Fishing & Boating News

Virginia’s Hicks Wins Costa FLW Series Northern Division Finale on Potomac River

Goochland Angler Outlasts 159 Boaters in Three-Day Tournament, Pockets $42,200

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Mike Hicks of Goochland, VA, weighed 5 bass totaling 16 lbs, 14 oz, to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the Potomac River
Photo by Brian Johnson
(Aug 26, 2017 - MARBURY, Md.)

 Boater Mike Hicks of Goochland, Virginia, weighed five bass totaling 16 pounds, 14 ounces, Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the Potomac River presented by Plano. Hick’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 48 pounds, 10 ounces, was enough to earn the win and $42,200.

“I’ve had a lot of top-10 finishes in past FLW events on the Potomac River, but never a win,” said Hicks, who earned his first career-victory as a boater in FLW Series competition. “I told my wife that I didn’t want to make the top 10 again – I wanted to win. I went out there, swung for the fences and it paid off.”

Hicks said he spent his mornings in Aquia Creek, picking apart grass beds with offshore milfoil clumps. He said he worked through a couple of community holes each day before moving on to different areas.

“I don’t normally fish community holes, but they produced a couple of good bites for me this week,” said Hicks. “The bigger fish were relating to the outermost clumps, and I weighed in three on Day One using a black Lobina Rio Rico topwater bait. I then ran to some wood and lily pads in Aquia and Potomac Creeks and filled out my limit.”

On Day Two, Hicks said he managed to catch another three keepers from the milfoil clumps on the Rio Rico, but wasn’t able to fill out a limit at his secondary areas. He said he decided to make a run to an area 25 miles north, near Pohick Bay, around 1:30 p.m. There, Hicks said he used a Team Daiwa TD Pencil topwater bait to complete his limit.

“I caught three in the back of a grass flat where the wind had blown out sediment and created a ditch,” said Hicks. “The sandy bottom was key. I think it was a good place for fish to ambush food.”

On Day Three, Hicks once again worked through his milfoil clumps, but couldn’t get anything to bite his Rio Rico.

“I noticed other anglers were catching them on swim jigs, so I picked up a 3/8-ounce bluegill-colored (Lil’ Hustler) swim jig with a Dirty Sanchez-colored (Reaction Innovations) Skinny Dipper and caught two of my biggest of the day,” said Hicks.

Hicks capitalized on his big bites and caught another three using the TD Pencil. He noted that his later catches on Day Three came from clearer water.
“When the water clears up, I think the Rio Rico is too big and makes too much noise,” said Hicks. “I’d call the TD Pencil more of a finesse-style topwater bait. I caught my last fish around 1:30 (p.m.) and that’s what I brought in.”

The top 10 pros on the Potomac River finished:
1st:          Mike Hicks, Goochland, Va., 15 bass, 48-10, $42,200
2nd:         Gregory  Wilder, Millersville, Md., 15 bass, 45-1, $16,500
3rd:          Travis Manson, Conshohocken, Pa., 15 bass, 43-1, $12,600
4th:          Bradley Staley, Pleasant Garden, N.C., 15 bass, 37-13, $10,500
5th:          Ed Casey, Whiteford, Md., 14 bass, 37-2, $9,500
6th:          Mike Blake, Carrollton, Ohio, 15 bass, 36-6, $8,250
7th:          Charlie Reed Jr., Gloucester, Va., 15 bass, 36-2, $7,200
8th:          Joseph Wood, Westport, Mass., 15 bass, 35-10, $6,200
9th:          William Kramer, Montgomery Village, Md., 15 bass, 35-7, $5,200
10th:        Jason Kervin, Auburn, Maine, 10 bass, 28-14, $4,100

Tim Dube of Nashua, New Hampshire, caught a 5-pound, 15-ounce bass Thursday – the heaviest of the tournament in the Pro Division. For his catch, Dube earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $300.

Richard Perez of Naples, Florida, won the Co-angler Division and a new Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard motor with a three-day total of 12 bass weighing 28 pounds, 3 ounces. 

The top 10 co-anglers on the Potomac River finished:
1st:          Richard Perez, Naples, Fla., 12 bass, 28-3, $27,350
2nd:         Gary McClain, Chesapeake, Va., 11 bass, 27-3, $5,300
3rd:          Randy Bassler, Westminster, Md., 11 bass, 24-4, $4,200
4th:          Michael John Barton, Endicott, N.Y., 11 bass, 24-3, $3,600
5th:          Brandt Tumberg, Moore, S.C., 10 bass, 23-14, $3,100
6th:          John Shultz, Trucksville, Pa., 11 bass, 23-13, $2,600
7th:          Rodney Michael, Eagle Springs, N.C., 11 bass, 22-0, $2,100
8th:          Cort Gardner, Jessup, Md., 11 bass, 21-10, $1,800
9th:          Terry Stevens, Sterling, Va., 10 bass, 19-8, $1,520
10th:        Tom Yi, Vienna, Va., six bass, 17-4, $1,270

Darrin Wells of Stafford, Virginia, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces that earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $200.

The Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the Potomac River presented by Plano was hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners. It was the third and final Northern Division tournament of the 2017 season. The next Costa FLW Series tournament will be a Southwestern Division tournament, held Sept. 21-23 on Lake Texoma in Denison, Texas.

The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. 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 2017 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 2-4 on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tennessee.

About FLW
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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa 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.