MARBURY, Maryland -- GEICO pro angler Christiana Bradley has been playing the role of weatherman and marine biologist for the past few weeks as she prepares for this Saturday's Bassmaster Weekend Series tournament on the Potomac River.
"The weather patterns have changed a bit in the last few weeks," the analytical Bradley said. "For several weeks we had a heat wave and no rain. Last weekend, we got a lot of rain and the water temperature dropped by more than 10 degrees in some places. This week is expected to bring more rain and significantly lower temperatures than we've seen in recent weeks. I believe these factors will improve the fishing.
"All this weather has affected the algae blooms in some of the areas where I've historically caught a lot of fish during this time of the year. One area in particular has consistently been loaded with bait and the bass are feeding. It's a good sign.
"If the water clears up, my plan will be a bit different than if it's still stained. I'll fish some of the same areas, just using different baits. Really, I'm prepared for anything because I want to locate the quality fish – four pounds or better -- and get them in my tanks."
It's an important tournament for the IT systems engineer from Bealeton, Va., as she tries to earn enough points for the Bassmaster Weekend Series Championship later this year.
"This is my home waters so I've fished here a lot, but so have all the other anglers that will be there," Bradley said. "That's what makes it so challenging and fun.
"My two best areas are about 40 miles from each other. I can hit both if I need to, since the GEICO BassCat can get me there safely and quickly. It's also great on gas, so I can move around as much as I need to. We'll do whatever we have to do to get the fish.
"I need to have a good showing in this event in order to qualify for the Bassmaster Weekend Series Championship in October. That's a big event for all of us and I want to be a part of it again."
Launch and weigh-in take place at Smallwood State Park and are open to the public.
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