Day 2 of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Potomac River was tougher for some, but not for leader Lawson Hibdon, who bested his Thursday weight and added another 17 pounds, 8 ounces to his total to bring himto 34-8 after two days. Extending his lead to more than 2 pounds, Hibdon is looking to keep on pace for a win in his rookie season, though it won’t be an easy road as some certified hammers sit in the rearview waiting to strike.
Still, Lawson has proven to be one of the most consistent pros in the field, though he says his Day 2 looks better on paper than it actually was.
“It started off a lot slower than I was hoping,” Hibdon said. “I really thought that I was going to be able to pull up to a stretch of docks and catch about 12 pounds in the first 30 minutes and I didn’t.
“It was a lot tougher day today, and it doesn’t look like it, but it was. I only caught eight or nine keepers and had about 15 bites but they were just missing it and it was a weird day.”
With years of experience on Ozark fisheries, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Hibdon has been catching fish off docks. What may come as a surprise is the fact he’s leaning on grass as well and doing a good job of it.
“It’s probably a 50-50 split,” he said of his grass and hard-cover pattern. “Some of the bigger ones I’ve caught have been around docks, rocks and basically anything that looks right. I’m just going until I see something that looks right, but about half of ‘em have been out of the grass too.”
“I’ve fished a lot of grass. We don’t have many grass lakes around home, but there are a few smaller lakes that have some good grass in ‘em, so we do that some. We love fishing that grass up north and this is altogether different, but it’s still grass. The fish still act the same and they want to be on hard edges. I don’t care for it as much as going and flipping boat docks, but I also can’t get near the bites flipping boat docks, so I’m going to have to mix grass in with it.”
Hibdon has been the Potomac sporadically over the years, but his knowledge of the fishery is still somewhat limited. Because of that, he’s been relying on a few primary creeks to focus his efforts and today, he even ran some new water with a degree of success.
“I fished a lot of new stuff today and a lot of it didn’t work, some of it did,” he said. “The biggest one I caught was out of a place that I didn’t really expect to catch one, so that was a bonus. But it was altogether tougher than I expected after having so many bites yesterday.”
While Hibdon may not be paying much attention to tides, one thing he did notice that may have attributed to his “tougher” day was the amount of dirty water that got pushed into his areas.
“I changed colors a little bit because the tide pushed some dirtier water into one of my areas so I did switch to some darker colors,” added the Missouri pro. “They still missed it a lot and I think that was due to the dirty water pushing in, so I may have to keep searching tomorrow for something else because I don’t know I can go catch 10 pounds. It’s tough.”
With a fair lead for how things are going this week on the Potomac, Hibdon plans on sticking with what got him this far when it comes to baits – especially one that has a little family history – along with the hopes to run across some more 4-pound bites.
“I’m throwing a jig a lot, a swim jig, a regular little finesse jig. It’s actually the same little jig that my grandpa (Guido Hibdon) won the Bassmaster Classic on in 1988,” Hibdon said. “And I’m throwing a ChatterBait, you know, all the typical stuff. I’ve got lucky the past couple of days and caught a couple good ones is all it amounts to.”
1. Lawson Hibdon – 34 – 08 (10)
2. Adrian Avena – 32 – 06 (10)
3. Ricky Robinson – 32 – 02 (10)
4. Zell Rowland – 31 – 15 (10)
5. Josh Bragg – 31 – 14 (10)
6. Ron Nelson – 31 – 12 (10)
7. Michael Neal – 31 – 10 (10)
8. Justin Cooper –31 – 01 (10)
9. Spencer Shuffield – 30 – 11 (10)
10. Clabion Johns – 30 – 09 (10)