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  1. John Mullican, Fisheries Biologist
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Posted on February 21, 2013 | Permalink

5th Annual St. Judes Benefit Tournament

Type: Freshwater
Region: Western
Location: Upper Potomac River at the Brunswick Campground

The 5th Annual open tournament to raise money for St Judes Children’s Research Hospital was held on the upper Potomac River at the Brunswick Campground on February 16. Dave and Mary Baker have hosted the popular winter tournament since 2009 with the help of many generous sponsors (http://www.2riversfishnhounds.com/stjudetournamentsite.htm). Although State regulations permit five bass per angler with a 12” minimum size, tournament rules limited anglers to five bass per boat with a 15” minimum size.

You never know what kind of weather Mother Nature will dish out for a February tournament, but it's usually a safe bet that it will be cold. This year fishermen were treated to a cloudy day in the upper 30s and favorable river conditions. A number of the upper Potomac’s savviest river anglers were on hand and they brought some very impressive smallmouth to the scales. Twenty two boats brought in a total of 69 bass with 14 that were = 18”. There was a tie for Lunker with two anglers weighing bass of 4.4 pounds and a close runner up had a bass of 4.3 pounds. First place went to the Gene Milburn and S. Saville who brought in five bass with a weight of 16.6 lbs. Congratulations to all the anglers that participated to raise money for a good cause. Several of the winners also donated their winnings.

Open tournaments like this one are a good opportunity for Inland Fisheries to determine angler catch rates, which are useful in monitoring smallmouth population trends. This years tournament had the highest catch rate since the tournament began in 2009. Bass from the above average year classes produced from 2005 – 2007 are now over 15” and, combined with the favorable conditions, contributed to the high catch rate. Following the weigh-in procedure and data collection, the bass were held in an aerated tank and subsequently released back into the Potomac.

Tags: smallmouth bass