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Reed wins co-angler title, $5,000

LA PLATA, Md. (July 21, 2007) – Spiderwire pro Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., caught a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win the $275,225 Stren Series Northern Division tournament presented by Evinrude on the Potomac River with a four-day total of 20 bass weighing 65-14. For his victory, Lane earned $25,000 cash and a $40,000 519VX Ranger boat powered by Yamaha.

“I love fishing the Potomac River,” said Lane, who finally captured his first win that has eluded him since joining FLW Outdoors in 2002. “I am so excited to finally win one. This means the world to me.”

“I had a lot of great spots that I went to everyday to catch my fish. I used a Berkley Chigger Craw all week to catch my limit. I tried to find the most grass I could to fish in. The more grass the better.”

Lane stayed close to the marina all week and fished near the ramp in the afternoon’s to finish out his quality sized sacks of Potomac River bass.

Lane opened the tournament in 12th place Wednesday with five bass weighing 15-11. On Thursday he added another five bass weighing 23-3 capture his lead. He then caught five bass weighing 17-13 on Friday to make the crucial top 10 cut in first place.

Rounding out the top five pros are Ryan Park of Mount Joy, Pa. (20 bass, 60-1, $8,917); Jess Caraballo of Danbury, Conn. (20 bass, 57-14, $8,026 plus $5,000 Ranger bonus); Nick Gainey of Charleston, S.C. (20 bass, 54-15, $7,134); and James Kemper of Frankfort, Ky. (20 bass, 54-1, $6,242).

Overall there were 46 bass weighing 97 pounds, 14 ounces caught by 10 pros Saturday. The catch included 8 five-bass limits.

Charlie Reed Jr. of Hayes, Va., won the Co-angler Division with a four-day total of 18 bass weighing 37-14.

“This was a great tournament,” said Reed, who has seven top-10 finishes with FLW Outdoors. “This was truly a great learning experience. The FLW Outdoors staff was incredible on Thursday when the weather got bad and I want to thank them for everything they do.”

Reed caught his bass flipping mats in and around grass to get his limits.

Reed caught five bass weighing 12-10 Wednesday while fishing with pro Timothy Costa of Red Oak, Texas, to open the tournament in fifth place. He then caught five bass weighing 11-3 Thursday while fishing with pro Ott Defoe of Knoxville, Tenn. On Friday he added five more bass weighing 7-0 to make the top 10 cut in third place while with pro Doug Greene of Salyersville, Ky. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with a three-bass catch weighing 7-1 while fishing with pro Sparky Petersen of Laytonsville, Md.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Joshua Wagy of Dewitt, Va. (17 bass, 37-8, $3,659); Alan Hench of Lititz, Pa. (19 bass, 36-1, $2,973); Matt Greenblatt of Oldsmar, Fla. (17 bass, 34-11, $2,287); and David Williams of Fredericksburg, Va. (16 bass, 34-11, $1,830).

Overall there were 28 bass weighing 46 pounds, 14 ounces caught by 10 co-anglers Saturday. The catch included two five-bass limits.

The next Stren Series Northern Division event, hosted by Wayne County Parks, will be held Aug. 15-18 on the Detroit River in Trenton, Mich. Boats will launch from Elizabeth Park Marina in Trenton and the final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart located at 23800 Allen Rd. in Woodhaven, Mich.

After four qualifying events are complete in each of the Stren Series’ five divisions, the top 40 pros from each division will advance to the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Mobile, Ala., Nov. 8-11 for a shot at $140,000. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the championship will also earn a spot in the $2 million 2008 Forrest Wood Cup, where they will compete against top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing’s biggest prize – $1 million.

The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.


WASHINGTON (June 17, 2007) – Team Snickers pro Chris Baumgardner of Gastonia, N.C., caught a final-round total of 10 bass weighing 33 pounds, 5 ounces to win $125,000 in the $1 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River. Baumgardner topped his closest rival, David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., by more than 6 pounds to earn the win and 200 points toward qualifying for the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs, Ark., where the winner will earn as much as $1 million – the biggest award in bass fishing – Aug. 5.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Baumgardner, who boosted his career FLW Outdoors earnings to more than $423,000 with the victory. “I’ve been wanting to win one of these forever. You think you have it in you to win one, and you’re pretty sure, but you don’t really know until you win one.

