Potomac River Day 1 Coverage - Major League Fishing

Potomac River Day 1 Coverage

It’s a beauty of a day on the Potomac
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Jeff Sprague Photo by Chris Burgan. Angler: Jeff Sprague.
June 15, 2017 • MLF • Archives

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2:00 That’ll do it for the blog

Sorry about the lag in updates, but we had some sandwich purchases to attend to. Since the last update we’ve run into Andy Morgan, who is coy about his weight, but is throwing back 2-pounders. Other than that, it’s pretty much a wrap on the day. Weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. ET.

Five Potomac storylines

Weigh-In Time: 3 p.m. ET on days one and two; 4 p.m. ET on days three and four

Weigh-In Location: Smallwood State Park all days


1:19 Cobb, Upshaw

Andrew Upshaw says he’s got about 14 pounds and Brandon Cobb reports the same. 


1:15 Webster, Sprague

Joseph Webster is culling, but he still doesn’t have much. Jeff Sprague has a limit for about 14 pounds. 


Clark Wendlandt

1:00 Wendlandt is still culling

We think Clark Wendlandt might have 18 pounds or so now. He’s been culling since a while back and seems on pace for more Potomac heroics. 


12:50 Douglas with a limit, Bird

Josh Douglas has a limit for about 12 pounds. Cody Bird caught a 4-pounder a little bit ago, so he has at least three. It’s probably safe to say he’s got a limit, even though he’s out of speaking range. 


12:30 Wendlandt, LeHew, others

Clark Wendlandt is doing his usual Potomac thing – he’s got 15+ in the ‘well. Shane LeHew just culled up some – he’s got about 14 pounds. Chris Johnston has a limit for around 14 pounds. John Cox has a limit, but no weight attached. 


12:22 Felix, Buck, Day

Austin Felix has two in the boat for about 5 pounds. It’s not good for him, but Felix also says he watched Grae Buck catch a 6-pounder early this morning. Bill Day has four for about 11 pounds. 


12:14 A few updates

Mark Fisher has three for about 7 pounds. He’s behind the 8 ball on numbers and size now. Jason Lambert has a limit for about 12 pounds. Michael Wooley has just two keepers. Also, Clark Wendlandt is culling in the distance – we’ll get a weight estimate soon. 


12:03 Meninger with two

Jason Meninger has two that we figure add up to about 6 or 7 pounds. Not great on the numbers, but he’s certainly around the right size.  


John Voyles

12:00 Voyles limits

John Voyles just limited with a small keeper. Just to satisfy Ryan Ingalls on the math side of things, Voyles now has a limit for an amount of weight that will be determined by the scale sometime after 2:30 p.m. ET today. 


11:53 Shelton and Martin

Billy Shelton has four for about 12 pounds, so he’s off to the right start as well. Scott Martin says he’s biding his time and waiting on the tide to get right – he’s got three for perhaps 9 pounds. 


11:50 A big one for Voyles

John Voyles just landed a 4-pounder to bring his count up to four keepers. We think he’s got about 12 pounds, which is a really good way to go prior to limiting. 


Wesley Strader

11:28 Strader, Voyles

Wesley Strader just caught fire, filling his limit and culling in short order. John Voyles has three in the boat and they’re all good ones. We think he might have 10 pounds. 


11:14 Gross, Voyles

Buddy Gross has a limit, but it’s nothing special. John Voyles is nearby, so we ought to be able to get an update from him soon as well. 


Andy Young

11:10 Young, Weisenburger, Watson

Andy Young just culled up for 5 ounces. He’s got a really nice day going.

Kyle Weisenburger has two in the boat and James Watson has a limit for about 11 pounds. 


11:00 Meyer is doing his usual thing

In a shocking turn of events, Cody Meyer has a limit for about 13 pounds.


Andy Young

10:55 A leader emerges!

Andy Young reports 17 pounds in the boat. It’ll likely take more than that to lead today, but he’s ahead of the game nonetheless. He just got to his second spot, so the first one sure was money. 


