Day two of the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American featured quite a bit of movement in the standings. With two new entrants into the top five, and a lot of shuffling farther down, we could be looking at a pretty fun final day.
Still leading the tournament, which is presented by General Tire, is Joseph Thompson, who has now tallied better than 16 pounds on back-to-back days. On day one he did it off hard cover, but he mixed some grass in on day two.
His competitors are fishing a real combo platter, with everything from grass to pads and rock getting it done. However, the balance does seem to be tilting slightly toward the grass beds as the tournament wears on, albeit with the notable exception of Thompson.
2. Doug Ruster – New Palestine, Ind. – 30-12 (10)
Right in striking distance of the lead, Doug Ruster has managed admirable consistency and done it almost entirely like you’re supposed to on the Potomac – fishing grass flats.
“I set up shop in Aquia for the first three hours and I never had a bite, I caught one little bitty one,” says Ruster. “I think we caught 17 keepers down there yesterday. I didn’t feel right down there today, there was no wind, no ripple on the water, no nothing. So, I left.
“I ran in a creek and caught a 4-pounder on an intake on a shaky head, and then I went to one other grass patch that I really was trying to save,” Ruster details. “We went there, and I caught two right out of the gate, and then another and another and I ended up culling twice.”
With the tide lower and wind and clouds moving in, the conditions were a lot better for Ruster’s secondary spot to shine. However, he’s not super confident about day three.
“I don’t know what the plan is tomorrow,” says Ruster. “I caught them someplace yesterday and a different place today. I gotta figure out something to do in high tide, and low tide may not be until after the tournament tomorrow. I’ll see what happens and scramble around.”
3. Moo Bae – West Friendship, Md. – 29-13 (10)
One of the notable locals pre-tournament, Moo Bae followed up a solid day one with an exceptional day two, weighing one of only four 16-pound bags that have been caught all tournament.
“Today the fish grew. Literally, I could do no wrong,” says Bae. “When I saw a boat in my spot, I moved to another spot and “bam,” it was on. I couldn’t believe it, it was meant to be today.”
Rotating through pads, rock and laydowns depending on the tide, Bae says that his day was so good that he even caught one while he was picking out a knot in his line.
After a killer day two, it sure sounds like he’s going to have fun on Saturday.
“I feel good,” says Bae excitedly. “I don’t care what happens tomorrow. I just wanted to make the top 10, that was my goal.”
4. Brennon McCord – West Frankfort, Ill. – 29-8 (10)
Hailing from the Illini Division, a 15-pound day bumped McCord up into the top five.
Though he has dabbled way up creeks and caught some fish there, a vibrating jig in the grass is what put him in the top five.
“I found one little sweet spot yesterday afternoon, and they were there again this morning,” says McCord. “Then I caught two of my biggest fish there this afternoon, last-minute. Hopefully they’re there in the morning.”
While it is his first time at the Potomac, McCord certainly likes it so far.
“It fits my style of fishing, it fits it perfect,” says McCord. “You just have to play the tide, and I think I’ve got it figured out when I can catch them on my main spot.”
5. Troy Morrow – Eastanollee, Ga. – 28-9 (10)
Slipping up a bit on day two, Morrow still did enough to make FLW Live entertaining and stick in the top five and in contention for the win.
“I had a tough day,” says Morrow. “I had to go to my safety net in National Harbor today, and I had no intentions of going up there, that’s how bad it was.”
Still targeting hard cover exclusively, co-angler Danny Vass actually got things going for Morrow.
“The bite changed, I couldn’t get bit on any of my primary baits at all, but my co-angler stumbled onto a ChatterBait bite,” says Morrow. “So, I switched over and that’s pretty much how I put them all in the boat.”
Still in striking distance of the win and a historic second All-American title, Morrow is gonna gamble a bite on day three.
“I’m gonna fall back on my pre-practice,” says Morrow. “I’m fishing all stuff I found on my practice day, and I think I’m gonna roll the dice on my pre-practice – it’s still hard cover, but a totally different area.”