UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Lanier

Shenandoah Div. Restarts on the Potomac

Shenandoah Div. Restarts on the Potomac
Cody Will, Jordan Nauert

Competition in the Shenandoah Division presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine will restart at the Potomac River on June 27. With the river’s bass fully into the postspawn now, the event should be a classic summertime Potomac derby.

 

Tournament Details

Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Shenandoah Division presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps

Potomac River

Marbury, Md.

June 27, 2020

 

How the fishery sets up

Running roughly north to south, the Potomac is a major tributary of Chesapeake Bay. Up above Washington, D.C., the river is shallow, rocky and home to some smallmouths. Below that, the tides begin to take effect and the river broadens out. Most tournaments are won from about D.C. in the north to Potomac Creek in the south. That stretch has a healthy population of largemouths living anywhere from the very backs of creeks to the grass beds in the main river.

Historically, the quality of the bass fishing on the Potomac has fluctuated with the quality of the grass. On years with lots of healthy milfoil, the fishing borders on great. With worse milfoil growth, the fishing gets tougher, and star grass, hydrilla and other emergent grasses don’t seem to hold the fish as well.

Of course, grass isn’t the only factor on the Potomac. There is plenty of manmade and natural hard cover such as rock and wood. Going up the many creeks and fishing in and around the pad fields is also an option that nearly always accounts for some tournament bass.

 

What to expect

Tidal expert Wayne Vaughan says that the grass is shaping up well on the Potomac this year, but he reports the milfoil still isn’t as prevalent or high as it would be in the best years.

“I’ve been up there quite a few times this spring,” says Vaughan. “The river is trying to get a little bit of grass back. It’s got a little bit of everything. And there’s a couple places with some milfoil, but it’s sparse.

“It seems like they’ve been catching some fish; not like the old-school days, but not bad,” Vaughan adds. “I think it’s starting to get better. Last year with all the hydrilla everywhere, it pretty much coated the bottom. This year, it’s better for fishing. Guys are catching numbers this year. They’re not catching the size they used to yet.”

Even though Vaughan projects a strong grass bite, he believes that hard cover and flipping emergent vegetation will play as well. He’s also pretty optimistic about winnings weights.

“Eighteen pounds would be very strong,” says the Virginian. “I think a guy can catch 18 or 19 pounds. If I had 18 pounds, I wouldn’t be sure I had won, but I would think I had a chance.”

 

Baits and techniques

Year after year, the successful bait categories on the Potomac don’t change too much. Topwaters, winding baits for fishing grass, and various plastics, jigs and crankbaits to probe hard cover are staples.

“The milfoil isn’t thick enough for mats, and the hydrilla doesn’t seem to be far enough along for flipping,” says Vaughan. “As far as fishing, I think a swim jig will be a good bet, and throwing plastics around or a topwater. A guy can wind something over the top of the grass. A buzzbait will be a player I assume.

“The grass is good for a ChatterBait right now, and there’s gonna be a flipping bite with guys fishing pads and marsh banks and stuff. I think a tournament was won flipping pads just recently. They’ll be a big player too.”

Tags: jody-white  pre-tournament  2020-06-27-potomac 

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