Bitter takes Potomac bass lead, casts light on 1st-day prediction

OUTDOORS

September 25, 1992|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,Staff Writer

MARBURY -- On Wednesday, Florida pro Jim Bitter said he thought he could win the BASSMASTER BP Top 100 tournament being fished on the Potomac River.

Yesterday, he took a big step toward making his prediction reality by weighing in 19 pounds, 1 ounce and taking over first place in the four-day competition.

"I was fishing the same place as yesterday," said Bitter of Fruitland Park, Fla., who has 35 pounds, 4 ounces after two days of fishing. "I spent an hour at each of a couple of other spots, but the wind was blowing too hard to fish them.

"If the weather doesn't go completely bad, I still feel that I am going to win this tournament."

Winds yesterday were 15-20 from the northeast, and many parts of the river were very muddy after two days of high winds.

Bitter, like all of the anglers in this tournament, would not say exactly where he was fishing. He did say that he caught three of his five bass on three casts, all were over three pounds and all came from a hideaway he stumbled across three years ago.

First-day leader David Fritts, of Lexington, N.C., fell to second.

Fritts, too, has been blown out of his favorite spots by the wind. Yesterday, Fritts caught 11 pounds, 13 ounces and has a two-day total of 30 pounds, 5 ounces.

In the amateur division, Robert Wilcox of Greenbrier, Ark., is in first with a total of 17 pounds, 8 ounces.

The forecast for today calls for wind and a good chance of rain.

Rick Clunn of Montgomery, Texas, a four-time winner of the BASS Masters Classic, said that at this time of year the changing weather should have little effect on the location of fish.

"The only thing that can really change things is bright, sunny skies and calm water," Clunn said. "If it gets bright, the fish will move in close to cover and it will be harder to get them out."

Top 10 pro anglers (after 2 days) 1. Jim Bitter, Fruitland Park, Fla., 35 pounds, 4 ounces; 2. David Fritts, Lexington, N.C., 30-5; 3. Carlos Sellers, Phenix City, Ala., 30-5; 4. Jimmy Houston, Cookson, Okla., 29-1; 5. Jay Yelas, Jasper, Texas, 28-1; 6. Larry L. Williams, Lakeview, Ohio, 27-8; 7. Harold Allen, Milam, Texas, 26-13; 8. Jim Eakins, Mixa, Mo., 26-9; 9. Zell Rowland, Montgomery, Texas, 25-5; 10. John R. Hale, Lufkin, Texas, 24.14.

Top 10 amateurs 1. Robert Wilcox, Greenbrier, Ark., 17-8; 2. Kenneth Caldwell, Chardon, Ohio, 16-1; 3. Wesley E. Hood, Woodbridge, Va., 14-15; 4. William Green, York, Pa., and William Munroe, Manteca, Calif., 14-0; 6. Van Jenkins, Manassas, Va., 13-11; 7. Randy Dorman, Miss., 13-10; 8. Vernon Fleming, Raleigh, N.C., 13-8; 9. Landis Thompson, Pasadena, Md., 13-3; 10. John Green, Lakeville, Ind., and Lloyd Elswick, Pasadena, Md., 13-0.

Other top 25 Maryland anglers 17. Richard Albright, 10-14; 18. William Gainey, Mechanicsville,

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