UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Eufaula

Change is coming

Change is coming
With frontal clouds building in the west, Stren anglers pause for the national anthem.

MARBURY, Md. - There's always an inherent sense of urgency for tournament anglers, but those fishing the Stren Series Northern Division event on the Potomac River know that day two presents a narrowing window of opportunity.

A cold front sweeping across the eastern United States will make its way through the area by tonight, bringing with it a line of thunderstorms that are forecast to arrive by early afternoon. Day three is likely to see an even tougher deal as the front clears and ushers in those clear, windy conditions that anglers dread. Temperatures are expected to drop by 20 degrees.

That means the remaining hours of warm, calm conditions for day two will be the gilded path upon At the morning takeoff, boaters race to their spots to maximize the waning hours of good fishing weather.which competitors hope to secure weights that complement their day-one efforts. No doubt, the pressure to perform runs high, but hope is not lost even after the front. In truth, the Potomac action will slow, but a complete lockjaw shutdown is unlikely.

That's the beauty of fishing a tidal area - bass will be stirred into feeding mode at least twice a day. To be sure, the bite-squelching effects of a cold front - especially the cooler, windy conditions on the backside - present a formidable challenge in any environment. However, incoming and outgoing tides stir up the scene, prompt bass to move around and stimulate feeding tendencies.

Many anglers reported their better day-one catches occurring in the afternoon, when the low tide turned and started coming in again. Today, that time period will likely be washed in rainy conditions, so anglers who get the earlier bites will be in better position than those hoping for afternoon action.

Frog baits were the popular choice among anglers on day one.Anglers caught fish on a variety of methods from jigs to topwater poppers. However, the clear winner was the frog lure. From complete lures such as the Spro Frog to soft-plastic amphibians on weighted wide-gap hooks, working these baits across matted grass drew incredible strikes. Several anglers are likely to continue throwing frogs on day two.

Leading the pro field, Bruce Neal of Manheim, Pa., holds a 1-pound, 6-ounce lead with his weight of 20-12. Of his day-two mission, Neal said: "I feel good this morning. I only fished a few of my spots yesterday, so I should have plenty for today."

Neal caught his fish on Texas-rigged Senkos and Sweet Beavers. In the Co-angler Division, Lynn Baciuska Jr. leads with 17 pounds, 11 ounces. He caught some of his fish on a frog and others on a Texas-rigged Packer Craw.

Whatever the bait choice, most of the field will fish the vast areas of hydrilla and milfoil so prevalentDay one leader Bruce Neal said he only visited a small number of his spots on day one, so he throughout the Potomac. Third-place pro Mike Hoskings said that poking around these dense weeds to find the sweet spots was the key to success.

"These fish are in small areas within these grass beds," he said. "If you know where the little areas are that are holding them, then you can eliminate a lot of the grass bed and not sit there and waste your time."

In sixth place, Pennsylvania pro Howard Hammonds offers this advice: "I'm staying on the outer edges of the grass. A lot of guys are moving around in the middle of these grass beds and stirring them up, but I found a lot of bigger bass along the edges."

Logistics

Co-angler leader Lynn Baciuska will spend most of day two flipping his Texas-rigged Packer Craw.Anglers will take off from Smallwood State Park located at 2750 Sweden Point Road
Marbury, Md. at 7:30 each morning. 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. Pros are fishing for a top prize of $65,000 and co-anglers are competing for a $35,000 award.

Thursday's conditionsCompetitors make their way through boat check at the start of day two on the Potomac River.

Sunrise: 7:18 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 63 degrees
Expected high temperature: 80 degrees
Water temperature: 67-69 degrees
Wind: WSW at 5-10 mph
Humidity: 60 percent
Day's outlook: partly cloudy with afternoon thunderstorms

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

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