‘Frog fest’ in store for upcoming BFL on Potomac River - Major League Fishing
‘Frog fest’ in store for upcoming BFL on Potomac River
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‘Frog fest’ in store for upcoming BFL on Potomac River

Image for ‘Frog fest’ in store for upcoming BFL on Potomac River
The next BFL on the Potomac should be a fun one. Photo by Cobi Pellerito. Angler: Ben McCann.
June 11, 2024 • Sean Ostruszka • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

Death, taxes and annual Potomac River tournaments. You can count on all of them to happen. This year is no different with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Shenandoah Division tournament on June 22. Considering the history on the fishery, there should be few surprises. Just plenty of fish.

Tournament details

Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Shenandoah Division

Potomac River

Marbury, Md.

June 22

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About the fishery

As stated prior, there’s not much mystery around the Potomac, as countless big tournaments have gone down on the tidal river shared between Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Running roughly north to south into the Chesapeake Bay, it’s a tidal river that usually fluctuates a couple of feet per day.

The fishing is almost always shallow, either in the grass and pads or around hard cover like rock and wood. Though there are some sections of the main river that really play, the bulk of the damage tends to be done in the creeks (or the mouths of them), with some hot creek arms attracting a ton of fishing pressure.

Hence, local Bass Pro Tour pro Martin Villa says anglers better get used to fishing in a crowd.

“The mid-river creeks like Quantico and Chickamuxen are always loaded with boats, but that’s because they’re always loaded with fish,” Villa said. “Plenty of checks will come from there.”

It’s often no surprise to see 30 or more boats at any given time in some of the main creeks.

Yet, Villa said there are always opportunities for anglers to get away from the crowds and try to run further north or south, especially for someone knowledgeable about how to run the tides.

What to expect

Expect a lot of staples to play on the Potomac. Photo by Cobi Pellerito.

There’s no reason for anglers to overthink what to bring to this derby.

While dragging a soft-plastic stick bait can help grind out plenty of bites, the Potomac is more often than not won power fishing – vibrating jigs, punching and frogs being the key players. Villa says that last one should definitely come into play with how much the grass has grown already.

“The grass looks like mid-July already,” Villa said. “It’s definitely going to be a frog fest with how it looks. I mean, you could pretty much put a frog in your hand, never put it down and have a good chance at a check or even winning.”

Villa says a punching bite might come into play if the grass growth continues and the tide gets right. And another thing to watch is the bream-bed bite.

No matter what, though, anglers will catch fish.

“Oh yeah, they’re gonna catch them,” Villa said. “It wouldn’t surprise me for it to take over 20 pounds to win if the tide and moon are right.”