Thursday, August 1, 2013

MAKBF - Final Event Recap

Preparing for the final event at Mallows Bay off the Potomac River started for me as soon as the 3rd event ended. This only involved one day of pre-fishing, but there were numerous hours reading about the area, searching Google maps, and following tidal Potomac reports on Snaggedline. This is a common thing for me to help prepare for every event that I fish in. I believe it doesn't simply prepare me for that single event but it improves my knowledge on the broad scheme of being a fisherman.

I pre-fished Thursday before the event hoping to find a pattern and locate a school of oversized Potomac Bass. The average size bass in the Potomac is about 13-15" or so and there are a lot of them. Finding the bigger fish is the most important aspect of tournament fishing the Potomac, whether on a boat or kayak. Sometimes it takes a change in your presentation, up-sizing your lure, or targeting areas where an easy meal might be. The bigger bass on the Potomac don't usually like to work to hard for their meals.

 My Dad and I fished Thursday and to say the least it was slow and not very successful for the longest time of scouting. The water was dirty and there was a 15-20mph wind that made fishing the ships tough. My dad managed 3-4 bass during the day on a white spinner and I caught one as well. Once the tide shifted and started heading out I went over to a creek spill I thought might produce. The water had cleared up and I could actually see the bass stacking up waiting for bait to come out of the creek. I could not get them to bite for over 30 minutes though. I decided to put on a Kanan Lures Aqua Relic Fatty Blazeshad swim bait and this proved to be the trick, I caught 3 quick fish and missed a few other short strikes with all 3 fish over the average slot. It also produced a small snakehead. My total for 3 bass and the snakehead bonus would have given me 50.5", so I felt comfortable I could compete on Saturday.
Kanan Lures Fatty Swim Bait

Ultimately my goal at this event was to not necessarily win the event but to make up enough ground in the Angler of the Year race to take over 1st for the series and earn an invite to the 2014 KBF Invitational.

Saturday rolled around with the temperature up only slightly from the cold front we experienced on Thursday. As soon as we all registered and 7am struck the clock I made a sprint over to my spot I caught fish on Thursday. It wasn't going to be outgoing tide until 12pm, but I made the decision the night before to spend the whole day there and work to get the fish that I know are there. The water was dirty again Saturday, so I could not site fish any of the bass. Before I knew it I had my 3 bass limit before 8:30am a decent total, but the bit shut down as soon as a bass boater came and crowded myself and CJ Espey,  Bust 'Em Baits co-owner, who had already caught a 20" fish that came in at 5lbs 7oz. Again I went with what worked a few days before, I got 2 fish on a white spinner and the 3rd, my largest, on the Kanan Lures Fatty Swim Bait.
We continued to fish, I held my spot while CJ relocated a little and was rewarded with another 5 pounder measuring 19.5". He was set. I told him as long as he caught a 3rd fish he would win the event for sure.          
CJ from Bust 'Em Baits, the big bass sponsor for the event!!

After a long day that involved no more fish other than a yellow perch and a small blue cat I was quite nervous waiting for the results to come in. Jon Snyder and Bryan Herndon were both ahead of me in the AOTY race and the last I heard that had a tough outing, but on the Potomac it can be a matter of minutes that can change your day and put up a 3 fish limit. They are both stellar fishermen and it was not going to be an easy task to make up the points against them.

After the results were tallied CJ did indeed take first with a whopping 53.5 inches and I was fortunate enough to take 2nd.

Top 5
CJ Espey
Matt Baden
Dave Adlington
Wayne Chimo
Chuck Bieller

The final results came in and I snuck out a come back victory to take 1st in the Angler of the Year Race. I was really pumped and even more excited that it was a close and competitive series through all 4 events. I was fortunate to win an entry at the 2014 KBF Invitational, AOTY Bonus Cash, and free entry to 4 MAKBF events next year.
Thank you so much to all my sponsors: Overboard Rods, Hobie Kayaks, AllTackle, AFCTO.
And I'd like to announce my newest sponsor Kanan Lures, which I super excited to be a part of their company. Their lures are the bomb and they have helped me put up some tournament quality fish during these events.
MAKBF Final Wrap-Up

Event 1 – Mattawoman Creek – Indian Head, MD

Sponsor – Doc Irv Custom Baits (

Winner – Matt Baden

Event 2 – Occoquan Reservoir – Lake Ridge, VA

Sponsor – Power Team Lures (

Winner – Bryan Herndon

Event 3 – Upper Potomac River – Point of Rocks, MD

Sponsor – Pradco Brands Fishing – (

Winner – Jon Snyder

Event 4 – Mallows Bay – Nanjemoy, MD

Sponsor Bust Em Baits (

Winner – CJ Espey

Final Angler of the Year Standings

1. Matt Baden - 27
2. Jon Snyder - 21
3. Bryan Herndon - 19
T4. Shane Clift - 16
T4. Wayne Chimielewski - 16
6. CJ Espey - 13
7. Dave Thompson - 12
8. Dave Baden - 11
9. Dave Adlington - 10
T10. Jeff Adlington - 9
T10. Alberto Tabian - 9

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