Iaconelli leads Walmart FLW Tour event on Potomac River - Major League Fishing

Iaconelli leads Walmart FLW Tour event on Potomac River

Leonard wins co-angler title, $20,000
Image for Iaconelli leads Walmart FLW Tour event on Potomac River
New Jersey native Michael Iaconelli used a total catch of 51 pounds, 9 ounces to take the overall lead during third day of FLW Tour action on the Potomac River. Photo by Gary Mortenson.
June 4, 2011 • MLF • Archives

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Mike Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, N.J., caught a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, Saturday to capture the lead at the Walmart FLW Tour on the Potomac River presented by National Guard and advanced to the top 10 as the crucial No. 1 seed. With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 51-9, he now holds a narrow 15-ounce lead in the tournament going into the final day of competition.

“This feels good,” said Iaconelli, who still remembers losing the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup Championship by three ounces. “I want this win real bad. I have a little fire in my chest after losing by three ounces in Pittsburgh. It only happens once in a while that you get a legitimate shot at winning and this is one of those times.

“Timing is everything on this river,” Iaconelli went on to say. “The Potomac is unique in the fact that twice a day there is a high and a low tide. If you are using the right bait and hit the tide at the right time magic happens. Every day I fish I feel like I am getting a little more in tune with the tide. I feel like I am living and breathing with the fish and it is a good feeling.

“I am not camping on one spot,” continued Iaconelli. “Unlike the other pros that seem to be fishing in one area all day long, I have four good grassy areas during low tide and four good hard places that I can run to during dead high tide. And by hard places I mean woody areas like docks. I can only explain that I am doing both power fishing and finesse fishing.

“I will have about 10 rods on my deck tomorrow. Today I had 12. I can pretty much guarantee that I will be the only one with a spinning rod on my deck tomorrow,” Iaconelli added. “Twenty pounds is my magic number. I think that if I can catch 20 pounds tomorrow I will have a good shot at winning. My plan is to keep my head down and fish hard.”

Chevy pro Luke Clausen of Otis Orchards, Wash., advanced to the final round of 10 pros in the No. 2 spot with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 50-10.

“This is a phenomenal fishery,” said Clausen, “I have learned something new every day here. I have caught all my fish with Z-Man baits, I am catching something crazy like 30 fish on one bait. This has been an incredibly fun week and I am excited to go fishing again tomorrow.”

Rounding out the top 10 pros and advancing to the final day of competition are:

3rd: Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 15 bass, 50-1

4th: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 15 bass, 47-9

5th: Castrol pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 15 bass, 46-5

6th: Michael Williamson, Fort Smith, Ark., 15 bass, 46-4

7th: Lance Vick, Mineola, Texas, 15 bass, 45-14

8th: AMP pro Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., 15 bass, 44-10

9th: Chad Morgenthaler, Coulterville, Ill., 15 bass, 44-4

10th: Cory Johnston, Peterborough, Ontario, 15 bass, 44-2

Finishing in 11th through 20th are:

11th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 44-2, $12,500

12th: Straight Talk pro JT Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 15 bass, 43-8, $12,500

13th: Kyle Mabrey, McCalla, Ala., 15 bass, 43-5, $12,500

14th: Iams/Pringles pro Vic Vatalaro, Kent, Ohio, 15 bass, 43-4, $12,500

15th: Cheez-It pro Shinichi Fukae, Palestine, Texas, 15 bass, 41-7, $12,500

16th: Robert Pearson, Herndon, Va., 15 bass, 41-3, $12,000

17th: Pete Thliveros, St. Augustine, Fla., 15 bass, 40-0, $12,000

18th: Clifford Pirch, Payson, Ariz., 13 bass, 35-15, $12,000

19th: John McGoey, Omemee, Ontario, 13 bass, 35-10, $12,000

20th: Band-aid/Neosporin pro Glenn Browne, Ocala, Fla., 12 bass, 35-2, $12,000

Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.

Overall there were 93 bass weighing 261 pounds, 13 ounces caught by 20 pros Saturday. The catch included 17 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top five anglers in the point standings from the four 2011 FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.

Cory Leonard of Castalia, N.C., proudly displays his first-place check and trophy after winning the FLW Tour co-angler tournament title on the Potomac River.Cory Leonard of Castalia, N.C., won the Co-angler Division and $20,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 37 pounds, 11 ounces followed by James Schneider of Watervliet, N.Y., in second place with 12 bass weighing 37-5 worth $7,500.

“I had some really great partners this week,” said Leonard, who won his first FLW Tour event. “I fished with National Guard pro Justin Lucas on day one, Aaron Martens on day two and Iaconelli today. What an incredible week. I learned so much!

“If I learned one thing from Iaconelli today that was to never give-up. I am surprised that my fingers aren’t bleeding,” Leonard went on to say. “He might have yelled that a couple of times.

“All week I was using a Zoom Ultra Violet Speed Worm in green pumpkin and watermelon red,” continued Leonard. “I was throwing in to sparse grass and they just kept biting.

“What a thrill it is to win in front of my entire family, especially my grandparents who are my number one fans.”

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are:

3rd: Mark Banks, East Aurora, N.Y., 15 bass, 35-14, $5,000

4th: David Williams, Fredericksburg, Va., 15 bass, 35-8, $4,000

5th: Matt Stoupa, Colonial Heights, Va., 14 bass, 35-1, $3,000

6th: Kermit Crowder, Matoaca, Va., 12 bass, 34-1, $2,750

7th: George Kapiton, Inverness, Fla., 15 bass, 33-7, $2,000

8th: Andrew Roberts, Spotsylvania, Va., 15 bass, 31-14, $1,800

9th: Richard Peek, Centre, Ala., 13 bass, 31-11, $1,700

10th: Charlie Evans, Gilbertsville, Ky., 13 bass, 30-14, $1,600

Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.

Overall there were 73 bass weighing 165 pounds, 12 ounces caught by 20 co-anglers Saturday. The catch included 9 five-bass limits.

Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup. The top five co-anglers in the point standings from the four 2011 Walmart FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.

The top 10 pros will take off at 6:30 Sunday morning from National Harbor Marina located at 137 National Plaza in National Harbor, Md. Sunday’s final weigh-in will be held at the marina as well beginning at 4 p.m.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. At 3 p.m. Level 3 will perform a live concert for fans to enjoy just prior to the final weigh-in. The Expo provides the opportunity for fans to interact with professional anglers, ride Ranger boat simulators, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. Level 3 will be performing live at 3 p.m. prior to the final weigh-in. All activities are free and open to the public.

Coverage of the Potomac River tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors” will air Aug. 7 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to more than 500 million households worldwide.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW Outdoors on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWOutdoors.

About FLW Outdoors

FLW Outdoors is the best in fishing, on and off the water. Anglers worldwide can compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world’s richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player’s Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com.