Potomac River EverStart kicks off - Major League Fishing

Potomac River EverStart kicks off

Image for Potomac River EverStart kicks off
EverStart Series anglers await opening-day takeoff on the Potomac River. Photo by Gary Mortenson.
Final Northern Division event of the season under way
September 6, 2012 • Gary Mortenson • Toyota Series

MARBURY, Md. – With light winds, balmy temperatures and overcast skies serving as the backdrop, EverStart Series Northern Division anglers hit the open waters of the Potomac River early Thursday morning as the opening bell sounded on the final Northern Division event of the 2012 season.

Not surprisingly, anglers will have plenty of strategic decisions to make as they probe the 405-mile historic waterway ensconced by the nation’s capital. As the fourth largest river along the Atlantic Coast and 21st largest river in the United States, the Potomac should offer anglers plenty of room to maneuver this week, although it appears that a few sections of the waterway – namely Belmont Bay, Mattawoman Creek and Aquia Creek – will likely draw the most attention.

However, grinding out a tournament title this week will be far from easy. Anglers will not only have to deal with the usual rigors of river fishing, but they will also have to successfully navigate the intricacies of a tidal fishery as well. Making a decision whether to run the tides or stay put and pick apart preferred honeyholes over the course of today’s action will be yet another choice that could make or break an angler.

The presence of isolated thunderstorms could prove to change the dynamic as well for many in the field as the National Weather Service is predicting a host of inclement weather right through the 2 p.m. hour. In short, it appears exceedingly likely that anglers will have to contend with more variables than usual this week in order to walk away with the coveted title.

Tourney format

During EverStart Series competition, pros supply the boats, fish from the front deck against other pros and control boat movement. Co-anglers fish from the back deck and compete against other co-anglers. Anglers are permitted to weigh in their best five bass each day. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points that determine angler standings. The full field competes on days one and two, with the top-10 pros and top 10 co-anglers advancing to Saturday’s final round of competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. Winners ultimately will be determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all three days.

Anglers will take off from Smallwood State Park located at 2750 Sweden Point Rd. in Marbury, Md., at 6:30 a.m. each day. Weigh-ins on Thursday and Friday will be held at Smallwood State Park beginning at 2:30 p.m. On Saturday, weigh-in will be held at the Walmart, located at 40 Drury Drive in La Plata, Md., beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on the Ouachita River in Monroe, La., Nov. 1-4.

EverStart Series action continues at today’s weigh-in, scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m. at Smallwood State Park, located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, Md.

Bass-fishing fans take note

Want to watch the weigh in live but can’t make it in person? Then tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com shortly before 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time to watch live streaming video and audio of today’s opening-round weigh in.

Vital statistics:

Sunrise: 6:43 a.m.

Temperature at takeoff: 75 degrees

Expected high temperature: 90 degrees

Wind: From the southeast at 3-7 mph

Humidity: 69 percent

Water temperature: 77-83 degrees

Day’s outlook: Partly sunny with chance of isolated showers