Andrachick stays consistent to win B.A.S.S. Nation Western Regional at Lake Powell
PAGE, Ariz. —

Coming into the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Western Regional at Lake Powell, Sean Andrachick’s main goal was to catch a limit each day to help Team Montana compete in the team competition.

Not only did Andrachick secure limits each day, he found the winning group of bass. With a three-day total of 30 pounds, 12 ounces, the Marion, Mont., boater took home the victory, edging Idaho’s Jess Pottenger by 1-4.

After landing in second the first two days with 11-0 and 10-14, Andrachick caught 8-14 on the final day to jump into the top spot. It is not only his first-ever victory in a Regional, but also the first time Andrachick has qualified for the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Andrachick, who also earned the $500 Garmin Rewards bonus. “I have fished these for so long and this is pretty surreal for me. I’m surprised and blown away by the whole thing. I really didn’t think much about winning. I felt like I was going to come down and try to get the team a win. I never thought I would take the whole thing.”

A local to Noxon Reservoir, Andrachick has been to Lake Powell several times in the past, including in 2006 when the Montana state team won the team competition.

In his search for limit fillers, Andrachick located two main areas that held bass. Both areas featured chunk-rock points with brush and tumbleweed mixed in. There were also big balls of shad in his areas as well, which he could see with his eyes and on Garmin LiveScope.

His starting spot featured mostly largemouth in 5 to 10 feet of water, and he was able to catch the majority of his green fish on a Lucky Craft Gunfish walking bait.

“I caught most of my bass off stuff that most people weren’t fishing,” he said. “People were fishing the backs of the coves and all my fish were out in front of all of that. I was probably a third of the way back. I had a morning topwater bite and caught my kicker fish that way.”

As soon as the sun rose over the canyon, he moved to his second location where he caught mostly smallmouth in anywhere from 5 to 20 feet of water with a small Keitech swimbait in the smallmouth magic color on a drop-shot rig. He also used a Berkley Flatworm and a 3-inch Yamamoto Senko in smoke purple.

His biggest smallmouth was over 3 pounds.

“The bigger smallmouth would come later in the afternoon, especially with the sun,” he said. “Those smallmouth will start roaming around and eating when the sun comes up. When you find the right spot, you can sit there and pick them off.”

Sun and some wind prevailed the first two days and Andrachick caught several limits of bass both days. On Day 3, a morning storm system rolled through and left cloudy conditions in its wake, which changed his bite.

Even still, he filled his limit within the first three hours of fishing and made several more culls throughout the day.

“I was catching three limits a day pretty consistently and today, it was really tough,” he said. “There were a few fish in my box that were small that normally I would have culled out. Today I caught almost all of my smallmouth on topwater, which normally would have been a largemouth bite.”

In his first time fishing a Nation Regional as a boater, Pottenger qualified for the Nation Championship with a three-day total of 29-8. The Harrison, Idaho, native was one of the few anglers who improved his catch each day, landing bags of 8-10, 10-5 and 10-9.

Using mostly a topwater walking bait and a fluke, Pottenger targeted pockets with a mix of rock and brush. He caught a mix of smallmouth and largemouth.

A local to Lake Powell, Riley Nielsen of Murray, Utah, finished third with 29-3 with daily limits weighing 10-10, 8-11 and 9-14. Nielsen focused on flats with little drops where the smallmouth were waiting for shad.

He used mostly a topwater walking bait the first two days before switching to a drop shot on the final day.

Idaho’s Zach Taylor earned $500 for catching the Big Bass of the Tournament, a 4-12.

Arizona’s Hayden Spradling won the nonboater division with a three-day total of 18-11. California’s Kin Pui Wong finished second with 17-5 and Arizona’s Brandon Kahoun finished third with 17-5.

Arizona’s Eric Hammer caught the Big Bass of Tournament for nonboaters, a 4-4, which earned him a $250 bonus.

The top boater and nonboater from each state qualified for the 2023 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship at Lake Hartwell scheduled for Oct. 18-20. The winner of that event will be crowned Nation’s Best and will earn an invitation to the 2024 Bassmaster Elite Series as well as a spot in the 2024 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota.

The winner will also have use of a fully rigged Nitro Boat and Toyota Tundra.

The second and third-place anglers in the Nation Championship will also punch their tickets to the Classic and will receive full paid entry into the 2024 St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Elite Qualifiers format.

Visit Page hosted the tournament.