Editor: Our pro staff and content correspondent Kevin Carwile recently caught up with 2019 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series champion Cody Huff. Huff had a dream year in 2019 that included qualifying for the 2020 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville. He is one to watch in 2020 as he will compete in the Bassmaster Opens with the support from Carhartt. He is a 22-year-old business major at Bethel University where his has seen a lot of collegiate fishing success. We are appreciative that Cody took time to chat with Kevin. Here are the highlights of their discussion:
iBass360: Tell us about how you got started in fishing, who inspired you?
Cody: My dad got me started fishing, after that, I couldn't get enough. I started following the pro tour, watching guys like Rick Clunn, and Kevin VanDam on Bassmaster every Sunday morning. I worked harder and harder on my fishing, especially in high school in Missouri. When looking into schools I wanted to fish with the best college anglers and be coached by the best, so it was a no- brainer, because Bethel was, and is, one of the top teams in the nation.
iBass360: How does the College fishing season work?
Cody: You can be sure it will all changed in 2020 with MLF acquiring FLW, but it appears that there will still be three different College circuits- B.A.S.S. Carhartt, FLW YETI, and Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's Association of Collegiate Anglers which runs the Boat US Collegiate Tour. Each one has regional tournaments giving you the opportunity to
qualify for their national championship. I have competed with Bethel in the Carhartt series. There are a lot of good guys in each, but the association with Carhartt associated with B.A.S.S has produced good results for the Lee brothers and they have been good to me.
iBass360: tell us your strategy and how you transitioned during the championship as water conditions , wind, and or weather conditions affected you
Cody: Adjust to the weather is a fact of life in fishing. I am still learning how to optimize my fishing under different conditions. In the Class qualifying Bracket, I had to just trust my instincts and adjust to the weather each day. I'm not sure if that means I am getting better at making weather-related judgments, but I hope so. As I said, still more to learn.
iBass360: What is your favorite part of fishing at the college level? Is there a least favorite part?
Cody: There is really nothing negative about college fishing. Like any sport you love, it takes hard work to get to the top. I like that it has given me the opportunity to travel across the country and
it certainly has provided me with tons of experience with different types of fishing on different bodies of water, many of which I would not otherwise gotten to see, It certainly was a great way to prepare for the next level- being a pro.
iBass360: What is your favorite way to fish- cranking, drop shot, frogging, other?
Cody: I love catching them deep when they are schooled up and you know your going to catch one on your next cast. That usually means cranking. I also like to fish topwater with a buzzbait. Finally I would say it's fun to pitch jigs and fish finesse worms.
iBass360: What advice can you offer young anglers who want to get In at the college level?
Cody: There are two sides to this. On the fishing side, my advice for a high school angler would be to spend as much time on the water as possible and focus on and advancing their skills. You have to be able to fish shallow and deep, and work all kinds of structure. So develop as many tools as possible. Don’t worry much about the sponsor side of things, that will come along. Do it first for the love of the sport. Also remember, fishing alone won't get you into college. You have to balance your on the water time with the school work.
iBass360: Who is your favorite pro angler and why?
Cody: My favorite has to be Rick Clunn. As I see it, he is the best there's ever been. He is good
enough to beat people day in and day out without all the fancy electronics and everything else, He beats them mentally and outworks them. He has also taken an interest in my fishing and been a good mentor. After Rick, I would say I like Jacob Wheeler- he is able to catch bass everywhere he goes, and also Gerald Swindle, he’s an incredible angler and he has a great sense of humor.
iBass360: Thanks, Cody. All the best on Lake Guntersville in March!