“There’s 200 great fishermen out there,” Baumgardner added. “There’s nothing like winning.”

Baumgardner fished an area three to four miles south of Mattawoman Creek near Smallwood State Park and concentrated on a large flat that consisted of milfoil mats. He targeted bass with the lure he’d thrown in previous days of competition — a Rad Lures Chatterbait. Baumgardner employed two colors of Chatterbait — a black and blue and a brown color he calls “Andy” after fellow Tour pro Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., who tied the bait’s skirt for him. He used a green-pumpkin trailer on the Chatterbaits.

“It took me 45 minutes to catch my first one,” Baumgardner said. “Then it took me a half hour and then I caught three in about five minutes. That was by 9 a.m. Then I’d go an hour without a bite, then catch two or three. They came in flurries, and I ended up catching 10 or 11 keepers.”

Baumgardner said he remained calm the last two days of competition, despite being so close to his first FLW Tour victory.

“I get nervous the first two days,” Baumgardner said. “That’s when you can really bomb really bad. Once you make the top 10, all you’re trying to do then is win.”

Baumgardner opened the tournament Thursday in 32nd place with five bass weighing 15-6. He jumped to seventh place Friday with a five-bass catch weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces to advance into the final round of 10 pros with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 34 pounds. On Saturday, weights were cleared, and Baumgardner caught five bass weighing 16-7 to advance to the final day of competition in first place. Baumgardner added another five bass weighing 16-14 to his final-round total Sunday.

Dudley caught a final-round total of 10 bass weighing 26-9 to claim second place and $50,000.

“I was pretty confident coming into today,” Dudley said. “I think I made a few not-so-wise decisions as far as the times I chose to move from area to area.”

Dudley said he caught a lot of keepers Sunday, but couldn’t get the quality of fish needed to secure the win. Dudley’s bait of choice was a green-pumpkin green flake Zoom Baby Brush Hog, but he managed to catch some fish on a variety of other baits. He targeted grass and wood mid-river near Smallwood State Park.

“My timing of my moves was not right,” Dudley said. “I still caught fish, but when I made my move, I was 30 minutes off. I was close, but no cigar.

“As far as my fishing mechanics, I did OK,” Dudley added. “I have no regrets there.”

With his second-place finish, Dudley surpassed Denny Brauer to claim the fourth spot on the all-time leading money winner’s list with a career winnings total of $2,370,410.

“I hate to lose,” Dudley said. “I don’t know what else to say. If I don’t win, in my opinion, I’ve lost. I hate to lose.

“Ninety percent of (my success) is due to what FLW Outdoors has done to grow this sport to a level that I thought would take years and years to get to, but they did it in 10 years or less,” Dudley added. “I just get chill bumps thinking about it. But I won’t be satisfied until I’m No. 1.”

Rounding out the top 10 pros were Team Berkley pro Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla. (10 bass, 24-12, $40,000); Team Bounty pro Ken Wick of Star, Idaho (10 bass, 24-3, $30,000); Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Ark. (10 bass, 23-10, $20,000); Jack Wade of Knoxville, Tenn. (10 bass, 22-14, $19,000); Team A&W pro Shad Schenck of Waynetown, Ind. (10 bass, 21-7, $18,000); Jerry Williams of Conway, Ark. (10 bass, 21-2, $17,000); Team BP pro Ray Scheide of Russellville, Ark. (10 bass, 20-7, $16,000) and Sandy Melvin of Boca Grande, Fla. (nine bass, 14-5, $15,000).

Overall there were 49 bass weighing 113 pounds, 13 ounces caught in the Pro Division Sunday. The catch included nine five-bass limits.

On Saturday, Bob Blosser of Lodi, Wis., won the Co-angler Division and $25,000 with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces followed by Kevin Koone of Greenbrier, Ark., in second place with five bass weighing 10-7 worth $10,000.

Blosser opened the tournament in 19th place Thursday with five bass weighing 12-15 while fishing with pro George Jeane Jr. of Evans, La. On Friday he jumped into seventh place on the strength of a five-bass catch weighing 12-2 while fishing with Jason Reyes of Humble, Texas. He wrapped up his win while fishing with Williams.

