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Posted By The Bass Hog
Darnell scores big river victory in Maryland ATHENS, Ala. – Otis Darnell crawfished to victory during the Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Maryland Division 21 tournament, held June 22, 2013, on the Potomac River. Running out of Smallwood State Park near Marbury, Md., the 38- year-old angler from Linden, Va. caught five bass weighing 16.72 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 3.86-pound kicker. For the Boater Division victory, Darnell took home a check for $2,648. “This is a great fishery,” Darnell advised. “I consider it my home water. I put about 70 fish in the boat and missed at least that many more. I threw a soft-plastic crawfish bait.” In second for the boaters, Kermit C. Crowder of Petersburg, Va., landed a five-bass tournament limit going 16.58 pounds with a 3.76-pound kicker. Kenny Kash of Indian Head, Md., took third for the boaters with five bass going 15.57 pounds. He anchored his catch with a 3.86-pound kicker. Michael A Phillips of Clayton, Del., finished fourth with a five- bass limit for 14.83 pounds including a 4.51-pound kicker. Omari Hopkins Navies of Fort Washington, Md., rounded out the top five boaters with five bass at 14.70 pounds including a 3.12 -pound kicker. Marc Leone of Rohrersville, Md., brought in the big bass for the tournament, a 4.85-pounder. In the Co-Angler Division, Jermell Fleming, of Harrisburg, Pa., repeated as the champion. In this tournament, he caught three bass going 9.98 pounds. He sealed his victory with a 3.48-pound kicker to pocket a check for $1,324. During the April 27, 2013, tournament on the Potomac River, Fleming won with 12.87 pounds for a 4.29-pound average including a 5.39-pounder that won the division lunker title. “I fish the Potomac a lot,” Fleming said. “I’m confident when I fish on this river. It all came together for me today. I started horrible. I lost a 5-pounder on the first cast. Then, I caught a barely keeper. After that, it was game on. I caught about 20 fish, all in the 3- to 4-pound range. Taking second for the co-anglers, David “Mike” M. Page of Worthington, Pa., brought in a three-bass division limit for 9.27 pounds including a 3.78-pound kicker. He was also the highest finishing Royal Purple Royal Rewards participant co- angler in the event. As a Level 1 participant in the Royal Treatment program, Page won a gallon of Royal Purple oil and a Royal Purple hat. Todd “Lomi” Lomison of Montoursville, Pa., placed third among the co-anglers with three bass going 8.28 pounds. Steve Duri of Hardy, Va., landed in fourth place with three bass for 8.18 pounds. Phillip Elrod of Spotsylvania, Va., finished fifth with three bass at 8.14 pounds. His largest fish, a 4.28-pounder, took the Co-Angler Division big bass title. Slated for Aug. 10, 2013, the next divisional tournament will also be held on the Potomac River out of Smallwood State Park. At the end of the season, one BWS angler will win the opportunity to compete in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. For more information on this tournament, call Gary Conner, tournament manager, at 256-230-5627 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see About American Bass Anglers: The Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated competitive tour with a path the world championship of bass fishing the Bassmaster Classic. American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide 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 and the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series or the American Couples Series, visit Courtesy of American Bass Anglers/David Hagood.

