Tourney Patterns

How Jacob Powroznik won the Okeechobee BPT

Guess what he DIDN’T do was anything special other than maybe read the weather well and execute well. But sometimes it’s that simple, even in a field full o’ hammers over a loooong tourney format (the tournament actually started in January — kidding). So here’s what went down:

Practice

> “Previously [at Okeechobee tourneys] I’d come in in the top 10 in some EverStarts and the FLW Series. It’s usually hit or miss for me — either really really good or not good…. That’s just FL in general: If you don’t get a couple big bites, it sucks.

> “But with this [MLF] format, you can fish the way you want to — I think it’s better for everybody…you were looking to catch 2 big bites. That would make or break your whole day…but now a 2-lber is a good one.

> “I used to get beat by guys who flipped all day for 9 bites. Now [with the MLF format] you get a chance to catch 50 and hopefully a bunch are 2 lbs or better.”

Practice

> “I found some fish that were on the beds in a place up north…some over at Bird Island and some right where I ended up fishing the tournament.

> “We had a really strong north wind. The first day of the tournament I didn’t get to fish [he was in a different bracket]. Well, Okeechobee is difficult when the wind blows strong out of one direction…makes that north end get shallower. The fish were only in like a foot of water. If [the water] drops 4-5” on them, it makes them really spooky.

> “[In practice] I’d been to Pelican Bay, South Bay…got some bites. I knew I could go down there and fish a little bit so that’s where I went” on his first day.”

Tournament

> “I had a good day — caught a lot of fish, but only 5 keepers…a lot of 1-09s and 1-11s.”

His next fishing day, he went up north:

> “I caught like 13-14 lbs but…only took 13 lbs to make it in. I just kind of played what was going on — we had some really bad weather man. The wind was blowing like 20-25.”

He saw enough there to stay there cuz he was back there on his 3rd fishing day:

> “…Knockout Round at the end of the 3rd day, I was swimming a Speed Worm and caught 21 lbs in the 3rd [fishing] period.”

So he fished the same spot the last day/Championship Round:

> “Same everything” as day 3.

> “Later in the day those big ones come out and play — they come out from underneath those mats. …the warmest part of the day is when those fish bite and 2:30 was as warm as it was going to get. That’s when the flurry hit every day.”

Jacob weighed 49-11 and beat Michael Neal by almost 10.5 lbs.

How he fished in the north

> “I was just reeling that worm, swimming that worm. Just throw it out and wind it in — wasn’t very hard. …holes in the eelgrass where fish were spawning.

> “…not on the bottom, swimming it up towards the top. Winding it up over the top of their heads –they see it and I guess feel like they have to come get it.

> “Bass were on just about every bed. Some were a whole lot spookier than others. I tried to sight-fish some of them, but they weren’t having it. …the water was clear…long casts were key.”

Gear: Zoom Speed Worm (junebug), 6/0 Mustad Grip Pin EWG Hook, 3/16-oz Elite Tungsten Sinker, 65-lb Hi-Seas Braid, Quantum Smoke S3 Reel (8:1), 7′ 6″ Quantum PT Rod.

> “That’s the way everything kind of played out…a 1-rod deal.”

How he fished down south

> “I was flipping a 1/2-oz V&M Heavy Cover Flipping Jig (b/b) with a V&M Wild Craw on the back. …reed heads…inside of them, points, pockets — everything you could get a bait into.”

Rest of it: 7′ 10″ Quantum PT Rod, Quantum Smoke Reel (8:1), 65-lb Hi-Seas braid.

More

> “The Power-Poles played a big part and always do in FL [and] the Lowrance mapping and stuff is always great, but the new MotorGuide Tour trolling motor went through that eelgrass, never got stuck and was real quiet. That’s a big key when water’s that shallow — having a trolling motor that’s quiet and reliable. That new MotorGuide Tour really helped.

> “It’s just a dream come true man — to compete with these guys day in and day out, it’s a dream I had when I was a kid and to be living it is another thing. Yesterday KVD called me on my phone and said, ‘I just want to say congrats.’ I compete against him and he’s great guy and friend, but when that guy calls you, man it means something special.”

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