“I just had a feeling this morning that this was going to be my day,” said Blosser, who notched his second FLW Tour top-10 finish and first victory. “The first spot we pulled up to, on about my third cast, I caught a 2 ½-pounder and I thought, ‘Cool.’”

Blosser’s winning pattern consisted of a 3/8-ounce custom swimming jig made by a friend in La Crosse, Wis., and a slow retrieve. Blosser used a black and blue jig in practice and switched to a white color to try to coax more bites.

“The white was a little better bite, so I switched to chartreuse and they just started eating it,” Blosser said. “So I called up my friend and he next-day aired me a bunch of them.”

Blosser rigged the jig with a chartreuse trailer and reeled the jig slowly across the top of grass. When the jig touched the grass, Blosser snapped the tip lightly to jump the jig off the grass.

Blosser culled his last fish of the day at 12:30 p.m. and then realized he had released his next-to-smallest fish, not his smallest fish. Despite the mistake, Blosser held on to a 3-pound, 9-ounce lead for the win.

“I’ve been doing this for six years now, and I fish the FLW Series as a pro,” Blosser said. “This is probably going to be my last go at the co-angling. I want to fish pro in either the Series or the Tour. I’m not getting any younger.”

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were Ken Keirsey of Owasso, Okla. (five bass, 9-12, $9,000); Marc Levesque of Waterbury, Conn. (five bass, 9-3, $8,000); James Dudley of Lynchburg, Va. (three bass, 7-6, $7,000); David Hudson of Jasper, Ala. (two bass, 3-7, $6,000); Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa (two bass, 2-15, $5,000); Moo Bae of West Friendship, Md. (two bass, 2-13, $4,000); Ken Murphy of Meridian, Miss. (no bass, $3,000) and Mark Spearly of Bellefonte, Pa. (no bass, $2,000).

Overall there were 29 bass weighing 59 pounds, 4 ounces caught in the Co-angler Division Saturday. The catch included four five-bass limits.


Reese a Close Second; Angler of the Year Race Tightens Up

CHARLES COUNTY, Md. – Kelly Jordon had caught a limit of small fish Sunday morning and was ready to make a run to a spot with bigger bass when he made just a few more flips.

When he landed a 4-pounder, he decided to stay. Then he caught two more big bass that gave him the heaviest limit of the day with 17 pounds, 15 ounces, and a narrow victory in the Capitol Clash presented by BUSCH Beer on the Potomac River.

The personable pro from Mineola, Texas, had a four-day total of 19 fish weighing 60 pounds, 9 ounces to claim his fourth BASS title and the $100,000 first prize. Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., was second with 18 fish weighing 60-2.

Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala., who is locked in a battle with Mike Iaconelli for the CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year title, finished third with 57-8. Iaconelli, of Runnemede, N.J., was fourth with 55-6 and now has a 45-point lead over Kennedy in the point standings going into the final CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series tournament next month on Missouri’s Table Rock Lake- The Rock presented by TheraSeed.

Day 3 leader Rick Morris of Virginia Beach, Va., who had a 2-ounce lead over Iaconelli going into the final day, slipped to fifth with 54-12.

Jordon, who was third after Day 1 and then tumbled to sixth after Day 2, began Sunday in fourth place, 6 ounces ahead of Reese, who was fifth. He started fishing in a creek with a buzzbait and had two fish miss the lure, but he followed up both times with a Senko and caught both bass.

When the topwater bite slowed, Jordon pitched to holes in the grass in the creek, but he didn’t get any bites.

“I did that until 9 o’clock,” Jordon said. “Then I said it was time to flip mats, because that’s how I was catching them all week.” The Texan, who has amassed more than $800,000 in career earnings, said the only problem was that there were no mats visible unless the tide was low. The outgoing tide was happening later and later in the day as the tournament went on.

“So I ran to where I knew there were some big mats in the main river,” Jordon said. “I planned on catching a small limit.”

