UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Pro Circuit - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Hicks Masters the Potomac

Hicks Masters the Potomac
Mike Hicks

Mike Hicks is nearly always good for a check when FLW comes to the Potomac, but this week he put it all together. The Costa FLW Series presented by Plano hit the Potomac when it was fishing wicked tough, but Hicks stayed steady all week. All told, the Goochland, Va., pro put together limits of 17 pounds, 14 ounces, 13-14 and 16-14 on the final day for a total of 48-10 and a payday of $42,200.

Hicks' pattern on day two

Winning co-angler pattern

Top 10 baits

Complete results

Hicks is a Potomac River veteran, and he showed it this week, running a diverse game plan and adapting every day.

On day one, Hicks mined the grass in front of Aquia Creek and the far back of Potomac Creek for his limit, landing just seven keepers on the day. On day two, Hicks started in front of Aquia, essentially fishing the same stretch of grass Casey Smith won off last year, and landed three keepers to start. Then, the back of Potomac failed him, and he was forced to scramble north to Pohick to fill his limit.

Mike Hicks

For the final day, Hicks decided to spend some more time at Aquia, figuring that his best odds for a big bag were there.

“It was pretty slow,” says Hicks of his day. “I managed to switch off of the popper I’d been catching them on and caught two big ones on a swim jig. Then I switched to a finesse topwater and caught two more good ones on a secondary spot near where I’d been fishing. Then I went through a big lull, and I had to run north about 25 miles and I caught my last one on that TD Pencil.”

In front of Aquia, Hicks picked his way around one section of shallow grass that was fairly protected the first two days. On the final day, he added in a stretch that was farther off the bank that had been blown out by the wind on days one and two. 

Up north, Hicks keyed on fish in ditches in the backs of creeks, and he wouldn’t have had a limit without them either day.

“I went back to that spot from day two, and the fish weren’t there,” says Hicks, who didn’t really run the tide, but never let it beat him. “When I got there the tide was dead high, not moving, and those fish hadn’t positioned in that ditch yet. So, I left there and went to a similar ditch that I felt wouldn’t be hurt as bad. Plus, it was farther south, and the tide was starting to pull harder already there.”

Mike Hicks

Hicks relied on a menagerie of baits on the week, but topwaters did most of his damage. He threw a Lobina Rio Rico the first two days and then switched to a perch-colored Team Daiwa TD Pencil in the calmer water on the final day. His swim jig of choice was from Lil’ Hustler, and he trailered it with a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper. Hicks caught a few on a split-shot rig at the end of day two, and also added fish on a vibrating jig from Lil’ Hustler and a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver.

Hicks has been fishing the Potomac and the James River for a long time, but this is his first time to break through with a big win.

“I was wondering why in the world I put my money in to come fish with y’all this week during practice,” says Hicks. “It was slow, but I knew it was slow for everybody. I just kept grinding, and when I found some stuff I could tell it was really to myself, and that got me kinda excited.

“It feels incredible to win,” Hicks adds. “I won one of these as a co-angler 17 years ago and I’ve been trying to win one ever since as a boater. I’ve done well in the past, but “well” doesn’t win.”

 

Top 10 pros

1. Mike Hicks – Goochland, Va. – 48-10 (15) – $42,200

2. Gregory Wilder – Millersville, Md. – 45-1 (15) – $16,500

3. Travis Manson – Conshohocken, Penn. – 43-1 (15) – $12,600

4. Bradley Staley – Pleasant Garden, N.C. – 37-13 (15) - $10,500

5. Ed Casey – Whiteford, Md. – 37-2 (14) – $9,700

6. Mike Blake – Carrollton, Ohio – 36-6 (15) – $8,250

7. Charlie Reed Jr. – Gloucester, Va. – 36-2 (15) – $7,200

8. Joseph Wood – Westport, Mass. – 35-10 (15) – $6,200

9. William Kramer – Gaithersburg, Md. – 35-7 (15) – $5,200

10. Jason Kervin – Auburn, Maine – 28-14 (10) – $4,100

Complete results

Tags: jody-white  headline-story  2017-08-24-potomac-river 

How to Prep Like a Pro

How to Prep Like a Pro

When it comes to getting ready for a season of tournaments, there are plenty of ways to do it. But, there’s no denying that for most people, being prepared will lead to better performance on the water. READ MORE »

2020 Harris Chain Preview

2020 Harris Chain Preview

One of the most fun places FLW visits, the Harris Chain is a collection of lakes in central Florida that includes Lake Harris, Lake Apopka, Lake Griffin, Lake Eustis, Lake Dora, Lake Carlton, Horseshoe Lake, Little Lake Harris, Lake Denham and Lake Beauclair. In all, the pros have the run of 10 lakes, plus the myriad residential canals, rivers and backwaters that spread out off of them. READ MORE »

