UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Champlain

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River
Charlie Machek

Water flow controlled much of the action in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division opener presented by Plano on the Potomac River. Tournament morning started with outgoing tides and anglers caught fish during the fall and the rise. With the full moon only a few days after the event, stronger tides pushed the water higher than normal and put more water in the backwater creeks and pad fields.

Weather factored into the week, as well. The thunderstorms forecasted for days one and two never hindered tournament hours, but day two saw windy conditions stirring up some key areas. Skies cleared for the final day of competition and anglers fished in calm, sunny conditions.

Fortunately, the combination of tidal waters and filtering grass kept several areas in play. New York pro Casey Smith found just such a spot and sacked up the winning total of 51 pounds, 6 ounces.

Smith’s winning pattern

Top 10 baits

Complete results

Charlie Machek

2. Machek overcomes losses to finish second

Plagued by lost fish, Virginia pro Charlie Machek made enough of his opportunities count to take the runner-up spot. After placing fifth on day one, Machek yielded one spot on day two before surging up to second place with a combined weight of 49-11.

“I had horrible execution; I probably left a pound or two every day, including the final day,” Machek says. “I only had three culls all week, but I caught the right ones.”

A limit of 18-1 on day three clearly boosted Machek’s performance and that was largely due to a key grass bed he had located during a previous Potomac tournament.

“I didn’t get to go to my big fish spot on day two because it was blown out, but I pulled in there on day three and in the first 10 minutes, I caught my big fish,” Machek says. “Right before it was time to come in, I culled one more.”

Machek caught his fish with a mix of Texas-rigged Yamamoto Senkos on 5/0 Gamakatsu EWG SuperLine hooks and 1/8-ounce sinkers, a Zoom UV Speed Worm with a 3/16-ounce weight and a 3/8-ounce Bait Buffet Swim Jig with a craw trailer. He pegged his Senko weights, but left the Speed Worm weight unpegged, as this allowed better action.

After losing several good fish on the swim jig during the first two days, Machek switched to the Bait Buffet model because the stouter hook helped him keep his fish buttoned up.

“When I’d hook ‘em, I’d get like 10 cranks and they’d get down in that grass and I’d lose them,” he says. “So my buddy, who makes these baits, threw a couple of them in my boat. That helped on the final day.”

Machek was adamant about the impact of his Power-Poles. Particularly during the latter half of day three, targeting well-defined spots on a nearshore grass flat played a big role in his game plan.

“You really can’t fish out here without Power-Poles,” Macheck says. “I probably caught half of my fish because of them.”

 

Ron Nelson

3. Looking at ‘em leads Nelson to third

We typically think of sight fishing as a spawn-related deal, but third-place pro Ron Nelson says he was visually picking out his targets in shallow grass beds. Doing so delivered the third-place total of 48-2.

Nelson says he found his best action during the last hour of the outgoing tide and the first hour of the incoming. Water clarity and food delivery were the two main factors.

“When the tide is drawing too fast, the area gets muddy, but there was a certain stage toward the end when it gets clear,” he said. “It’s still pulling water and pulling food out of the shallows. That’s when the fish were looking to feed.

“Once I figured out the area, I knew what clumps of weeds they’d sit on. I’d make long casts and I’d see them come and eat it.

Nelson caught his fish on wacky-rigged green pumpkin and black/blue Yamamoto Senkos. The key to his success was adjusting his presentations to the tide stage.

“When the tide was right, you could really snap it and keep it really high in the water column,” he says. “Those fish would chase it down and eat it quickly.

“When the tide was not right, you had to fish it really subtly. You didn’t snap it or work it a lot and the bites came on the bottom.”

Nelson said he could always tell if the tide stage was right by watching fish behavior.

“When the tide was right, if you’d see two or three fish together, the big one would always charge it first,” he says. “The other key was that I had to be going against the current, because if I went with the current, I was pushing the fish.”

 

Aaron Hastings

4. Hastings grinds it out for fourth

Maryland pro Aaron Hastings posted a pair of matching scores (15-2) on days one and two and added a 16-12 in between to take second place with 47-0.