Jordon had caught some small fish from those mats during practice. Flipping the thickest mats he could find in 3 to 4 feet of water using a 7-foot, 9-inch Fenwick rod, a new Abu Garcia REVO STX reel spooled with 65-pound SpiderWire, a 1-ounce Lake Fork Tackle tungsten Mega-Weight and either a Lake Fork Tackle Craw Tube or a Kicker Craw, he got a bunch of bites and quickly had a limit weighing about 7 pounds.

“Then I caught a 4-pounder,” he said. “Then another 4-pounder. Then a 5-7. I caught them all from 11 to 12 o’clock and never got another bite.”

Those fish gave Jordon the BUSCH Heavyweight Bag of the Day, but until he weighed in, he said he was sure Reese had him beat with his limit weighing 17-14.

Reese, who led after the second day and caught the majority of his fish flipping a Berkley Power Hawg around fallen trees, was done in by a tough day Saturday when he brought only three fish weighing 8-15 to the scales at Smallwood State Park.

“I had a great day today,” said Reese, who has now had finishes of second, third and fourth on the Potomac in BASS events. “I’m pleased with what I caught, but obviously I’m extremely disappointed I didn’t get a win. The reason I didn’t was yesterday. I didn’t execute. I should have had at least 15 pounds, but I had fish come undone or break off because of the barnacles. It hurts.”

Day 4 Purolator Big Bass

Kevin Short, Mayflower, Ark., 5-15

Day 4 Busch Heavyweight

Kelly Jordon, Mineola, Texas, 17-15

2006 Capitol Clash Pro 08/10-08/13

Potomac River, Charles County Md.

(PRO Division) Standings Day 4

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Kelly Jordon Mineola, Texas 19 60-09 305 $102,000.00

Day 1: 5 17-09 Day 2: 5 12-03 Day 3: 4 12-14 Day 4: 5 17-15

2. Skeet Reese Auburn, Calif. 18 60-02 300 $30,000.00

Day 1: 5 16-05 Day 2: 5 17-00 Day 3: 3 8-15 Day 4: 5 17-14

3. Steve Kennedy Auburn, Ala. 20 57-08 290 $25,000.00

Day 1: 5 15-15 Day 2: 5 13-05 Day 3: 5 13-14 Day 4: 5 14-06

4. Michael Iaconelli Runnemede, N.J. 20 55-06 285 $18,000.00

Day 1: 5 11-00 Day 2: 5 16-03 Day 3: 5 16-05 Day 4: 5 11-14

5. Rick Morris Virginia Beach, Va. 20 54-12 285 $17,000.00

Day 1: 5 13-06 Day 2: 5 13-10 Day 3: 5 16-10 Day 4: 5 11-02

6. Kevin Short Mayflower, Ark. 20 54-11 276 $17,000.00

Day 1: 5 14-05 Day 2: 5 14-11 Day 3: 5 10-05 Day 4: 5 15-06

7. Gerald Swindle Warrior, Ala. 20 54-07 272 $15,000.00

Day 1: 5 15-09 Day 2: 5 12-14 Day 3: 5 12-05 Day 4: 5 13-11

8. Mike McClelland Bella Vista, Ark. 20 52-12 268 $15,500.00

Day 1: 5 16-10 Day 2: 5 15-12 Day 3: 5 9-03 Day 4: 5


9. Stephen Browning Hot Springs, Ark. 20 52-04 264 $14,000.00

Day 1: 5 11-14 Day 2: 5 14-12 Day 3: 5 12-09 Day 4: 5 13-01

10. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, Mo. 19 50-13 260 $14,500.00 Day 1: 4 7-09 Day 2: 5 14-11 Day 3: 5 19

