Bryan Schmitt Leads Stren on Potomac

Category: press release

 Oct 17th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:00 AM

MARBURY, Md. – Despite higher numbers of fish caught and total weights, Stren Northern Division boaters and co-anglers reported a tougher bite on the Potomac. Of course, that’s to be expected when the weather

A cold front that promises a 20-degree temperature drop made its way toward the Potomac region and pushed clouds, wind and light rain over the river by early afternoon. Add to this the deck-shuffling variables of a tidal fishery and things can get sideways in a hurry.

Day one leader Bruce Neal of Manheim, Pa. fell one fish shy of a tournament limit, but he said he had no A strong topwater bite continued on day two and a variety of frog baits accounted for much of the action.second thoughts about his decisions. “I’m happy with the way I fished – I just didn’t get bit. Everybody thought they would bite (better) today, but they didn’t bite that well for me. I didn’t see any activity – no minnows flipping, no birds working.”

Deale, Md. pro Bryan Schmitt bucked the popular tactic of working frogs across grass beds and opted to stick with his ¾-ounce blue/black jig all day. There’s no question that frogging enables anglers to cover lots of water to find productive areas, but it’s Schmitt’s opinion that a well-planned flipping assault can balance out the inherent downfall of topwater presentations.

Pro leaderBryan Schmitt gets a bucket of water on his fish after weighing his catch.”You miss a lot of fish when you’re frogging,” he said. “It’s good when it’s good, but I just stick with flipping.”

Schmitt said he made a long run south to get away from the tournament crowd. His better action can on opposite ends of the day. “The first 20 minutes and probably the last 30 minutes were best. That’s the way it has been (this week).”

Looking ahead to the cooler weather that will arrive for day three, Schmitt said he has an unspoken strategy that may fit the changing conditions. “That’s what I’m looking forward to. My backup plan, I hope, will pull me through. I don’t know about the first day of cold weather, but by the second day, they should bunch up then.”

Hoskings hops into second

Mike Hoskings of Alexandria, Va. threw frogs again and rose one spot to second with a limit catch that weighed 15-1. That effort pushed his total to 34-3. Certainly a solid showing, but coming off his day one catch of 19-2, Hoskings was a little disappointed.

“I ran the same areas I did yesterday – I just didn’t get the big bites today,” he said. “I caught good Throwing frogs all day, Virginia pro Mike Hoskings placed second with 34-3.quality fish – I just couldn’t get a big bite.”

For Hoskings, catching bass in the vast acreage of Potomac River grass is a game of hide-and-seek that’s won with an active approach in which eliminating water is as important as discovering hot spots. Frogging has proven to be one of the most effective tactics for achieving this objective.

“With all of the (habitat) here, I think it’s just really efficient to be able to cover water,” he said. “If you’re flipping, you’re limited in the area that you’re covering. With the size of these grass beds, you can just cover so much more area with the frog.”

Another good limit advanced Darrell Stevens two spots to third in the pro standings.Pointing out that not all of the grass holds big bass potential, Hoskings said learning to recognize the positive attributes can make the difference in fishing and catching.

“It’s the quality of the water and the quality of the grass,” he said. “If there’s baitfish in there flipping around and the grass looks good, that’s where you want to fish. But if you pull up on a grass bed and there’s nothing going on and the grass is brown and it just doesn’t look good, you need to leave.”

Darrell Stevens of Roseland, Va. placed fifth on day one with 18 pounds, 7 ounces. Today, he added Thomas Wooten of Huddleston, Va. moved up six places to fifth on day two.13-14 and moved up to third with 32-5.

Thomas Wooten of Huddleston, Va. weighed 17 pounds, 6 ounces and moved up six spots with a fourth place total of 32-5. Rockville, Va. pro Chad Hicks made a big jump from 20th to fifth with his 30-pound, 9-ounce total. Hicks’ 7-pound, 3-ounce bass was the day’s biggest.

Best of the rest

With a limit that included Big Bass honors, Virginia pro Chad Hicks made a big move from 20th place to fifth on day two.Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the Stren Series Potomac River event:

6th: Mike Balon of Clewiston, Fla., 30-9
7th: Chris Dillow of Waynesboro, Va., 30-7
8th: Howard Hammonds of Portersville, Pa., 30-4
9th: Bruce Neal of Manheim, P., 29-6
10th: Rick Tilley of Moneta, Va., 28-9

Baciuska bests co-angler competition, again

Afton, N.Y. co-angler Lynn Baciuska Jr. added 10 pounds, 10 ounces to the 17-11 he weighed on day Flipping a Packer Craw into shallow weed beds gave co-angler Lynn Baciuska enough weight to retain the top spot.one for a 28-5 total that kept him in the top spot of the co-angler division. As with day one, Baciuska threw a dark colored Spro frog and flipped a Texas-rigged Lake Fork Packer Craw.

“I caught more with the Packer Craw today than with the craw,” Baciuska said. “The frog bite wasn’t hot for me until later today. I caught a couple on the frog in the last half hour.”

A late day flurry for co-angler Joe Klepacz included this 6-pound, 3-ounce largemouth that won the Big Bass award.Mickey Pettry of Manassas, Va. placed second with 26 pounds, 13 ounces followed by David Benoit of Brattleboro, Vt. in third, also with 26-13. Lew Jenkins of Waldorf, Md. placed fourth with 26-12 and Joseph Klepacz of Odenton, Md. was fifth with 25-0.

Notably, Klepecz said he did not catch a fish until 3 p.m., but the next hour delivered five keepers, including the 6-pound, 3-ouncer that won Big Bass honors.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the FLW Series Columbia River event:

6th: Valerie Timofeev of E. Stroudsburg, Pa., 23-13
7th: Robert Clark of Woodbridge, Va., 23-7
8th: Josh Querrey of Summersville, W.V., 22-14
9th: Gary Guilliams of Troutville, Va., 22-11
10th: John Woodroof of Lynchburg, Va., 22-2

Day three of Stren Series action on the Potomac River continues at Friday’s takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:30 a.m. (EST) at Smallwood State Park located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, Md.

More like this