For 30 seasons, Mark Menendez has proven he’s got the sort of rare bass fishing talents reserved for a select group. His sustainability, professionalism and ability to overcome life’s adversity are admirable.
In October, Mark will marry Melissa, a wonderful woman he met months after both of them lost spouses they loved dearly far too early in life. He admits at first both he and Melissa were emotionally challenged to move on, but love eventually stepped in to propel them forward.
Amid a rainstorm during the final day’s weigh-in on the banks of the St. Johns, Menendez couldn’t help but grin about their relationship as he added up the winnings from his second Top 5 in recent years at a Bassmaster Elite Series in Palatka, Fla.
“My tournament paycheck will be $20,000, plus I’ll get $1,000 from Skeeter Boats Real Money, and $1,500 from the new Yamaha Power Pay program. Man, that’ll all add up to pay for the wedding,” said Menendez.
Fellow Yamaha pro Patrick Walters won $3,000 in Power Pay money because he edged out Menendez by one place in the standings, but Menendez is more than grateful for Yamaha’s second place contingency money, which is now available through 600 bass, walleye and saltwater events.
He caught 67 pounds of Florida largemouth from the famed St. Johns on two lures, a Texas-rigged junebug Strike King® Space Monkey reeled slowly beneath the surface, and a Rage Craw he stair-stepped from the shoreline out to four feet of water.
“I’ve run a Yamaha outboard for 19 seasons, and I’ll promise you, if it’ll run as reliable under me as it does, then it will stand up to just about any angler out there, because I put my equipment to the test,” he says.
The fact is, Menendez has also proven highly reliable no matter what tests life has tossed his way, and in eight months when he marries the woman he describes as the most motivated and positive woman he’s ever met, the Yamaha team can smile knowing they had a tiny hand in supporting a much deserved celebration.
Introduced in the fall of 2019, Power Pay gives anglers the opportunity to receive compensation for running eligible Yamaha outboards. Eligible anglers running Yamaha outboards can sign up for the program by visiting yamahapowerpay.com. All applicants are required to accept and adhere to the Yamaha Angler Code of Ethics before completing the registration for the program. Once registered, the highest placing angler in specified Power Pay sanctioned tournaments that meets all eligibility requirements will be compensated by Yamaha accordingly.
New tournaments for 2021 include the MLF Bass Pro Tour, Bass Champs Texas, Carolina Bass Challenge, Texas Team Trail®, Skeeter XFL, Nichols Team Series Oklahoma, Phoenix BFL Regionals, EFL™ Redfish Contender Series and EFL™ Redfish Tour. Additional eligible Power Pay tournaments and trails include the Bassmaster Classic®, Bassmaster® Angler of the Year, Bassmaster Opens, B.A.S.S. Nation®, Bassmaster Elites, Bassmaster College Series, Bassmaster High School series, A.B.A. Bass Pro Shops® Open Series, Alabama Bass Trail, MWC, The National Walleye Tour®, AIM® Walleye, Kingfish Cup and Flatsmasters®.
For more information and complete terms and conditions about Power Pay, visit yamahapowerpay.com. Some restrictions apply. Void where prohibited by law.
Yamaha Marine products are marketed throughout the United States and around the world. Yamaha Marine Engine Systems, based in Kennesaw, Ga., supports its 2,000 U.S. dealers and boat builders with marketing, training and parts for Yamaha’s full line of products and strives to be the industry leader in reliability, technology and customer service. Yamaha Marine is the only outboard brand to have earned NMMA®’s C.S.I. Customer Satisfaction Index award every year since its inception. Visit www.yamahaoutboards.com.