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Potomac Comeback
David A Brown, FLW press release
20.Jun.2013 by David A. Brown
MARBURY, Md. –Tuesday's weather system brought drenching rains and a sharp temperature drop the Potomac River, but EverStart Series Northern Division anglers should find increasing opportunity as stabilizing conditions allow the local bass to shake off Wednesday's moodiness.

As the field took off from Smallwood State Park, a warming sunrise cast a gilded glimmer across Mattawoman Creek with its waters laid still by winds that will remain light all day.

"I had been reading as high as 84 degrees in Mattawoman (before the cold snap) and it was down to 78 (on Wednesday)," said Maine pro Troy Garrison, who's new boat wrap bears 26 angels to honor those lost in last year's Sandy Hook shooting. "I think the fish are going to be ready to bite today."

Also helpful is the Potomac's tidal nature. Most EverStart anglers will be fishing far from Chesapeake Bay at the mouth, but Atlantic tides still influence the river with daily fluctuations that help moderate temperatures and stimulate fish with current flow that facilitates feeding.

Day one starts with an outgoing tide, which bottoms around 11:30 in the Mattawoman area. Locally, high tide peaks around 4:50 p.m., so anglers will have incoming water during the second half of their day. For Pennsylvania pro Joe Thompson, the game plan will be opportunistic fishing.

"I think you have to take what the river's going to give you right now," he said. "There are a lot of postspawn fish and there are a lot of fish that have already recovered and are moving up and feeding. You'll go to a bunch of places in the river and it's nothing but small fish and then you'll roll into an area where it's nothing but big fish.

"It's just going to be hit or miss. You have to run the water, run the tides and take what it gives you."

Versatility, Thompson said, will be the key to Potomac success this week. His bait selection will include spinnerbaits, frogs and Senkos. Although he points out the benefit of "working the tides" by starting south and moving progressively along the flow to stay with a preferred tide stage, Thompson said he can work with incoming or outgoing water.

"It really doesn't matter as long as that tide is moving, you're going to catch fish," he said.

After locating good fish in practice, Rick Nitkiewicz of Pittsburgh, Penn. said he'll target weed beds in Mattawoman with expectations of catching a 16- to 19-pound stringer. He'll flip and pitch soft plastics and fish a 3/8-ounce Rock Hard Tackle swim jig with a white/blur prism trailer around the edges of vegetation. Nitkiewicz said he prefers a low, outgoing tide.

"It pulls all the baitfish out from the coves and (vegetation) and when they cluster up, that's when the bass start feeding on them," he said.

Chris Dillow, who won the 2008 EverStart Potomac event as a pro and topped last year's FLW Tour Major event as a co-angler will fish his Dillow's Perfect jig today. He'll use a Strike King Rage Craw trailer and mostly pitch the homemade bait around wood and other hard cover. Dillow said he'll go with a 3/8-ounce jig for shallow spots and upsize to a ½-ounce in deeper water.


Anglers will take off from Smallwood State Park located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, Md., at 6 a.m. each day. Weigh-in will be held at the takeoff location on Thursday and Friday beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 40 Drury Drive in La Plata, Md., beginning at 3 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 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, which allows them to fish the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.

For complete details and updated information visit For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the EverStart Series on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Thursday’s conditions:

Sunrise: 5:44 a.m.

Temperature at takeoff: 60 degrees

Expected high temperature: 79 degrees

Water Temperature: 78-80 degrees

Wind: SE 5 mph

Humidity: 55 percent

Day’s outlook: Partly sunny