Noting “determination and hard work” as the foundational elements of his success, Hastings caught his fish on a 3/8-ounce swim jig with a Zoom Swimmin’ Chunk trailer and a chartreuse/white spinnerbait with double Colorado blades. Hastings ensured his spinnerbait efficiency with a 1/0 trailer hook.

Despite the fact that kickers eluded him, Hastings said he was pleased with what he weighed. Essential to his effort, he said, was monitoring water flow and keeping himself in areas where the tide stage promoted active feeding.

“It was just a matter of staying with the tide and making good decisions,” he says. “I really fished a clean week. I didn’t lose any fish.

“I caught just about everything that bit, but I never got a big bite. I could catch steady fish all week, but I never saw a big fish all week. That’s the key to winning this event — you have to have a big one or two a day.”

 

Bryan Schmitt

5. Schmitt preps for Tour event with fifth

With the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Champlain scheduled for the week following the Potomac event, tidal Jedi Bryan Schmitt contemplated skipping the contest he’s won three times. Good for him, his wife’s nudging encouraged the Maryland stick to fish his home waters and Schmitt sacked up 45-12 for a fifth-place finish.

After catching 15-12 and 17-6 on days one and two, respectively, Schmitt struggled the final day and weighed 12-10.

“It was a lot tougher on day three; I caught one little one first thing and then I lost a really big fish and it just got in my head,” he says. “It had me spun out and running around.”

Eventually righting the mental ship, Schmitt got his head back in the game and caught most of his final-round weight in the final 20 minutes.

Schmitt says he caught most of his fish on a prototype Riot Baits Recon bladed jig with a blue steel Riot Baits Fuzzy Beaver trailer. He bit the front half off the trailer for optimal profile.

“It was just patience,” Schmitt said of his meticulous work. “It was just sitting on the fish and grinding through the tides.”

 

Gregory Wilder

6. Wilder worms his way into sixth

Focusing on main lake grass beds, Maryland pro Greg Wilder consistently delivered solid bags of 15-11, 14-15 and 14-11 for a sixth-place total of 45-5.

His game plan differed from the majority of his competitors who incorporated some type of reaction baits into their delivery. Wilder fished the entire event with unweighted worms, like the Yamamoto Senko. Green pumpkin and bright red were his top colors for these worms fished on 4/0 Gamakatsu wide gap hooks.

“It was all finesse fishing,” Wilder says. “I couldn’t get the big bite, but I put together about 15 pounds a day. I just stayed in one area and ground it out.”

 

Chris Baumgardner

7. Reaction baits rule for Baumgardner

Placing 15th on day one with 15-10, Chris Baumgardner earned his final-round spot by improving to eighth for day two with 15-13. Rising a notch on day three with 13-9 gave him an even 45 pounds for seventh place.

Baumgardner said he was able to get bit early and late on periods of moving water. Although he generally junk fished, two tactics rose to prominence.

“I caught them several different ways, but the majority of my fish came on a Zoom Horny Toad and a ChatterBait,” Baumgardner says. “I was catching them good on the high tide in the morning and then I caught them good on the incoming tide.”

 

Joe Wood

8. Wood winds up eighth

Massachusetts pro Joe Wood made a big move on day two by improving on his 20th-place day-one finish and reaching the final round in seventh place. He’d end up yielding one spot with a tournament total of 43-8.

Wood did most of his work with a 1/4-ounce black/blue Strike King Hack Attack Heavy Cover Swim Jig with a green pumpkin Reaction Innovations Little Dipper. He backed that up with an unweighted green pumpkin Yamamoto Senko.

“I found a couple of areas that were stockpiled with fish and there were times I caught them on every cast,” Wood says. “I was just fishing milfoil beds.

“I had a particular pattern I was working in a couple different places. On the low outgoing tide, the fish were in there, but on day three, that bite disappeared.”

