Potomac River set for FLW Tour regular-season finale presented by Costa Del Mar
Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media Published June 2, 2017
The seventh and final regular-season event of the 22nd season of the FLW Tour, the most competitive circuit in professional bass fishing, is coming to Marbury June 15-18 for the FLW Tour at the Potomac River presented by Costa Del Mar. Hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners, the tournament will feature 320 pros and co-anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.
The FLW Tour last visited the Potomac River in 2015, when pro Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, took top honors with a four-day cumulative weight of 60 pounds even. This year, local pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, said he expects a lot more weight to come from the tidal fishery.
"I believe the weights will be substantially higher than when the Tour visited in 2015," said Schmitt, who has 20 career top-10 finishes on the Potomac River in FLW competition. "The grass has really improved over the last two years and there's a lot food in the system for these fish. The bass haven't had to expend a lot of energy and have gotten big in a short amount of time."
Schmitt said areas like Chicamuxen Creek, Wades Bay, Aquia Creek and Nanjemoy Creek will be popular because they tend to harbor the cleanest water.
"I think a lot of competitors will work their way into shallow, protected bays and cull through a ton of fish," said Schmitt. "They'll have to try to find that 4-pounder that sets them apart from the rest of the field - they're out there."
Schmitt said an assortment of baits including soft-plastic worms, jigs, frogs, stickbaits and swimbaits will be featured in this event. The Maryland veteran predicted the winner will need as much as 80 pounds of bass over four days to secure the win, a major increase in weight from just two years ago.
"If we don't get any heavy rainfall or flooding prior to the event, I think we're going to be in for a pleasant surprise," said Schmitt. "This fishery can definitely produce 20 pound limits a day right now."
Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. EDT each day from Smallwood State Park, located at 2750 Sweden Point Road, in Marbury. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins, June 15-16, will be held at Smallwood State Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday's weigh-ins, June 17-18, will also be held at Smallwood State Park, but will begin at 4 p.m.
Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, fans are invited to come out and experience the free FLW Expo at Smallwood State Park from noon to 4 p.m. The FLW Expo is a great opportunity for fishing fans of all ages to meet-and-greet with top FLW Tour anglers, enjoy games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.
Youth are also invited to participate in the free FLW Foundation Unified Fishing Derby at Smallwood State Park, located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, on Saturday, June 17, from 9-11 a.m. The event, hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, is free and open to area youth (18 years of age and younger) and Special Olympics athletes (all ages). Rods and reels are available for the first 50 participants to use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one.
In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field competes in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concludes following Friday's weigh-in, while the top 20 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup, the world-championship of professional bass fishing. The 2017 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina, Aug. 11-13.
The total purse for the FLW Tour at the Potomac River presented by Costa Del Mar is more than $800,000, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division.
Television coverage of the FLW Tour at the Potomac River presented by Costa Del Mar will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) Sept. 20 from 12 p.m.-1 p.m. EDT. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.