UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Good Grass Awaits on the Potomac

Good Grass Awaits on the Potomac

Tides, grass and perhaps the best fishing the Potomac River has offered in years are all set to greet 144 boaters and co-anglers on the first day of competition in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division. The Potomac River event is presented by Plano and hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners and is being held right about a week earlier than last year’s Potomac River stop of the Walmart FLW Tour. With any luck, the fishing should be even better than the pros saw last June.

 

About the fishery

The Potomac River is the best known of the Mid-Atlantic tidal fisheries and flows right through Washington D.C. and past many historic and military landmarks, especially on the Virginia side of the river. Though there are smallmouths in the river, largemouths are the focus of tournament anglers almost all the time. Last year, Clark Wendlandt won the FLW Tour event by fishing docks with a vibrating jig and a jig, but that’s not usually the case on the river. Though “hard cover” such as rocks, duck blinds and docks can play a role, the real attraction for fishermen and bass is the grass. From spatterdock and pads to hydrilla and eelgrass, there’s a bit of everything in the Potomac, but the main player is usually milfoil, which can grow in thick beds beneath the surface as well as topped out in the shallows or when the tide is low.

Though things change from year to year, it sounds like the Potomac is ready to show out.

“It’s fishing really well right now. Compared to the last few years, it’s really had a bounce back,” says Ryan Ingalls, a local competitor. “I think that can be directly attributed to not having a flood in the spring. We’ve had that the last few years, and that’s really torn up a lot of the grass. There’s more grass in the river now than there’s been in three, four or five years probably.”

The increase in grass is likely good overall, but it’s still a lot to pick through. The bass aren’t everywhere, and there is plenty of good-looking water on both the main river and in the large creeks and bays.

The tide also offers an additional challenge. Though the techniques used on the Potomac aren’t much different from any other grassy Northern lake, learning to understand how the bass, the tides and the habitat all interact is a whole different ballgame. Some, like local favorite Bryan Schmitt, have perfected it. Others will elect to run a few spots or camp in a productive area to see all the varying levels. This week, low tide is going to be around lunchtime, so most anglers will get to fish both a falling and rising tide throughout the day.

 

Current conditions

Today has dawned warm, humid and very cloudy. If the weather report holds true, day one should be pretty good, with warm air, some rain and a moderate wind out of the northeast. Friday is projected to be a whole different ballgame, with lots of rain and strong northeast winds. Saturday should be cooler, post-frontal with a moderate northeast breeze, and sunny and dry.

 

Ryan Smith

Tactics in play

Almost all the bass in the river are postspawn now, and while some anglers will target fry-guarders, most are planning on focusing on fish that are putting on the summer feedbag. The Potomac has always been a good place to throw a topwater, and poppers and frogs should play a role. There will also be plenty of ChatterBaits, swim jigs, flipping baits and Senkos tied on. We could see some square-bill crankbaits come into play, but that’s only likely around hard cover such as riprap and docks.

 

Critical Factors

- The water color: Most of the river has very good water color at the moment, but strong winds or rain could muddy up certain areas a lot. Staying in fairly clean water is likely to be important.

- Crowding: Anglers have a tendency to concentrate into productive areas on the Potomac, and this event is likely to be par for the course to an extent. The pro who has free reign in an area or a slightly different approach might be well off.

- The tide: Everyone knows the tide is a factor, but not everyone will play it correctly. Sheer luck and a good tide on the right bit of cover can also make a pro look like a genius in a hurry. If someone can take advantage of the tide instead of fighting it, he could be on the fast track to success.

 

Dock Talk

As usual, the projections are pretty well split between anglers, and not everyone is going to light it up. That said, locals such as Ingalls and FLW Tour pro Michael Hall have seen enough to say that the fishing should be quite good.

“I know it’s fishing good, and I expect it’s going to take more weight than it would have last year,” says Hall. “I would predict that for three days it will take about 55 pounds to win, and I believe a lot of fish will get weighed in. On my last guide trip, I took out a 60-year-old mother and her 40-year-old daughter, and they caught a 5-pounder, a 4-pounder and several 3-pounders. I really would have liked to have been in a tournament that day.”

“The river is really clean even though it had a blowout tide all weekend,” adds Ingalls. “Everything looks good, and it’s been taking over 20 pounds to win pretty much every tournament this year, so I would expect it to continue to be big. It’s gonna be fun.”

 

Tournament Details

Format: All 144 boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 6:30 a.m. ET

Takeoff Location: Smallwood State Park, 2750 Sweden Point Road, Marbury, Md., 20658

Weigh-In Time: Days 1 & 2 & 3 at 2:30 p.m. ET

Weigh-In Location: Smallwood State Park, 2750 Sweden Point Road, Marbury, Md., 20658

Complete details

Tags: jody-white  morning-story  2016-06-16-potomac-river 

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

One of the gems of California bass fishing might have its luster muted by the week’s weather, but Clear Lake will likely still provide plenty of opportunity for anglers competing in this week’s Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.  READ MORE »

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

The South Laurel High School team of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner weighed 19 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and 13-4 on day two for a 32-13 total and the win in the 2019 Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) State Bass Fishing Championship on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »

Cup Bubble Boys Before Champlain

Cup Bubble Boys Before Champlain

With just one event left in the FLW Tour season, time is almost out to qualify for the FLW Cup, which will be held August 9-11 on Lake Hamilton. The last event at Lake Chickamauga produced plenty of shakeup in the races for Angler of the Year and Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year, and it also set everyone up for the final push to the Cup. READ MORE »

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, is primed to be an all-out show. It seems like the lake’s entire population of bass is rushing to the bank to spawn, with all three species willing to eat a vast array of offerings. The only question: Will Mother Nature play nice? READ MORE »

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

We didn’t bother with an update on the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year race after the fifth stop of the FLW Tour season at Cherokee Lake. At that point, Miles Burghoff had the overall lead in the AOY standings and a 108-point lead for ROY. It looked like it was locked up. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

There’s usually some drama at the end of the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race, but often the leading pro has managed to accumulate a pretty good cushion by the final event. This year the cushion is virtually nonexistent. After they booked a win and a fifth-place finish at Lake Chickamauga, respectively, John Cox leads David Dudley by just one point heading into the finale on Lake Champlain. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Most people probably don’t equate Lake Chickamauga to spinning rods and finesse techniques, but both were prevalent during the FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Chick. Plenty of pros threw swimbaits, jigs and crankbaits, but the common thread among most of the top 10 is the use of a stick bait (usually wacky- or Texas-rigged) to target bedding or postspawn fish still hanging in the shallows.  READ MORE »

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Heading into the sixth stop of the year on Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, Lawyer says he’s looking to go easy and make sure he’s on the road to Hot Springs this August for his third shot at a Cup title. With that in mind, I was happy to hop aboard and see the shallow side of Chickamauga. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

The 2019 FLW Tour event at Lake Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, is hitting the lake before the primary offshore migration has occurred, which means that some ledge fishing will take place, but a whole mess of other patterns should play as well. Here’s a look at where the anglers will be competing this week. READ MORE »

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

The Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division finale began this morning at Santee Cooper, where even though fishing has been tough, everyone expects to see mega-bags brought to weigh-in. The bass are nearly done spawning, but a strong shad spawn in the mornings offers real potential. READ MORE »

Review: iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer

Review: iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer

Built to FLW Tour pro Aaron Britt’s specifications, the iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer rod is a mid-priced spinning rod that’s specifically designed for tossing small swimbaits on light heads. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Cherokee Lake

AOY Update: Cherokee Lake

This year’s FLW Tour Angler of the Year race is hurtling toward one of the most dramatic finishes ever. After finishing 46th at Cherokee Lake, rookie pro Miles “Sonar” Burghoff took advantage of a stumble by Terry Bolton to move into the top spot in the standings. If Burghoff can hold on through the final two events, he’ll be the first rookie since Shinichi Fukae in 2004 to win the AOY award. READ MORE »

Get to Know Cherokee Lake

Get to Know Cherokee Lake

The fifth stop of the FLW Tour is presented by Lowrance and sure to be fun if you like east Tennessee, smallmouths and good fishing (who doesn’t?). Cherokee Lake plays host and promises to both challenge and delight anglers. READ MORE »

Beavers Breaks Down Cherokee

Beavers Breaks Down Cherokee

Beavers started the year off about as badly as he could, finishing 121st at Rayburn, but he’s been on a tear ever since, finishing 54th at Toho before banking back-to-back top 10s at Seminole and Grand. READ MORE »

Scouting Cherokee with LeBrun

Scouting Cherokee with LeBrun

Now in the second half of the Tour season, LeBrun is up against another new lake, and sort of a new species. He says he’s never seen a smallmouth on a bed in his life, and has spent just two days on Cherokee in pre-practice. READ MORE »

2019 Cherokee Lake Preview

2019 Cherokee Lake Preview

Nestled in the hills of east Tennessee, Cherokee Lake is a TVA impoundment on the Holston River, and it sits roughly between Norris Lake (to the northwest) and Douglas Lake (to the southeast). READ MORE »

Everything’s in Play on Kentucky Lake

Everything’s in Play on Kentucky Lake

A squad of 147 boaters and their co-anglers partners enjoyed a pleasant spring morning in western Kentucky for the start of the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

If you’re going to fish Grand Lake this time of year, you’d better be good with a spinnerbait. The FLW Tour event at Grand Lake last week sure showcased that. READ MORE »

Get to Know Grand Lake

Get to Know Grand Lake

The fourth stop of the 2019 FLW Tour is presented by Mercury at Grand Lake. Though the Tour last hit the big Oklahoma lake in 2013, Grand sees plenty of tournament action, especially in the spring, and it never fails to deliver drama. READ MORE »

Poking Around Grand with Cortiana

Poking Around Grand with Cortiana

Since starting to fish Costa FLW Series events in 2016, Kyle Cortiana has banked over $100,000 with FLW and finished in the top 10 of the Southwestern Division three times. On the FLW Tour, he’s been a bit less successful, with no top 10s and no FLW Cup qualifications … yet. This year, he’s sitting 35th in the points, with a good chance to go to the Cup, and the FLW Tour presented by Mercury on Grand Lake finally gives him a shot at a Tour event with home field advantage. READ MORE »