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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Travis Manson

The bite on the Potomac River has generally been excellent this year, but for some reason the fishing got tough at last week’s Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale. Heavy hydrilla growth in the backs of many of the creek arms limited where anglers could fish, and the recent rains had the river running dirtier than usual in some sections. A cool snap during the tournament made the fishing a lot more comfortable than it had been, but unfortunately it didn’t improve the bite. Nonetheless, the top pros managed to consistently bring limits and some good quality to the scales, and they did it in a variety of ways.

Mike Hicks earned the win primarily with a topwater, but that certainly wasn’t the only way to catch them.

Hicks’ winning pattern

Top 10 baits

Complete results

 

Gregory Wilder

2. Wilder falls on the final day

Greg Wilder cracked ‘em each of the first two days and built a solid lead heading into the weekend, but it wasn’t enough to overcome an 11-pound, 3-ounce final day.  With a total of 45-1, Wilder has now finished inside the top 10 two years running at the Potomac – after finishing second there in 2014, he seems due for a win.

As he did in 2016, Wilder relied on a  Zoom Trick Worm in either merthiolate or bubble gum. Tossing it weightless or with a slight nail weight, he basically mined one section of Aquia Creek for his fish, moving with the tide in and out through the grass beds. He primarily fished on the edges of where the grass was topped out and a little beyond that, an area that changed depending on the level of the tide.

On day one, he ground it out all day and caught most of his weight in the afternoon. On day two, the first couple hours of the morning provided all the action. On the final day, it was an afternoon bite again, when the tide was nearly at its highest.

“It was tough in the morning, I missed a couple in the morning and had to grind it out,” says Wilder of his final day effort. “I didn’t catch my fifth until the last 20 minutes. I’m lucky to have a limit. The way I fish and the style of fishing I do, I look to commit to an area. When I get to running around I kinda come unglued. Even with how tough it was today, I stayed committed because I had confidence in it.”

With Wilder’s success the last few years on the Potomac, it seems like a loud Trick Worm will get some play on the Potomac in the years to come.

 

Travis Manson

3. Topwater time for Manson

Like Wilder, Travis Manson ended up catching basically all his fish from one stretch of grass. With a pair of 15-pound days to start the tournament, the former B.A.S.S. Elite Series pro fell off on the final day and managed a 43-1 total.

Manson’s magic grass was about a 50-yard section of flat in Chicamuxen Creek bordered by a ditch that dropped from about 3-feet deep on the edge to 4- or 5-feet deep in the middle. The flat itself had good grass and featured lots of mats.

“It was alive,” says Manson of his primary area. “Every morning there was bait flickering, bass busting; it was what you want for bass in the grass.”

Manson had a brutally tough practice, only catching eight fish the entire time, so he didn’t have much else to go to. Nonetheless, when his starting spot failed to produce a limit on the final day, he was able to scratch up a few more keepers in Chicamuxen.

For baits, Manson would begin the day with a black River2Sea Whopper Plopper in the 90 size and then mix in an old 3/8-ounce buzzbait doctored to squeak more and a Savage Gear popping frog once the sun got up.

 

Bradley Staley

4. Staley stays close

Bradley Staley didn’t have to do anything extraordinary to earn the first Costa FLW Series top 10 of his career. He simply ground out decent bags close to takeoff with a vibrating jig for a total of 37-13.

“I was just in Mattawoman all week fishing outside grass lines,” says Staley. “I had the boat up against the grass and I was paralleling it with a 3/8-ounce Dave’s Tournament Tackle Vibrating Jig. It seemed like on low tide they would be on the very outside edges, and on high tide they would be up in it further and you needed to cast back in it a little more.”

Staley says he used the Potomac killer color for his vibrating jig and trailered it with a  Zoom Speed Craw. He caught a quick limit every morning, but he struggled after noon every day. Staley says he relied on the vibrating jig almost 100 percent after watching his co-anglers struggle to generate bites with other baits.

 

Ed Casey

5. Spinnerbait produces for Casey

After a top 10 with a drop-shot at the 1000 Islands, Ed Casey turned to a spinnerbait this week at the Potomac. Chalking up limits over 12 pounds each of the first two days, Casey failed to complete his limit on day three and finished with 37-2.

