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Posted By The Bass Hog

Jacob Pr

MANY, La. — With a one-two, the rookie won.
 
Jacob Powroznik delivered that punch Sunday in the form of two good-sized bass in the last hours of competition of the four-day Evan Williams Bourbon Bassmaster Elite at Toledo Bend.
 
“I’m speechless. That doesn’t happen very often,” said Powroznik as he accepted his first Bassmaster Elite Series trophy after competing in only four events in his first year on the top-level tour — and on a fishery on which he had never before competed.
 
From Port Haywood, Va., Powroznik claimed the first-place prize of $100,000 and an instant-in for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, his first world championship qualification.
 
“To get into the Classic feels like someone just gave me a million dollars,” said Powroznik after he stepped off the stage and got his voice back. “You don’t get many opportunities to win one of these events. It’s so hard to do. To do it my first year is a blessing.”
 
After leading on Friday, Powroznik was stumped in Saturday’s round by a disappearing shad spawn bite that had helped him considerably in the early morning hours of competition. Then he was smoked out of a promising spawning bass area by a controlled burn of Texas shoreline forest. Going into the Sunday finals, Powroznik had dropped more than 2 1/2 pounds behind the leader, two-time Bassmaster Toledo Bend champ Dean Rojas.
 
But Powroznik recovered nicely. In the final round, he decided to concentrate solely on bass on spawning beds. His strategy worked to the tune of 19-11, and a 79-12 tournament total.
 
Thanks to his two key keepers, he won by a margin of 2 pounds, 6 ounces over Chad Morgenthaler of Coulterville, Ill., who made a last-hour lunge at the trophy by producing 21-14, Sunday’s heaviest bag of bass. Rising from 10th place, Morgenthaler ended in the runner-up spot with a total of 77-6.
  
With the almost 8-pounder in his livewell, Powroznik said he was able to put the frustration of the previous day behind him.
 
Although smaller at about 5 pounds, his second key catch was “the highlight of my tournament,” Powroznik said. He caught it on his very last flip of the day.
 
“I found it earlier, and it would not take my bait,” he said. “I eased back in there later, and backed up into some shade. I had 10 minutes left to fish. I hopped the bait one time, and she ate it.”
 
The 5-pounder allowed him to cull a 1 1/2-pound bass, giving him the margin of victory.
 
Powroznik’s go-to lure for spawning bass was a 4-inch Berkley Power Hawg in the green pumpkin or red bug color. He rigged it with a 4/0 Mustad hook and 1/2-ounce Elite Tungsten weight.
 
“It’s my favorite bed-fishing bait. The thing I like about it is it falls straight down, it doesn’t veer off to the left or right,” he said.
 
The Toledo Bend event was the fourth of nine that will determine the 2014 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year winner. Now with 392 points, Davis leads Lintner by 42 points, Todd Faircloth by 52 and Powroznik by 65. While a 42-point lead is considered healthy, Davis isn’t making room on his trophy shelf just yet. He doesn’t really want to even talk much about it.
 
“It’s still too early,” Davis said.
 
Powroznik held his lead in the Bassmaster Rookie of the Year race. Going into the Toledo Bend event, Powroznik had five points on Morgenthaler; Powroznik now leads by six points.
 
Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
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