UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

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 

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