By Alan McGuckin
Jacob Powroznik is a seasoned pro fishing in his fourth Bassmaster Classic. He made a serious run at winning the Classic here at Lake Hartwell in 2015. Much the opposite, 19-year old Carhartt Bassmaster College Series champ Jacob "The Paperboy" Foutz is fishing his very first Classic. Despite their contrasting levels of experience, both anglers graciously took a moment Tuesday for a quick Q&A to discuss their stress levels, lures they expect to be used, lake conditions, and more.
What's your biggest concern or source of stress right now?
Powroznik: Trying to catch a 5-pounder, because a 5-pounder is a game changer here, and so far in practice I haven't had my hands on one that big.
Foutz: The randomness of the bite. I've had bites in 6 inches of water and I've had bites in 30 feet of water, but I've not seen a real defined pattern yet.
What do you like best about Lake Hartwell?
Powroznik: It reminds me of Buggs Island Lake back home with all its red clay points and shoreline, and bass relate really well to that red clay at this time of year.
Foutz: It's a really diverse fishery. You can fish deep near the dam, or run up the two rivers and fish shallow if you want.
A lot of people say this Classic is anybody's ballgame to win. Do you agree with that?
Powroznik: Yep, absolutely. Somebody is going to win this Classic that has absolutely no idea they're going to win it right now.
Foutz: I agree with that. With water levels rising the fish have spread out more, and it's a real possibility that somebody could stumble into the winning school of fish that may not be expecting to right now.
What four lures can fans at home expect to see Bassmaster Classic competitors casting this week on Lake Hartwell?
Powroznik: Jerkbaits, Shaky Heads, a jig, and a crankbait that will run about 4 feet deep like a Livingston 2.0.
Foutz: Jig, Shaky Head, jerkbaits and spinnerbaits.
How much weight will an angler have to average each day to leave this Classic with a Top 10 finish?
Powroznik: 13 pounds a day should get a Top 10 here.
Foutz: I'd say between 12 and 14 pounds a day.