14 Day 4: 5 8-11

11. Jeremy Starks Charleston, W.Va. 19 48-01 257 $12,500.00

Day 1: 5 15-13 Day 2: 5 11-12 Day 3: 5 11-06 Day 4: 4 9-02

12. Greg Hackney Gonzales, La. 19 45-09 254 $12,300.00

Day 1: 5 17-06 Day 2: 5 13-03 Day 3: 5 10-06 Day 4: 4 4-10


Purolator Big Bass


1 Kelly Jordon Mineola, Texas 5-12 $1,000.00

2 Grant Goldbeck Gaithersburg, Md. 5-15 $1,000.00

3 Mike McClelland Bella Vista, Ark. 5-01 $1,000.00

4 Kevin Short Mayflower, Ark. 5-15 $1,000.00

Purolator Big Bass of Tournament

Kevin Short Mayflower, Ark. 5-15 $500.00

Grant Goldbeck Gaithersburg, Md. 5-15 $500.00

Busch Heavyweight


1 Kevin Langill Terrell, N.C. 18-01 $1,000.00

2 Frank Scalish Cleveland Heights, Ohio 17-11 $1,000.00

3 Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, Mo. 19-14 $1,000.00

4 Kelly Jordon Mineola, Texas 17-15 $1,000.00



Day #Limits #Fish Weight

1 72 443 994-15

2 74 439 966-07

3 32 214 469-14

4 10 58 148-15


188 1154 2580-03


CHARLES COUNTY, Md. - July 19, 2003 - Hometown anglers usually are at a disadvantage in CITGO Bassmaster events, but Gambrills, Md. angler Ernie Freeman was able to parlay his 20 plus years of knowledge on the Potomac River into a victory in the

Freeman's three-day total of 52 pounds, 13 ounces gave him a 4-13 margin of victory over second place Chris Daves of Spring Grove, Va. Daves, who fishes the CITGO Bassmaster Tour, ended the event with 48-0 and was followed by fellow Tour pro Rick Morris of Virginia Beach, Va., in third with 46-4. Art Ferguson of St. Clair Shores, Mich., and Cary Bever of Rhinelander, Wisc., tied for fourth with 43-4.

"I worked really hard these last two days," said Freeman who caught 21-3 in the first round of the tournament. "The first day was really easy, but since then I had to kind of buckle down and play defense more than anything.

"I originally thought about starting out flipping grass this morning, but when I saw the north wind blowing, I ran straight north and started cranking deep diving crankbaits."

Freeman used those crankbaits (Fire tiger) in the area around the Woodrow Wilson bridge to catch his 15-5 limit on Saturday. For the victory Freeman takes home a fully-rigged $35,000 bass boat and $15,000 cash.

Second place Daves recorded his highest ever finish in a CITGO Bassmaster event.

"I lost a four pounder today that cost me," Daves said. "I'm happy with what I had, anytime you catch 15 pounds per day on a tidal water you have to feel pretty good."

Wayne Hayes of Virginia Beach, Va., won the nonboater division of the competition with 37-10. Hayes also won in his only other CITGO Bassmaster event at Lake Okeechobee in January. Tom Eason of New Albany, Ind., caught 37-3 for second and Niantic, Conn., angler Ken Brodeur's 36-8 was good enough for third. Phil Paradis of Vassalboro, Maine, who led the first two days finished fifth with 35-13.

Contenders in the event were vying for a share of the $313,100 payout with $50,000 (a $35,000 fully-rigged bass boat and $15,000 cash) going to the boater winner and a fully rigged $24,000 boat going to the non-boater winner. Additionally, anglers were vying for valuable points toward qualifying for the CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship this fall and the CITGO Bassmaster Classic to be held in the summer of 2004.

