The dock talk all week at the Potomac River Eastern Toyota Series event was that fishing was tough. That rang true again Saturday as the wind helped stall the tide, making things tough for most of the Top 10.
James Maupin, however, kept his streak of consistency alive as he weighed his third 13-pound-plus limit of the week to move from 2nd to first with 40-11. For the win, Maupin earned his first FLW trophy and over $24,000.
Maupin was ecstatic just to make a Top 10 in a field with Potomac hammers like this event featured, but to win was even more special.
“This means a lot,” Maupin says. “This makes all the hard work worth it to know I can compete with these guys.”
It’s no joke when Maupin talks about the hard work he puts into fishing as a whole, but especially for this tournament.
“I got a Top 10 in the Northeast Division for the [BFL] a couple weeks ago,” Maupin says. “But other than that, I have been at the bottom of the pack on this river every other tournament. The last 6 months I’ve been putting a lot of time in here and it’s paying off.”
Maupin also gives the nod to his buddy, Derek Brown, for helping him figure out the Potomac puzzle.
“He’s a stick up here,” Maupin said of Brown. “He actually fishes as a co-angler, but he should be doing it as a boater. Me and him practice-fished up here for months and caught fish all over the river, but we got on to where the bigger fish were. The bigger fish are definitely concentrated in certain areas.”
The two areas Maupin spent the majority of his time in during the event were Greenway Flats and Mason Neck. Each area had a 200-yard stretch that he would work back and forth, no matter the tide, and each produced fish throughout the day.
“I’m not too familiar with tides, so I just put my head down and fished,” said the 42-year-old. “I just got on this bite Wednesday and it was just so consistent. The main thing that made it consistent was that it was cloudy. When that sun would peek out I couldn’t get a bite going, but I could throw that spinnerbait down those grass lines when it was cloudy and it was cloudy all three days.”
The bread and butter for Maupin was a 3/8-ounce Terminator spinnerbait with two gold willow-leaf blades. He had two identical spinnerbaits rigged on the deck, one on 15-pound fluorocarbon and the other on 20-pound to help the bait run lower or higher in the water. When the sun poked out, especially on day 2, Maupin ran a V&M swim jig with a Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail Grub as a trailer to get a few bites.
Here are the final totals for the Top 10:
1. James Maupin: 40-11
2. Todd Walters: 40-04
3. Bryan Schmitt: 38-04
4. Wayne Vaughan: 37-14
5. Michael Hall: 32-09
6. Kurt Mitchell: 31-07
7. Danny Kirk: 30-15
8. David Williams: 30-15
9. Cody Pike: 27-12
10. Joseph Thompson: 26-08