Rose and Catt both break 20 on Day 1 at the Potomac - Major League Fishing

Rose and Catt both break 20 on Day 1 at the Potomac

Image for Rose and Catt both break 20 on Day 1 at the Potomac
Todd Rose sacked up 20 pounds on Day 1. Photo by Cobi Pellerito. Angler: Todd Rose.
June 5, 2024 • Jody White • Toyota Series

MARBURY, Md. – Day 1 of the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats Northern Division event on the Potomac River went very well on the weight side of things, though weather during weigh-in was less than ideal. Still, despite a torrential downpour through a lot of the afternoon, the pros and Strike King co-anglers loaded down the scale. In the lead, Todd Rose sacked up 20 pounds, 2 ounces, and Michael Catt sits in second, just an ounce behind him. Tidal legend Bryan Schmitt is 10th with 16-12, and 14 pounds goes all the way down to 50th.

On the Strike King co-angler side, Roland Gittings of Perryville, Maryland, leads the way with 17 pounds.

Though the leaders are not fishing similarly, they’re both pretty stoked. For his part, this is the first Toyota Series-level event Rose has ever fished. For Catt, a longtime co-angler, this is the best he’s ever started from the front of the boat. So, if you’re looking for some enthusiasm at the top of the leaderboard, you’ve found it.

Rose rides the tide  

Hailing from Stafford Springs, Connecticut, Rose has fished the Potomac a few times before, but not enough to be a pre-tournament favorite or anything like that. Still, after practice, he didn’t hate his chances.

“I had an inkling, I had a pretty good practice,” he said. “I found some fish on weed flats, I caught some big fish in practice, so I had a good feeling. But, when it comes together, that’s golden. I was really happy, things just worked out – it doesn’t always work that way.”

Fishing grass flats, Rose really got going as the tide moved out.

“Tide is always a thing,” he said. “The first area I went to on high tide, they were there. I had five fish by 9:30, and most of them came in that spot. My best bite came halfway in outgoing, on the weed flats – they started biting. You’ve just got to be patient and understand they’re there and they’re going to start biting. The last two hours of the outgoing and the first hour of the incoming, for me that was the key,”

For Rose, today was basically the perfect start to a tournament saga that promises to be a lot of fun.

“I’m in healthcare, I’m going to retire next year,” he said. “I love to fish. I’ve been bass fishing for the last 30 years. This is the biggest tournament I’ve ever been in, my first big tournament. To do a big trail for a couple years is on my bucket list – I just love to fish, and the competition adds to it.”

Creek bite puts Catt in contention

Michael Catt had a great start to the event. Photo by Cobi Pellerito.

Catt has fished 49 events with MLF, and most of them have been as a co-angler. The Jacksonville, Florida, angler is no stranger to the front deck, especially recently, but this one could turn out to be special.

“It pays to fish as a co-angler for many years, because you learn things from boaters,” Catt said. “Years ago, fishing as a co-angler, I drew a guy that took me almost an hour south, and I had the biggest bag of the tournament that day. He told me, ‘You can have all this, just never tell nobody.’ When I come here, I go check that first, and it was loaded.”

Today, Catt started in the main river, and then headed into the creeks — well, one particular stretch of a creek — and went to work.

“It’s a tide thing. I waited for the outgoing tide to start, and then I fished some bends and laydowns and stuff,” he said. “It’s about a 200-yard stretch, and it’s just loaded with fish. I don’t know how else to explain it. They’re still there; everything I weighed-in today, I had by 11:48 this morning, and I left it.”

Doing his damage on the outgoing tide flipping and pitching Bruiser Baits plastics, Catt is looking forward to the days ahead.

“I left them biting,” he said. “I don’t want to jump the gun, but I’m hoping I can do it again tomorrow.”

Top 10 pros

1. Todd Rose – 20 – 2 (5)        
2. Michael Catt – 20 – 1 (5)  
3. Tommy Dickerson – 19 – 4 (5)       
4. Spike Stoker – 18 – 7 (5)   
5. Rick Anderson – 18 – 4 (5)               
6. Flint Davis – 17 – 14 (5)        
7. Reece Tremaglio – 17 – 7 (5)          
8. Mikey Keyso – 17 – 3 (5)   
9. Steve Lopez – 17 – 0 (5)    
10. Bryan Schmitt – 16 – 12 (5)

Complete results