MARBURY, Md. – Tropical Storm Ophelia blew into the Marbury area Saturday morning, forcing the cancellation of the final day of competition at the Toyota Series event at the Potomac River. Due to the weather-shortened event, Day-2 leader Christian Greico of Tampa, Fla., took home the win with a total of 10 bass weighing 33 pounds, 10 ounces, earning him the top payout of $40,345. Greico held a 1-03margin over Michigan’s Ron Nelson, who finished second with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 32-07, good for $15,436.
Despite the unexpected win, Greico’s narrow advantage didn’t come easy on Day 2, with the Florida resident reeling in a 3-pounder in the last 10 minutes to finish the day on top.
“This win feels good, a little anticlimactic, but I’ll take a win where I can get a win,” said Greico. “On Day 2, I just tried to stay calm the whole day because I knew if I could get five fish in the boat I would have the weight I needed.”
Greico said he spent both days of competition flipping matted grass in the back of Mattawoman Creek.
“I won a BFL on Okeechobee and caught every single fish punching,” said Greico. “At the Harris Chain, I spent the final day flipping. Ultimately, all three of my wins have come with the big stick, so it’s definitely been good to me. If there’s a flipping bite, then I’m happy.”
While Greico said he caught one keeper on a white frog, every other fish was caught punching a 1 1/2-ounce Epic Tungsten Flipping Weight and a Googan Bandito Bug in Bama Bug on 65-pound braid. Greico said he fished with a 13 Fishing Concept A2 in the 8.3:1 gear ratio and a prototype 13 Fishing Muse Black rod.
“On Day 2 I was able to find the same fish I ended up catching the first day of practice, but I got maybe three bites,” said Greico. “I just figured if I went back in there and exploited the area I might come up with something. One of the fish I hooked was a 4-pounder, so I knew that the quality was there.
“There’s a lot of matted grass right now, but a lot of it tapers off, or there’s not a good canopy. The mats I was targeting had a good canopy and I think that was really key.”
Here are the totals for the Top 10:
1. Christian Greico: 33-10
2. Ron Nelson: 32-07
3. Chase Serafin: 27-01
4. Bryan Schmitt: 26-13
5. Jim Vitaro: 26-12
6. Todd Langford: 26-05
7. Grae Buck: 26-03
8. Connor MacDougall: 25-11
9. Jacob Powroznik: 25-11
10. Britt Myers: 25-11
The three regular-season events in the Toyota Series Northern Division are now complete, closing out the Northern Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race. Alec Morrison of Peru, N.Y., and Ben McCann of Bradenton, Fla, both finished with 707 points. However, Morrison won the total-weight tiebreaker and was crowned the 2023 AOY and awarded the $5,000 AOY bonus.