2003 CITGO Bassmaster Northern Open presented by Busch Beer
Potomac River, Md.
Boater Division Standings
July 19, 2003

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Points
1 Ernest Freeman Gambrills, MD Total: 15, 52-13 175 $50,000
Day 1: 5, 21- 3 Day 2: 5, 16- 5 Day 3: 5, 15- 5 Day 4: , 0- 0
2 Chris Daves Spring Grove, VA Total: 15, 48- 0 174 $40,000
Day 1: 5, 16-11 Day 2: 5, 15- 6 Day 3: 5, 15-15 Day 4: , 0- 0
3 Rick Morris Virginia Beach, VA Total: 15, 46- 4 173 $15,000
Day 1: 5, 18- 6 Day 2: 5, 15- 2 Day 3: 5, 12-12 Day 4: , 0- 0
4 Cary Bever Rhinelander, WI Total: 15, 43- 4 172 $6,000
Day 1: 5, 17- 2 Day 2: 5, 12-13 Day 3: 5, 13- 5 Day 4: , 0- 0
4 Art Ferguson III St. Clair Shores, MI Total: 15, 43- 4 172 $7,500
Day 1: 5, 15-15 Day 2: 5, 14- 9 Day 3: 5, 12-12 Day 4: , 0- 0
6 John Crews Jetersville, VA Total: 15, 42-13 170 $7,800
Day 1: 5, 13- 0 Day 2: 5, 14-15 Day 3: 5, 14-14 Day 4: , 0- 0
7 Steven McGahan Gales Ferry, CT Total: 15, 42-10 169 $5,500
Day 1: 5, 11- 7 Day 2: 5, 14- 1 Day 3: 5, 17- 2 Day 4: , 0- 0
8 Michael Huminik Woodbridge, VA Total: 15, 42- 8 168 $5,000
Day 1: 5, 12- 3 Day 2: 5, 15- 2 Day 3: 5, 15- 3 Day 4: , 0- 0
9 Kevin Kartesz Ludlow, PA Total: 15, 42- 1 167 $4,500
Day 1: 5, 14- 1 Day 2: 5, 12- 9 Day 3: 5, 15- 7 Day 4: , 0- 0
10 Gerald Beck Lexington, NC Total: 15, 41-12 166 $4,000
Day 1: 5, 13-14 Day 2: 5, 13-13 Day 3: 5, 14- 1 Day 4: , 0- 0
11 Steve Daniel Clewiston, FL Total: 15, 41-11 165 $3,500
Day 1: 5, 15- 4 Day 2: 5, 12- 3 Day 3: 5, 14- 4 Day 4: , 0- 0
12 Mike Hicks Mineral, VA Total: 15, 41- 1 164 $3,000
Day 1: 5, 14-12 Day 2: 5, 13- 6 Day 3: 5, 12-15 Day 4: , 0- 0
13 Jeff Coble Henderson, NC Total: 15, 40-15 163 $2,450
Day 1: 5, 13- 0 Day 2: 5, 14-14 Day 3: 5, 13- 1 Day 4: , 0- 0
13 Justin McGuinness Athens, GA Total: 15, 40-15 163 $2,450
Day 1: 5, 12- 0 Day 2: 5, 14- 0 Day 3: 5, 14-15 Day 4: , 0- 0
15 Brian Wilhoit Oxon Hill, MD Total: 15, 40-11 161 $2,300
Day 1: 5, 18- 7 Day 2: 5, 12- 8 Day 3: 5, 9-12 Day 4: , 0- 0
16 Skip Sjobeck Randolph Ctr, VT Total: 15, 40-10 160 $2,200
Day 1: 5, 16- 2 Day 2: 5, 13-10 Day 3: 5, 10-14 Day 4: , 0- 0
17 Joe Thomas Milford, OH Total: 15, 40- 8 159 $2,200
Day 1: 5, 15- 9 Day 2: 5, 12- 6 Day 3: 5, 12- 9 Day 4: , 0- 0
17 Jason Houchins Stokesdale, NC Total: 15, 40- 8 159 $2,200
Day 1: 5, 12-14 Day 2: 5, 13- 4 Day 3: 5, 14- 6 Day 4: , 0- 0
19 Larry Mazur Lancaster, NY Total: 15, 40- 6 157 $2,200
Day 1: 5, 14- 4 Day 2: 5, 17-11 Day 3: 5, 8- 7 Day 4: , 0- 0
20 Ken McIntosh Pierceton, IN Total: 15, 40- 5 156 $2,200
Day 1: 5, 14- 6 Day 2: 5, 12- 2 Day 3: 5, 13-13 Day 4: , 0- 0

Bassmaster Pros Visit the Potomac for the Second Time In 2002

The leader after the first day of the 2002 Citgo BASSMASTER Tournament on the Potomac is Ken McIntosh of Pierceton, Ind. with five fish, 15 pounds. Abandoning his past Potomac River strategy of finesse light line fishing, McIntosh fished a 50 yard stretch in 10-14 feet of water with 20 pound test line tied to a 3/8 ounce Yamamoto hula grub jig.

