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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Northern Finale Hits the Potomac

The fishing has been great all season for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division, and it looks like that trend will continue this week on the Potomac River. The season finale, presented by Plano, is hitting the Potomac on the upswing from a few years of tough fishing. The FLW Tour showed off a healthy, thriving fishery this spring, and the northern anglers should do the same this week, even if the bite is a little more difficult than it was back in June. 

 

Chad Warren

A look at the fishery

The Potomac River feeds into the Chesapeake Bay and is tidal with varying levels of salt as you go south from the more riverine portions near Washington, D.C. The key to the bass fishing on the Potomac these days is the plentiful grass. From eelgrass to scum mats and huge stretches of pads and milfoil, there is all kinds of good largemouth cover.

Major backwaters like Chicamuxen, Piscataway, Mattawoman and Belmont Bay are where a lot of the action happens on the Potomac. Fairly shallow throughout and loaded with grass, the stuff off the main drag can harbor huge populations of bass. That said, there are plenty of grass beds that abut the main river, and there will no doubt be plenty of bass caught out of them as well.

Last week, the water in the Potomac was up a little higher than usual due to a weather system offshore in the Atlantic Ocean and heavy rains in Virginia and Maryland. Now, the water is back to normal, with standard clarity and height that should take some of the guesswork out of things. As always, the tide is a major concern at the Potomac, and for the competition days, it won’t be ideal. The best tide is an outgoing or a low tide, and the tides during the competition will mostly be incoming or high and outgoing, with high tide occurring between 10:20 a.m. on day one and at about noon on the final day.

 

Bryan Schmitt

Previewing the bite

Maryland pro Bryan Schmitt is the class of the Potomac, and he keeps in touch with the bass there just about year-round.

“The weights are slightly down since the Tour event, but it was taking 20 pounds to win just about everything, and last weekend it took 19 pounds to win, so it’s still fishing good,” says Schmitt. “Usually if you find them then other people find them, but this time of year you can find something off the wall. There’s definitely fish out here right now that aren’t getting fished for, and when you find it that’s the gold mine, but it’s not an easy task.”

Part of the reason Schmitt says the fishing is still good this late in the year is because the grass has grown to its thickest point now. With heavy grass everywhere, the bass can live virtually anywhere they want, be it in the backs of creeks or the mouths. There is also a lot of variety available, which should be reflected by the top 10 patterns.

Like usual, Schmitt says that soft-plastic stickbaits, frogs, vibrating jigs and swim jigs will play a big role in the tournament. Because the grass is thicker this time of year, he figures flipping something will be a strong bet too. Additionally, it’s worth keeping an eye on some other more off-the-wall baits like topwater poppers or single swimbaits rigged weedless – both have a history of late-summer success on tidal rivers.

 

Tournament details 

Format: All 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 in each division 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.

Weigh-In Time: 2:30 p.m. ET

Weigh-In Location: Smallwood State Park

Complete details

Tags: jody-white  pre-tournament  2017-08-24-potomac-river 

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