North America’s Best Kayak Bass Anglers Prepare for Elite End-of-Season Competition
Hobie Bass Open Series (BOS) Shootout and Tournament of Champions Scheduled for Lake Ouachita, Arkansas, November 8-10
OCEANSIDE, Calif. (October 23, 2019): Kayak bass fishing has grown by leaps in bounds in recent years. A flood of specialized, high quality gear has driven the sport’s popularity, as have kayak bass fishing tournaments.
The Hobie Bass Open Series (BOS) is unique among kayak bass fishing tournament trails, offering an accessible yet elite format with especially high payouts. The inaugural season of the Hobie BOS aimed to provide a simplified, “open-to-anyone” format and an elite feel for kayak anglers across the country. According to organizers, the series is all about providing a platform for the anglers – giving them quality events in quality venues and building payouts as participation grows.
“We have almost wrapped up our first season, and it has been a tremendous amount of fun, growing this entity to provide one of the most premier series for kayak anglers in the country,” says Hobie BOS Tournament Series Administrator, AJ McWhorter. “Building it for quality over quantity has been one of our goals from the start, and support from the anglers has been incredible.”
The 2019 Hobie BOS included six Open events hosted on Lake Chickamauga, TN; Lake Shasta, CA; Kentucky Lake, KY; Lake Fork, TX; Lake St. Clair, MI; and Lake Guntersville, AL. Eleven additional Satellite events across the country were also well attended. By virtue of their performances, the top six anglers in each Open event and the first-place angler in each Satellite event qualified to compete on the grand stage at Hobie’s first-ever Tournament of Champions (TOC).
The Hobie TOC – the final event of the Hobie Bass Open Series – will be hosted by the premier destination, Mountain Harbor Resort on Lake Ouachita, Arkansas, November 9-10, and will offer the largest total payout of any event of the 2019 Hobie BOS season. Hobie will be paying out a total of $40,000 to the top ten finishers from the field of 50 qualifying anglers. Lucky for Hobie BOS competitors, three more TOC spots are still up for grabs.
Hobie will be hosting one more event – open to all kayak anglers – called the Hobie BOS Shootout. Held on Lake Ouachita on November 8 – one day prior to the TOC – the Hobie BOS Shootout will be capped at 125 anglers. The top-three Hobie BOS Shootout finishers will qualify to compete at the Tournament of Champions and fill the field of 50 .
“The Shootout is a really unique offering within our series this year,” explains McWhorter. “It’s a single-day event and determines the final three qualifying spots for the Tournament of Champions the following two days. In addition, there are going to be some great payouts at the Shootout, so it’s really going to be a unique opportunity for additional anglers to qualify with some high-end potential.”
Hobie BOS Shootout
- 1-day event with $125 entry fee and a 125 Angler Cap. $25 from each entry goes to build TOC pot.
- Will fill all remaining spots of the TOC.
- Will be held the day before the TOC at the same venue.
- Anglers already qualified for TOC are allowed to participate for prize money only.
- Will pay out to top 10% of the field.
Tournament of Champions (TOC):
- $200 entry fee for qualified anglers. 50-angler field. All money paid into TOC pot throughout the season will be paid out at this event.
- The winner will earn $20,000 and the final spot on the North American Team for Hobie Fishing Worlds 9.
- Will pay out to top 20% of the field (top ten).
- Will provide a true elite-level kayak championship for the anglers. Family and friends are encouraged to come and support.
Meanwhile, fellow Tennessee competitor, Steve Owens – also an experienced Guntersville veteran – was making major moves. After finishing day one in 33rd place with 77.25”, Owens hammered on the big bass that had moved into his honey hole on day two with a Z-Man FattyZ worm to catch an impressive 98.25” – that’s five bass with a remarkable 19.65” average. “We were fishing just off the main channel and they came into the weeds, they were there,” says Owens, who estimated his biggest fish of the day at over six pounds.
“The Tournament of Champions is really going to present an elite appeal for our anglers competing for $40,000,” says McWhorter. Almost all of the anglers are going to be staying at Mountain Harbor Resort, a premier vacation destination. All of the event festivities are going to be there, and we are also going to have special guest, bass pro Mike Iaconelli, with us all weekend to support and promote our anglers who have earned this amazing opportunity.”
Qualifying anglers are obviously looking forward to the TOC with tons of anticipation. Not only do they have the chance to win up to $20,000, but the final spot on the North American Team for the Hobie Fishing Worlds 9 is also at stake.
“This is kind of like the kayak bass angler’s version of the Bassmaster Classic – the fifty elite anglers competing,” says Fischer, adding that the TOC is extremely difficult to qualify for. “Honestly, it was my whole goal this year to qualify for this tournament. I am extremely honored and humbled to be one of the fifty in the entire country able to compete at this level. Really, it’s the first elite-style tournament that kayak bass fishing has ever seen, so there’s been a lot of well-deserved hype and excitement around it,” the competitive kayak-fishing phenom adds. “Hobie has simply done an incredible job. All of the anglers are really beyond excited to be a part of this series and this incredible tournament.”
Kayak angler Joshua Stewart of Waverly, Tennessee, winner of the Lake Guntersville, Alabama, tournament, is also thrilled for the upcoming chance to compete at the Tournament of Champions. “I feel very fortunate to be one of the finalists and am really looking forward to the event at Mountain Harbor on Lake Ouachita. I have a feeling that the fishing is going to be good with higher lake levels and cooler temperatures. My plan is to get a few days of pre-fishing in, fish in the Shootout, and then see what happens during the Tournament of Champions,” he explains. “With Hobie’s awesome pay-out structure, my goal is to finish in the top 10, definitely. Other than that, I’m just looking forward to see what Hobie has in store for us—they’ve done a superb job with all the tournaments and it’s been a great opportunity to be a part of all of it.”
ABOUT the Hobie BOS
The inaugural season of the Hobie Bass Open Series (BOS) 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 (TOC) 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 BOS Angler? Learn more at https://www.hobie.com/blog/hobie-bass-open-series,974/. Join the conversation on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HobieBOS/.
Since 1950, Hobie has been in the business of shaping a unique lifestyle based around fun, water and quality products. From their headquarters in Oceanside, California, Hobie Cat Company manufactures, distributes and markets an impressive collection of watercraft worldwide. These include an ever-expanding line of recreation and racing sailboats, pedal-driven and paddle sit-on-top recreation and fishing kayaks, inflatable kayaks and fishing boats, plus a complementary array of parts and accessories.