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Potomac River FLW Tour Major

Jay Yelas Competition Wrapup
Friday, May 18, 2012

FLW Outdoors/Brett Carlson
Photo: FLW Outdoors/Brett Carlson

> Day 1: 5, 12-03
> Day 2: 5, 13-05
> Total = 10, 25-08 (90th place)

I had a frustrating tournament. One of the toughest things about the Potomac is you catch lots of fish and the weights are so tight. I've finished 90th in other tournaments where I didn't have a clue how to get a bite, but here I was 90th and 5 pounds from the cut. As far as the (AOY) points, this kind of hurts.

I didn't lose any big ones or anything, I just never had a big bite. I watched big ones get caught all around me. I fished main-lake grass beds that were community holes, but I couldn't get them going.

I flipped the Berkley Havoc Pit Boss and I caught a few on crankbaits and swimming a Berkley jig. I just couldn't get the big ones to bite.

The upside of missing the cut is I get to go watch the Washington Nationals play tomorrow night. They've got an exciting young team.

Luke Clausen Competition Wrapup
Friday, May 18, 2012

FLW Outdoors/Brett Carlson
Photo: FLW Outdoors/Brett Carlson

> Day 1: 5, 17-05
> Day 2: 5, 12-15
> Total = 10, 30-04 (30th place)

I only caught six keepers all day (on day 2), and a big part of that was I really relied on an area that was dependent on the incoming tide, and we had the outgoing all day. At 1:00 I only had two fish and as far south as I was, I might've gotten the last 20 minutes on the right tide, but I didn't have the guts to sit there and wait for it. In the last hour I ran to some places where I knew I could catch some fish to make sure I saved as many (AOY) points as possible.

I fished a grassy bay that's kind of a community hole, but when the conditions are right you can catch some big fish. It was a lot better (on day 1) with the incoming tide. Andy Morgan was down there too and yesterday we caught 20 or 30 apiece, but today we only got one each. I finally had to hit the abort button because it wasn't happening.

I caught most of my fish on the Z-Man Flappin' CrawZ, which was the same bait I won on last year. I was flipping and pitching that and throwing a prototype worm. I tried swimming a jig and throwing a ChatterBait. A lot of fish were caught on a ChatterBait, but I wasn't able to get it dialed in.

Jay Yelas - Practice Wrapup
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My final conclusion is that it might be a little tougher than it was last year and I'm scaling back my predictions by about a pound for what it's going to take on the top end. It's fishing smaller than last year and we don't have the best tide sequence, and it's typical of so many places in our nation that it's a great fishery that just gets unbelievable amounts of local pressure.

I think it'll take in the upper teens every day to win and 12 pounds a day to make the Top 50. We're going to have some major crowding issues, and that'll spread the big bites out among the competitors.

There's about a 1-hour window each day when you can get a big bite, and if you're in the right spot you can catch 20 pounds. Otherwise, you can catch 2 1/2-pounders all day long.

It's been the tail end of the incoming tide where I've gotten the best bites and we won't get that tomorrow all day long. You might have that Saturday and Sunday first thing in the morning, but in practice it's been happening at 3 (o'clock) or 4 in the afternoon and the tournament day is over by then.

Luke Clausen - Practice Wrapup
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I haven't found anything real spectacular. I know I'm going to be fishing around people and it's going to come down to whoever can get that 4-pound bite during the day. I can't say that I feel like I have a good shot to win with what I've found, so I'll have to wait and see if that transpires tomorrow, whether it's a bait or an area or whatever it is.

I'll have 18 rods rigged up and I'll try to maximize my efficiency in my areas. The key will be getting into the right area with the right bait at the right time. I don't see anybody having anyplace to themselves unless it's a long ways away or its really obscure.

On a scale of 10, I'd say my confidence is about a 6. I'm optimistic I can figure out something tomorrow it's happened that way before. I'll have a better idea after tomorrow whether I have a chance or whether I'm just fishing for a check and some points.

Jay Yelas - Mid-Practice Report
Monday, May 14, 2012

FLW  Outdoors/Gary Mortenson
Photo: FLW Outdoors/Gary Mortenson

It looks like the typical Potomac fishing's good and there's lots of bass in the river. I'm not seeing the really giant weights that we've heard about guys catching here recently it was taking from the mid- to the upper-20s to win some of the team tournaments.

To me, the fish seem to be in a late-spawn to post-spawn mode. The big weights were coming during the pre-spawn and there's not too much of that right now. Weights will probably be comparable to last year. The target will be the upper teens every day, and if you can hit 20 on a day or two you'll be doing great. Whoever wins should have 75 pounds or maybe close to 80.

It's been tough to get good bites you go through a lot of fish for every good one and the playing field has changed some with a lot of the grass being gone. Some areas here seem to have the grass perennially, and in others it comes and goes, so it'll fish a little differently in that way. One of the creeks where three of the Top 4 fished last year, there's no grass in there, so that'll change things around a little bit.

Last year it took about 12 1/2 pounds a day to get a check and it should be very similar to that again. The same patterns and techniques that worked last year should work again.

There's a lot of communal fishing on the Potomac and that makes your decisions about where to go extremely important whether you're going to camp somewhere or try to run a pattern with the tides. Those are some of the things guys will be thinking about going into this.

Luke Clausen - Mid-Practice Report
Monday, May 14, 2012

FLW Outdoors/Brett Carlson
Photo: FLW Outdoors/Brett Carlson

There's not as much grass, but there's still a lot of fish. I haven't found the quality that I'd like to see last year I had a place with some big ones and this year I've got places with fish, but not really the numbers of big fish.

The stage is probably similar to what it was last year maybe half and half (pre- and post-spawners) or it might be a little further along than that. With the water dirty, there aren't that many places they can spawn without the grass. I haven't caught any that were actively spawning, but I'm sure it's going on.

It's really the same old Potomac. In the spring they had some tournaments with a lot higher weights, but I don't see that happening this time. There's a few places with grass and some opportunities for guys to fish shallow, more so at high tide. Like always, it'll be a mixture of guys fishing hard cover and grass.

It'll be interesting to see what happens if the wind lays down a little a lot of the water is not clear. We could see some places change quite a bit over the next couple days.

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