COLUMBIA, S.C. – Claiming his first Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour victory, Fenwick Pro Keith Poche crushed the competition on Douglas and Cherokee Lake this week as his weights increased as the tournament progressed. Poche breezed through the qualifying and knockout rounds of the event to make the championship and final day where he posted a dominating performance of 19-pound, 2-ounces to claim victory.
Throughout the event, Poche stuck to his guns and found big bites doing exactly what he likes to do. Getting up shallow or “off the grid” as he likes to say, Poche left his mark on Stage Two of the Major League Fishing BPT.
“I love fishing in places where no one else is able to reach. For me, that’s my passion and the majority of the time the fish I find in those places are untouched,” said Poche. “In this event I put my gear through the ringer by jumping shoals, going all the way up the rivers and creeks on Douglas and Cherokee and found the right fish waiting for me.”
Poche is very passionate about his style of fishing and acknowledges the risks but big rewards of doing so. Getting the win the way he likes to fish is quite an accomplishment, and the way he caught his limit this week is one that truly shows the effectiveness and diversity that his Fenwick Elite bass rods have to offer.
In the Championship round Poche caught the majority of his fish on a Berkley PowerBait Hollow Belly swimbait rigged up on a 7’3” Heavy Fenwick Elite casting rod and Abu Garcia Zenon X casting reel. Fishing in current and around a lot of rocks, he rigged this setup on 15-pound Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon giving him the confidence to get the winning fish in the boat.
“To do what I do, I need to have the right gear that I can trust. I beat my stuff up, and I need to be able to know it can endure the conditions that I endure to get to the spots I am trying to fish,” said Poche. “Fenwick rods are known for their sensitivity, so it is pretty impressive that they are also tough enough to handle some of the places I take them. They have every action I could ask for, and they’ll hold up to every condition I find myself in.”
This win is a big addition to the trophy case for Poche, but there is no time for celebration as his sights are set on the next tournament that is just down the road on the same river system – the 2023 Bassmaster Classic on the Tennessee River.
“I have been fishing professionally for 14 years and anytime you win an event, it’s a huge deal for the angler. It’s all about the confidence, pride and the mindset it allows that angler to fish with moving forward after that win. For me, this is exactly what I needed,” concludes Poche. “It’s a huge accomplishment for me against this stacked field of anglers and gives me just the confidence that I need to throw a few Fenwick rods and Berkley baits in my boat tomorrow to go try and win the Bassmaster Classic.”
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