2012 Mid-Atlantic Division Championship is Underway on the Potomac River

Rumors of canceling day one of the championship were silenced early this morning as the sun rose on the Potomac River and 84 TBF state team anglers launching out of Small Wood State Park in Marbury, Md.  Yesterday, the forecast called for a severe tornado warning to sweep the area leaving tournament officials to make a last minute call dependent on weather.  But, today skies were clear and day one of the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Division Championship presented by Lowrance rolled on without a hitch.

This week 12-man state teams from seven states in TBF’s Mid-Atlantic division will compete to advance to the 2013 TBF Federation National Championship to be held next spring on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla.  The top two finishers from each state will advance, the top angler as the boater and the second place angler as the co-angler.  There they will vie for over $200,00 in cash and prizes, and the esteemed “Living the Dream” prize package.  The package includes paid entry in the FLW Tour as a tour pro for the year with travel expenses and use of a wrapped Ranger Boat and Chevrolet truck.

Two division champion titles will be awarded this week as well, both in the individual standings and the overall team standings.  Today, out on top in the individual standings is Dan Rodriguez from Monkton, Md., with a five bass limit weighing 14lbs 8ounces.

“Yesterday, a strong front swept in.  Today, it turned from out of the northwest switching the bite from flat water to no water.  It killed the grass bite.”  Rodriguez caught a couple keepers power fishing shallow but then went deep with his favorite homemade jig to finish up heavy.  “I’ve fished this river for over 25 years; you’ve got to watch the weather.  The weather is the whole key on this river; the weather dictates everything.”  Rodriguez will be watching the weather tomorrow to see if he needs to make adjustment like he did today, adjustments that definitely went in his favor.  “I think the fishing should only get better.  I just hope to maintain catching five fish each day, that’s the most important thing.”

In a tie for second in the individual standings is Ed Loughran from Mechanicsville, Va., representing this week’s host state of the Nations Capitol Bass Federation and Brian Laclair from Denton, Md., both anglers with a five bass limit weighing 13lbs 10ounces.

Right behind them in third is the 2009 TBF Federation National Champion and “Living the Dream” angler, Robert Harkness from Elizabeth, W.Va.  “It was a really great day,”  Harkness said.  “I had a limit by about 9:30am that made the day a whole lot better.”  Harkness had a limit of bass weighing 13lbs 9ounces, just one ounce away from the tie for second.  “I lost a 5 pounder that could have really helped.  But, you can’t catch them all!”  Harkness has competed on the FLW Tour as the TBF “Living the Dream” angler and he’s looking to make a repeat.  A solid win this week would be a crucial stepping stone.  “There’s not really added pressure (as a past TBF National Champion); there’s always pressure when I fish here.”  The fish have cooperated for Harkness this week from practice to day one, the next two days we’ll see how it unfolds for him and his number one goal.

In the team standings, Delaware took the lead on day one with 46 bass weighing 89lbs 12ounces.  In second, is the Virginia state team with 42 bass weighing 86lbs 2ounces.  West Virginia is in third with 37 bass weighing 80lbs 1ounce.  The hosting team of Nations Capitol is in fourth with 33 bass weighing 67lbs 8ounces.  Pennsylvania is in fifth followed by Maryland and New Jersey.  Full Results Here

Tomorrow, day two of the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Division Championship continues on the Potomac River.  TBF anglers will be one day closer to seeing who will advance to next year’s national contest and who will be crowned this year’s division champions.