UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

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 

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

An unwavering commitment to one fish-laden area enabled Kyle Grover to earn his first Costa FLW Series win with a three-day total of 66 pounds, 13 ounces at the Western Division event at Clear Lake. The tournament was presented by Ranger Boaters and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Even though cold, windy and rainy conditions challenged the field throughout the event, Clear Lake still showed the caliber of fish that swim in it during the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division season, which was presented by Ranger Boats.   READ MORE »

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

The South Laurel High School team of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner weighed 19 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and 13-4 on day two for a 32-13 total and the win in the 2019 Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) State Bass Fishing Championship on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »

Cup Bubble Boys Before Champlain

Cup Bubble Boys Before Champlain

With just one event left in the FLW Tour season, time is almost out to qualify for the FLW Cup, which will be held August 9-11 on Lake Hamilton. The last event at Lake Chickamauga produced plenty of shakeup in the races for Angler of the Year and Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year, and it also set everyone up for the final push to the Cup. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns From Table Rock

Top 10 Patterns From Table Rock

Fishing at Table Rock during the Costa FLW Series Central Division event, presented by Power-Pole, was pretty remarkable, at least until it wasn’t. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

It really didn’t matter what pros threw at Table Rock. The fish were probably going to eat it. Yet, despite a banner practice, things certainly got tougher throughout the Costa FLW Series Central Division event, which was presented by Power-Pole. Thus, pros needed to continually adapt to the conditions with their offerings.Here’s a look at the lures that helped the top 10 anglers.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

The timing of the FLW Tour event at Lake Chickamauga was both a curse and a blessing for the top 10 finishers. There were plenty of fish to be had – and on a multitude of patterns – but the big double-digit females Chick is known for were hard to track down. READ MORE »

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

We didn’t bother with an update on the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year race after the fifth stop of the FLW Tour season at Cherokee Lake. At that point, Miles Burghoff had the overall lead in the AOY standings and a 108-point lead for ROY. It looked like it was locked up. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

There’s usually some drama at the end of the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race, but often the leading pro has managed to accumulate a pretty good cushion by the final event. This year the cushion is virtually nonexistent. After they booked a win and a fifth-place finish at Lake Chickamauga, respectively, John Cox leads David Dudley by just one point heading into the finale on Lake Champlain. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Most people probably don’t equate Lake Chickamauga to spinning rods and finesse techniques, but both were prevalent during the FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Chick. Plenty of pros threw swimbaits, jigs and crankbaits, but the common thread among most of the top 10 is the use of a stick bait (usually wacky- or Texas-rigged) to target bedding or postspawn fish still hanging in the shallows.  READ MORE »

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Heading into the sixth stop of the year on Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, Lawyer says he’s looking to go easy and make sure he’s on the road to Hot Springs this August for his third shot at a Cup title. With that in mind, I was happy to hop aboard and see the shallow side of Chickamauga. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

The 2019 FLW Tour event at Lake Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, is hitting the lake before the primary offshore migration has occurred, which means that some ledge fishing will take place, but a whole mess of other patterns should play as well. Here’s a look at where the anglers will be competing this week. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Santee Cooper

Top 10 Patterns from Santee Cooper

Santee Cooper is full of 30-pound stringers. It’s also been known as a lake that will humble an angler quick. Bradford Beavers had experienced that before, having twice before weighed in 30-plus-pound stringers in tournaments on his home lake only to bomb the next day. Well, third time was the charm. After weighing in 31-02 on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by Power-Pole, he managed to back it up on day two by fishing both lakes for his first signature victory. Of course, he had to hold off some hard charges from some veteran locals to do it. Here’s how they and the other top pros managed to carve out their own patterns and stay consistent on Santee. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Santee Cooper

Top 10 Baits from Santee Cooper

There were three predominant patterns at Santee Cooper: Pitching wacky rigs to cypress trees, sight-fishing and the shad spawn. Yet, they weren’t the only patterns, as a couple locals managed to do plenty of damage with some locals-only offshore patterns at the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division season finale presented by Power-Pole. READ MORE »

Review: iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer

Review: iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer

Built to FLW Tour pro Aaron Britt’s specifications, the iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer rod is a mid-priced spinning rod that’s specifically designed for tossing small swimbaits on light heads. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Cherokee Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Cherokee Lake

Targeting spawning smallmouth bass was by far the dominant pattern when the FLW Tour visited Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee in April. With a few exceptions, the top 10 pros targeted various combinations of rock and gravel banks where the fish were bedding. Finesse baits such as shaky heads, Ned rigs and small swimbaits saw the most work. READ MORE »

Cherokee Has Been Good to Jason Bridwell

Cherokee Has Been Good to Jason Bridwell

Jason Bridwell fishes in the Volunteer Division of the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League, and his track record on Cherokee, a lake at which he considers himself a local, is nearly spotless, especially after a win in the FLW Tour Marshal program contest. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Cherokee Lake

AOY Update: Cherokee Lake

This year’s FLW Tour Angler of the Year race is hurtling toward one of the most dramatic finishes ever. After finishing 46th at Cherokee Lake, rookie pro Miles “Sonar” Burghoff took advantage of a stumble by Terry Bolton to move into the top spot in the standings. If Burghoff can hold on through the final two events, he’ll be the first rookie since Shinichi Fukae in 2004 to win the AOY award. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Cherokee Lake

Top 10 Baits from Cherokee Lake

The smallmouth bass spawn was on at Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee when the FLW Tour came to town in April. Most of the top pros caught their fish on Ned rigs and shaky heads, as well as swimbaits and jigs. READ MORE »

Upshaw Still Up at Cherokee

Upshaw Still Up at Cherokee

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Lowrance on Cherokee Lake featured great fishing again and remarkable consistency from many of the leaders. Still on top, Andrew Upshaw weighed 17 pounds, 14 ounces of smallmouths to up his total to 36-4. In second, Dylan Hays dropped off the pace slightly and weighed 16-11 for a 34-8 total to lurk a bit less than 2 pounds behind Upshaw. Overall, 18 pros weighed more than 16 pounds on day two, and 28 pros have amassed totals over 30 pounds. READ MORE »