Even though this year's Capitol Clash marks the 24th time BASS has visited the Potomac River, each visit is different because of the tidal fluctuation and the amount of vegetation present. Each day can be different depending on when and how strong the tides move.
Last year's Elite winner here, Kelly Jordon, boated 60 pounds, 9 ounces over the four-day event, but needed a variety of lures and techniques to do it. Even so, he won by a mere 7 ounces and all of the Top 10 finishers brought in catches topping 50 pounds.
To bring in such heavy weights, the pros normally do one of two things: Concentrate on main river hydrilla beds, or fish shallow cover in the tributary creeks. In either case, however, tidal movements relocate bass in and around the cover so that each day becomes a constant game of adjustment.
The main river hydrilla itself changes annually, depending on saltwater intrusion from the Chesapeake Bay or the amount of high, muddy water flowing down from north of Washington. In some years the vegetation grows along both shorelines for miles while in other years it's only in scattered patches. Flipping soft plastics or ripping lipless crankbaits are both effective techniques.
Charles County is rich in American history. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, stopped at the home of a country doctor, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, to have his injured leg set before continuing his escape into Virginia. Had it not been for this unexpected visitor to Charles County, Mudd would have remained an anonymous figure in America's history.