2020 Lake Hartwell Preview

2020 Lake Hartwell Preview

Built on the Savannah, Tugaloo and Seneca rivers on the border of South Carolina and Georgia, Lake Hartwell is a fairly typical example of a Southeastern spotted bass and largemouth fishery. Though there are shad and bream, the primary forage is blueback herring. Hartwell has very little vegetation outside of flooded dog fennel, and the primary cover types are docks, rock, shoreline wood, brush and cane piles. READ MORE »

2020 Detroit River Preview

2020 Detroit River Preview

Though the Pro Circuit finale takes off from the Detroit River, that’s hardly the only place the pros will be fishing. Takeoff is near the southern mouth of the river, giving pros easy access to the west end of Lake Erie. At the other end of the river is Lake St. Clair, which has been home to some of the most epic smallmouth beatdowns on record in recent years. READ MORE »

Bulldog Division Kicks off at Lake Lanier

Bulldog Division Kicks off at Lake Lanier

Perhaps the hottest spotted bass lake in the East, Lanier should be rocking for the Bulldog Division opener. With lots of plump wintertime spotted bass coming to the scale, along with some largemouths, it would be no surprise to see a winning weight in excess of 20 pounds.   READ MORE »

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine continued competition Saturday at the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida – the first time that the Gator Division presented by A.R.E. has opened their season on the St. Johns River – and featured a major return on investment for the winner. READ MORE »

Choo Choo Division Kicks off at Lake Guntersville

Choo Choo Division Kicks off at Lake Guntersville

According to pro Casey Martin, who once won a BFL on Guntersville with a whopping 40 pounds, 11 ounces, it’s not unreasonable to expect a mid- or upper 20s bag to win this time. READ MORE »

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Matt Becker.  READ MORE »

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine opened competition Saturday at the historic Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas, and featured a record-setting field size – 230 boaters and 230 co-anglers. The season opener, the largest field in more than 20 years, took off with multiple anglers left on the waiting list.  READ MORE »

The Top 19 Stories of 2019

The Top 19 Stories of 2019

From the beginning, 2019 was a good year of fishing. The FLW Tour got off to a rollicking start on Sam Rayburn, and it really stayed pretty great from there, with a lot of good fishing and a killer Angler of the Year race. Beyond the Tour, all the other circuits had plenty of highlights, too. We saw impressive feats accomplished at all levels and some very exciting individual events. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

Reese’s Lake Baccarac Adventure

Reese’s Lake Baccarac Adventure

With a home base of Clear Lake in California, FLW Pro Circuit pro Jimmy Reese is pretty used to phenomenal fishing. But, until Thanksgiving, he’d never sampled the bass fishing in Mexico. Now he has, thanks to a Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits trip to Lake Baccarac Lodge that turned into the trip of a lifetime and produced some truly outstanding fishing. READ MORE »

Woolcott Ready for Year-Two Rebound

Woolcott Ready for Year-Two Rebound

When Tyler Woolcott headed out on Sam Rayburn in January 2019 for his first day of competition as an FLW Tour pro, he took off sandwiched between Brad Knight and Bryan Thrift, two pros starting their 11th and 13th seasons at the front of the boat. In stark contrast, Woolcott was beginning his pro career without having fished as a boater at any level of FLW competition. READ MORE »

How to Fish Offshore Grass in Florida

How to Fish Offshore Grass in Florida

In recent years, fishing a lipless bait, a spinnerbait or a vibrating jig in offshore grass in Florida has lit up the leaderboard in many tournaments. Tyler Woolcott, a second-year pro from Port Orange, Fla., has plenty of experience tracking the bass in offshore grass throughout the seasons, and you might be able to learn a thing or two from him. READ MORE »

How to Catch Winter Bass on Hair Jigs

How to Catch Winter Bass on Hair Jigs

“It’s hard to pass up smallmouths in the winter,” Slegona says. “When they get bunched up out there you can have a lights-out day. So, when that water temp drops below 50, I break out the hair jig box, and I put it away again in the spring when the water gets warm.” READ MORE »

Less Stress and More Fun

Less Stress and More Fun

After qualifying for the FLW Tour out of the FLW Series Northern Division for the second time in 2018, Slegona finally had the money lined up and hit the big leagues. So, he pointed his Tundra and Skeeter toward Texas in December to start an adventure that was a lifetime in the making. READ MORE »

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Wintertime and late fall fishing can be super fun, especially up north, when smallmouths are often fat and fairly grouped up. However, it’s not the time of year when you want a ton of rods on deck, and having a confidence bait or two is a must. For Casey Smith, the go-to winter weapon is super simple: a little bitty swimbait on a jighead. READ MORE »

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

Smith says that the best time for fall largemouth fishing happens after the first big cold snap, when the water finally drops below 60 degrees.   READ MORE »