can produce aggressive responses.
Marbury, Md. at 7:30 each morning. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins also will be held at Smallwood State Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 40 Drury Drive, La Plata, Md. beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

The Potomac River Stren Series tournament is hosted by the Charles County Economic Development and Tourism.

The entire field competes for the first three days of Stren Series events. Co-angler winners are determined on day three based on the heaviest accumulated three-day weight. The top 10 professionals continue competition on day four, and the winner is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days. Pros are fishing for a top prize of $65,000 and co-anglers are competing for a $35,000 award.

Wednesday's conditions

Sunrise: 7:17 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 60 degrees
Expected high temperature: 69 degrees
Water temperature: 67-69 degrees
Wind: NW at 5 mph
Humidity: 54 percent
Day's outlook: partly cloudy

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2008-10-15-potomac-river 

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