UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

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 

 Cox Commits to MLF

 Cox Commits to MLF

The announcement of the 2021 MLF Bass Pro Tour roster finally makes it official: John Cox will fish the Bass Pro Tour and the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Hartwell

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Hartwell

Though some largemouth entered the mix by happenstance, you really had to drop down to Jayme Rampey in fourth place to find someone who made a dramatic adjustment to pursue largemouth. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Hartwell

Top 10 Baits from Lake Hartwell

Most of the fish weighed on Hartwell in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP were spotted bass. As such, a lot of finesse baits made the team. Still, a few anglers attempted to mix in largemouths to varying degrees, and even for spots, it wasn’t all spinning rods. READ MORE »

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Justin Kimmel has had built up a sterling record from the back of the boat on Lake Hartwell, and today he padded his stats with a win in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Kimmel, now with three multi-day wins on Hartwell, totaled 26 pounds, 9 ounces and banked $50,000 for the win. READ MORE »

Macy Wins the All-American

Macy Wins the All-American

Weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce on the final day, Chris Macy totaled 34-10 to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Hailing from Diamond, Mo., Macy rose from fifth to first on the final day to claim the $100,000 top prize in his first time in the All-American. READ MORE »

All-American Midday Update – Day 3

All-American Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is shaping up to be a nail-biter. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Though there are some possibilities for interesting shallow things to happen on the final day, so far offshore spotted bass have been the name of the game in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. With most of the action going down in the lower end of Lake Hartwell, the top 10 are packed tight, and one kicker bite could go an awful long way at the final weigh-in. READ MORE »

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Though Todd Goade calls the Volunteer State home, he’s got plenty of experience on Hartwell and it's showing in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Catching 11 pounds, 7 ounces yesterday, Goade improved his catch today with 13-2 to slid him to the top of the leaderboard with 24-9 overall. READ MORE »

All-American Midday Update – Day 2

All-American Midday Update – Day 2

Like day one, day two of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP has thrown a variety at the anglers. The day started with rain, which was heavy overnight, and tapered off after takeoff. Then, cloudy and slick conditions set in. Now, it’s turned into a perfect day, with puffy clouds, lots of sun and a nice breeze. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Table Rock

Top 10 Patterns from Table Rock

Fall can be a tough time to fish most places in the country, and for the final Toyota Series Plains Division event of the season on Table Rock Lake, that certainly was the case. A cold front passed through the week prior, bringing cool rain that lowered water temperatures and raised the lake. Then, come tournament time, the forecast was more like spring than fall with plenty of sun and highs in the 70s. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

Though the final Toyota Series Plains Division event of the season on Table Rock wasn’t the usual fall bite you may expect to see in the Ozarks, the top 10 pros stuck to their strengths and employed everything from ice fishing jigs to topwaters to catch their fish. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

As projected, Hartwell isn’t giving up big limits for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Still, there are plenty of fish being caught, and if you want to chase offshore spotted bass around, it’s a pretty good place to be right now. READ MORE »

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP saw a bit of everything in terms of weather with rain, fog and some brief sun, and the fishing on Lake Hartwell was maybe just as confusing. Catching fish wasn’t an issue, but the quality that calls Hartwell home eluded the majority of the field. Hauling in 12 pounds even today, Dustin Lippe took the early lead after day one, but the weights are stacked tight, with under 1 1/2 pounds separating first and 10th. READ MORE »

All-American Midday Update – Day 1

All-American Midday Update – Day 1

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP hasn’t been quite as wet as anticipated, but it’s still offered far from ideal conditions for offshore fishing on Hartwell. So far this morning, nobody has distanced themselves, but there’s still plenty of time before weigh-in. READ MORE »

All-American Starts on Hartwell

All-American Starts on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is going to be a wet one. Overnight, a wad of rain and storms moved into the region around Lake Hartwell, and it’s projected to stay wet all the way into Thursday morning, with almost 2-inches of rain in the forecast for today. That rain isn’t what some would like for the fishing, but it’s not going to dampen the competition for the title of All-American and the top prize of $100,000. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Seminole

Top 10 Patterns from Seminole

The top-10 pros fishing the final day of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole in the first week of November were divided up into three distinctly different areas of the lake. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits From Seminole

Top 10 Baits From Seminole

Topped-out, matted grass and dropping water temperatures were the fall backdrop to the Toyota Series Southern Division event held on Lake Seminole. With that, it’s no surprise punching baits and shad imitators were the most common lures seen on the top pros’ front decks throughout the event. READ MORE »

Breaking Down the All-American Roster

Breaking Down the All-American Roster

One of the longest-running championships in bass fishing, the All-American is often considered to be the pinnacle of the grassroots level and has launched the careers of anglers like Shaw Grigsby, Jacob Wheeler, Jeremy Lawyer and many more throughout the years. READ MORE »

Previewing the All-American

Previewing the All-American

Originally set for the beginning of May, the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is now slated for November 11-13 on Lake Hartwell. The All-American brings together the best of the best from the Phoenix Bass Fishing League ranks as well as top anglers from the TBF, college and high school ranks.  READ MORE »

Curtis Locks Up Southwestern AOY

Curtis Locks Up Southwestern AOY

This year, things lined up for Curtis to fish a full season of Toyota Series competition for just the fourth time since 2011 (when he finished fifth in the points). With a pair of top fives and a 16th place showing at the finale on Sam Rayburn, Curtis cruised to the Strike King Angler of the Year title. READ MORE »