During the unique 8-man Bassmaster Classic Bracket tournament on New York’s Niagara River, Jacob Powroznik showcased the importance of going big with your drop shot weights when conditions call for it - like when hunkered down behind a bridge pier in 25-feet of water with the current raging past, not far from plunging over Niagara Falls.

 “I realize that normally we think of small 1/8 and 3/16 ounce weights for drop shotting - it’s a finesse technique - but this river current is so extreme that I had to go big with my weight in order to keep the lure near the bottom,” he explains.

 “I was actually using a ½ ounce weight,” confessed Powroznik. “And heck, that’s no big deal really, Elite Tungsten just came out with a 1-ounce drop shot weight.”

 “Whatever the conditions, the bottom line is, if you’re not keeping your bait near the bottom, you’re probably not going to get a bite when drop-shotting,” emphasizes Powroznik.

 Kevin VanDam is grateful that Dominic Bellissimo’s mom decided to deep fry some chicken wings and season them with special sauce to satisfy his hungry buddies late one night in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo.

 “I’m a huge wing connoisseur, always have been, so why not go to the Holy Grail of chicken wings when you’re in Buffalo?” questioned VanDam while holding up a bottle of the Bellissimo’s famous family wing sauce just prior to day three of competition at the B.A.S.S. Bracket tournament on the Niagara River.

 The 7-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year has eaten wings at the Anchor Bar, but you might be surprised to learn that his favorite wings of all time come from the grill of a fellow pro angler.

 “Davy Hite makes the best wings on the planet. They’re a 12 on a scale of 1 to 10,” VanDam insists. “Davy cooks ‘em on a smoker that actually steam smokes them, then his wife Natalie makes this special sorta sweet teriyaki sauce that’s phenomenal!”

 “Seriously! No wings I’ve ever tasted are as good as the ones Davy and Natalie make,” swears VanDam.

 “On a good day, I can make you some wings on my wood pellet grill that I’d judge a 10, but they’re not a 12,” says VanDam. “I smoke them at 250-degrees for a little less than 3-hours, and they fall off the bone.”

 When asked about his favorite non-homemade wings, the Bellissimo family may be disappointed to hear the 4-time Bassmaster Classic Champ’s answer.

 “Buffalo Wild Wings is hard to beat, mainly because they have such a huge variety of flavors. I usually roll with their spicy garlic,” admits VanDam just prior to blast-off with a boatload of jerkbaits, tubes, drop shots, and yes, a bottle of Anchor Bar wing sauce. 


Alan McGuckin