SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Eight anglers set out on Cayuga Lake in central New York with one goal in mind: to win the Bass Pro Shops Heritage Cup Presented by Berkley. After three action-packed periods, it was Jacob Powroznik who came out on top over Aaron Martens and the rest of the field.
It was Powroznik’s day from lines in to lines out on a sunny afternoon on Cayuga. The Virginia pro made it to the Championship Round by hunting down schooling smallmouth on Henderson Bay and Lake Skaneateles in his Elimination and Sudden Death Rounds. He found some schoolers again, but this time it was a school of largemouth that carried him to victory.
Although he didn’t know where they were going to fish for the day until they pulled up to the boat ramp, Powroznik was somewhat familiar with Cayuga Lake, fishing two events there in the past with two Top-10 finishes. The Quicksilver pro had a tough battle on his hands all day long, having to share an offshore area with second-place finisher Aaron Martens.
“You never feel good when Aaron Martens is behind you and doing the same thing you’re doing,” Powroznik said of his drop-shot technique in shorter grass. “I picked the worst person to go up against because he’s a heck of a fisherman. Luckily, I found a clean spot that had a ridge that was about 25 to 30 yards wide. I was able to find a school of fish out there and catch them pretty consistently.”
Powroznik caught 28 bass for 57 pounds, 2 ounces on the day, none more important than a 4-3 with less than 10 minutes remaining, pushing him further ahead of Martens. It was Powroznik’s first MLF Cup Championship in his first-ever MLF Cup event.
The Lowrance pro knew he had to have a good showing in the Heritage Cup if he wanted to qualify for the 2020 General Tire World Championship because it’s the only Cup event he qualified for all season.
“Coming into this event, I knew I had to make hay if I wanted a shot at qualifying,” Powroznik explained. “It’s a relief to not only win, but qualify for the World Championship because that’s what I came here to do.”
Aaron Martens will join Powroznik in the World Championship after catching 27 bass for 51 pounds and a second-place finish. With one more qualifying spot up for grabs, it was a battle that went down to the final seconds between Terry Scroggins and Greg Vinson.
With time winding down, Vinson trailed Scroggins by only 1 ounce heading into the final minute of competition. Vinson spent the majority of his third period fishing near boat docks, one of the few forms of structure on Cayuga Lake. As Vinson’s official began to count down from 15 seconds, “The Rooster” hooked into what he hoped was a scorable bass.
The Alabama angler swung the largemouth into the boat, weighed it in and started to celebrate as time expired. It was a 1-pound, 2-ounce bass, putting Vinson 1-1 ahead of Scroggins for the third and final qualifying spot.
Powroznik, Martens and Vinson will join Jacob Wheeler, Edwin Evers, Jeff Sprague, Michael Neal and Andy Montgomery as anglers who have already qualified for the 2020 General Tire World Championship. There are still eight more spots up for grabs with two more Cup events to go in the season.