- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 28, 2002

MARBURY, Md. Amid wind, occasional rain and frequently discolored water, 340-odd participants in the $250,000 Bassmaster Maryland Eastern Open fishing tournament often found the going tough. But Chad Baker didn't seem to have any trouble.
The Pine Flats, Tenn., bass pro finished with a three-day total of 45 pounds, 12 ounces of largemouth bass, including a 7-pound, 2-ounce tidal river beauty good enough for the $51,000 winner's share.
As he stood on the awards platform inside Mattawoman Creek's Smallwood State Park, Baker said, "I sat in one place for three days and threw Bandit crankbaits at a bunch of rocks. I used a variety of colors it didn't seem to matter."
Although Baker was tightlipped about the location, the lures he favored most likely were cast somewhere up around Wilson Bridge. The bridge vicinity, including Smoot Bay and the Spoils Cove's inner and outer sections, contains rocks and layers of stones by the tons and often are sought by bass as ambush spots baitfish. Baker probably wanted to protect the spot because the tournament-sanctioning Bass Anglers Sportsman Society will return to the tidal Potomac sometime in late summer.
New Yorker Tom Dolin finished second with 39 pounds, 10 ounces. That earned him a prize package worth $37,000 that included a fully rigged bass boat, trailer and outboard motor. He also earned enough points to clinch one of the five remaining berths in August's world championship Bass Masters Classic in Alabama.
"This is one of the greatest days in my life," Dolin said.
Rick Morris of Virginia Beach, a frequent high finisher at these Potomac bass tournaments, ended in third place with 36 pounds, 8 ounces.
"One of these days I'll win this thing," Morris said, aware that he had the pleasant problem of keeping or selling an extra bass boat a $35,000 rig that included a 200-horsepower motor and trailer.
Woodbridge's Michael Huminik took home $1,200 for fifth place. Scott Martin, son of super fisherman Roland Martin, of Clewiston, Fla., captured sixth place in his first appearance on the Potomac.


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