Justin Atkins

10:50 Atkins culls

Justin Atkins just cast, headed to the back to net one for his co-angler, got back to his rod and landed one that goes nearly 3 pounds. He’s got 14+ now. 


10:47 Reyes, D.C.

Jason Reyes has three keepers.

It’s pretty much vacant up around D.C. 


Justin Atkins

10:38 Atkins, Lucas

Justin Atkins has a limit for 13+ and just caught a really nice one to help get him there.

Up by D.C., nobody is fishing Justin Lucas’s dock. 


10:33 Dudley limits

David Dudley has a small limit, perhaps 11 pounds. 


Jason Johnson

10:22 Johnson, Arey

Matt Arey has 15 pounds in the boat already this morning. That’s for sure not a bad situation to be in before noon on day one. Jason Johnson is also doing pretty well – despite hating all things grass, the Georgia pro has about a 13-pound limit in the boat. 


10:08 Davis, LeHew, Strader

Alex Davis has a limit for about 11 pounds. Shane LeHew has a limit for about 13 pounds. Wesley Strader has three, all solid 2-pounders. 


9:55 Blake is doing well too

Four for 10 pounds seems to be the mark early in the day. Derrick Blake is at it now. With that the case, it sure looks like just 13 pounds a day won’t cut it this week on the Potomac. 


9:50 Slow for Auten

Todd Auten is swimming a jig and has two in the boat and has caught three shorts as well. 


Brandon Cobb

9:37 Cobb is off to a good start, Adams

Still fishing with a broken foot (it’s been that way since the Mississippi), Brandon Cobb is off to a good start. He’s got two big ones and two little ones in the boat for a total of about 10 pounds. 

Tracy Adams has zero. 


Matt Stefan

9:27 Stefan

Matt Stefan battled mechanical issues for most of practice. This morning, he’s on the board early with 4 keepers. 


9:22 Chicamuxen is loaded, Ashmore

There are 20+ boats in Chicamuxen this morning. It’s going to take a bit to sift through it all, but it seems like likely ground.

Scott Ashmore has one keeper. 


Bryan Schmitt

9:12 Schmitt strikes, the tide

Bryan Schmitt’s first keeper is a solid 3+ plucked from some deeper grass.

Up in Broad Creek, the tide is starting to come in now and there are more boats arriving with it. 


Cory Johnston

9:05 The Johnstons and Kenney

Chris Johnston has three keepers in the boat – two good ones and one small one. Cory Johnston has had a frustrating morning and is still without a keeper. JT Kenney has two in the boat. 


Zack Birge

8:54 Another for Birge, Holland

Zack Birge just caught his second keeper of the day. Joe Holland has a limit for about 13 pounds and just upgraded twice in about 2 minutes. 


8:48 Gussy

Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson has two in the livewell. 


Carl Jocumsen

Carl Jocumsen

8:35 Jocumsen limits

Carl Jocumsen just limited out with a good fish. He thinks he’s got 13+ in the box. 


Chris Neau

8:25 Neau again, Cortiana, Birge

Chris Neau just landed another 3-pounder. He’s got it rolling this morning for sure. Kyle Cortiana has one in the box, and he’s missing fish left and right flipping in the grass. Zack Birge has one keeper in the boat. 


Rob Kilby

8:15 A bunch of updates

Cody Bird has two for about 5 pounds and says he lost a big one. Bryan Thrift just landed his second, which is about a 2-pounder. Chris Neau has landed two big ones to start. Rob Kilby has two, one real big one, and he and Cory Johnston have already had one argument to start the day. 


Bryan Thrift

7:55 Thrift has one

Angler of the Year leader Bryan Thrift has one keeper in the boat. It’s got to feel nice to get on the board early – he’s been a ball of nerves this week with the title on the line. 


