Powroznik gets emotional at final gun

When today's 6-hour clock finally went to all zeroes, Bassmaster Classic berth winner Jacob Powroznik was reduced to tears - tears of emotional relief.

"That's the worst pressure I've ever fished under," he said. "I mean EVER. It's been a grinder. But I'm thankful for it."

The final count: Powroznik 16 pounds, 11 ounces; Ish Monroe 14 pounds, 8 ounces.

Feider's dream schedule

Earlier in the day when Seth Feider and Dave Mercer pulled up on us, Feider talked about his dream Elite schedule. We had just been talking about how nice the weather is here. Riffing off that, Feider said, "After May every state we go to needs to border Canada. The weather's so nice, and the fishing is pretty good to." Count me in on that idea.

Feider on Mercer's talking skills

My boat captain yesterday, Minnesotan Seth Feider, is piloting Dave Mercer today. They pulled up next to us, so I asked Feider, "In terms of volume of talking, please compare your boat mate yesterday, me, to your boat mate today, Mercer. Twenty percent more talking by Mercer, 90 percent more?"

Feider didn't hesitate long, "10x more," he said. "Easily."

Mercer attributed that to the fact that Feider and I were following Mike Iaconelli yesterday, who moved 52 time, not much time for talking. "If you two had stayed in one place more often it'd be about the same."

I know that not to be true. Mercer is a born talker.

Ish needs another big smallmouth

Ish Monroe moved back to his smallmouth/swimbait spot a half-hour ago, and it appears that's where he's going to close out his day. Monroe just lost one near the boat, and by his reaction it must have been one that would have helped him.

Monroe needs one big bite to top Powroznik's 16-11. He trails by 2-3, and his small fish today is a 2-5. A 4 1/2 pounder would even this match.

Powroznik making all the right decisions

Watching Jacob Powroznik today is a master class in tournament fishing. This is his fifth day on Pokegama Lake and he's added to his knowledge base every day.

Earlier in the week when he had a lead on the angler in his bracket, he'd spend some time practicing, looking for new spots. It has all come together for him today. Perfect timing for a Classic berth. Powroznik has caught fish at every stop-- near the bank, in lily pads, and offshore. He's caught fish on a jig, a swimbait, a frog and a drop shot. Right now he's big fish hunt in deep water. In the Classic Bracket, Jacob Powroznik has made all the right decisions.

Powroznik is the only angler fishing in the 2017 Classic Bracket who also fished in the 2016 Classic Bracket. Perhaps that experience is paying off.

Wind is up, but lacking sun

The wind is picking up, yet the sun has yet to break through. Ish Monroe is fishing a steep drop off of a group of sandy points on the main lake. Mostly relying on a small swimbait, but mixing in a jerkbait occasionally.

The same place he caught a 5-pound kicker around the same time yesterday yesterday. The main depth he is fishing looks to 6-8 feet.

We have seen schools of bait beside the boat throughout the day. If the sun shows its self, Monroe could put a much needed kicker in the boat.

Lots of Docks

Docks played a big role this week for many of the anglers. Docks offer the bass shade, refuge, ambush opportunities. Nothing new there. But what I found interesting was how one angler thought the best docks were those with vegetation around them while another angler liked isolated docks on sand or rock flats.

I guess its all about confidence because they both seemed to hold fish even when there was abundant natural cover available nearby. The hard structure of the dock and boat lift created something more attractive to those bass than the grass provided.

Powroznik: "Where have you been all year?"

Jacob Powroznik just culled again to bring his total to 16-11, the biggest bag of week. Ish Monroe is currently at 14-8.

The 2017 season has been more of a struggle for Powroznik, ending the year at 47th in Toyota Angler of the Year standings. Last year he was fourth in AOY, and he was a hammer in his first three seasons as well.

So he let loose a little bit of this year's frustration while holding his most recent smallmouth. Talking directly to the fish he said, "Where have you been all year?"

Monroe changing tactics again

Lack of wind has sent Ish Monroe on to yet another game plan, according to Gettys Brannon, who is following him today. Monroe is headed to the creek where Kelley Jaye lost a couple of key fish in the early rounds this week.

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