UPCOMING EVENT: HIGH SCHOOL FISHING - 2019 - Pickwick Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Previewing the Potomac

Previewing the Potomac
Travis Manson

Just two days separate the final day of the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League All-American and the start of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship, both on the Potomac River. It’s a huge fishery that’s more than capable of handling the pressure of multiple major tournaments in back-to-back weeks, and given the time of year the pair of tournaments land on the fishing calendar, it’s fair to expect some big things from both events.

All-American tournament field

The All-American, which is presented by General Tire, will feature 98 of the best boaters and co-anglers from FLW’s grassroots ranks. The three-day event begins on May 30 and finishes on June 1. The College Fishing National Championship, which is presented by Lowrance, will pit the best college teams in the country against each other June 4-6. Both tournaments are hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners and Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism.

Given the timing of these events, fishing conditions should be pretty similar for both. Here’s a little bit of what to expect from the Potomac in the coming weeks.

 

Lay of the Water

At 383 miles long and with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles, the Potomac River is a pretty huge system. Though popular community holes can get very busy on the weekends or when large fields come to town, there are almost always places to escape the pressure if an angler wants to.

The Potomac is fed by the North Branch (from West Virginia) and South Branch (from Virginia). They converge in West Virginia to form the Potomac, which then flows southeast into the Chesapeake Bay. As such, the Potomac is a tidal fishery and it usually fluctuates up and down about 2 feet per day.

For bass-holding goodness, the Potomac has a lot to offer. Though it predominantly fishes shallow, there is a lot of manmade cover in the form or rip rap, docks and the like, as well as natural emergent and submergent vegetation and plenty of wood.

Despite the size of the river, FLW Tour pro Bryan Schmitt – who has three Costa FLW Series wins on the Potomac – doesn’t think there’s much difference in the layout or fishability from one end to the other.

“There’s no change from one end to the other,” he says. “[Tournaments] can be won pretty much from the bottom to the top.”

 

Kyle Cortiana

Springtime Options

Schmitt has fished the Potomac enough to know just how good it can be this time of year. Even with aquatic vegetation lacking this year, it’s not hard to find the right fish.

“There’s definitely less grass for sure,” he explains. “We’ve had a lot of rain for like six months, and it just makes the water dirty and the grass can’t grow until the water cleans up.

“Typically, the grass doesn’t even start growing good until April or May. All it does with no grass is it makes it pretty predictable. [Bass] have to be on structure.”

As such, anglers in both the All-American and the College Fishing National Championship will likely be keying on shallow structure and cover, targeting fish that are in some stage around the spawn.

“I’d say like 50 percent have spawned and 50 percent are still going to spawn,” Schmitt adds. “The crazy thing is, it doesn’t matter what’s going on; you’re going to fish shallow. You’re going to throw reaction baits. You’re going to flip. It’s pretty simple no matter what [the fish are] doing.”

With the exception of fishing offshore, almost everything will be in play in the coming weeks.

 

Bryan Schmitt

Schmitt’s Predictions

When Schmitt won the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the Potomac in June of 2013, he did so predominantly flipping (until he moved out to deeper grass to adapt to a cold front that moved in on day three). He won that tournament with a total of 52 pounds, 8 ounces – or a little over 17 pounds per day.

“For a single event, it might take 17 (pounds) a day,” he says, in keeping with past experience this time of year. “If you can do 17 a day, it’ll be very strong.”

Given that 49 boats (in the All-American field) is barely any pressure for the Potomac, weights should remain up across the board, even by the end of the College Fishing National Championship the following week.

What baits does Schmitt think will get the job done?

“It’ll either be won dead-sticking a stick bait or it’ll be won on a ChatterBait, if I had to guess,” he posits.

Of course, targeting shallow bass doesn’t exactly limit one’s options for catching fish. Whether it’s a stick bait or a ChatterBait, a jig or a crankbait, it’ll be won shallow either way.

 

Take Your Pick

Both tournaments launch from Smallwood State Park in Marbury, Md., which is at least a 75-mile run to the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. To the north, the river remains fairly wide until it narrows significantly around Washington D.C. and begins to track like a normal, winding river fishery.

According to Schmitt, there isn’t really one predominant section or area that anglers tend to key on, though there are a few sections of the river that might be favored more than others.

“Far south could be really good,” he explains. “Belmont Bay and Mattawoman Creek will play big, I’m sure. They always do.”

But as Schmitt already indicated, there isn’t much difference in fishability from one end of the river to the other. For anglers in both tournaments, it’ll basically be dealer’s choice.

 

Travis Blenn, Kyle Alsop

What’s at stake?

This season, the All-American boater champion earns a six-figure payday and a spot in the 2019 FLW Cup. But FLW has sweetened the pot. The highest-finishing boater and co-angler from each Regional and the Wild Card at the All-American earn spots in the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship. Both winning anglers in the team-based College Fishing National Championship earn berths to the FLW Cup and their club earns a Ranger Z175 with a 115-horsepower Evinrude.

 

All-American Tournament Details

Dates: May 30 - June 1

Format: All boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 7:00 a.m. ET

Takeoff Location: Smallwood State Park, 2750 Sweden Point Rd., Marbury, Md.

Weigh-In Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

Weigh-In Location: Smallwood State Park, 2750 Sweden Point Rd., Marbury, Md.

Complete details

 

College Fishing National Championship Tournament Details

Dates: June 4-6

Format: All teams will compete for two days. The top 10 teams based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 7:00 a.m. ET

Takeoff Location: Smallwood State Park, 2750 Sweden Point Rd., Marbury, Md.

Weigh-In Time: 3:00 p.m. ET

Weigh-In Location: Smallwood State Park, 2750 Sweden Point Rd., Marbury, Md.

