Live now : Lake Erie Super Tournament - FLW Live Coverage

Grass master aims to make up ground

Grass master aims to make up ground
Bobby Lane (at the wheel) begins day two in second place with 19 pounds, 10 ounces, just one ounce behind leader Mike Hicks.

MARBURY, Md. - At most tournaments, anglers go forth on day two wondering either how they can make up weight or, if they're among the leaders, how they can maintain or improve their weight.

But on day two of this Stren Series Northern Division tournament on the Potomac River there's another major concern that has nothing to do with finding big fish. The problem is keeping those big fish alive in water that would be suitable in a bathtub. Even with Rejuvenade, fish in warm water don't keep as well. Several pros took penalties yesterday for bringing dead fish to the weigh-in.

Among them was second-place pro Bobby Lane, who, despite losing 8 ounces for having one dead fish, still weighed a respectable 19 pounds, 10 ounces, just 1 ounce off the pace set by Mike Hicks of Goochland, Va. Had he not lost his biggest bass, Lane would have had 20 pound, 4 ounces and the lead.

"This time of year it's hot, and if you catch 'em early, they stay all day in the livewells," Lane The sun rose over the Potomac River Friday, but clouds and rain are expected to roll in this afternoon.explained. "It's kind of tough."

But what would be even tougher is losing a tournament by 1 ounce. Lane knows the feeling, sort of. Several years ago on Lake Okeechobee, he lost a tournament by 3 ounces.

This tournament is shaping up for a similar finish. With all the close weights - the top 10 pros are separated by 2 pounds, 6 ounces - the winner will be he who brings a brute to the scales each day.

"That's what I'll be hunting for," said Lane, a Lakeland, Fla., pro who has one win and 21 top-10 finishes in a seven-year pro career with FLW Outdoors. "I'd love to put a little distance between me and the rest, but the main thing is to make the top 10 and give myself a shot at winning."

Lane is as good a bet as any to pull it off. He won a Stren Series tournament here in 2007. At that tournament, his best day was day two, when he weighed 23 pounds, 3 ounces to take a lead he would not relinquish.

How will Lane go about trying to duplicate that feat? By doing what he does best.

"I'm a grass fisherman," Lane said, "and there's a bunch of grass in this river. Other than Lake Guntersville, there aren't a lot of other places with a lot of matted grass, and I really enjoy fishing it."

Lane is good in all kinds of grass including hydrilla and coontail, but here on the Potomac, he's concentrating on milfoil.

"It fishes very similar to home," he said. "It's shallow water and I can read it, and I feel very comfortable being in it."

Yet this year the milfoil on the Potomac isn't as prominent as in years past. High water is said to be the cause, but Lane speculates it might also be due to a colder-than-average winter.

"I went to where I caught 'em two years ago," he said, "and the water was horrible. The grass wasn't growing good at all. But there are other areas with real good, clean grass. On days like we had yesterday, sunny and no wind, it seems like it's growing a couple inches a day."

Anglers tell stories and discuss strategy while waiting for takeoff on day two.In addition to his ability to skillfully fish milfoil, Lane has another reason to be hopeful of another good weight: The area he fished yesterday didn't get pounded by other anglers. But even if it gets invaded today, don't expect Lane to lose his cool.

"If I catch 'em, great; and if I don't; I'll leave here knowing I had a great time on the Potomac River," he said.

Today's weigh-in is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. at Smallwood State Park. Anglers in places 11 through 40 will get paid while the top 10 moves on to fish Saturday.

The top 10 pros at the start of day two include: 1. Mike Hicks, Goochland, Va., 19 pounds, 11 ounces, 2. Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 19-10, 3. Chad Hicks, Rockville, Va., 19-8, 4. Terry Olinger, The Plains, Va., 19-4, 5. Dave Lefebre, Union City, Pa., 18-9. 6. Thomas Wooten, Huddleston, Va., 18-6, 7. Michael Ertel, Toms River, N.J., 18-2, 8. Chris Baumgardner, Gastonia, N.C., 17-11, 9. Chris Johnston, Peterborough, Ontario, 17-7, 10. Stacey Smith, Stephens City, Va., 17-5.

The top 10 co-anglers at the start of day two include: 1. Doug Richardson, Newmarket, Ontario, 19 pounds, 12 ounces, 2. Gary McClain, Chesapeake, Va., 19-0, 3. Edward Tunny Sullivan, Beaverdam, Va., 17-13, 4. David Williams, Fredericksburg, Va., 15-8, 5. Kermit Crowder, Matoaca, Va., 15-6, 6. Mike Branham, Alexandria, Va., 15-3, 7. Robert Clark, Woodbridge, Va., 14-7, 8. Justin White, Slippery Rock, Pa., 14-6, 9. Larry Drewett, Sterling, Va., 14-0, 10. Micah Frazier, Newnan, Ga., 14-0.