Posted By The Bass Hog
22.Jun.2013 by David A. Brown Bass Hog's note: Many local anglers who I fish the Bassmaster Weekend Series with placed in the top ten finishers in the Angler's division as well as the co-Angler division. It says a lot about the competition here in the VA-DC-MD area. Congratulations to everyone involved. MARBURY, Md. – Weather presented two very different obstacles to Bryan Schmitt's quest for his third Potomac River title, but the pro from Deale, Md. brushed them aside with savvy solutions that delivered a decisive victory in the FLW EverStart Series Northern Division tournament on the Potomac River. First, let's get numbers. Schmitt, who also won the 2010 and 2011 events, took a slim day-one lead by catching a limit that weighed 18 pounds. He'd expand his margin to 5 pounds, 12 ounces on day two after sacking up 18-6. Today, Schmitt added 16-2 and blew the doors off this bus with a 52-8 total and a winning margin of 7-4. So now a little back story: An approaching cold snap brought thunderstorms and heavy rain on Bryan Schmitt stuck with his homemade jig throughout the tournament.Tuesday and a nippy little temperature drop on Wednesday. It's still June and while the weather never really turned "cold" per se, the water temperature dipped from the low 80's to the upper 70's a day before the event and that's all it takes to give those temperamental largemouth bass the pouty face. No worries, Schmitt simply shifted his focus to a new grass bed that he had located in practice. This deeper habitat, he said, offered refuge for fish displaced by the cold front. "I found this spot about two weeks ago and I just had a feeling about it," Schmitt said. "I hadn't gone to it for any other tournaments. I think the colder weather put them in this grass bed because it was outside a shallower grass bed. The weather pulled them out to mine." The second weather-related hindrance facing Schmitt actually reflected the weekend's stabilizing conditions. Lighter winds, mostly sunny skies and true summertime temperatures brought out the fleet of recreational pleasure boaters, which blanketed the river and kept the water churned with non-stop wakes. Sometimes, anglers call this "the nightmare." "There were a million jet skiers out today and with all the boat wakes, I was bouncing up and down on my spot," Schmitt chuckled. Aggressive jigging action was the key for Bryan Schmitt on day three.Again – he worried not. He simply adjusted his presentations to fit the conditions. The top pro had been fishing his homemade ½-ounce black/blue jig with a Zoom Super Chunk all week. Schmitt said he used traditional flipping and pitching tactics for days one and two, but he had to step up the show for day three's rough water. "Early in the morning, it seemed like they were biting first thing before the boats got up," he explained. "I had probably 13 pounds in the first hour but then it just died. My best tide has been in the later part of the day, but all the boats were up by then so that was the worst part of the day. Hooker hops into second Second-place pro David Hooker made an impressive comeback after placing 37th on day one. TheTrusting his popping frog led David Hooker on a course of improvement all the way to second place. Stafford, Va. pro posted weights of 12-5, 17-10 and 15-5 to finish with a tournament total of 45-4. Anglers: 1st Bryan Schmitt (local) 2nd David Hooker (local) 3rd Jason Tibbetts (local) 4th Robert Grike (local) 5th Terry Olinger (local) 6th Mike McDonald 7th Shayne Berto (local) 8th Rodney "tank" Mosely (local) 9th Gilbert Gagner 10th James Steiner Co-Anglers 1st Josh Demaury (local) 2nd Derek Brown (local) 3rd David Williams (local) 4th Lenny Baird (local) 5th Scott McRobbie (local) 6th Thomas Bavaro III(local) 7th Andy Dick (almost local) 8th Alex Antipeko 9th Billy Dehart 10th Marvin Reese (local) Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.

Posted By The Bass Hog
RICHMOND, Va. – Randy Howell presented himself with the sweetest Father’s Day gift of all, albeit a day early. He caught 15 pounds, 4 ounces of bass today to overcome a Day 1 culling error and expand his narrow Day 2 lead from 1-4 to more than 6 pounds to win the 2013 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open on Virginia’s James River. Along the way, he did his best to keep the local economy rolling. The nearby gas stations were certainly happy, as he drove his boat 40-plus miles to the top of the distant Chickahominy River tributary each day, as did many others. Once there, he caught 80 percent of his bass on a wacky rigged Yamamoto Senko soft stickworm. Unfortunately, he ran out of the lures mid-event and had to spend $100 at a local tackle store to restock. Ultimately, though, it paid off when he weighed in three consecutive limits of more than 15 pounds, totaling 47-11 and beating runner-up Mike Hicks by 6 pounds, 1 ounce. Most significantly, as long as Howell fishes the remaining two Northern Opens scheduled for this year, he will have clinched a spot in next February’s Bassmaster Classic at Lake Guntersville, in his adopted home state of Alabama. Howell also won a prize package that included cash and a Nitro Z9 powered by a Mercury 225 Pro XS outboard, packaged with a tandem axle trailer, Minn Kota Maxxum 80 trolling motor and Lowrance HDS-7 electronics. While Howell receives his mail in Alabama, this week he proved that you can go home again. He won within approximately a hundred miles of where he grew up, fishing familiar waters, in front of many members of his family. Indeed, even though the crowd for the final weigh-in at the Ashland, Va., Bass Pro Shops was large, it seemed that just about every other one of them was somehow related to the champ. He caught most of his bass