Having a great memory and clear vision on the water can pave the way to success on the kayak tournament bass trail, whether you are a veteran competitor or new to the game. Indeed, it was those two abilities that proved crucial for Brady Storrs last week as the 22-year-old from Kearney, Nebraska, outdistanced a highly competitive field on Tennessee’s Lake Chickamauga during Hobie’s Power-Pole Tournament of Champions (T.O.C) catch, photograph and release (C.P.R.) event.
The 2023 Tournament of Champions brought the top 60 anglers from the Hobie Bass Open Series (B.O.S.) together for a 3-day showdown on the famed Chickamauga Lake in Dayton, TN, for the opportunity of over $100,000 in cash and prizes, including a guaranteed $30,000 first place prize.
Winning by an impressive margin of 4.5 inches over 60 qualifying competitors that included several past T.O.C. champions, Storrs tallied an impressive 256.25” of largemouth over the three-day tourney to best Jordan Marshall (251.75”) and Justin Largen (251”) at the top of the leader board. Day 1 witnessed Storrs take the seventh spot with 82.5 inches of largemouth bass. On Day 2, he upped his pace with 85.5”. Day 3 put him over the top with an additional 88.25” – and top rung on the final scoreboard. For their efforts, Storrs walked away with a check for $30,000 while Marshall pocketed $10,000 and Largen took home $7,500.
“It really was a challenging event,” said tournament director A.J. McWhorter. “Our anglers endured weather and water condition changes daily in their quest for the Grand Championship Title. Brady Storrs showed his champion skill-set is not just angling but also maintaining the perseverance and patience to improve his five-fish total each day and come out on top of one of the toughest fields in kayak fishing!”
Storrs agreed the weather was challenging, noting Day 2 started with sunny skies before a cold front moved through. Day 3 proved even tougher as rain and wind entered the mix. Luckily, a Day 1 pattern he uncovered held up. “I realized that the bass often missed on the first cast or two I made into the weeds with a small, white-bellied Snag-Proof frog. If I made a third cast all the way to the back of the weeds, though, it allowed more time for them to track it down. If they still missed, I would return to those same spots later, try again, and pick up those fish.”
As for that clear vision, Storrs credited his Hobie Eyewear “Snook” polarized sunglasses. “I got this pair at the T.O.C. and used them for the entire tournament,” he revealed. “They made a huge difference because everything happens fast when frog fishing. You need crisp vision to process the images, let the fish take the bait, and set the hook with perfect timing. My Hobie Eyewear also helped me avoid snags because I could easily see the different colored hues in the water that tip you off to the optimal strike zone versus potential snags. Their clarity, penetration, and toughness are legendary. They are the best brand of polarized sunglasses I’ve ever worn.” Storrs added that he also loves Hobie Eyewear’s Coastal series for fishing and the Broad series when heading out for some fun, noting Hobie Eyewear has several different styles and sizes that look great and fit heads big and small.
Storrs, who has been fishing Hobie B.O.S. and other tournaments since age 14, also mentioned that his Hobie PA12 kayak certainly contributes to his tournament success. “With its pedal drive, it’s the most efficient vessel I’ve ever used for staying pointed in the right direction on windy days – and its turning radius is phenomenal,” he states. “It’s also amazingly stable – I stand in it nearly 100% of the time I’m fishing. I really appreciate the laydown rod tubes in the hull, too. I can fit at least three rods in each. I usually fish a rod or two, but I like to carry nine and could load a dozen on this ‘yak if I wanted to. It’s nice to have that choice.”
What’s next for Storrs? Certainly, he hopes to remain successful on the Hobie B.O.S. trail. He’s also opening his own Hobie kayak dealership, “Select Sail and Sports,” in Kearney, Nebraska, maybe with a little room for fishing gear and off season rod and reel repair. “Hopefully,” he laughs, “that won’t cut too much into my fishing time.”
Check www.hobiebos.com for all the event details and a view of the 2024 Hobie BOS Schedule so we can see you on the trail next season!
The Hobie Bass Open Series (B.O.S.) aims to provide a simplified, open-to-anyone format and an elite feel for kayak anglers across the country. This series is all about providing a platform for the anglers. As participation in each event increases, payouts will grow, the Tournament of Champions (T.O.C.) will grow, and opportunities for the anglers will only increase. Coverage of the events will set a standard and continue to solidify our sport’s legitimacy in the competitive fishing world to a broader audience. Are you ready to be a B.O.S. Angler? Learn more at About – Hobie Bass Open Series (hobiebos.com). Join the conversation on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HobieBOS/. For all things Hobie Fishing, including the Hobie Fishing World Championships, European and Australian Hobie Championship and Hobie Fishing Events world-wide, visit https://www.hobiefishingworldwide.com/.
Since 1982, Hobie® Eyewear has made being on the water easier and more enjoyable – pioneering a better, clearer, and more precise kind of vision. Merging expertly crafted designs with premium polarization, durability and innovative technologies has been at its core, following in the footsteps of visionary creator Hobie Alter. Hobie’s growing product catalog includes the ultra-light Floating Collection, HydroClean™ repellent lens coatings and Quick-Swap Interchange lenses to fit every outdoor enthusiast’s needs. Find out more at www.hobieeyewear.com and follow their adventure on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube at @HobieEyewear.
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