College fishing headed to Potomac River
6/12/2013, 4:04 p.m.
FLW College Fishing is headed to the Potomac River on June 22 for the second of four stops in the Northern Conference. Fifty college teams, including several in Virginia, will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the Northern Conference Invitational tournament.
“The great thing about the Potomac River is that it hardly ever changes,” said Castrol pro David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., who has three top-10 finishes on the Potomac River in Walmart FLW Tour competition. “It’s been a little bit slower than it has been in the past, but it’s starting to pick up.”
Dudley said that despite recent heavy rainfalls, water levels should be normal, and he guaranteed that the tournament would be won fishing shallow, grassy areas.
“This year has been a very wet season across the United States,” Dudley said. “The good thing about a tidal fishery, though, is that it empties out quick. There was a bunch of rain here last week that brought it up a little, but the next day the tide had flushed it all out. I 100-percent guarantee that the winner is going to be fishing the grass in just a few feet of water.”
Dudley estimated that the winning team would probably bring around 18 to 20 pounds to the scales, and had some advice for college anglers who may be visiting the tidal fishery for the first time.
“If you don’t have a lot of experience on the river, don’t run all over the river trying to find bass,” the Castrol pro said. “The Potomac is such a fertile fishery; there are bass everywhere. The tournament is going to be won out of one of these four areas – Aquia, Chickamoxen or Mattawoman Creeks or Belmont Bay. Pick one and go there and never pick your trolling motor up. You just have to figure out how to catch them for that day.”
Anglers will take off from Smallwood State Park located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, Md., at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. Weigh-in will be held at the park beginning at 12:30 p.m. Takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.
The competition, which is free to enter, features registered participants, all full-time undergraduate students at a four-year college or university and members of a fishing club recognized by their college or university.
Virginia schools and students competing in the tournament include:
Christopher Newport University – Cody Griffey and Charlie Hill
Hampden-Sydney College – Braxton Elliot and Tyler Wolfe
Liberty University – Joseph Morales and Colby Bishop
Longwood University – Greg Ewing, Bristow and Matthew Morris
Radford University – Blaine Chitwood Cole Campbell, George Fleming, Tanner Blanks, Justin Witten, Philip Cox, Austin Cox and Zachary Meadows
Virginia Commonwealth University – Alexander Miller and Donnie Miller
Virginia Tech University – Dale Davis, Sean Dougherty, Jody White, Andrew Jackson, John Sanderlin, John Stables, John Woodward and Gregory Callas
Three regular-season qualifying events are held in each conference – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Texas and Western. The top 15 teams from each qualifying tournament will advance to one of five two-day FLW College Fishing Conference Invitational tournaments, where the first-place team wins $4,000 for their club. The top 10 teams from each Conference Invitational advance to the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship.