Bryan Schmitt of Deale holds the championship trophy after winning theFishing League Worldwide Tour at the Mississippi River on Sunday in La Crosse, Wis.
Bryan Schmitt of Deale holds the championship trophy after winning theFishing League Worldwide Tour at the Mississippi River on Sunday in La Crosse, Wis. (Fishing League Worldwide)

Bringing in a five-bass limit of 14 pounds, 10 ounces on the final day, professional fisherman Bryan Schmitt of Deale had a four-day total of 61-6 to win the Fishing League Worldwide Tour on the Mississippi River on Sunday in La Crosse, Wis.

Schmitt beat back a challenge from rookie Josh Weaver, who finished second with 58-11, and three-time Angler of the Year Andy Morgan, to take his first FLW Tour victory and $125,000.

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Already a well-known river expert, Schmitt built his career by picking apart the Potomac and James rivers. Schmitt was able to apply that expertise to Pools 7, 8 and 9 on the Mississippi River this week.

"My knowledge of the rivers I fish back home was 100-percent key for me this week," said Schmitt, a five-year Tour veteran who has amassed more than $680,000 in FLW competition. "I've never been here, but I fell in love with how it was setting up."

Schmitt said his sweet spot was a barricaded pond on the lower end of Pool No. 8. He described it as a section of water near the main-river channel that was surrounded by sandbars which protected fish in multiple phases of the spawn.

"I don't know if it was there from years and years of current building up the sandbars, but at some point local authorities may have added riprap to make it stay," said Schmitt. "It had two main trenches that ran through it and had plenty of deep water. At the very top there was a hole in the rock jetty that let current flow in. It had all the right variables – just enough current to bring food in, grass and spawning habitat, and the deep water for when they were done."

Schmitt said he spent the majority of his tournament in the area, noting that all but three of the fish he weighed in came from it.

"I think the fish that I was catching were both prespawn and postspawn," Schmitt said. "Fresh fish were moving in and the big ones that were done were moving out."

Schmitt said that his primary lure this week was a black and blue-colored prototype Riot Baits Swim Jig with a swimming trailer. He also used a black and blue-skirted vibrating jig with a Riot T3 Tattle Tail Swimbait and a 5-inch Texas-rigged Riot Stick stickbait with a 1/2-ounce tungsten weight.

"Before my main pattern evolved, I caught quite a few by just pitching the stickbait to grass," said Schmitt. "It got me a lot of key fish on the first two days, but the bigger ones wanted the moving baits."

The final event on the FLW Tour schedule for the regular season happens to be June 15-18 on the Potomac River – a place where Schmitt has three Costa FLW Series wins.

"I've got the momentum now," said Schmitt. "After all of this, words can't describe how excited I am to get back out there and compete on the Potomac."

Et cetera

Hopkins, Salisbury fall in DIII baseball regionals

The top-seeded Johns Hopkins baseball team (38-8) lost, 4-2, to second-seeded Shenandoah (40-9) in the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional in York, Pa. Senior Ryan Orgielewicz hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning, his 13th of the season, for the Blue Jays. Right-hander Sean McCracken (3-2) allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits in 72/3 innings and received the loss. Trailing 2-1, the Hornets scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth.

More college baseball: Will Decker hit a three-run triple in the sixth inning to help lift Roanoke (33-17) to a 13-5 win over Salisbury (35-11) in the Division III South Regional in Danville, Va. Scott Ardoin was 1-for-4 with two RBIs for the Sea Gulls, who gave up seven runs in the sixth with the game tied at 4. Salisbury, which kept its season alive with a pair of wins in elimination games Saturday, won the first game of Sunday's doubleheader, 7-6, on Justin Meekins' go-ahead RBI double in the eighth.

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WNBA: Jewell Loyd scored 26 points and Crystal Langhorne (Maryland) 17 to lead the host Seattle Storm (2-1) to an 81-71 win over the Washington Mystics (1-2). Elena Delle Donne led the Mystics with 14 points.

Major League Soccer: David Accam scored on a breakaway and the Chicago Fire (6-3-3) beat D.C. United, 1-0, on Saturday for their first road victory of the season. D.C. United (3-3-5) was shut out for the third straight time, all at home.

National Women's Soccer League: The Washington Spirit (1-4-1) fell, 1-0, to visiting FC Kansas City (2-2-2) on Saturday night, as 19-year-old Mallory Pugh made her pro debut for the Spirit in front of an announced 3,714 fans. Pugh, the youngest current player in the National Women's Soccer League, entered the match as a substitute for fellow rookie Arielle Ship in the 54th minute and had one shot on goal. Alexa Newfield scored in the 39th minute for Kansas City.

Arena Football League: Randy Hippeard threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Joe Hills with three seconds remaining to lead the host Tampa Bay Storm over the Washington Valor, 53-47, on Saturday night.

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