UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

FLW Tour Recap: Potomac River

FLW Tour Recap: Potomac River
Kellogg’s pro Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pa., netted second place overall after day-three competition on the Potomac River.

(Editor's note: Veteran bass pro Dave Lefebre has agreed to take time to share his insights into each FLW Tour event of the 2012 season. After every event, Lefebre will give his thoughts on tournament strategy, winning techniques and other behind-the-scenes stories/information that is compelling to our readers. The following blog represents his fifth installment of the season. Lefebre ultimately finished the Potomac River event in eighth place with a four-day total of 61 pounds, 10 ounces.)

I was so sickened with my day-four happenings on the water that I drove all night to get home - I made it back at 2 a.m.

The Potomac River is one of my absolute favorite locations to fish on Earth. It's a venue where I swear I'll never do the same thing twice, or even use the same primary techniques or baits, and I suppose that's why I like it so much ... it's always a clean slate. The river is loaded with quality fish too. The water is dirty and you can catch them however you like to fish; and this year was no different. The only distinction was the amount of grass this time around. I'd say there was still plenty, but it had not grown up north quite yet. Some pros who did well focused 100 percent on the weed growth while others, like me, never touched a single blade of grass all week.

My practice went fairly well, but I really had no idea if I was on the quality to win until the actual event got under way. It's very interesting how things evolve during a tournament sometimes. I actually found the same groups of fish that several of the top-10 pros (after day one) were catching and the only reason I ended up focusing up north by National Harbor was because of the lack of competitors up in that area. I started close to takeoff and then ran south to find about 30 boats, including Scott Martin, in what I expected to be my primary spot, so I left and never returned. I then went into another prime area to find Gary Yamamoto and Clifford Pirch, so I left there too. That's when I decided to stick it out up north and condense my focus.

It almost worked, but I fell a little short in the end. I guess you can say I snapped back to my old ways on day four and that's when my chances of winning slipped away. I hadn't weighed in a single bass under 3 pounds on any of the first three days and on day four I didn't even have a single 3-pounder - who would've thought that was possible? I would not change anything about my last day on the water though, with the exception of spending a little more time looking for poles that leaned exactly 27 degrees as Dudley talked about in his pre-tournament video. I guess you'll probably see some of my misfortunes on the TV show in a few weeks and have a better understanding of why I won't be able to sleep for a while ... but as they say, that's fishing!

Like I said, my key area turned out to be close to takeoff and after day one, when I realized how many nice fish were up there, I loaded hundreds of old waypoints into my Lowrance units and decided to commit. I wound up catching fish on places I hadn't fished in over a decade. On some spots I'd saved, I couldn't even remember what they were until I pulled up on them and made a cast or two. It was a fun week that I'll never forget.

My primary baits were a ¼-ounce green pumpkin Yamamoto jig with double-tail trailer; a green pumpkin Yamamoto Spider Grub; and a chart/brown Rapala Fat 3 crankbait.

The most productive grass baits were the usual: swim jigs, Senkos, paddle-tail worms, ChatterBaits and shallow crankbaits. A few guys caught them on frogs, but they weren't as big of a player as usual on the Potomac. A couple of the top ten guys were fishing hard cover or structure like me. Dock poles, rocks, barges, laydowns, and the occasional kitchen appliance were the targets. And again, no surprises in bait selection - crankbaits, jigs and a variety of soft plastics were the main weapons of choice. I heard of guys catching some fish on flukes and spinnerbaits and I even caught a big one off a bed one day.

Our next event is on Kentucky Lake and it is an event I always look forward to ... well lately at least. Kentucky used to be one of my bad venues, but since I eliminated Lake Barkley I've faired much better. Looking forward to heading south in a couple weeks. See you there!

To read more about Dave's life on the road, check out On Tour With Dave and Anne, sponsored by Chevy. Throughout the 2012 FLW Tour season, Dave and his wife, Anne will be keeping a detailed blog of their experiences while traveling the country in their Chevy Trucks.

Tags: dave-lefebre  blog  2012-05-17-potomac-river 

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