UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Practice with Adrian Avena

Adrian Avena works a grass flat early on the final day of practice.

Adrian Avena might not have the years on the water that some of the other locals have on the Potomac River, but the New Jersey pro is currently sitting eighth in the Angler of the Year race and calculates that he only needs to catch one keeper at the final Walmart FLW Tour stop this week to make the Forrest Wood Cup. I was happy to jump in the boat with him and co-angler Ian Renfrew for a few hours on the final day of practice for the Potomac River event. 

 

We started dark and early - only veterans Mike Surman and Clark Wendlandt beat Avena to the ramp at Smallwood State Park. The fourth-year pro says he feels guilty when he doesn't practice dark to dark.

We started dark and early – only veterans Mike Surman and Clark Wendlandt beat Avena to the ramp at Smallwood State Park. The fourth-year pro says he feels guilty when he doesn’t practice from dark to dark.

 

Avena doesn't subscribe to the Andy Morgan school of rod management. He loads his deck with all the variety he can to start the day and even made a few extra changes throughout the day.

Avena doesn’t subscribe to the Andy Morgan school of rod management. He loads his deck with all the variety he can to start the day and even made a few extra changes throughout the day.

 

One of the reasons we started so early was to be on the water at the right tide. Avena is a student of the tide and very adept at the practice of

One of the reasons we started so early was to be on the water at the right tide. Avena is a student of the tide and very adept at the practice of “running the tide” to hit spots at the optimal times. He projects the tide we fished Tuesday morning to closely mimic the tide during the opening hours of competition on Thursday.

 

Ian Renfrew got on the board first with a small keeper on a frog. Shortly thereafter it was time to stop setting the hook.

Ian Renfrew got on the board first with a small keeper on a frog. Shortly thereafter it was time to stop setting the hook.

 

Though the Potomac has lost some grass since a few years ago, Mattawoman Creek still holds a lot of healthy milfoil and hydrilla for bass to hold in and around.

Though the Potomac has lost some grass since a few years ago, Mattawoman Creek still holds a lot of healthy milfoil and hydrilla for bass to hold in and around.

 

Sploosh! Avena located a number of fish early in the day with a buzzbait. On the Potomac, a buzzbait isn't only a morning and evening bait - the right tide can make the bass active enough to smack it at any time of day.

Sploosh! Avena located a number of fish early in the day with a buzzbait. On the Potomac, a buzzbait isn’t only a morning and evening bait. The right tide can make the bass active enough to smack it at any time of day.

 

We started the day with an outgoing tide that went slack and then began to turn right when I got off the water. Avena's favorite tide to fish is an outgoing one, he believe the falling water helps to concentrate the fish in addition to making them feed.

We started the day with an outgoing tide that went slack and then began to turn right when I got off the water. Avena’s favorite tide to fish is an outgoing one. He believes the falling water helps to concentrate the fish in addition to making them feed.

 

Avena's Lowrance is key to running the tide properly. With tide estimates displayed at a variety of points up and down the river, he can use his experience to make sure he's nearly always fishing the tide he wants to key on.

Avena’s Lowrance is key to running the tide properly. With tide estimates displayed at a variety of points up and down the river, he can use his experience to make sure he’s nearly always fishing the tide he wants to key on throughout the day.

 

Avena paused to superglue the trailer back on his ChatterBait after a fish

Avena paused to glue the trailer back on his ChatterBait after a fish “pulled his pants down.”

 

All the typical Potomac baits were on Avena's deck. Small crankbaits, stick worms, swim jigs and about everything else you could think to fish around shallow grass, rock and wood.

All the typical Potomac baits were on Avena’s deck: small crankbaits, stick worms, swim jigs and about everything else you could think to fish around shallow grass, rock and wood.

 

Part of being a semi-local is having a few tricks up your sleeve. This crankbait is custom painted to resemble a goldfish. Apparently a lot of kids around the Capitol have set their pets free after watching the movie

Part of being a semi-local is having a few tricks up your sleeve. This crankbait is custom-painted to resemble a goldfish. Apparently a lot of kids around D.C. have set their pets free after watching the movie “Finding Nemo.”

 

The back of Avena's boat is adorned with 10-foot Power-Poles and he uses them. He dropped them a number of times throughout the morning and believe their number-one benefit is stealth. He will often stop his boat with a tap of his foot instead of turning his trolling motor and blowing out a potential fish-holding spot.

The back of Avena’s boat is adorned with 10-foot Power-Poles, and he uses them. He dropped them a number of times throughout the morning and believes their No. 1 benefit is stealth. He will often stop his boat with a tap of his foot instead of turning his trolling motor and blowing out a potential fish-holding spot.

 

A self-described

A self-described “fruit junkie,” blueberries were the morning snack of choice. Because blueberries are in season in New Jersey, Avena’s mom recently bought enough to fill the cockpit of his boat, and he was working through them. For those interested, Avena had a banana for breakfast, but he doesn’t allow bananas in the boat.

 

The Potomac doesn't just have grass - there is a lot of hard cover on the banks. Curiously, the New Jersey pro pretty much stuck to grass while we were together.

The Potomac doesn’t just have grass. There is a lot of hard cover on the banks. Curiously, the New Jersey pro pretty much stuck to grass while we were together.

 

And that'll do it. I hit the dock and left Avena to explore more distant portions of the Potomac in the rest of his practice day.

And that’ll do it. I hit the dock and left Avena to explore more distant portions of the Potomac in the rest of his practice day. 

Tags: potomac-river  adrian-avena  jody-white  pre-tournament  2015-06-25-potomac-river 

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