Powers earned $10,000 cash plus a Ranger 519VX powered by a Yamaha or Evinrude outboard, Minn Kota trolling motor, Garmin electronics and EverStart Batteries.
Ironically, Powers has been fishing a nearly identical pattern with the same lure for the last two events. While using a Pop-R, he has targeted bass in small pockets and bays. In this event, Powers has fished within a mile of the launch site each day. "There are probably 150 pockets near the ramp," Powers said. "I just motored around and pulled into pockets that looked good and fished." Powers did add that his largest bass of the final day, a 3-1/2 pounder, took a jig.
Rounding out the top-five pros are Chris Baldwin of Lexington (10 bass, 27 pounds, 11 ounces, $10,000); Jeffrey Thomas of Broadway (10 bass, 26 pounds, 15 ounces, $9,000); Pete Gluszek of Franklinville, N.J. (10 bass, 26 pounds, 5 ounces, $8,000); and Chris Daves of Hopewell, Va. (10 bass, 21 pounds, 4 ounces, $7,500).
Baldwin earned an additional $1,500 as winner of the Ranger Cup contingency award.
Shannon Fletcher of Honaker, Va., caught 10 bass weighing 22 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Co-angler Division. Fletcher earned $35,000 in cash and prizes, including a fully rigged Ranger 519VX.
Fletcher said the pros he's fished with all week have mostly been throwing topwater lures. "I didn't want to throw another topwater right behind them, so I opted to throw a Zoom fluke," Fletcher said. "White pearl was the best color, and that's what I've been catching most of my fish on this week, although I also caught a few on a Carolina rig with a finesse worm."
Rounding out the top-five co-anglers are Mark Cummings of Pembroke (eight bass, 19 pounds, 13 ounces, $4,000); Ryan J. Bowman of Seneca, S.C. (nine bass, 16 pounds, 8 ounces, $3,500); Andy Staple of Youngsville (eight bass, 14 pounds 1 ounce, $2,500) and Douglas Grant of Manchester, Conn. (six bass, 13 pounds, 8 ounces, $2,000).
EverStart Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday and Thursday, and the top 10 pros and co-anglers ? based on two-day accumulated weights ? advance to the final round. Anglers start at zero on Friday, and pro and co-angler winners are determined Saturday based on two-day accumulated weights.