Joseph Webster

7:50 Jocumsen, Webster

Carl Jocumsen is on the board with three keepers, no word on size. Joseph Webster just put his first in the boat on a frog.  


David Dudley

7:40 Dudley with a keeper

No word on if he has others, but David Dudley now has at least one keeper in the boat. 


7:30 Belmont is busy

We’ve got abut 15 boats counted out in Belmont now. Chief among them is David Dudley, who boasts a pretty stellar record on the Potomac. 


Clayton Batts

Clayton Batts

7:22 Looking eyes emoji

Clayton Batts’ third fish is a 4-pounder. It just absolutely demolished his frog. 


7:18 Big Mac and Batts

Fishing down by Aquia, Clayton Batts is frogging and has two keepers aboard. Nearby, Brandon “Big Mac” McMillan is flipping along with no results yet.  


7:05 Piscataway

Josh Douglas, Braxton Setzer and seven other pros (unidentified at this time) have started out the day in Piscataway. Folks usually crowd into the most productive areas on the Potomac, at least for a little while, so that kind of starting pressure is far from unexpected. Heck, there are probably 20 boats in Belmont Bay now. 


Dylan Hays

Shin Fukae

Brandon Cobb

6:45 It’s a beauty of a day on the Potomac

Unlike most days of the FLW Tour season, day one of the FLW Tour presented by Costa Sunglasses on the Potomac River looks to be lovely. It’s warm and summery already, and though humid, the temperature is only supposed to climb into the low 80s. The only downside of the day is the tide, instead of the preferred low or outgoing tide, anglers will face off against an incoming tide for most of the day. Otherwise, the river should be in good shape to dish out some impressive weights this week.

All spring the Potomac has fished spectacularly well. Many anglers in practice reported that the fishing was a little slower than expected, but that the size was still very much there. Sometimes derbies on the Potomac turn into catch-fests, with tons of keepers flipped over the side each day, this time, the numbers might be a little lower, but the weights should be quite a bit better. Bryan Schmitt predicted that it would take 80 pounds to win this week, and based on the weather, that prediction is still on track. Averaging 20 pounds on the Potomac is pretty unheard of – if someone actually breaks 80 it will be a great testament to the health of the fishery.

The grass is in good shape this year, but it isn’t matted out everywhere. We’ll definitely see plenty of swim jigs and vibrating jigs at work, but frogs, flipping, and finesse presentations like drop-shot rigs and weightless Senkos should play as well. Crankbaits, swimbaits, topwaters and some other moving baits might factor in as well, but nothing too out of the ordinary is expected on the technique side this week. How to catch bass out of northern grass is pretty well established at this point. We might see some interesting tweaks, but when it boils down to it, there’s only so much you can do in 3-foot deep milfoil.

Though the grass is the main player, there are obviously some hard cover options as well. Between docks, rip rap and the like, pros have multiple deals to choose from. In 2015, docks propelled Clark Wendlandt and Andy Morgan to first and second, but that’s not usually how it goes on the Potomac. Nevertheless, even if most of the checks come from the grass, it doesn’t mean the hard stuff is to be ignored.



Temperature at takeoff: 67 degrees

Forecast high: 81 degrees

Sky: partly cloudy

Precipitation: 10 percent chance of rain

Wind: SSE at 8 mph

Tide (at Mattawoman): Low at 5:36 a.m., high at 12:15 p.m., low at 6:12 p.m.


Tournament details

Format: All pros and co-anglers will compete for two days. The co-angler champion will be crowned on day two, and the field will be cut to the top 20 pros on day three and the top 10 pros on day four. The winners will be determined by total cumulative weight.

Takeoff Time: 6:30 a.m. ET

Takeoff Location: Smallwood State Park, 2750 Sweden Point Rd., Marbury, Md., 20658

Weigh-In Time: 3 p.m. ET on days one and two; 4 p.m. ET on days three and four

Weigh-In Location: Smallwood State Park all days

FLW Live: Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. ET to 12:30 p.m. ET

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