Thomas Wooten of Huddleston, Virginia brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 14-06 to win the three-day Potomac River Northern Toyota Series event in Marbury, Maryland. Wooten’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 45-02 earned him the win by an 8-ounce margin over 2nd-place Aaron Dixon of Bel Alton, Maryland and garnered Wooten the top payout of $33,251 in the division's third and final tournament of 2021.
After catching 18 pounds on day 2 to rally into the Top 10, Wooten put up the best bag from the final day to claim his first Toyota Series victory.
“I love the Potomac,” said Wooten. “This win feels really good. I won a truck and a boat at a regional event here, I think in 2007, and that was one of the bigger tournaments I’ve won up here. I’ve finished Top-5 numerous times and I’ve been close. So, it feels good.
“I like the tougher tournaments on the Potomac, especially when the grass came back as good as it did this year,” continued Wooten. “I figured if I could get five bites a day flipping, I’d have a chance. I was catching 10 to 12 pounds on a swim jig, and figured I’d go punch one up. I knew if I got to the last day, there was going to be one rod on the deck and I was going to punch all day. But, they turned on with the frog yesterday, and I couldn’t leave it.”
Catching the biggest bag of the tournament on day 2 vaulted Wooten into contention, and he did it with a key change in tactics. On day 1, he tossed around a swim jig and a buzzbait in eelgrass and punched for a few other fish. On day 2, he started throwing a frog.
“I figured it out about 11:30 [on day 2],” said Wooten. “They quit biting the buzzbait, quit biting the swim jig, and I started throwing the frog. Once I started, I had about 15 blowups and culled six or seven times. It wasn’t as good on the final day, I think I leaned on them a little hard on day 2, but they were still there.”
Here are the final totals for the Top 10:
1. Thomas Wooten: 45-02
2. Aaron Dixon: 44-10
3. Nolan Gaskin: 41-14
4. Nick Hatfield: 39-04
5. Brian Latimer: 37-10
6. Robby Lefere: 37-01
7. Frank Ippoliti: 36-03
8. Jason Williams: 34-04
9. Matt Becker: 31-08
10. Danny Shanz: 27-02