Chevy pro Luke Clausen of Otis Orchards, Wash., caught a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 4 ounces Sunday to win $125,000 at the Walmart FLW Tour on the Potomac River presented by National Guard with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 69-14.
The catch gave him the win by a 1-pound, 13-ounce margin over Michael Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, N.J., who caught a total of 20 bass weighing 68-1 and earned $35,000.
“This is amazing,” said Clausen, who hasn’t won a major tournament since 2006 when he won the Bassmaster Classic. “I get pretty mad pretty easily and I would have been pretty upset with a second place finish. This is a relief really. After winning both the Forrest Wood Cup and the Bassmaster Classic and not having a victory since 2006, I have been pretty frustrated. To finally win again is just an amazing feeling.
“I was a little nervous coming to the scales today,” Clausen went on to say. “I thought I only had about 16 pounds and when I saw 19, I almost fell over.
“I fished in one area all week long,” Clausen added. “I am not real familiar with fishing tides so when I found this area in practice I felt had the opportunity of producing good quality fish. I just stuck with it all four days. And it did. I brought in six bass that weighed over 5-pounds each.
“The area fished differently every day,” Clausen elaborated. “I learned something new each day and by today, I felt like I really knew how to fish it. There were about 25 boats in there the first two days and then Bryan Schmitt and I were in there all alone the final two days.
“The high tide was definitely better for me,” Clausen continued. “You could see what you were throwing at. Low tide made it very difficult. Thankfully we had a long high tide today. I was pretty worried when I saw that south wind this morning. I really thought I was going to be in trouble.
“Of course grass was key to this tournament. I was throwing inside the grass and outside the grass depending on the tide. I used so many different things for bait this week but my main go to baits were Z-man finesse worms and Z-man creature baits. Today I was using a swim jig. Basically whatever felt right was what I used. It changed often depending on the wind and the tide. One of the reasons the Potomac is so fun to fish is that you can do so many different things with so many different baits and they all work,” Clausen continued. “It doesn’t matter what you use or how you fish, you’ll catch fish all day long.
Clausen opened the tournament in 17th place Thursday with five bass weighing 15-3. On Friday he added another five bass weighing 17-0 using Z-Man creature baits to move up to fourth place. He then caught five bass weighing 18-7 on Z-Man finesse worms Saturday to make the crucial top-10 cut in second place. On Sunday he sealed his victory using a swim jig.
The remaining top 10 pros finished the tournament in:
3rd: Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 20 bass, 65-5, $30,000
4th: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 20 bass, 64-12, $25,000
5th: Michael Williamson, Fort Smith, Ark., 20 bass, 61-6, $20,000
6th: AMP pro Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., 20 bass, 60-0, $17,000
7th: Castrol pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 20 bass, 58-0, $16,000
8th: Lance Vick, Mineola, Texas, 20 bass, 56-14, $15,000
9th: Chad Morgenthaler, Coulterville, Ill., 20 bass, 55-7, $14,000
10th: Cory Johnston, Peterborough, Ontario, 19 bass, 54-3, $13,000
A complete list of results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 49 bass weighing 142 pounds, 10 ounces caught by 10 pros Sunday. The catch included nine five-bass limits.
Cory Leonard of Castalia, N.C., won the Co-angler Division and $20,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 37 pounds, 11 ounces followed by James Schneider of Watervliet, N.Y., in second place with 15 bass weighing 37-5 worth $7,500.
In FLW Tour Open tournaments, pros and co-anglers are competing for valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top five pro and co-anglers in the point standings from the four 2011 FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.
The FLW Tour stop on the Potomac River presented by National Guard was hosted by National Harbor, and was the sixth of 10 Walmart FLW Tour tournaments of the 2011 season. The Walmart FLW Tour on Kentucky Lake presented by Kellogg’s will be the next tournament and will be held June 16-19 in Gilbertsville, Ky. The event will be hosted by the Marshall County Tourist Commission and Murray Convention & Visitors Bureau. Boats will launch from Kentucky Dam Marina in Gilbertsville, Ky., on Thursday and Friday and Ken-Lake State Park Marina on Saturday and Sunday. For a complete schedule, visit FLWOutdoors.com.
Coverage of the Potomac River tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors” will air Aug. 7 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to more than 500 million households worldwide.
For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW Outdoors on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWOutdoors.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS FLW Outdoors is the best in fishing, on and off the water. Anglers worldwide can compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world’s richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player’s Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com. FLWOutdoors.com