The first victory is never forgotten, but…


Michele Fanfani


We return to the Potomac, a great and important river that runs between southern and northern states, a line dividing the country during the Civil War. It is also the stage on which Jacopo’s most extraordinary victory to date took place on the professional circuit.

That victory certainly provided psychological pressure that was the source of a few errors at his most recent stop on the river. And yet, the few days he spent on the water were not without opportunity, as the river provided bites.

Jacopo caught limits of 18 lbs and 17 lbs in the first two days of official practice. The third day did not go quite as well, but it proved useful nonetheless in providing information relevant to the tournament. The famous grassy area that in 2021 permitted him to beat his adversaries was not in the same shape as it had been two years ago. There were also many boats in the area and the chatterbait technique was being used by many anglers. The fish were simply not as interested in it as they had been.

Regardless, that area on Potomac Creek might still offer a few good bites, and Jacopo had found hot spot near the launch, as well as banks loaded with docks that might hold good keepers.


Jacopo launche son Day 1 with confidence. He is also happy to have the TV camera in his boat, a presence that has often brought him luck. But despite the river being in optimal conditions at high tide in the grassy area of Potomac Creek, Jacopo does not catch any good fish during the first two hours. He lands only one keeper on a buzzbait.

He decides then to move to the docks, entirely changing his approach. A big fish take shis lure, but perhaps due to nerves, Jacopo is beaten by the fish, which managed to wrap itself around a pylon and get free. At the end of the day, Jacopo moves to the spot near the launch where he begins with a total limit of 11 lbs and starts fishing with a small swimbait and a frog. Notwithstanding a small incident with the camerman on the boat, Jacopo improves his limit to 14 lbs, 6 ounces. The highlight of the day (at least for the fans in Gallelli’s Curve): a great shot of his best bass of the day, caught on a hollow-bodied frog. Jacopo concludes Day 1in 43rd place. He is still in range of the top spot.

On Day 2, Jacopo returns to the spots that have produced the prospects for his best bites. But as often happens when TV cameras allow competitors to see where the Pros have caught fish, Jacopo finds two or three boats on his hot spot near the launch.

Jacopo manages nonetheless to find a favorable area. While at anchor he manages to put four keepers in his livewell. He lands one on a swimming jig and three on a popper for a toal of roughly 8 lbs.

With the hot spot’s potential exhausted for the moment, Jacopo moves to the docks and switches to a Neko rig. In that way, he lands his limit for a total of roughly 10 lbs. But it probably won’t allow him to make the cut above fiftieth place……

With the time that remains, Jacopo tries to cull, so he returns to the grassy area. It rewards him with two bass that bring his total to 11 lbs, 11 ounces. He tries other similar areas, but they do not produce culls.

In the end, Jacopo finishes in 69th place, below the cut line. It is likely because of that big fish he lost on Day 1. As Jacopo says, the Potomac does not forgive: it can be generous, but it can also be stingy.

In 2023, it was stingy.

On to the next tournament….

Gallelli’s Gear

Neko rig

13 FISHING ENVY BLACK III spinning rod, 6’10”, and rated for 3/8oz. with Fast Action.

Spinning reel laoded with Sufix X8 braid (15 lb test), with a 14 lb Fluorocarbon Sufix Advance leader.

BKK Predator hook W.G. #1 tipped with a 5” Sligo Molix (green pumpkin).

Soft Swimmbait

13 FISHING ENVY baitcaster, 7’6” and rated 1- ¼ oz. Medium Heavy/ Extra-Fast action.

CONCEPT C2 casting reel. Gear ratio 7:5:1 , loaded with Fluorocarbon Sufix Advance (14 lb test).

BKK Titan 1.0 hook tipped with a 3” swimmbait.


13 FISHING ENVY casting rod, 7’2”, rated 1oz. Extra-Fast action.

CONCEPT C2 casting reel. Gear ratio 8:3:1 loaded with Sufix 832 braid (50 lb test).

(Traduzioni: Henry Veggian)

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Michele Fanfani
Michele, 60 years old, Florentine like Jacopo, followed him during all phases of his sporting career in Italy and accompanied him to America at the start of his professional career. He achived several successes fishing along with Jacopo but above all he conceived and created the Italian magazine “Bassfishing” and the publication “The Secrets of Bassfishing”. He currently follows Jacopo along his career and is the creator and administrator of the “Curva Gallelli” Fans Club.