MARBURY, Md. – Major League Fishing, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, is set to return to Marbury, Maryland, next week, June 17-19, for the MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals T-H Marine Stop 5 at the Potomac River. The Invitational tournament will feature a roster of 150 professional anglers competing for a top prize of up to $115,000, and an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024 – the Bass Pro Tour championship – for the chance to win up to $300,000.
Hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners, the tournament marks the fifth of six Invitational events in 2023, offering competitors a total season purse of more than $3.9 million. In addition to the top payout of $115,000, the field is also competing for valuable points to win the coveted Invitational Angler of the Year (AOY) title. The top eight pros in the Tackle Warehouse Invitational AOY standings at the end of the season will receive an invitation to compete on the Bass Pro Tour in 2024.
“The Potomac River is a world-class fishery, and the Charles County Recreation, Parks and Tourism Department is excited to continue to welcome anglers and their families for fishing tournaments,” said Maggie Boyden, Tourism Marketing Coordinator for Charles County. “These events yield substantial economic impact to our local economy which supports businesses, hotels, restaurants, and future development.”
The tidal fishery is a very familiar destination for MLF and many of the pro anglers competing in this tournament, as the Potomac River has hosted countless major bass-fishing tournaments. Historically, milfoil has always played a huge role on the river, but that hasn’t totally been the case in tournaments as of late. Eelgrass and star grass have become important players. Notably, some of the best eelgrass stretches have been on the main river, which has expanded the playing field a little bit as well.
Green Lane, Pennsylvania pro Grae Buck has quite a bit of experience fishing on the Potomac River, and he believes we’re headed for another good event on the historic fishery.
“The fishing should be pretty strong, and it won’t be too hot,” Buck said. “The majority of fish should be postspawn and getting into their summertime patterns, when they’re eating. My favorite time to fish the Potomac is early May, but the fishing should be fun and this will be a good one.”
“I’ll be interested to see what the weights are this year,” Buck continued. “When we were there in ’21, the average was way higher than I thought it would be. I didn’t see that coming, I knew we would catch fish, but I thought 12 pounds a day would make a Top 50.
“The last few years, it seems like the river is getting stronger and the weights are getting higher,” Buck said. “Overall, the weights have gotten stronger, and I think that has a lot to do with the grass. It’s not necessarily milfoil, there’s other grass, but it lets the fish have more habitat to grow in.”
In MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitational competition, the full field of 150 anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Saturday and Sunday in a five-fish, weigh-in format. Only the top 50 pros, based on their two-day cumulative weight, will advance to the final round on Championship Monday, where they will compete for the grand prize of up to $115,000, including the lucrative $35,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus for qualified anglers.
The winner of the MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals T-H Marine Stop 5 at the Potomac River will be determined by the heaviest three-day cumulative weight and will receive an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024. In addition, the season-long Invitational AOY will also earn a berth into REDCREST 2024.
Anglers will launch each day at 6:30 a.m. ET, Saturday through Monday, from Smallwood State Park, located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, Maryland. Weigh-ins will also be held at the boat ramp daily beginning at 2:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend the event or follow the live on-the-water action all three days of competition online on MLFNOW! beginning at 7 a.m. CT at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals T-H Marine Stop 5 at the Potomac River will feature live on-the-water coverage and a two-hour action-packed television show that will premiere on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, Oct. 28.
Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Fox Rent a Car, General Tire, Grundéns, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Mystik Lubricants, Onyx, Phoenix Boats, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Wiley X and YETI.
For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals on the MLF5 social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.