(Jun 20, 2016 - MARBURY, MD.)
Casey Smith of Macedon, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division opener on the Potomac River presented by Plano with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 51 pounds, 6 ounces. For his win, Smith took home $39,208.
“I feel absolutely phenomenal right now,” said Smith, who earned the win fishing in his first-ever Costa Series event. “I’ve wanted to step up to this level of competition for a long time now. A lot of work went into getting here.
“The key for me this week was the area I concentrated on,” Smith continued. “I found a ditch in the mouth of the Aquia Creek that connected a large grass flat to a deep hole. The fish were using the ditch as a highway and I was able to snatch them out of it. On Day One, I had four bass for 13 pounds by 8:15 a.m.
“The morning bite on Day Two was strong and I had 14 pounds fairly quickly,” said Smith. “In the afternoon I culled out everything in the incoming tide. We just sat there with the Power-Poles down and smashed them for six hours.”
Smith said he caught the majority of his fish throughout the event on a Bluegill Flash-colored Keitech Swing Impact FAT Swimbait as well as a couple of key fish on a green-pumpkin and purple-colored Gambler Southern Swim Jig.
“I dragged the Keitech through the grass as slow as I could,” said Smith. “When it got hung up, I knocked it with the reel. I didn’t yank it, but I give the crank a half-turn and popped it out of the grass. The bait would fall and after a couple of full cranks, they’d bite. It was a reaction bite, but it was very slow.”
Smith said he returned to the ditch on Day Three and hit a flurry around 9:15 a.m. to seal the deal.
“My biggest fish today came on a white ChatterBait,” said Smith. “Luckily I had the ditch to myself this week. We caught a lot of fish, and there’s definitely some more big ones left there.”
The top 10 pros on the Potomac River were:
1st: Casey Smith, Macedon, N.Y., 15 bass, 51-6, $39,208
2nd: Charlie Machek, Midlothian, Va., 15 bass, 49-11, $15,481
3rd: Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., 15 bass, 48-2, $11,763
4th: Aaron Hastings, Middletown, Md., 15 bass, 47-0, $9,802
5th: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 15 bass, 45-12, $9,110
6th: Gregory Wilder, Millersville, Md., 15 bass, 45-5, $7,842
7th: Chris Baumgardner, Gastonia, N.C., 15 bass, 45-0, $6,861
8th: Joseph Wood, Westport, Mass., 15 bass, 43-8, $5,881
9th: Jeff Coble, Manson, N.C., 15 bass, 43-7, $4,901
10th: Bill Chapman, Salt Rock, W. Va., 14 bass, 37-8, $3,921
Machek and Schmitt each caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 6 ounces – the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division – that earned them each a Big Bass award of $288.
David Williams of Fredericksburg, Virginia, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower Mercury outboard motor. Williams earned his win with a three-day total catch of 15 bass weighing 44 pounds, 15 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on the Potomac River were:
1st: David Williams, Fredericksburg, Va., 15 bass, 44-15, $27,000
2nd: Michael Bahnweg, Union Dale, Pa., 15 bass, 39-12, $5,101
3rd: Eric Correll, Birdsboro, Pa., 15 bass, 37-2, $3,927
4th: Derek Brown, Charlottesville, Va., 15 bass, 36-15, $3,436
5th: Brett Holmes, Hudson, N.Y., 14 bass, 36-13, $2,945
6th: Tyler Sheppard, Hermitage, Pa., 15 bass, 36-4, $2,455
7th: John Duarte, Middle River, Md., 14 bass, 34-13, $1,964
8th: Kevin Hesson, Polk, Pa., 13 bass, 33-14, $1,718
9th: Brett Ewing, Waldorf, Md., 13 bass, 33-5, $1,473
10th: Rickey Farris, Forest, Va., 12 bass, 28-3, $1,227
Doug Jenkins of Saint Leonard, Maryland, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Thursday, a bass weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $192.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2016 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 3-5 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri.
The Costa FLW Series on the Potomac River was hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners. It was the first Northern Division tournament of 2016. The next Costa FLW Series tournament will also be a Northern Division event, held July 21-23, on 1000 Islands in Clayton, New York.]
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros