Marylanders to open on Potomac River
ATHENS, Ala. – The Maryland Division 21 of the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series will open its 2014 tournament season March 29 on the Potomac River.
The competitors will launch at Smallwood State Park, located at 5700 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, Md. Anglers may begin fishing at safe light. Registration begins at 4 p.m. March 28 at Smallwood State Park. To register for this tournament, see www.americanbassanglers.com/proddetail.php?prod=858.
To enter, anglers fishing the Boater Division pay $200 with co-anglers paying $100. In addition, ABA members enjoy these other these other benefits:
- No more dual membership to fish the Weekend Bass Series.
- No more credit card processing fees for tournament entries.
- Liability insurance requirements have been reduced to an acceptable level for weekend anglers.
- Increased payback at divisional events from 20 percent of the field to 25 percent of the field.
Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass. Anglers planning to throw an Alabama rig or other multi-bait rig in Maryland waters may only use up to two hooks. Anglers may use either a Maryland or a Virginia license to fish in most of the Potomac River. However, anyone fishing north of the Interstate 95 bridge must buy a Washington, D.C. fishing license.
For a Virginia fishing license information, call 1-866-721-6911 or see www.dgif.virginia.gov/licenses. For Maryland fishing license information, call 1-855-855-3906 or see http://dnr.maryland.gov/service/fishing_license.asp. For a Washington, D.C. license, call 800-855-1000 or see http://ddoe.dc.gov/service/get-fishing-license.
In addition to cash prizes for top finishers, boater and co-angler competitors fishing this tournament and WBS events throughout the season may also win hefty bonuses from such sponsors as Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Royal Purple, MotorGuide and T-H Marine. See the manufacturer web sites for specific details on how to qualify for these bonuses.
At the end of the season, the best WBS anglers from across the nation will fish the 2014 Ray Scott Championship, slated for Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., from Nov. 15-18. The champion boater will receive $100,000 and possibly up to $50,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money. The co-angler champion will win $50,000 and possibly up to $25,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money.
As a special Ray Scott Championship bonus, the Boater Division and Co-Angler Division champions will each receive entry fees and sponsorship into the one of two professional bass fishing series of the angler’s choice. The sponsorship includes entry fees into three professional events and sponsorship support. This sponsorship will put the champion within striking distance of one of two professional bass fishing championships.
One of the best bass lakes in the nation, the Potomac River ranks Number 19 on the 2013 Bassmaster magazine list of the top 100 bass waters in the United States. The Potomac runs 383 miles from the mountains of West Virginia to Chesapeake Bay. The river drains an area of about 14,700 square miles, making it the fourth largest river on the Atlantic coast and 21st largest in the United States. The river passes between Washington D.C. and Virginia, within sight of many national monuments and historic landmarks.
The river produces good numbers of small fish and quite a few bass in the 3- to 8-pound range. Many anglers fish the thick grass mats. To fish the grass, anglers need to either go over or through the mats. Many anglers work buzzing frogs, senkos or flukes over the grass tops. If a fish blows up at a frog, but misses, immediately follow up with a more subtle Texas-rigged stick bait.
Anglers also work the grassy edges with Texas-rigged worms or punch heavy jigs through the pads. Peg or glue the weight to a plastic creature bait or use a jighead rig. Drop the baits vertically between pads and bounce them up and down a bit before slipping it through another crack in the vegetation. Anglers also flip plastics under shady docks or work swimbaits parallel to grassy edges.
During a March 23, 2013, tournament on the Potomac River, Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Md., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 19.35 pounds. He fished deep water near a small rock pile just off the main river channel with a 1/2-ounce jig. Christiana D. Bradley of Bealeton, Va., won the tournament big bass title with a 5.38-pounder.
In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Anthony Lohr of Hamstead, Md., landed a three-fish division limit going 7.83 pounds. He capped his catch with a 3.39-pounder. Lohr caught most of his fish on rattle baits and chattering baits. David A. Zimmerman of Bristol, Pa., won the Co-Angler Division lunker competition with a 4.41-pounder.
For more information on this tournament, call Gary Conner, tournament manager, at 256-230-5627 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is committed to providing low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers, the Weekend Bass Series, the American Fishing Tour or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.