Day 3 canceled, Greico wins weather-shortened Toyota Series at the Potomac River - Major League Fishing
Day 3 canceled, Greico wins weather-shortened Toyota Series at the Potomac River
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Day 3 canceled, Greico wins weather-shortened Toyota Series at the Potomac River

Image for Day 3 canceled, Greico wins weather-shortened Toyota Series at the Potomac River
Two days of fishing worked out just fine for Christian Greico. Photo by Charles Waldorf. Angler: Christian Greico.
September 23, 2023 • Jody White • Toyota Series

MARBURY, Md. – Tropical Storm Ophelia put the kibosh on the final day of competition at the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats Northern Division event on the Potomac River. As a result, Christian Greico walked away the winner of the two-day showdown with a total of 33 pounds, 10 ounces. For the win, the Florida flipper pockets $40,345.

With the event finalized, Angler of the Year in the Northern Division Presented by Rabid Baits is as well. On the pro side, Alec Morrison and Ben McCann both finished with 707 points, but Morrison won the total weight tiebreaker. Cooper Jett finished tops on the Strike King co-angler side with 743 points.

Christian Greico was able to do what he does best at the Potomac.

Flipping key to another win for Greico

Earning the win on a dark, rainy, gusty morning, Greico got things done exactly how he likes to — flipping matted grass better than anyone else.

“It feels good, a little anticlimactic, but I’ll take a win where I can get a win,” he said. “I won a BFL on Okeechobee, caught every single fish punching. At the Harris Chain, the final day was flipping. Ultimately, all three wins have come with the big stick. It’s definitely been good to me. If there’s a flipping bite, then I’m happy.”

Flipping in the back of Mattawoman Creek, Greico caught seven fish on Day 1 and just five fish on Day 2.

“I found the fish I ended up catching the first day of practice, but I got maybe three bites,” he said. “I just figured if I went back in there and exploited the area I might come up with something. One of the fish I hooked was a 4-pounder, so I knew that the quality was there.

“There’s a lot of matted grass right now, but a lot of it tapers off, or there’s not a good canopy. The mats I was targeting had a good canopy. I think that was really key.”

While he caught one keeper on a white frog, everything else came punching a 1 ½-ounce Epic Tungsten Flipping Weight and a Googan Bandito Bug in Bama Bug. Spooling up with 65-pound braid, Greico used a 13 Fishing Concept A2 in the 8.3:1 gear ratio and a prototype 13 Fishing Muse Black rod.  

“It’s an 8-foot prototype rod that I’ve been working on with 13; hopefully, it will be out soon,” he said. “That is the rod for punching – it hooks them good and keeps them pinned up. It’s got a little bit of a lighter tip than most people are used to. In my experience that really helps with the landing ratio.”

As usual on the Potomac, Greico wasn’t fishing somewhere secret – he had company every day. However, he made the right adjustments to come away with the win.

“From what I could tell, the other guys back there were sticking with the frog,” he said. “I picked up the flipping stick, and I think I got a couple more key bites than they did.”

Top 10 pros

1. Christian Greico – 33 – 10 (10) – $40, 345

2. Ron Nelson – 32 – 7 (10) – $15,436

3. Chase Serafin – 27 – 1 (10) – $12,563       

4. Bryan Schmitt – 26 – 13 (10) – $9,636    

5. Jim Vitaro – 26 – 10 (10) – $8,673

6. Todd Langford – 26 – 5 (10) – $7,709            

7. Grae Buck – 26 – 3 (10) – $6,745

8. Connor MacDougall – 25 – 11 (10) – $5,782

9. Jacob Powroznik – 25 – 11 (10) – $4,818

10. Britt Myers – 25 – 11 (10) – $3,854

Complete results

A big Day 1 keyed the win for Stephen Hosken.

Hosken tops Strike King co-anglers

Stephen Hosken from Barrington, New Hampshire, sacked five for 15-4 on Day 1 and added a limit worth 8-10 on Day 2 to win with a 23-14 total. Beating out second-place Luke Shrader by more than 3 pounds, Hosken takes home a nice trophy and a new Phoenix boat package.

“It’s surreal, it’s one of the best experiences I ever had,” said Hosken of the win. “I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve fished the last two seasons, and it’s been a blast.”

Fishing behind Tony Dagostino on Day 1 and Robert Henderson on Day 2, Hosken limited both days. His big Day 1 bag came off hard cover.

“My pro had a small stretch of shoreline with some good structure on it,” he said. “There weren’t a lot of bites, it was a grind all day, we only had 10 bites between us. Fortunately for me, I caught them. I’m very grateful to both boaters, they were fantastic guys.

“Day 1, they all came on a 5-inch, green pumpkin Yamamoto Senko, wacky-rigged. I was dead sticking it. I think that’s why I was lucky enough to catch them, because I was working it very, very slow.”

On Day 2, Hosken mixed in a frog for three of his limit fish.

“I’d like to thank my wife, she’s my biggest supporter,” said Hosken. “And I’d like to thank both of my boaters, gracious guys, I can’t say enough about them. And Titan Tungsten, one of my sponsors.”

Top 10 Strike King co-anglers

1. Stephen Hosken – 23 – 14 (10) – $200, Phoenix boat package

2. Luke Shrader – 20 – 01 (10) – $4,986

3. Anthony Bell Jr. – 19 – 13 (10) – $3,868

4. Cooper Jett – 19 – 13 (10) – $3,385

5. Alex Bradley – 19 – 03 (9) – $2,901

6. Jacob Rice – 18 – 14 (10) – $2,418

7. Rumnea Kelly – 18 – 14 (8) – $1,934

8. Anthony Buzzeo – 18 – 13 (10) – $1,692

9. Adam Lester – 18 – 01 (9) – $1,451

10. Logan Kaplon – 17 – 14 (7) – $1,209

Complete results