Fritts breezes into lead in BASSMASTER pro-am Four-day event opens on windy Potomac

September 24, 1992|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,Staff Writer

MARBURY -- The last time the Bass Anglers Sportsma Society held a pro-am tournament on the Potomac River, Hurricane Hugo came through and blew out a day of fishing.

Yesterday, a gusty northwest wind churned up the Potomac and made for a rough day of fishing for many of the 200 entrants on the first day of the BASSMASTER BP Top 100.

Before, during and after weigh-ins at Smallwood State Park yesterday afternoon, there was much talk about rough rides and stretches of river that had muddied up overnight and had become difficult to fish.

David Fritts of Lexington, N.C., however, found the conditions to his liking. Fritts caught a limit of five largemouth bass and took the lead in the tournament -- which runs through Saturday -- with a weight of 18 pounds, 8 ounces.

"I have 13 or 14 areas on the river that will turn up similar fish," Fritts said. "Today I used only one, and I tried hard not to overfish that one."

Bass anglers are understandably closed-mouthed about where and how they fish early in tournaments so that other contestants won't get wind of where they are going and steal the spots or tactics.

Fritts did say that yesterday he was fishing the edge of a grass line within six or seven miles of the launch site.

By contrast, Jimmy Houston of Cookson, Okla., ran far up the Potomac from Mattawoman Creek to the Washington area, where he caught a limit to place second with a weight of 17-9.

Jim Eakins of Nixa, Mo., is in third place with 16-8, 4 ounces ahead of Jim Bitter of Fruitland, Fla.

The standings after Day 1:

Top 10 professionals

1. David Fritts, Lexington, N.C., 5 bass, 18 pounds, 8 ounces; 2. Jimmy Houston, Cookson, Okla., 5, 17-9; 3. Jim Eakins, Nixa, Mo., 5, 16-8; 4. Jim Bitter, Fruitland Park, Fla., 5, 16-3; 5. Larry L. Williams, Lakeview, Ohio, 5, 15-14; 6. Carlos Sellers, Phenix City, Ala., 5, 14-14; 7. Jay Yelas, Jasper, Texas, 5, 14-12; 8. Guido Hibdon, Gravois Mills, Mo., 5, 13-7; 9. Paul L. Elias, Laurel, Miss., 5, 13-3; 10. Cliff Craft, Suwanee, Ga., 5, 12-14.

Top 10 amateurs

1. William Munroe, Manteca, Calif., 5, 10-14; 2. Robert Wilcox, Greenbrier, Ark., 5, 10-2; 3. Murvin Berry, Anderson, Ind., 4, 9-10; 4. Gus M. Schram, Lake Charles, La., 3, 9-4; 5. Lloyd Elswick, XTC Pasadena, Md., 5, 9-0; 6. Dave Goddard, Fairway, Kan., 5, 8-12; 7. James Golliday, Stephens City, Va., 4, 8-9; 8. Ray Brazier, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., 5, 8-7; 9. Wesley E. Hood, Woodbridge, Va., 4, 7-6.

Other Maryland amateurs in top 25

12. William Gainey, Mechanicsville, 4, 6-12; 15. Landis Thompson, Pasadena, 4, 6-9; 21. Gary Lee Hardesty, Huntingtown, 4, 5-13; 22. Chuck Matheny, Odenton, 4, 5-11; 23. John Patrick Davis, Lusby, 4, 5-9; 24. James Helsel, Gaithersburg, 4, 5-8.

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