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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

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 

/news/2019-02-15-registration-open-for-2019-costa-flw-high-school-fishing-summer-camp

Registration Open for 2019 Costa FLW High School Fishing Summer Camp

BENTON, Ky. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) in partnership with Costa Sunglasses, announced today the second annual Costa FLW High School Fishing Summer Camp, scheduled for July 24-27 on the Murray State University campus, with daily activities on the shores of Kentucky Lake – the South’s Great Lake. The all-inclusive three-day camp is designed for serious high... READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-11-top-10-patterns-from-lake-toho

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

While the Lake Toho FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats fell basically right on top of a wave of spawning bass piling into the shallows, many of the top finishers targeted bass that were staging out or transitioning to or from their beds. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-11-top-10-baits-from-toho

Top 10 Baits from Toho

The second stop of the 2019 FLW Tour landed right on the spawn on Lake Toho and the other lakes on the Kissimmee Chain. Top finishers caught bass in all phases of the spawn. Collectively, they used just about every bait you’ll ever need if you want to catch a bass this time of year in the Sunshine State. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-11-marshal-program-a-big-hit-for-hughes

Marshal Program a Big Hit for Hughes

Retired minister Dan Hughes made the most money he’s ever banked in a fishing tournament, and he did it without even picking up a rod. The 70-year-old Fitzgerald, Ga., resident was the winner of FLW’s marshal contest at the Tour’s second stop of the season at Lake Toho, presented by Ranger Boats. Paired with John Cox on day one and Chris Neau on day two, Hughes’ pros combined for 41 pounds, 10 ounces during his two days on the water to take home the $2,500 top prize. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-05-top-10-patterns-from-okeechobee

Top 10 Patterns from Okeechobee

Whether it was a canal or small sections of the lake, each pro in the top chose to hunker down in an area and milk it for all it was worth in the season opener of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division presented by Power-Pole. Here’s a look at how the action unfolded. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-04-top-10-baits-from-okeechobee

Top 10 Baits from Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee wasn’t her normal self in the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener presented by Power-Pole. Bites were few and far between, but the top-10 pros dialed it in and got it done. Winner Nick Thliveros relied heavily on a crankbait and so did others, but Florida faithful’s like swim jigs, soft plastics and topwaters also fared well. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-21-sam-rayburn-on-youtube

Sam Rayburn on YouTube

With mandatory POV cameras and marshals this year, there's sure to more video footage than ever from the FLW Tour. In addition to simple fish catches like Andy Wicker's 11-pounder and Terry Bolton's 9-pounder, lots of pros are putting together longer videos and giving fans a front-row seat to practice and the tournament via YouTube. Below is the full gamut of videos pros have put out to this point.  READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-15-beight-rings-in-marshal-program-in-big-way

Beight Rings in Marshal Program in Big Way

Timmy Beight won the FLW Tour Sam Rayburn Marshal prize after marshaling for Jordan Osborne and Terry Bolton. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-15-top-10-patterns-from-sam-rayburn

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

Fishing crankbaits, Carolina rigs and drop-shots around flooded hydrilla for Sam Rayburn Reservoir largemouths dominated the top 10 at the FLW Tour opener. Check out the top 10 patterns feature to learn more about effective patterns for working grass. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-15-top-10-baits-from-sam-rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Fishing deep-diving crankbait, dragging Carolina rigs and working finesse baits such as drop-shots were the keys to success at the FLW Tour opener at Sam Rayburn. Here are the bass-fishing baits that the top pros used. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-07-top-10-patterns-from-lake-amistad

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Amistad

Wintertime patterns with just a touch of prespawn action dominated the Costa FLW Series opener presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Amistad. Crankbaits, jerkbaits, umbrella rigs, swimbaits and drop-shots were the go-to baits used by the top finishers. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-06-top-10-baits-from-lake-amistad

Top 10 Baits from Lake Amistad

Wintertime bass fishing tactics dominated at Lake Amistad in January, as the top finishers relied on jerkbaits, crankbaits, drop-shots, swimbaits and umbrella rigs to get the job done. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-05-childs-holds-on-for-co-angler-win

Childs Holds on for Co-angler Win

Jay Childs caught two giant largemouths on day one, along with a smaller keeper, to take the early lead at Lake Amistad. Then he survived today for the win with a pair of keepers that included one smallmouth. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-05-hanselmania-wins-again-at-amistad

Hanselmania Wins Again at Amistad

Ray “Hanselmania” Hanselman won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Amistad today with a two-day total of 38 pounds. The tournament was shortened to two days after day one was cancelled due to severe weather. Hanselman opened the tournament Friday with a 25-pound, 15-ounce catch that put him 9-7 ahead of second place. He could’ve stayed home today and still won the tournament, but the local angler added 12-1 to finish the blowout win. Second-place finisher Tyson Patrick’s two-day total only equaled what Hanselman caught on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-05-amistad-midday-update-day-3

Amistad Midday Update - Day 3

Lake Amistad was in a stingy mood for the final day of Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division action, as evidenced by a lot of long-faced anglers with lots of vacancy in their livewells. A slightly warmer day began with flat, calm conditions, but a light breeze was gaining some consistency by early afternoon. It’s possible that the growing ripples may break up the surface enough to stimulate a few fish into chasing reaction baits. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-04-amistad-midday-update-day-2

Amistad Midday Update – Day 2

Prespawn staging is probably just around the corner, but for now the big and small fish in Amistad are still in their winter patterns — holding on main lake points and structure, lounging in the low grass lining the mouths of creeks and pockets and filling their bellies. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-04-top-5-patterns-from-lake-amistad-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Lake Amistad – Day 2

Wintertime bass fishing tactics are in play at Lake Amistad for the Costa FLW Series opener. The tactics used today offer a good how-to lesson in dealing with early season conditions. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-04-hanselman-way-in-front-at-amistad

Hanselman Way in Front at Amistad

Ray "Hanselmania" Hanselman caught a massive 25-pound, 15-ounce limit of largemouth bass at Lake Amistad in south Texas to take the lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division opener. READ MORE »

/news/2018-11-12-corn-wins-wild-card

Corn Wins Wild Card

Faced with brutal conditions for the final event of the 2018 T-H Marine Bass Fishing League season, everyone who managed to catch anything in the Wild Card on Old Hickory Lake in central Tennessee accomplished something. READ MORE »

/news/2018-11-06-etbu-wins-on-toledo-bend

ETBU wins on Toledo Bend

The East Texas Baptist University duo of Brett Clark of Center, Texas, and Cody Ross of Livingston, Texas, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Toledo Bend presented by Bass Pro Shops Saturday with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the Tiger’s bass club $2,400 and a slot in the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship, scheduled for June 4-6, 2019 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. READ MORE »