NORTH EAST, Md. – Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Md., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the EverStart Series Northern Division event presented by Power-Pole on the Chesapeake Bay with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 52 pounds, 4 ounces. For his victory, Schmitt earned $24,337 and a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor.
Schmitt caught the largest limit of the tournament to win his fourth FLW tournament on the Chesapeake Bay. The key to his success was finding a hidden gem in the Chesapeake Bay’s vast grass flats.
“I strictly fish grass when I come here,” said Schmitt. “I’ve always done well fishing trenches. This year I fished a whole new area that I’d never caught fish on before. I found a ¼-mile long stretch of grass that had 6 feet of water surrounded by 2 feet of water.
“I thought I knew about tidal fishing,” continued Schmitt. “I had really good success on my area with a high, incoming tide in practice. I would hit it at the end of the day with the right tide, and I’d catch my fish there. The third day, (tournament director) Ron Lappin let us go a little bit earlier, and when I got there the water was high and just starting to go out. It made an eddy on the outside edge of the grass because the current was so strong, and the fish absolutely went off for one hour. I thought it was a high, incoming spot but it was actually a high, outgoing spot.
“I had other places that would produce keepers, but I always caught my weight off that spot,” said Schmitt. “The biggest key was that it wasn’t a visible trench. You could ride by and not know it was there. The flats are such a community area that finding a spot nobody else is fishing is key.”
Schmitt said he fished a 6th Sense Core-X swimbait and a Strike King Shadalicious Swimbait on Owner Beast hooks.
The top 10 pros on the Chesapeake Bay were:
1st: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 15 bass, 52-4, $24,337
2nd: Mike Moran, Ruffs Dale, Pa., 15 bass, 50-1, $9,126
3rd: Frank Poirier, Hopewell, Va., 15 bass, 49-3, $6,084
4th: Charles Harvey, North East, Md., 15 bass, 40-14, $5,476
5th: Dan Rodriguez, Monkton, Md., 15 bass, 40-8, $4,867
6th: Matt Stasiak, Pittsburgh, Pa., 13 bass, 38-15, $4,259
7th: Michael Sentore, Gloucester City, N.J., 14 bass, 36-11, $3,651
8th: Joseph Wood, Westport, Mass., 13 bass, 36-6, $3,042
9th: Jay Pirollo, Warwick, Md., 12 bass, 34-5, $2,434
10th: Jerrod Lloyd, Millville, N.J., 10 bass, 29-2, $1,825
Richard Damiano caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Friday – a 5-pound, 12-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $152.
Bauman nets co-angler title
The top 10 co-anglers on the Chesapeake Bay were:
1st: Ryan Bauman, Fleetwood, Pa., 11 bass, 38-2, Ranger Z117 and Mercury or Evinrude outboard
2nd: Marvin Reese, Gwynn Oak, Md., 13 bass, 33-6, $3,384
3rd: Dick Gum, Woodbridge, Va., 11 bass, 27-3, $2,707
4th: Jerry Pyles, Middletown, Md., 10 bass, 26-15, $2,369
5th: Lenny Baird, Stafford, Va., nine bass, 26-8, $2,030
6th: Thomas Bavaro III, Joppa, Md., nine bass, 24-10, $1,692
7th: Manuel Cruz, Clifton, N.J., nine bass, 20-12, $1,354
8th: James Goins, Baltimore, Md., eight bass, 18-13, $1,015
9th: Chris Lang, Joppa, Md., eight bass, 17-6, $677
10th: Andy Dick, Wilmington, Del., seven bass, 16-10, $541
Gum caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Thursday – a 5-pound, 14-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $101.
The EverStart Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title, which allows them to fish the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.
The next EverStart Series Northern Division tournament will be May 1-3 on the James River in Richmond, Va., and is hosted by Richmond Region Tourism.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW on Facebook atFacebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWOutdoors.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2013 over the course of 220 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the “Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water.” For more information about FLW visitFLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.