Mostly, Casey fished far in the back of Piscataway Creek, throwing a Terminator Spinnerbait with a Zoom Tab Tail Grub in the pads. He caught a few throwing way back into the cover with a frog, and also picked up a couple on the edges with a Yamamoto Senko.

“I was throwing up into the lily pads and stuff like that,” says Casey. “I could see the fish, I knew they were in there, you could see the pads moving. Mostly I was casting up into 2 feet or so, and then it dropped down into 3- to 5-feet of water on the edge.”

Casey says his best tides were high or outgoing, and once the tide got right, he could usually count on a few bites. One additional modification he made to his spinnerbait was to upsize the stock willow leaf blade for more vibration.

 

Mike Blake

6. Blake also chooses Aquia

Mike Blake totaled up 36-6 on the week and caught it all from Aquia.

For some reason, Aquia was extremely productive this time around, much like Chicamuxen was so good in June when the FLW Tour hit the Potomac. Of the top 10, four anglers based their game plans on Aquia, and three – including Blake – basically spent the entire tournament there.

Blake says he liked the mid-section of Aquia because it had the right mix of milfoil, hydrilla and clear water. Though he did cover water, he also had some waypoints and spot-on-the-spot places he would concentrate on.

“I had specific areas in that grass that had a sandy area,” says Blake. “I was trying to fish around the matted hydrilla where it broke off into a sandy area.”

Blake says he caught nine keepers on the first day, eight on the second day and just five on the final day. He used a mix of baits that included a Yamamoto Flappin’ Hog thrown blank on a Z-Man ChatterBait, a Zoom Speed Worm, a Dave’s Tournament Tackle swim jig in a shad pattern and a Keitech Model 1 Tungsten Casting Jig paired with a YUM Christie Craw.  

 

Charlie Reed Jr

7. Swim jig does it for Reed

Charlie Reed Jr. weighed 13 and change each of the first two days, but never got a good bite on the final day and finished with 36-2.

“I’d throw a little popper in the morning, and as the sun got up I’d throw a swim jig,” says Reed. “Today I probably caught 15 or 16 fish, but they were all small.”

Reed focused on an area in Belmont Bay near the mouth of a small creek, and says the bite was typically best when the tide was moving – the direction didn’t matter. His bait of choice was a homemade 3/8-ounce swim jig in green pumpkin trailered with a Strike King Rage Bug and Rage Craw.

 

Joe Wood

8. Wood mixes it up

Joseph Wood seems to have an aptitude for the Potomac, and the former Northern Division Angler of the Year has now made the top 10 on the big tidal river in back-to-back years. Wood caught nearly 15 pounds on day two, and that keyed his 35-10 total.

“It was a grind, the first day I had 10 or 11 keepers, and I barely caught five today,” says Wood of his final day. “For all my stuff I had a terrible tide, yesterday was pretty bad too, but I was able to hit one good hour of outgoing and that’s when it happened for me.”

Wood fished a variety of places instead of camping in one area. In all, he caught fish from the Arkendale Flats to Belmont to Chicamuxen and Mattawoman. Wood used a wacky-rigged Yamamoto Senko and a Lobina Rico for some of his fish, but his big bites came flipping a Missile Baits D Bomb.

 

William Kramer

9. One and done for Kramer

William Kramer smoked 16+ to start things off, but couldn’t manage a bag over 10 pounds the next two days and finished out with 35-7.

“I was catching them on a frog early, the first day my bag came on a frog, I actually left them biting,” says Kramer. “I’m a grass bed fisherman, that’s pretty much all I did all week. I had some main-river grass going that helped me out every day. But this place is really tide oriented, and until you get to those last 2 hours of outgoing it’s really tough.”

Kramer’s frog of choice was a LIVETARGET Hollow Body Frog, and he also used a spinnerbait and a homemade 3/8-ounce swim jig in black and blue or green pumpkin with a 3-inch Berkley PowerBait Chigger Craw as a trailer. He caught most of his frog fish in Mattawoman, but never got it going again after day one. Most of his main-river action happened between Quantico Creek and Aquia.

 

Jason Kervin

10. Kervin manages for a cut

Jason Kervin made the first top 10 of his career entirely off one stretch of matted grass at the mouth of Aquia. He smoked 18-7 on day one, but couldn’t rustle up a limit either of the last two days and finished with 28-14.

