Day one of the Costa FLW Series presented by Plano on the Potomac River went better than many pros expected it would. With 10 bags over 15 pounds, the fishing was pretty decent, and the top four pros are setting a blistering pace.
Mostly, it’s typical Potomac fishing, with lots of pros bunched up in small areas. That said, there are some anglers who have managed to get away from the crowd, and it’s paying off. One complicating factor is the water color. Due to recent rains and thunderstorms in the area, the river is a little murkier than usual, combined with tons of grass, it means that the accessible water that also has good clarity is thinner than it might normally be.
In first, Gregory Wilder put 19 pounds in the boat on a Senko and a topwater and the rest of the crew are relying on similarly historic Potomac staples.
2. Jason Kervin – Auburn, Maine – 18-7 (5)
Just 9 ounces off the lead, Jason Kervin mined one stretch all day for his limit.
“It was a morning bite mostly, we had that cloud cover and some wind, and that seemed to do the job for me,” says Kervin. “There were boats all around me and they weren’t catching, but I think I was on the right strip, just a place I found in practice, and it produced.”
Kervin says he caught seven keepers on the day, and he’s pretty reliant on his key stretch for bigger bites.
“I really don’t have a lot,” says Kervin. “I have some keeper spots, but as far as big fish, that’s my juice, I’m parking on it. I told my co-angler to bring a tent and a sleeping bag this morning.”
3. Mike Hicks – Goochland, Va. – 17-14 (5)
One of many locals in the hunt, Mike Hicks already has seven top-10 finishes on the Potomac River. With such a strong start, he’d like to put himself in contention for a win this time around.
“I just stopped on a real public hole first off and spent about two hours and caught two good ones there,” says Hicks. “I fish the river a lot, so I went and started doing my thing after I got off that spot and didn’t see many other boats. I’m not fishing a lot of grass, mostly pads and wood, and I’m throwing topwater mostly.”
Like Kervin, Hicks only caught seven keepers, but they were all good ones and he seems to feel pretty good about day two.
4. Scott Wiley – Bay Minette, Ala. – 17-11 (5)
Scott Wiley finished in 12th place when the FLW Tour stopped at the Potomac back in 2015, and all signs point toward him as someone who should catch ‘em on the river. Raised in south Alabama, Wiley knows how to handle a tide and loves to chase green ones in shallow vegetation.
“I had a limit pretty early, just kinda messing around waiting on the tide to get out and put them on that outside edge,” says Wiley. “We probably caught 10 or 12 keepers apiece, that’s not a lot for here, but it’s way better than practice.”
Wiley says he mostly stayed in one area he found the final day of practice, but waited on the tide to get right to do his damage. As the tide fell, it concentrated the fish along the outside edges of his grass.
“I think the better fish aren’t all the way on the outside because the water’s dirty,” says Wiley of his pattern. “I think the better fish are a little on inside side because the water is cleaner there.”
Wiley didn’t care to say exactly how he’s catching them, but he says he doesn’t have too much company, and he seems to be pretty dialed in.
5. William Kramer – Montgomery Village, Md. – 16-9 (5)
Another Potomac local, William Kramer put together a lot of variety on day one.
“What I’m doing is a little different, it’s a good high tide pattern, but once it falls the fish stop biting in that area,” says Kramer. “As long as I have my place to myself tomorrow I feel great. I left the area specifically because it’s a three-day event and you have to manage your fish. I was in one spot until about 9:30 when I had a limit and then I left.”
The key to Kramer’s success might be what happened after he left his main spot. Running other paces, he says he caught four more fish that upgraded his initial limit.
Kramer says he caught his fish on three different baits today, but other than that, he wasn’t willing to divulge many specifics.