Chris Jackson and his father, Edwin Jackson, took on the Potomac River Battle Series. They hauled in an impressive stringer on the Potomac River to take first place. I had a chance to recap the day with Chris. It was one of those special days that he and his dad will definitely never forget.
First of all congratulations on the tournament win. Where was your confidence level going into the tournament?
We had pretty high confidence going into the day but had no idea how good it was going to turn out to be. My dad went out on a Tuesday to practice and went into an area that in the past has been good to us and found nice grass but water was semi dirty. He only caught one fish in there in 2 hours but it was a 5 pounder.
Thursday me and another guy I fish with went to the same area and I caught a 5 pounder and a couple small ones but that was it and we spent about 2 hours as well. The water was also still dirty But the same day we also found some other areas with nice fish.
Saturday I fished my other fishing partner, and we started in a different area and did well but only had around 17 pounds. We stopped in the area where we caught the 5 pounders in practice but the water was very dirty and didn’t catch anything. At the very end of the day we came back to that area and the water cleaned up beautifully with the incoming tide. We didn’t catch anything there but I just had a gut feeling we needed to go there the next day.
What was the moment that you first knew that this was going to be a special day?
There were 2 moments when I knew it was going to be a special day. The first moment was when we started. In the first 20 minutes we caught 5 fish, 2 of them were keepers, and one of them being a fish that was almost 4 pounds that I threw in the livewell without weighing knowing that we wouldn’t cull that fish. The 2nd moment was later in the day when we threw that fish back and I couldn’t believe we actually culled a fish that size.
How did the overall day fish?
The day fished absolutely incredible. The crazy part normally to win a tournament you have to fish clean and normally have a lucky big bite. We did not fish clean at all. I broke off 2 fish and we lost several that would of helped us. And we never caught a true big bite. I think we honestly could of caught 25 pounds plus if we fished clean and had that kicker. We threw back 17 pounds and caught I don’t know how many 3 pounders.
Tides always play a factor on the Potomac. What were the keys to managing the tides for you?
In most cases on the Potomac spots will normally be better at certain times during the tide. That day they ate almost all day in little flurries. When the water was higher they were in closer to the shore. When it was lower they pulled out farther out.
Our biggest fish came when the tide swapped from falling to incoming. And the 2nd biggest came about an hour after that. Normally the 1st hour of any tide is normally the best time to catch fish
What were the key baits to your success?
We caught fish on several baits, but all our fish we weighed in came off a swim jig. I think the fish were primarily post spawn fish that were recovering from spawn. And feasting on a combination of crayfish and a bluegill spawn.
This time of year bass love eating bluegill during there spawn almost as revenge when the bluegill mess with them during there spawn. And they wanted something subtle. The swim jig was a perfect imitation of bluegill or crawfish and had enough subtlety that they really responded well to it. We would swim it slowly and when you touch grass you would rip it out. Most of them ate it on the fall after you ripped it out.
What was the breakdown of catching and weight for your five fish?
Through out the day it would switch off my dad would catch a few and then I would catch a few all day long back and forth. Our scales actually weighed light. We thought we had around 21 and a half but ended up having 22.66. We had 1 fish over 5 pounds, 1 fish just a little under 4 pounds and the rest were in between.
Unfortunately I have to admit my old man beat me and had the 2 biggest fish and the smallest keeper. I had the 2 middle ones. The last 2 fish we caught were the 2 biggest ones. He caught one close to 5 in the last hour that sealed the deal and ended up being the winning fish.
What does it mean to share this tournament win with your dad?
It was incredible to win with my dad. We used to fish a lot more together and always did well. We won a few a long time ago, but as I got older we both started fishing with different partners. We would only be able to fish together a couple times a year.
This year was the first year in a long time we fished a whole circuit together and to win was great. Especially with the kind of day we had. That kind of day doesn’t happen much through a lifetime so I will definitely cherish it.
What am amazing day. And what an amazing father and son life moment. Congrats Chris and Edwin…well done!
Follow Chris on Instagram @christopherjackson93.