UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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Potomac River Top 5 Patterns - Day 2

Chris Johnston

Things rise and fall on the Potomac River. It’s just the way it goes, for both the tides and the anglers.

Case in point: day one leader Clark Wendlandt. He was riding as high as it gets when day two of the FLW Tour event presented by Costa Sunglasses on the Potomac River started on Friday. He was in the first flight and was the first angler to his key area. By the time weigh-in concluded on day two, though, he’d fallen to 39th.  That’s life on the Potomac.

Yet, while day two weights on Friday generally dropped off, there were a few guys who rode the tides perfectly to keep themselves in contention, with the best thus far being Tom Monsoor, who bumped up from second to the top spot today.

Behind him are a number of pros who all feel quite confident their high tides will continue for at least another day.

Monsoor’s leading pattern

Thrift wins Angler of the Year

Haraguchi earns Co-angler of the Year

Dortch earns Rookie of the Year

Complete results

 

Robert Behrle

2. Robert Behrle – Hoover, Ala. – 35-2

It’s been six years since Behrle made a top 10. So sitting in second after day two with a great shot to finish in the top again should have made him all smiles. Instead, missed opportunities leave him kicking himself more than patting himself on the back.

“I lost the lead twice today, “Behrle says. “Just too many mistakes.”

The first was dumping an over 5-pounder at the boat first thing in the morning. The second came at weigh-in. Behrle caught multiple fish weighing in the 3 ¼-3 1/2 –pound range throughout the day that he threw back because he thought the smallest in his livewell was that size. Turns out, he had a 2 ½-pounder hiding in his livewell that he ended up weighing in.

That said, he is optimistic he can more than make up for his gaffes based on what he’s seen in his area, especially after milking 16-8 from it, mistakes and all. With more than 20 boats in the creek arm he’s been hunkered in, he spent some time moving around a bit more today and was pleasantly surprised by some good bites in new stretches. Plus, with the cut he’ll have those areas mostly to himself.

“I’m going to have to try some other stuff, because they were biting my bait a little differently today,” says Behrle. “But I’m staying in there and I’m going to do my thing.”

 

Chris Johnston

3. Chris Johnston – Peterborough, Ontario – 34-2

The Johnston brothers are hammers in the Northern Division of the Costa Series. And it just so happens that division frequents the Potomac River quite often. Thus, despite being from north of the border, both Chris and Cory are pretty fluent in the tides of the Potomac. Cory ended up being first man out of the cut, but Chris solidified himself with 16-11 after cracking 17-7 on Thursday.

Bragging rights aside, Chris admits he and his brother had been cycling through the same 10 areas, and with Cory playing spectator, those 10 areas are now his alone, though, he wasn’t too worried even if his brother had made it.

“We’ve started in different areas, and the nice thing about a tidal fishery is that I can hit it an hour after my brother did and still catch fish because new fish have moved in,” says Chris. “The only problem is all the spots are popular, so I’m looking forward to having them a lot more open. Though, I think a lot of the spots have already been hurt.”

Despite all the areas, Chris says he isn’t necessarily running the tides so much as maximizing areas, getting one or two bites before moving on to the next area. He’s not getting a lot of bites, but they’re quality.

In terms of patterns, Chris says he’s throwing a swim jig and a flipping jig. He’s tried a stickbait, too, but jokes he hasn’t gotten a bite on it yet.

 

David Dudley

4. David Dudley – Lynchburg, Va. – 33-9

There is a short list of pros no one wants to ever see behind them in the top 10, and another short list of known sticks on the Potomac. Dudley is on both lists.

Few anglers have more history on this river than the Lynchburg, Va. pro, especially when you consider his father, James, is a local legend. That knowledge has him honed in on something that falters many pros – the tides.

“I like current, and one of my strengths is that I can read it very well,” says Dudley.

He’s certainly been reading it better than most, as he’s been fishing an area that’s seen more than 25 boats sitting in it, yet he’s been able to catch 17-8 and 16-1 in consecutive days in amongst the throng. It might not seem like staying in one area is “running the tides,” but he says he’s “strategizing” based on the tides.

As far as baits, Dudley remained tight-lipped thus far, only saying it’s been a mixed bag, with his 10 fish coming on five different baits.

“What my next bite is going to come on, I don’t know,” Dudley said. 

 

Andy Young

5. Andy Young – Mound, Minn. – 33-8

Young may have found himself a unicorn, and he’s riding it as long as he can.

The Potomac has so many well-known areas that finding anything all to oneself is near impossible. Yet, Young has found not one but two. In fact, he did so well this morning on the first spot – catching 15-9 to go with his 17-15 from yesterday – that he didn’t even touch his second spot, and that one “might be the good one.”

“Yesterday my co-angler caught a 4-pounder there and I caught a 3 ½, but considering I already had 16 pounds I figured I’d save it,” says Young.

Both stretches are roughly 200-300 yards long, where he’s been flipping, drop-shotting, tossing stickbaits and vibrating jigs. He only caught 10 keepers today, but he’s catching the right quality. And while most pros have said the afternoon has been seen their best actions, Young has been capitalizing on a strong morning bite.

“I’m hoping to do it again tomorrow,” says Young. “If it doesn’t work out, I’ll do whatever it takes. I have nothing to lose.”

Tags: sean-ostruszka  headline-story  2017-06-15-potomac-river 

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