OCEANSIDE, Calif. – There’s big news on the 2022 Hobie Bass Open Series (B.O.S.) Anchored by Power-Pole trail. Hobie has just bumped the total purse for its Tournament of Champions (T.O.C.) series finale from $75,000 to a whopping $100,000. Included in the increase is a $45,000 reward for the first-place finisher. That’s some big bass bucks!
Launched in 2019, The Hobie B.O.S. Anchored by Power-Pole is widely recognized as one of the premier kayak fishing circuits. Featuring nine, two-day open events that visit some of the most famous bass fisheries in the country, plus the three-day T.O.C. in which 50 qualifying anglers compete for the ultimate prize and bragging rights, the B.O.S. trail is open to everyone and gathers together an exceptionally competitive and diverse field that includes some of the best kayak bass anglers in the world.
“I’m proud to see how much we’ve grown in just four years and to have our prize money reflect that growth,” says Tournament Director, A.J. McWhorter. “This is what we’ve been working for since the start. We believe kayak anglers should have these opportunities in our sport, and we feel both privileged and excited to guarantee such a tremendous championship purse before the season even starts. This $100,000 T.O.C. total payout gives every one of our participants an opportunity to aim for the highest levels, both in terms of the competition itself and the final prize.”
Jody Queen, of Bluefield, WV, captured the inaugural T.O.C. title on Arkansas’ fabled Lake Ouachita back in 2019, cashing a $20,000 first-place check. Like McWhorter, he appreciates how the series has grown with the sport. “Kayak fishing is growing in leaps and bounds,” says Queen, “and it’s great to see Hobie’s purse matching that growth. With tournament payouts like this, there’s no denying this sport is the real deal.”
Ryan Lambert, winner of Hobie’s second T.O.C., held on the Tennessee River in Knoxville, TN, agrees with both McWhorter and Queen. “Wow, this is big news,” says Lambert. “With an additional $10,000 for first place, you’re now seeing a payout for a 50-person event that’s equivalent to 300-participant pay outs from other organizations. The new payout reflects not only the difficulty in qualifying against such great competition, but also the challenge of winning against what could arguably be the best 50 kayak anglers in the country.”
Lambert notes the Hobie B.O.S. trail as being the most prestigious kayak fishing series in North America, and says the T.O.C., in particular, is in a league of its own. “There’s not another season ending event that is on the same scale as the Hobie T.O.C.,” he explains, “and the competition gets more intense every year. You really have to bring your A-game to be competitive in this field. With a bigger purse, I think you’ll be seeing some traditional bass anglers crossing over into kayak fishing and collegiate anglers choosing the kayak route. This is going to elevate everyone while helping the sport to continue to grow.”
Kristine Fischer took home a $35,000 check and the Hobie T.O.C. 2021 crown last November on Alabama’s Lake Eufaula, and she couldn’t be more excited to learn of Hobie’s new $100,000 guaranteed payout.
“Holy cow, that is a big deal,” she states. “I realized when I first started out on this trail that Hobie and tournament director A.J. McWhorter were carefully playing the long game by planning for steady growth. Now, to see the participation, the payouts and caliber of anglers that have rallied behind the Hobie B.O.S. increase so much over the years is really something special. It’s just incredible to see how far we’ve come.”
For his part, McWhorter couldn’t be more pleased. Winning the T.O.C. $45,000 first-place prize, he explains, can change the trajectory of an angler’s year – or even career – while potentially allowing them to fulfill dreams of becoming more professional fisherman in the kayak space.
That, concludes Fischer, is right on point. “This larger purse speaks highly of the limitless opportunities available to us,” she says definitively. “It truly lets us know there is a future in professional, even full-time, kayak fishing and that’s really exciting. I can’t wait to defend my crown this fall.”
For it all to come to a head with so much at stake on renown Caddo Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana – one of the hottest bass waters in the country – is sure to make for a super-exciting finale to the 2022 Hobie B.O.S. Sponsored by Power-Pole season. Who will make the cut and cash out on top? Only time will tell, but the journey certainly promises to be a blast.