 

Jeff Coble

9. Popper anchors Coble’s effort

Early momentum positioned Jeff Coble to finish ninth with 43-7. The North Carolina pro grabbed the number-two spot on day one after catching a limit of 17-14 with an atypical tactic — a Rio Rico popper.

Picking grass off nearly every cast made for tedious work, but Coble found the fish more receptive to this bait than the dozens of frogs they were seeing. Day two saw that bite waning, so he worked in a 1/4-ounce Dave’s Tournament Tackle swim jig with a green pumpkin Zoom Super Speed Craw trailer.

In the final round, he knew the weekend recreational pressure would likely nullify the popper bite, so he stuck with the swim jig.

“I don’t like grass fishing because you never know which blade of grass will have a bass behind it,” Coble joked.

 

Bill Chapman

10. Chapman’s pattern dwindles

Day-one leader Bill Chapman got off to a strong start with 17-15 by pushing far back into Mattawoman Creek and targeting clumps of pads on low tide. The combination of super-high water and increasing boat traffic in his area caused that deal to dwindle on day two, as the West Virginia pro dropped to fourth place with a limit of 14-2.

By day three, Chapman found himself scrambling to find four keepers that weighed 5-7 and gave him a three-day total of 37-8.

Chapman caught fish on a squarebill and a buzzbait, but his most productive option was flipping a Missile Baits D Bomb in the bruiser flash color. He Texas-rigged the bait with a 6/0 hook and a 3/8-ounce weight.

“The bites would come as soon as the bait went in,” Chapman said. “You’d just drop it in there and they’d pick it up.”

Tags: potomac-river  summer  david-a-brown  post-tournament  2016-06-16-potomac-river 

McCaghren Ready for Hamilton

McCaghren Ready for Hamilton

Billy McCaghren spends a lot of his free time coaching 8- to 10-year-old boys on how to swing and catch; but when the FLW Cup visits Hot Springs August 9-11, the Arkansas pro is hopeful that some of his young baseball players will be able to swing by and see the Lake Hamilton bass he plans on catching. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

Top 10 Baits from Lake Champlain

June is a fantastic month to be on Lake Champlain, as the FLW Tour pros showcased at last week’s season finale, which was presented by T-H Marine. Smallmouths were spawning all over the place, but the winning pattern was catching postspawn largemouths down at Ticonderoga. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Champlain

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is the kind of fishery that forces pros to make difficult decisions about where to go and what color of bass to target. This time around, in the FLW Tour 2019 finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, on the big Northern fishery, the decision was more interesting because there were spawning smallmouths everywhere up north, but the forecast was favorable for making the long run south to Ticonderoga to catch largemouths. READ MORE »

Top Finishers from T-H Marine BFL All-American, YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship Interviewed by Outdoor Radio Host Jerry Kripp

Top Finishers from T-H Marine BFL All-American, YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship Interviewed by Outdoor Radio Host Jerry Kripp

Brennon McCord of West Frankfort, Illinois, the 2019 T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American champion, was... READ MORE »

High School Championship Top 10 Baits

High School Championship Top 10 Baits

June is typically ledge-fishing season in the Tennessee Valley, especially at Pickwick, but the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship was a more diverse event than most folks might have expected. Patterns ranging from junk-fishing the bank to targeting docks and other shoreline cover to working the main-lake ledges all worked. Here are the baits used by the top 10 teams during the week. READ MORE »

Cicero and Snyder Win World Finals

Cicero and Snyder Win World Finals

Anthony Cicero IV and Dakota Snyder went right to their spot, locked up a big limit early and about six and a half hours later, brought what would be the winning sack of 16 pounds, 6 ounces to McFarland Park where the Elizabethtown High School duo won the 10th Annual High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

World Finals Midday Update - Day 4

World Finals Midday Update - Day 4

Pickwick is big lake, but even this 53-mile long TVA reservoir gets weary and the first half of the day told a tale of occasional opportunity, but a lot of waiting and hoping as 31 teams competed in the final day of the 10th annual High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

