The Virginia Bass Federation MARINEBASSANGLERS BRING IT HOME ON THE POTOMAC—OOHRAH!
MarineBassAnglers Coalition Pro Robert Richards fished the Region 1 classic on the Potomac River out of Leesylvania State Park. There were approximately 38 boats all vying for the win and attempting to make the VA Bass Fall Classic on Lake Gaston 29 and 30 Oct 2011. The top 20 in the region standing will make up the team to represent the region at this event.
Tournament practice began last Thursday and Friday 6 and 7 Oct in an effort to do well enough to make it as a boater and represent the Club and the region at the state level. Richards got out on the river at daylight for both events and started to scout traditional Fall river patterns. Started in the mouths of creeks and moved toward the back in an attempt to locate bait and hopefully the bass. He noticed that the water temps started in the upper 60’s to low 70’s and that was all the indication he needed to know that the bait would not be there. Recent rains have muddied the river and for the most part most of this year. So Richards decided to concentrate his efforts South toward Aquia.
Robert then located a few pods of fish in the September region event on Arkendale Flats and went down to take a look and see if the bait and the fish were still in those same areas. He moved through the areas with search baits with only one fish to show for it. Before he left the area he tried one of his confidence baits he recently discovered through his new Coalition Pro Staff Deal with MarineBassAnglers. The Lake Fork Tackle 8” Worm paired with a Dobyns Champion Series 735C MH Rod. The fish just started inhaling the worm. They were still here. He knew then where he was going to start. This combination enabled him to land 90% of the fish he weighed in throughout the event.
Robert launched around 0700 and the brisk fall morning made for a great ride down to my spot. As we all know you are never the only one to find a wad of fish. Fortunately, for him no one was there. As the timing had to be right on tidal rivers the spot only produced one fish first thing in the morning. As the rest of the field made it down South a boat came in and as he feared he was not the only one that found the fish.
Richards did the cordial thing; he could not get the fish to go so he moved on down the grass line to find some more active fish. They fished for 30-45 min and turned around to hit the spot again as the tide was really moving out. He got up to the spot and threw the worm in the clump of grass Wham fish number one. In 15 min he had his limit and culled a couple. He then, as he always does, relinquished the front to his co-angler and within 30 min he had his limit as well. With about 11lbs in the well he left to start his milk run for a big fish. He stopped at a main river dock and culled 2 fish with a 3+ and a 4+. The moved to a close by grass line to finish the day. With less than five minutes remaining they picked up a spinnerbait and ripped it through the grass and hooked a good one. After getting it to the boat it was another solid 3+ and culled the last 13” in the well. At weigh-in he was the last of the tournament officials to weigh and the total was 14.78lbs. His big fish came in at 4.77, good enough for big fish on day one and for the event.
Day two stared much differently. He got to his spot at the same time, but the tide was already moving more than the previous day. He threw the worm in and first cast 3+ on his second cast 3+. By 0727 he had his limit and they estimated it between 13-15lbs. Again, he turned the boat over to his partner and by 0900 he had a nice limit as well. He told his partner he wanted to seal the deal. “I have not had recent success in a well known creek for this time of year.” The creek is deep, clear and full of hard cover. The picked up and moved and after 20 min on plane and 15min of idling through a no wake zone; They reached a marina and with two rods on the deck. One with a Jig and the other one with a Jig…he put his head down and went to grinding. About half way though and several missing claws, Richards got the bite he wanted. I set the hook as hard as he could the battle was on. Robert tried to move her past the pilings and she came to the surface and opened her mouth…the jig was spit back at him…devastated Richards let out some colorful words and my partner says Rob, “don’t worry she was only about 3lbs.” The fish was closer to him so he took his word and continued to put the grind in only to catch sub quality fish that would not help his cause.
On a last ditch attempt they went back to the same main river dock for a needle in a haystack. He did not get a bite. Time was up and back to weigh-in. They weighted the fish and the scales displayed 13.65lb with a big fish of 3.59. That lasted until the last 3 bags as the big fish and a 3.91 eclipsed his catch.
Final Results – Total weight 28.43lbs a 4+ lead over the field. After an up and down year he was able to use 2 hard day of practice and a nearly flawless execution to get the win. More importantly he qualified to fish the VA Bass Fall Classic and raised awareness for RHH, VO and HOW.
Robert said, “as a MarineBassAngler I am proud to represent the organization as an Active Duty Military Member as well as supporting our Non-Profit Task - Force Returning Heroes Home http://www.returningheroeshome.org , Veterans Outdoors, http://www.veteranoutdoors.com, and Heroes on the Water (HOW) http://www.heroesonthewater.com/. Along with support to the Fishing For Freedom Events throughout the country http://www.armybassanglers.com/fishingforfreedom/index.html.