Tidal River Bass Will Play at Upper Chesapeake Bay Bassmaster Elite
The world's best bass anglers will compete for $100,000 at the 2018 Bassmaster Elite at Chesapeake Bay
Hot summer temperatures, fluctuating tidal waters and big bass will make for an exciting pro-level tournament along the Eastern Seaboard at the 2018 Huk Bassmaster Elite at Upper Chesapeake Bay presented by Mossy Oak Fishing, July 26-29.
The eighth stop of the season will prove very exciting for anglers and fans alike as 107 of the world’s best bass anglers will compete for a top payday of $100,000 and valuable Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points.
The intense summer weather conditions will create challenges for the entire field of pros, but that’s typically the case during the summer months anywhere largemouth bass swim.
“I have no doubt that the Elites will showcase our fishery,” said Joe Love, Tidal Bass Program Manager for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “The anglers who figure out how the timing of the daily Chesapeake Bay tides position the bass will be the anglers who will remain in contention to win the tournament.”
Love said that while the event is being held along Chesapeake proper, the numerous freshwater rivers and tributaries that feed the mighty bay contain the necessary bass populations to win the event.
“There are certainly numbers of quality bass that thrive along the edge where fresh and saltwater meet,” he said. “However, during the middle of the summer that edge is pushed back into the river mouths. I fully expect the Black, Middle, Bush and Susquehanna rivers to play key roles in this event.”
He said an average of 15 to 17 pounds per day would likely be near the winning weight. He also wouldn’t be surprised to see 20-pound bags anchored by a big bass pushing the 7- to 8-pound mark.
“I know big bass like that are available here in good numbers, but getting them to bite at the right time is the challenge,” he said. “Overall, the fishery is in great health, and the anglers will find bass on multiple structural elements, such as abundant grass, wood and rock. There is a little something for everybody.”
In 2015, Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., won with a four-day total of 70 pounds, 2 ounces. Most of his catch came from a marina full of wooden docks. He outscored his nearest competitor by nearly 8 pounds.
Bill Lowen of Brookville, Ind., finished in second place with 62-3.
Considering both anglers’ total weights, Love likely is spot-on in predicting that 15 to 17 pounds could win the derby.
Elite Series pro Jacob Powroznik of North Prince George, Va., agrees with Love on winning weights.
“I think the Chesapeake fishery is best during the spring and fall when bags over 20 pounds are likely to be caught during a multi-day event,” Powroznik said. “But when things get tough in the summer, if an angler can produce 16 pounds per day, he’s going to be very tough to beat.”
In 2015, Powroznik earned a Top 25 finish and a $10,000 paycheck. However, he felt like his timing was off.
“Timing is everything on a tidal fishery like the Chesapeake,” he said. “Many factors will come into play, especially if the bass are staged on wood, rock or grass. Grass is plentiful here, and it’s worth checking any time of the year.
“I was on the right fish in 2015, and this year I’m getting a second chance at the Chesapeake Bay. I’m excited to get started,” he said.
Takeoffs will occur at Flying Point Park near Edgewood, Md., at 6 a.m. ET daily, and weigh-ins Thursday and Friday will be held at the same location at 3 p.m. For the semi-final round and Championship Sunday, weigh-in will be moved to Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Md., beginning at 3:30 p.m.
The Bassmaster Elite Series Outdoors Expo will be held in conjunction with the tournament. It will take place at Ripken Stadium on Saturday and Sunday beginning at noon. The Expo will feature boat demo rides, an aquarium, free prizes, food and beverage vendors and the latest fishing products on the market. The Maryland Center for the Arts and Maryland Department of Natural Resources will present exhibits onsite as well. All activities are free and open to the public.
For more information, visit Bassmaster.com.