Northlake Christian Wins By An Ounce

Northlake Christian Wins By An Ounce

Northlake Christian High School’s Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces (three fish) on the final day to win the High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. With a three-day total weight of 35-12, Capdeboscq and Acosta had just a 1-ounce margin over the second-place team of Colin McCullough and Justin Hamlin who tallied 35-11 for Cedar Bluff High School. READ MORE »

High School Midday Update - Day 3

High School Midday Update - Day 3

Timing is typically the key to success on most TVA reservoirs and Pickwick Lake seems to be dishing out the lessons during day three of the High School Fishing National Championship, held in conjunction with the 10th Annual High School Fishing World Finals.  READ MORE »

High School Midday Update – Day 2

High School Midday Update – Day 2

Pickwick showed off its impressive diversity during day two of the High School Fishing National Championship, which is held in conjunction with the High School Fishing World Finals. End-to-end, this Tennessee River reservoir stretches about 53 miles, and, while the offshore ledge game gets most of the attention, anglers were also leveraging the lake's many other fishable features. READ MORE »

Northlake Christian Takes the Lead

Northlake Christian Takes the Lead

Weights are stacked tight atop the standings of the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. Moving into the lead position is the Northlake Christian team of Christopher Capdeboscq and Sam Acosta, who added 12 pounds, 14 ounces today for a two-day total of 26-5. Will Daniels and Kade Suratt added an impressive three-bass limit worth 15-12 today to move up one spot and into the lead in the High School Fishing World Finals. READ MORE »

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Weighing in a three-fish limit of bass that averaged more than 4 1/2 pounds apiece has JD Bedford and Walker Brown of Lawrence County High School in the driver’s seat at the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. Keegan Fort and Clayton Page lead the High School Fishing World Finals with a three-fish limit worth 14 pounds, 5 ounces. READ MORE »

High School Midday Update – Day 1

High School Midday Update – Day 1

Some things on Pickwick Lake were as expected, but some were less so during day one of the dual High School Fishing National Championship and High School Fishing World Finals. Predictably, offshore patterns seem to be dominating the day, particularly traditional ledge scenarios below the Natchez Trace Bridge. Crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits and big worms were the common presentations. READ MORE »

Top High Schoolers Headed for Pickwick

Top High Schoolers Headed for Pickwick

This week, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoir touching Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama pulls double duty for a joint production of the High School Fishing National Championship (Wednesday-Friday) and the 10th annual Student Angler Federation High School Fishing World Finals (Wednesday-Saturday). READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Pros caught fish everywhere from in the middle of flooded jungles of brush to deep main-lake drops. The top finishers pretty much all power fished with soft plastics, crankbaits and frogs. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

The top 10 fished a little of everything, but mostly stuck to areas within a few miles of the 147 bridge. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the National Championship

Top 10 Patterns from the National Championship

Though there was some carryover from the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American the week before, the fishing on the Potomac River was a lot better for the anglers in the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance. With better fishing came more robust grass patterns, but plenty of bass (some of the biggest of the event) were caught off hard cover as well. All in all, it was a mixed week of very good fishing on the Potomac. READ MORE »

National Championship Top 10 Baits

National Championship Top 10 Baits

Competitors in the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance undoubtedly took some cues from the top finishers in the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American the week before, but they also blazed some new ground. With better fishing overall and a better grass bite, a few more winding baits got mixed into the fray. READ MORE »

Best Hair from the College Championship

Best Hair from the College Championship

Inspired by the Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair videos, we thought we’d take a little time to break down some of the best hair from this year’s YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship. This article is not meant to criticize the hair the college anglers brought to the Potomac; rather, we want to recognize the unsung heroes and the flair they brought to the tournament. Since the college anglers can compete in the tournament solo or as a pair, we allowed the same rules on our list. READ MORE »

Murray State University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on Potomac River presented by Lowrance

Murray State University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on Potomac River presented by Lowrance

CHARLES COUNTY, Md. (June 6, 2019) – The Murray State University duo of Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson, both of Bloomington, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit Thursday totaling 15 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Potomac River presented by Lowrance. The win earned the team a $50,000 prize package, including a... READ MORE »