Friday's weather

Temperature at takeoff: 75 degrees
Sky: partly cloudy
Wind: SW at 2 mph
Pressure: 29.77 inches and steady
Sunrise: 5:46 a.m.
Forecast: partly cloudy early with thunderstorms this afternoon; high temperature of 88 degrees; winds SW at 5-10 mph; chance of rain is 50 percent

Tags: vince-meyer  morning-story  2009-06-25-potomac-river 

Dog days at Wheeler Lake

Dog days at Wheeler Lake

The second event of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division is off and running this morning on Wheeler Lake out of Ingalls Harbor. Many pros fishing the Southeastern Division this season agree that Wheeler will be the most challenging of the three events in 2020 due to the timing of the tournament. READ MORE »

Ready to Rock on Erie

Ready to Rock on Erie

The Toyota Series Northern Division has undergone more than its share of schedule shuffling this year, but the kickoff is finally here. Taking off out of Sandusky, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie, the time to chase smallmouths has arrived. READ MORE »

Eufaula Slugfest Kicks Off

Eufaula Slugfest Kicks Off

For the second week in a row, FLW’s Toyota Series is visiting one of Alabama’s premier bass fisheries at the perfect time of year for pros to hammer on big bags of postspawn largemouths. READ MORE »

Let the Ledge-fest Begin

Let the Ledge-fest Begin

With the start of the Toyota Series Central Division event on Pickwick Lake this morning, today marks the first day back to competition in the world of professional bass fishing. READ MORE »

Two Species Spawning at Havasu 

Two Species Spawning at Havasu 

The weatherman did it again. About two weeks prior to today’s kickoff for the Toyota Series Western Division season at Lake Havasu, the forecast called for highs in the mid-80s and sunshine for three straight days during the tournament. Instead, practice was rainy, and the current forecast calls for precipitation for at least the first two days and highs that likely won’t top 70 degrees.  READ MORE »

Game Day on Okeechobee

Game Day on Okeechobee

The second stop of the Toyota Series Southern Division is hitting Lake Okeechobee later in the year than usual for FLW. Typically, big, multi-day FLW events on the Big O go down in January and February, but this one runs March 12-14 and should offer a different look at the familiar and ever-changing body of water. READ MORE »

It’s Anyone’s Game on Overfull Hartwell

It’s Anyone’s Game on Overfull Hartwell

South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell kicks off the 2020 Toyota Series Eastern Division season this week with a three-day, mid-week showdown of the area’s best bass anglers, hosted by Visit Oconee South Carolina. Hartwell definitely has the potential to produce 20-plus-pound bags, but Mother Nature has decided to create some havoc with lake levels this winter, and it’s anyone’s guess as to how well the fishery shows out. READ MORE »

Despite Cold, Expect Mega-Bags at Chick

Despite Cold, Expect Mega-Bags at Chick

Freezing temperatures greeted anglers for the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga this morning. As usual on Lake Chickamauga this time of year, every angler is hoping for a 30-pound-plus bag of bass during the Feb. 27-29 tournament. READ MORE »

College Championship Kicks Off on Harris

College Championship Kicks Off on Harris

Championship week for any sport is as exciting as it gets and it’s no different for the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance this week on the Harris Chain. Competing for a $30,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard, 162 college bass fishing clubs will have free range of the chain to vie for the title. READ MORE »

Warmer Weather Good Sign at St. Johns

Warmer Weather Good Sign at St. Johns

The cold front that moved through northeast Florida last week shut down the fishing on the St. Johns River in a big way, just as bass were starting to move up to the banks to begin spawning. With the weather that came through, many of those fish pulled back off the bank to wait for more stable conditions. Fortunately, stability arrived this week in the form of warmer weather, but it remains to be seen if those three or four days of warm, stable conditions are going to be enough to get fish back up on beds. For now, it’s safe to assume anglers are going to have to be adaptable over the next few days in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener. READ MORE »

Feast or Famine at Toledo Bend

Feast or Famine at Toledo Bend

It’s been nearly six years since the Toyota Series has been to Toledo Bend, but this week the Sabine River impoundment takes center stage to kick off the Southwestern Division season. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

All the talk leading up the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks was about the weather. And Mother Nature did not disappoint. READ MORE »

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks will launch right as a massive cold front arrives. How massive? The forecast has been calling for heavy rain and a high of 74 today, and so far hasn’t been wrong. A major thunderstorm greeted anglers this morning and delayed takeoff by an hour and fifteen minutes thanks to abundant lightning. Tomorrow? A high in the mid 40s. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Typically, the first day or two following a cold front put bass in a bad mood, and today, Grand Lake’s fish are following the script. This has created a challenging scenario for the top-10 finalists in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

You know fishing’s tough when the most common greeting we receive is the goose egg hand signal. No question, day two of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, had a lot of anglers scratching for bites and scratching their heads. READ MORE »

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Fall is a time of change and movement; two notions bound to impact the outcome of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. Typical fall migrations are underway, but an approaching cold front will likely complicate the already challenging nature of autumn’s transition. READ MORE »

Underway on the Delta

Underway on the Delta

No matter the weather, no matter the environmental concerns, no matter the fishing pressure, the California Delta remains one of the nation’s most diverse and fertile freshwater fisheries — a truth that should play out in dramatic form during the Costa FLW Series Western Division event. READ MORE »

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 3

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 3

Weights were already tight going into the final day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River, which is presented by Gajo Baits. Little more than a pound separated leader Jonathan Kelley from Casey Smith in fifth place. READ MORE »

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 2

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 2

With slightly warmer weather and similar sun and wind conditions, day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the St. Lawrence River should’ve presented optimal conditions for smallmouth. Instead, nearly every angler our on-the-water crew encountered today said the same thing: It’s tougher. READ MORE »

To Run or Not to Run

To Run or Not to Run

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, is primed to be a smallmouth smashfest, as usual. That said, this year’s event, which is presented by Realtree Fishing, will launch out of Massena, N.Y., instead of the usual Clayton. So, what was once a 15-or-so-mile run to the mouth of the lake from takeoff – and roughly 30-plus miles to Gallo Island or Main Duck – will now be about a 95-mile run just to get to the lake. READ MORE »