Complete details

Tags: potomac-river  -all-american  -bfl  -bass-fishing-league  -college-fishing  -fishing  -june  -bryan-schmitt  justin-onslow  article 

Check-in Time: David Williams 

Check-in Time: David Williams 

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with David Williams. READ MORE »

Reserve Your FLW Cup VIP Pass Now

Reserve Your FLW Cup VIP Pass Now

If you’re an FLW member, now is the time to start planning your trip to Hot Springs, Ark., for the 2019 FLW Cup Aug. 9-11. Act now to take advantage of special members-only VIP benefits by signing up for a special VIP pass. READ MORE »

Review: Jackson Kayak Bite

Review: Jackson Kayak Bite

In the burgeoning fishing kayak market, there’s still a pretty large gap, on the whole, between entry-level boats (think $500 or less) and the top end of the market. It’s hard to find a really good kayak that blends quality, stability and affordability for anything less than $1,000. At least that’s what I thought before I tried out the Jackson Kayak Bite. READ MORE »

Illinois’ Samo Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Wolf River Chain of Lakes

Illinois’ Samo Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Wolf River Chain of Lakes

WINNECONNE, Wis. – Boater Curtis Samo of Rochelle, Illinois, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Wolf River Chain of Lakes... READ MORE »

New Jersey’s Sentore Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Chesapeake Bay

New Jersey’s Sentore Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Chesapeake Bay

NORTH EAST, Md. (June 17, 2019) – Boater Michael Sentore of Gloucester City, New Jersey, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on the... READ MORE »

Kuttawa’s Robertson Wins Two T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournaments on Kentucky Lake in Same Weekend

Kuttawa’s Robertson Wins Two T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournaments on Kentucky Lake in Same Weekend

BUCHANAN, Tenn. – Boater Matt Robertson of Kuttawa, Kentucky, swept the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division this... READ MORE »

Sullivan Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir

Sullivan Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir

BRANDON, Miss. – Local boater Corey Sullivan of Brandon, Mississippi, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir... READ MORE »

Review: LIVETARGET Tennessee Craw

Review: LIVETARGET Tennessee Craw

With the number of great crankbaits on the market or discontinued and still in high-demand, new crankbaits have to be pretty good to earn a space in a tacklebox. While I wouldn’t say the LIVETARGET Tennessee Craw is a surefire classic, after a few days of fishing it, I know I’ll be throwing it a lot more. READ MORE »

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

Champlain is such a fun location for a tournament in large part because of the unpredictability involved. Nelson winning last year’s Costa FLW Series tilt with all smallmouths was something of a surprise, but given the conditions, it made plenty of sense. Exactly what will go down this year is legitimately up in the air. READ MORE »

By the Numbers: Lake Champlain

By the Numbers: Lake Champlain

The 2019 FLW Tour season comes to a close later this month on Lake Champlain, a lake that just about guarantees a fun finish and lots of smallmouths. READ MORE »

FLW Tour Brings World’s Top Bass Anglers to Lake Champlain for 2019 Season Finale

FLW Tour Brings World’s Top Bass Anglers to Lake Champlain for 2019 Season Finale

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, will visit Plattsburgh, June 27-30, for the FLW Tour at Lake Champlain presented by T-H Marine – the seventh... READ MORE »

Cox and Dudley on their AOY Chances

Cox and Dudley on their AOY Chances

Every angler starts his season with the hope of being in contention for AOY by the final tournament. Mathematically, only a handful of anglers are still in it this year, but realistically, as the FLW Tour heads to its final stop of 2019 at Lake Champlain, it’s a two-angler race. READ MORE »

Rapala Varsity Bass Premieres at 2 p.m. CT

Rapala Varsity Bass Premieres at 2 p.m. CT

The long-awaited premiere of Rapala Varsity Bass is here. In Episode 1, college fishing competitor Tyler Anderson takes on Lake Texoma. Along the way, Tyler offers an intimate portrait into his life as a YouTuber, tournament angler and senior at Texas A&M. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Josh Douglas

Check-in Time: Josh Douglas

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they've been up to, what they're listening to, who they're following and where they're heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Josh Douglas.  READ MORE »

Urbana’s Shaw Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Shelbyville

Urbana’s Shaw Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Shelbyville

SHELBYVILLE, Ill. – Boater Wayne Shaw of Urbana, Illinois, weighed five bass Saturday totaling 13 pounds, 7 ounces, to win T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville. Shaw pocketed... READ MORE »

Louisiana’s Ganey Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Louisiana’s Ganey Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir

BROOKELAND, Texas (June 10, 2019) – Boater Rylon Ganey of Pineville, Louisiana, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with five bass... READ MORE »

Gainesboro’s Fox Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Old Hickory Lake

Gainesboro’s Fox Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Old Hickory Lake

GALLATIN, Tenn. (June 10, 2019) – Boater Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake... READ MORE »

Oxford’s Campbell Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Ohio River at Tanner’s Creek

Oxford’s Campbell Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Ohio River at Tanner’s Creek

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. (June 10, 2019) – Boater Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament... READ MORE »

Lexington’s Walser Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on High Rock Lake, Ties All-Time Wins Record

Lexington’s Walser Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on High Rock Lake, Ties All-Time Wins Record

SALISBURY, N.C. – Boater Robert Walser of Lexington, North Carolina, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) North Carolina Division tournament on High Rock Lake... READ MORE »

Murray State University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on Potomac River presented by Lowrance

Murray State University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on Potomac River presented by Lowrance

CHARLES COUNTY, Md. (June 6, 2019) – The Murray State University duo of Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson, both of Bloomington, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit Thursday totaling 15 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Potomac River presented by Lowrance. The win earned the team a $50,000 prize package, including a... READ MORE »