OCEANSIDE, Calif. – It’s taken just two years for the Hobie Bass Open Series (B.O.S.) Anchored by Power-Pole to capture the imagination of kayak bass fishing fans across the country. Now, heading into its third season, it may be the most prestigious kayak tourney trail in the country.
“There’s no doubt we’re one of the top draws at this point,” says tournament director A. J. McWhorter. “Much of that is because we’re focused on the anglers themselves. We try to promote our competitors and ensure top level competition to showcase their talents, compete on the best kayak bass fishing waters in the country, offer substantial cash prizes, and make certain everything runs smoothly from start to finish. Still, it’s the competitors themselves that deserve the most credit. They’re the ones doing the heavy lifting, competing and honing their skills. It makes for some extremely competitive, fun and exciting times, and we can’t wait to get another awesome season underway.”
That happens this weekend, February 6-7, at Georgia’s famed bassin honey hole, Lake Seminole. The Bainbridge, Georgia lake has a reputation for fast action and big fish. In fact, last year saw Florida native Josh Counce blast out of the gate on Day 1 to record an amazing 101 inches for his five-fish limit of catch-and-release bass within the first hour of competition to break the all-time B.O.S. single-day record. Even though he finished strong on Day 2, it still wasn’t enough to hold off hard-charging Jake Harshman of Pennsylvania, who drilled the biggest fish of the tourney on ¾-ounce Z-Man Jackhammer ChatterBait. The 21.75-inch brute nudged him into the lead with just 40 minutes to go.
I think the choice of waters for this time of the season is phenomenal,” says Harshman. “Lake Seminole offers a myriad of fishing prospects in terms of shallow cover, weedlines, shorelines and submerged brush. It also has an aggressive bass population with plenty of big fish. I think it will take at least 185 inches of bass to put this title away. That’s impressive. To win, you’ll probably need to stick a 22-inch bass. I wouldn’t be surprised if anything under 17 inches needs to be culled out for something even bigger.”
Of course, spring being what it is, Harshman advises anglers to gear-up and come prepared for changing weather conditions. Last year’s tournament witnessed a temperature swing of over 20-degrees from Day 1 to Day 2, he notes, but the fish still bit. Chartreuse and white are solid color choices on the waters here, he adds, with moving baits like ChatterBaits and swimbaits drawing a lot of strikes around isolated weed patches.
As for the B.O.S. trail in general, Harshman says he doesn’t think there’s a more elite level of kayak fishing competition on the circuit. “Hobie does right by its anglers,” he says. “Every tourney site is a bucket list destination, the rules are clear, fair and well thought out, the competition is unmatched, the prizes are generous and the camaraderie is top shelf. It doesn’t get any better than that when it comes to kayak bass fishing competition.”
Launched in 2019, the Hobie Bass Open Series (B.O.S.) Anchored By Power-Pole is a national kayak fishing tournament series with 10 Open Events and 1 Tournament of Champions Event (TOC). Events are scheduled at some of the best bass fisheries in the country where anglers have the chance to battle it out over the 2-day events which begin Friday night and end Sunday afternoon. Anyone aged 16 years or older may enter the Open Events and all brands of kayaks are welcome. Aside from competing for cash payouts and coveted FarWide Angler of the Year (AOL) points, each event hosts a fun raffle with sponsored prizes and encompasses the camaraderie that makes the kayak fishing community special.
In 2020, despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and new safety protocol measures put in place to protect our competitors and staff, the Hobie B.O.S. Anchored by Power-Pole experienced amazing growth with an average of 108 anglers per event and had as many as 155 anglers participating in a single event. Angler earning last year topped $243,000, and the Tournament of Champions purse paid out $62,000.
“We’d like to thank our sponsors heading into the 2021 season,” adds McWhorter: “Power-Pole,Farwide, Bassin’ Magazine, Lowrance, Tactacam, Dakota-Lithium, Princeton Tec, Stohlquist Water Ware, American Fishing Tackle Company, St. Croix Rod, Flambeau Outdoors, Railblaza, Hobie Eyeware, Daiwa Corporation, Engel Coolers, and Marine Mat. Their support makes a huge difference in the quality of our series. With their help, we’ll do it all again this season and continue with our goal of running the best kayak fishing tournament series in the country, helping anglers in the community, and growing the sport of kayak fishing to new heights.”
For more information on the Hobie B.O.S. Anchored by Power-Pole, or to register for an event, visit: hobiebos.com.