Potomac River PatternsSubmitted by Full Limit Outdoor Media
The Bassmaster Elite Series concluded stop number 8 in the 2016 season this past weekend on the Potomac River in Maryland. This tidal fishery has been a staple destination on the pro fishing scene due to its size and fish population. The BASS crew showed up and, as usual, showed out this year. The event was won by Justin Lucas after leading it wire-to-wire. Justin brought in a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 72-14 to take home the grand prize of $100,000.
5th Place - 59.12 lbs. – Andy Montgomery
Andy, who had an admittedly bad practice, settled into 3 distinctly different patterns throughout the event. All of which was centered around a tidal phase. He dedicated his time to the backs of creeks where he picked apart shallow, clear water.
On a low tide Montgomery had three primary techniques that worked favorably in the shallow water. He would cast a wacky-rigged 4” green pumpkin Ocho to the edges and grass clumps. He also utilized a Dream Shot on a dropshot rig, also in green pumpkin, which accounted for a crucial 4 pounder on the final day, and he would pitch and flip both an Ocho and a Shim-E-Stick paired with a 1/8 oz. Tour Grade Tungsten weight. Andy would target visible wood cover with this set up.
On high tide, the water would stand the grass back up making the clumps and holes more visible. Andy would then punch a Blue Craw colored Rage Bug behind a 1 ¼ oz. Tour Grade Tungsten weight into the matted vegetation.
This four-pronged approach carried Andy to a wonderful finish in an event where he only caught 6 fish during the entire practice period.
6th Place – 59.6 lbs. - Keith Combs
Keith “Money Combs” Combs has been on a tear this season that didn’t slow down in Maryland. His 6th place finish came on the strength of a 3 pattern rotation, that much like Andy, revolved around the tide phase. This performance also propelled Keith to second place in the AOY standings.
Keith would begin his days with a high tide in the mornings. He would spend the majority of his morning targeting active fish with a 3/8 Pure Poison in the “Bluegill” color. He would cast and retrieve it around the patchy, isolated milfoil.
Up in the day when the tide would fall out, he would switch to his second pattern, which was flipping and pitching a Blue Craw Rage Bug on a 5/16 oz. Tour Grade Tungsten weight around wood cover in the backs of creeks. The low water would basically push the majority of the fish out of the grass while exposing the logs, stumps and brush that was hidden by the high tide.
The third phase of his pattern involved pitching, flipping and punching a ¾ oz. Tour Grade Weight ahead of an Okeechobee Craw Rage Bug. The faster fall of the ¾ oz. weight would evoke reaction strikes from bass relating to the deeper vegetation that was present when the tide got high again in the afternoons.
9th Place – 54.1 lbs. – Jordan Lee
Jordan logged his fourth consecutive top 10 finish dating back to the BASSfest event on Lake Texoma in early June. His hot streak has him planted firmly in the 9th position in the AOY points race.
Jordan worked two grass patterns for the entirety of the Potomac River tournament. Those two techniques were applied solely to two different grass areas that he located in practice. Upon figuring them out, he committed to mining them the entire event for his catch.
His morning pattern centered around catching the more active high tide fish on a black KVD Sexy Frog. When the morning bite dissipated with falling tide, Lee switched to his primary pattern. He would pick up a 1 ½ oz. Tour Grade Tungsten weight and punch grass the rest of the day.
His punch rig consisted of the big weight paired with either a Blue Bug, or Blue Craw Rodent. He found one key line of Hydrilla that accounted for most of his bites, roughly 80%, throughout the event. One of the specifics of his pattern was targeting fish that weren’t on the edges, but rather 3 or 4 feet inside the grass line. The deeper hydrilla allowed enough room for fish to stay within the grass even on the low tide cycles.