close to the Walker Dam, separating the upper end of the Chickahominy River from Chickahominy Lake. “That first day, my partner was throwing a Senko wacky style and I was throwing one on a drop shot,” Howell said. “When he caught a nice one behind me, I changed to a wacky rig, and that’s when I started catching better fish. Over the next couple of days, I fine-tuned my presentation, cut my weight down, and when I caught two 5-pounders back to back, I figured out the spot had the potential to win the tournament.” This marks Howell’s first Bassmaster victory since April 2004, when he won a reduced-field Elite 50 tournament on Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas. Since then, there have been several times that he’s led after a day or two of competition, but he’s never been able to close the deal. Last year, he led an Elite Series tournament at New York’s Oneida Lake after two days, but only weighed in four fish the last day and fell to Boyd Duckett by 6 ounces. Today, he had two fish over 4 pounds early in the morning, but when the bite slowed, he trusted his instincts in a way he had not at Oneida and it paid off. “At Oneida I had a gut feeling at 12 o’clock and I talked myself out of it,” he said. “I finally went there with 45 minutes left to go and caught some fish, but it was too late. I feel like if I had gone there when I first thought about it, I’d have won. Today I felt like I had to run back to a spot within a mile or two of the ramp, so I did it, and I culled two times. In the end, I didn’t need it, but I feel good about it and hope that momentum will stay with me the rest of the year.” After Thursday’s storms and Friday’s windy conditions, today there were bluebird skies and barely a lick of wind. That shut down the fishing for many of the remaining anglers. After multiple 16-pound bags were weighed in on Friday, no one other than Howell had more than 12-9 today. Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog
Texas’ Honeycutt Wins Co-Angler Title, $25,000 GROVE, Okla. (June 9, 2013) – Rayovac pro Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., had never fished in a four-day tournament on his home waters of Grand Lake of the Cherokees. After leading the first three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour at Grand Lake presented by Castrol, all that he needed was one more solid day’s weight to claim his second FLW Tour title of the season. Christie caught a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 13 ounces Sunday to win $126,000 with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 78-1. The catch gave Christie the win by a 5-pound, 5- ounce margin over Chevy pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., who surged to his second consecutive second-place finish on the FLW Tour with a four-day total of 20 bass weighing 72-12, earning him $34,266. “This was such a special week for me,” said Christie, who earned his sixth career victory on Grand Lake in FLW competition. “The way that I was catching them, it brought back a lot of memories. I bet my co-anglers were tired of hearing all of my stories. This lake is responsible for teaching me how to fish.” Christie said that his main area that he fished this week was a 20-acre stretch in Elk River. “The main reason that I went there was because that it was an area that I had the most confidence in,” Christie said. “It was only 20 acres, but there is a lot of fishing in that 20 acres – a lot of shoreline, a lot of bushes and a lot of places for the bass to hide. “The area is on an island,” Christie continued. “When that current gets rolling and rolls around the tips of that island, it really gets the big ones going up there. It was pretty simple. I just got in the bushes and put my head down and got busy.” Christie estimated that 95 percent of the fish that he caught this week came by flipping, but said that he switched up his baits every day. He boated some key fish the first day on a black BOOYAH Poppin’ Pad Crasher. Other baits that produced for him throughout the week were a YUM F2 Wooly Bug, a BOOYAH jig and an unnamed creature bait. “I was using a 7-foot, 3-inch Falcon Rod paired with a Lew’s BB1 7.1:1 reel. It was spooled with 20-pound-test fluorocarbon line using Lazer Trokar Flippin hooks. I never missed one fish all week,” Christie said. “The pressure is off for me for the rest of the year,” Christie went on to say. “I don’t have a chance to beat these guys for Angler of the Year, and I think I’m already in the Forrest Wood Cup. So, I’m just going to go up to Chickamauga and try to win. Everyone likes to peg me as a shallow-water fisherman, but I love to fish deep. I’m looking forward to that.” Overall there were 50 bass weighing 165 pounds, 12 ounces caught by pros Sunday. All of the final 10 pros caught five-bass limits. Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, won the co-angler division and $25,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 45 pounpounds, 13 ounces, followed by Anthony Goggins of Auburn, Ala., in second place with 15 bass weighing 41 pounds, 6 ounces worth $7,343. Coverage of the Grand Lake tournament will be broadcast in high- definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs July 28 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. The Tour stop on Grand Lake presented by Castrol was hosted by the Grand Lake Association and was the fifth of six events on the Walmart FLW Tour’s 2013 season. The final Walmart FLW Tour event of the 2013 season will be held at Lake Chickamauga June 27-30 in Dayton, Tenn., and is presented by Chevy. The event will be hosted by the City of Dayton and boats will launch from the Dayton Boat Dock in Dayton. For a complete schedule, visit Courtesy of FLWOUTDOORS.COM