2017 Bassmaster Classic Wrap Up
Jacob Powroznik on the Lake Conroe Classic: “It had potential!”
By Jacob Powroznik
HOUSTON, Texas – If you were to ask me to describe the recent Bassmaster Classic on Lake Conroe, Texas, in one word, I’d say “potential”. As in, I had the potential to do really, really well.
Unfortunately, I could never get those two or three really big bites to put me in contention for the trophy. I had the potential to turn in a really, really big bag on Championship Sunday, but I just couldn’t get it to materialize.
But that’s the hard reality about tournament bass fishing at this level: you know darn well that someone is going to turn “potential” into “reality”, and this year, that someone was Jordan Lee.
I have to hand it to Jordan. For a 25-year-old fishing only his third year as a pro, he’s become a legitimate Top 10-level threat in every tournament we fish. And he showed it on Conroe: 27 pounds, 4 ounces on Sunday, when it mattered most, tells you a lot about a guy’s ability to perform under pressure.
And let me make this clear: Lake Conroe was NOT easy last week. Yes, that lake has some dandy fish in it, and I really like it. I finished third on Conroe in the 2013 Toyota Texas Bass Classic, and really like the way the place fishes.
But through the course of the week, conditions changed almost by the hour. Conroe turned into a really demanding fishery – exactly what you’d expect at the Bassmaster Classic.
How my week went down
Going into the week, I felt like I had a pretty good chance at a Top 5 finish … IF the conditions set up right. Conroe’s fish are in different stages of spawn, and a lot of guys felt like they had a shot, based on their individual abilities to catch post-spawners, bedding fish, what-have-you.
Mother Nature had different ideas. The wind blew like heck on Day 1, and a lot of the shallow spots where a guy might expect to sight-fish were muddied up by noon. And it got worse as the day went on
I finished Day 1 with 14 pounds, 9 ounces, which put me in the middle of the pack. I dropped off a little on Day 2 with 13 pounds, but that was a t-o-u-g-h day on Conroe: six guys blanked, including a couple of Classic and Angler of the Year winners.
But, what I saw at the end of that day had me convinced that a Day 3 miracle was possible. Everybody knows how much I like to sight fish, and in the last couple of hours of Day 2, I spotted some giants. When I got onstage that afternoon and told everybody “I think somebody is going to catch a 35-pound bag on Sunday”, I meant it.
And I thought I could be the one to do it.
I saw one fish that might be the biggest largemouth I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I mean, I won’t even guess how much she weighed, but I’ll bet my best duck call that it was bigger than the 9-14 that won big-bass for the event.
Needless to say, I couldn’t get that big fish to bite, and finished the day with 16-3 for 12th place.
I really hope the Classic comes back to Houston and Lake Conroe again, for two reasons: the fish here are outstanding, and the weigh-in at Minute Maid Park was one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. I’d love to do that all again.
Up next: We’re back on the Elite Series schedule in two weeks, going to a place I dearly love: Toledo Bend, Louisiana, where I won my first Elite event back in 2014. Please be sure to check back here to the QCrew blog over the next couple of weeks, we’re working on some really fun stuff.