It’s no surprise that he is leading this event as he has done well on the Potomac, coming in second just a few years ago. A veteran of 10 years on the pro circuit, McIntosh quit competitive fishing for a year and a half to spend more time with his family. “I missed the guys and now I’m here to have fun”. While he is having fun, he hopes he can hold up physically after his layoff. He also believes he has a very good chance to win this event, with a slim 2 ounce lead over Wally Szuba.

Szuba, from Cary, NC is fishing a completely different pattern, relying on a combination of spinnerbaits. The blade combinations include double willows, Colorado/Indiana, and single willow with nickel and gold blades. Szuba claimed that a white with strands of orange skirt pattern imitated yellow perch, giving him a limit of bass by 10am.

In third place is Boonesboro, MD pro Aaron Hastings, only 5 ounces out of the lead. Hastings is fishing two patterns, based on the tide. At high tide, he relied on a Mann’s Baby 1-minus thrown on 17-pound test Berkley Big Game line. The line helped keep the bait over the top of the grass. As the tide receded, he pitched plastic baits into hard cover. Hastings stayed on the move, covering a lot of water, fishing 40 spots over a 35-mile stretch.

On the amateur side of the event, Christopher Smith, Absecon, N.J., leads with 11-8 over Wayne Burchette, Draper, Va., who has 11-7.

Most of the pros admitted they were surprised by the tough time they had, as the Potomac was stingy with numbers and size. Just about every lure from top to bottom was thrown. The hot weather of recent weeks allowed the water to cool from the upper 80’s to the mid 70’s in a short period of time. The wind was a factor as the main river grass beds were muddied, making them difficult to fish. The north wind also affected the tide, not allowing the water to come back in as fast, which some anglers in the flights that returned later in the day found advantageous.


North Carolina Pro Wally Szuba has taken over first place in the Citgo BASSMASTER Potomac River Tournament. Anchored by a 6 pound 12 ounce lunker, Szuba brought a 15 pound 12 ounce limit of largemouth bass to the scales. This gives him 30 pounds, 8 ounces for the tournament and a 3-ounce lead over hard charging Curt Lytle. Szuba has fished the same area for the past two days using Dave’s Terminal Tackle and Hawg Caller 3/4-ounce spinnerbaits. Both baits have chartreuse and white skirts with a few strands of orange that Szuba claimed imitates yellow perch. Szuba cast a variety of blade combinations into holes in the grass, along grass edges and to wooded banks, depending on the tide, catching many species. He also credits fishing the Annual St. Jude Children’s Hospital Tournament (in July) for preparing him for this event. "I'm around a lot of fish, and I hope they still bite," he continued. "I love this river; it is real healthy. They have done a great job in cleaning it up."

Szuba entered the day in second place just two ounces behind Ken McIntosh. McIntosh brought in only 9-6 and fell to 10th in the standings heading into Saturday's final round.

Curt Lytle moved into second with 29-13. The Suffolk, VA pro accidentally found his hot spot. "The spot I caught the fish from yesterday is one that I literally ran into (with his outboard motor) during practice. It is a combination of wood and rock, but I'm not quite sure what it is. All I know it is loaded...and I mean loaded." He plans to anchor on that spot today in an all or nothing winner-take-all plan. Lytle has been using Berkley Power worms on Berkley Ironsilk Line. His key has been changing the size, color and shape of his baits. He has also changed weight and line size to vary his presentations. Two-time CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic qualifier Lytle's limit of 17 pounds 2 ounces, was the biggest in the event so far.

Chris Daves, Spring Grove, VA moved up from 8th with 28 pounds14 ounces to take third place. Daves is throwing dark colored Zoom worms, soaked in crawfish Jack’s Juice, into grass and wood in creeks with 2 to 5 feet of water nearby. He is fishing several areas and caught 15 keepers yesterday. Daves plans to rely on a new spot for today.

David Hall from Kunkletown, Pa. has a two-day total of 26-4 placing him in fourth and Takahiro Omori, Mineola, Texas has 25-6 to hold fifth place. Omori jumped from 32nd to fifth with 15-13 for the day.

Abescon, N.J. angler Christopher Smith continued to show the way on the amateur side with 16-14. He is followed by Vic Walker, Annapolis, Md., with 16-1 while Michael Burchett, Putaski, Va., is third with 15-12.

The field was cut to the top 50 pros and amateurs for today's final round where the first place pro will take home $50,000 and the top amateur will claim $24,000.

Day 3

David Hall of Kunkletown, Penn. proved that consistency and improvement wins tournaments. Hall kept catching fish and increasing his weight each day of the Maryland CITGO BASSMASTER Northern Open. Moving up from fourth place on Friday, Hall brought in a big limit the last day boosting his three-day total to 42 pounds, 6 ounces, and earned the $50,000 championship prize.

"I was very fortunate and blessed this week," said Hall who previously qualified for two CITGO BASSMASTERS Classics through the B.A.S.S. Federation program. "The thing that worked out best for me was not having a good practice so I wasn't locked into a particular area."
Hall ripped a 3/8-ounce Terminator tandem spinnerbait (nickel Colorado/ gold Oklahoma blade) with a

chartreuse and white skirt through the grass on Arkendale Flats. His bait was rigged with a shad-colored twin-tail grub and trailer hook. His fish came when he slowed his retrieve after coming out of the grass on the inside and outside edges with the bigger fish coming near deeper water.

First day leader, Ken McIntosh finished second, about three pounds behind Hall. This is the second second-place finish for McIntosh in a Potomac BASSMASTERS event. In fact, he was fishing the same area as his previous tournament, but this time he upgraded his line from 8-pound test to 20. He caught most of his fish under the dock at Blue Plains with a cinnamon colored Yamamoto spider grub.

Jay Boettner from Enola, Penn. earned his third place finish fishing the grass above the Wilson Bridge. Boettner claimed the bass hit his double willow spinnerbait very hard and fishing got better every day.
Chris Daves slipped to fourth place. Daves had difficulties with boat traffic, which muddied the water making it difficult for him to fish his pattern of pitching Zoom worms soaked in Crawdad flavor Jack’s Juice.

Yesterday proved tough for day 2 leader, Team Triton Pro Wally Szuba. Szuba had been catching his fish early in the day, but yesterday, he never got to fish his early morning low light spinnerbait pattern. Mechanical troubles forced him to miss the early morning bite and lose two hours of fishing, but Szuba smiled his way though and managed to hold on to fifth place. "When I got to the spot, local anglers fishing there were already culling. It is just one of those things," explained Szuba.

Team Triton/Yamaha Pro Rick Lillegard from New Hampshire won a 1995 BASSMASTERS event on the Potomac and suggested offering bigger baits to catch bigger bass. Lilligard used a Carolina rig with a 10 inch worm on a 6 and a half foot Quantum Medium heavy spinning rod to bring in the days largest catch of 17 pounds 11 ounces. Lilligard finished 7th.
New Jersey Pro Mike Iaconelli, who finished 14th said “ Changing bait styles and colors is important when fishing the same area for a while…I changed to a Mann’s Baby 4-minus to catch my fish on the last day”.

Most of the contenders praised the Potomac River fishery as a tournament venue. “The Potomac has so much to offer because it is an ever changing place. You have to work hard to do well. This is a thinking man’s fishery”, according to McIntosh.

The top local performer in this second BASSMASTERS event of the year was once again Michael Huminik of Woodbridge. Huminik moved up from 47th, finishing 28th, earning $1,500.

Eric Picarella, who was partnered with Hall on Saturday, claimed the amateur championship with a three-day total weight of 25-15.

For a lot of the pros fishing this event, this was the first time they had the opportunity to fish with amateurs in a BASSMASTERS event. Skeeter/Yamaha Pro Joe Thomas said this format gives the pro control over the boat and allows the amateur to gain valuable tournament fishing experience. “The pros can focus on fishing, and not each other and possibly even learn from their amateur partners at the same time.”

While the weights were lower than expected, the Potomac didn’t disappoint. Several fish over 5 pounds were caught, including Wally Szuba's giant 6 pound 12 ounce trophy. The fans of bass fishing got the opportunity to watch and meet some of their favorite fishermen. The pros are very receptive and very approachable. Emcee

“Fish” Fishburne added a bit of MTV to ESPN, entertaining the crowds at the daily weigh-ins. Even the amateurs were treated like stars. The kids enjoyed their Casting Kids contest and loved meeting the fishermen.



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