“In practice I fished all around and I knew the grass was really good in there, but I didn’t know how good until I got back in there,” says Kervin of his spot. “Once I got in there I started flipping around and shaking fish off. I didn‘t set the hook in that area at all, mostly because I got so many bites. So, I didn’t know what I had coming in, but it showed it had a lot of big fish in it.”

Kervin got the bites and landed them on day one, but he didn’t fish clean on day two. On the final day, he simply couldn’t coax the fish into biting. Each day, he would drift through the area with his electronics off and the trolling motor up, but he wasn’t able to do that as effectively on the final day because of the lack of wind.

Kervin caught almost all his weight on a Missile Baits D Bomb with a 1 1/4-ounce tungsten weight. On day one, the fish would bite on the first drop – on day two, he had to let it soak and shake it up and down some to get them to eat. 

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

Toho on YouTube

Toho on YouTube

The second stop of the FLW Tour season on Lake Toho was a big-bass bonanza. Thanks to mandatory POV cameras and marshals, plenty of big bass were caught on camera. Aside from individual catches, pros also documented their practice and tournament days to give the viewer and inside look at how their event unfolded. Below is the full list of videos released by the pros at this point.  READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Toho

AOY Update: Lake Toho

 With the first two events of the 2019 FLW Tour season in the books, it’s time to take a look at how the Angler of the Year race is shaping up. At Sam Rayburn and Lake Toho the pros were tested with very different conditions, and the standings include anglers different specialties and skill sets than at this time last year, when the Tour’s first two events were both held in Florida. READ MORE »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Roaming Kissimmee with Douglas

Roaming Kissimmee with Douglas

Hailing from Minnesota, Josh Douglas is in his third year on the FLW Tour and looking for his first FLW Cup qualification. Were it not for a disqualification in the final event of the year at St. Clair in 2018, Douglas would have sailed into the Cup. After a tough start to the year at Rayburn, he’s planning to get back on track at the FLW Tour event presented by Ranger on Lake Toho. READ MORE »

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 »

A Look at Lake Toho

A Look at Lake Toho

Stop No. 2 of the 2019 FLW Tour takes us to Lake Toho and the several other lakes strung along the Kissimmee River. Presented by Ranger Boats, the tournament will take off from Big Toho Marina on the north end of the namesake lake, but competitors will be able to spread out down the Kissimmee River into Cypress Lake, Lake Hatchineha (Hatch), Lake Kissimmee, and perhaps even Tiger Lake and Lake Rosalie if they’re feeling adventurous. READ MORE »

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 »

2019 Lake Toho Preview

2019 Lake Toho Preview

Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho for short) is the first of four lakes on the menu for pros in the second stop of the FLW Tour. At the south end of Toho, a lock and a series of canals leads to Cypress Lake, Lake Hatchineha (Hatch) and Lake Kissimmee, which are all fair game for the pros. READ MORE »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Cecil’s Final Morning of Practice

Cecil’s Final Morning of Practice

Russell Cecil is one of a number of standout Texas anglers fishing the FLW Tour opener this week on Sam Rayburn. After a lackluster rookie campaign in 2018, fishing near home is a great opportunity for the Willis, Texas, pro to get the year started off strong. Though the conditions are far from normal, a few hours on the final day of practice reveal that Cecil certainly has a read on the bass. READ MORE »

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 »

Figuring Out Rayburn with Powell

Figuring Out Rayburn with Powell

Hensley Powell has quickly and quietly amassed quite a record with FLW. In just three years fishing the Costa FLW Series, he’s earned over $90,000, and he got a win at Table Rock in the Central Division in 2018. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Lake Tour

Sam Rayburn Lake Tour

This year, the FLW Tour kicks off in Texas with a showdown presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn. Big Sam hasn’t hosted too many FLW Tour events in the past, but it’s loaded with bass and bass fishing history. The lake is much higher than normal right now, which will no doubt produce different fishing than is typical for winter on Rayburn. READ MORE »

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 »

Practice Starts at Rayburn

Practice Starts at Rayburn

Day one of practice for the FLW Tour presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn started this morning. We hung around takeoff to see friends we haven't seen in months and to get the season underway.  READ MORE »