Crowning the 'Tournament of Champions' King
"I woke up today and it just started sinking in, the magnitude of what just happened. I'm just kind of flustered right now. It's crazy," says the West Virginia native Jody Queen as he's asked about how it feels to be a champion. Two days and 40 miles of fishable waters, Jody put in the work and was able to bring in a total of 169 inches of Arkansas largemouth at the inaugural 2019 Hobie Bass Open Series (BOS) Tournament of Champions (TOC) on the notorious Lake Ouachita. He was victorious and walked away with a 1st place finish, a $20,000 payout, irreplaceable memories, and a humble heart!
Throughout the years, we've learned that Jody Queen is quiet, determined and consistent. He's authentic and stays true to his roots, making him an extraordinary ambassador for the sport of kayak fishing. He'll admit that his fishing style doesn't have much 'pizzazz' and that he keeps it basic and sticks to what he knows, and that's exactly what earned him the crown at the Hobie BOS TOC!
Throughout Jody's tourney recaps he mentioned that he didn't have to make bait changes during the tourney and he used one bait for two days. He initially wet his line with a spinnerbait but wasn't getting any results. However, he found his golden ticket when he tied on the tried-and-true Z-Man Chatterbait Jack Hammer! The water was stained and had an abundance of baitfish in the area, so he chose to go with a Z-Man RaZor ShadZ for a trailer.
Jody found a solid pattern with a slow retrieve, bumping his chatterbait off of wood and brush, in an area that was big enough to hold several different fish, so he just continued to do what worked for him and worked the same area all day. For Jody, consistency, and confidence with what he was doing was key to continuing to land him the numbers he needed to take home the win. Here's a closer look into his set up that helped reel in the championship:
Rod: 13 Fishing 7'3" Medium/Heavy Muse Black
Reel: Lew's Tournament MB
Line: 14 lb test Fluorocarbon
Lure: 3/8 oz Z-Man Chatterbait Jack Hammer in Green Pumpkin
Trailer: Z-Man RaZor ShadZ in The Deal
Here are some other practical applications, straight from the Champ himself, to help you reel in success with some of the same approaches that he uses with the Jack Hammer:
Rocky Areas: Use the RaZor ShadZ trailer in Green Pumpkin when there's a lot of rock and moss in the area and the fish are feeding on crawdads.
Shallow Water: Try using the Z-Man DieZel MinnowZ trailer on the Jack Hammer when you're fishing shallow waters and grassy areas. The higher buoyancy of the DieZel MinnowZ, compared to the RaZor ShadZ, allows your lure to ride higher in the water column.
Although the Hobie BOS win is still very surreal to Jody, he's already looking towards the future of kayak fishing. Being a seasoned tourney angler in KBF and now the Hobie series, he's hoping to see collaboration among the trail organizations in order to continue growing the sport. 'The more information that they can share back and forth and streamline them [events] would make them [the series] better. We need to work together...to try not to compete against eachother...so anglers, such as me, that make a living doing this...can schedule both series," says Jody.
Just like the 2019 Hobie BOS Champ, we look forward to the continual growth of the kayak fishing world and can't wait to see Jody Queen defend his title is 2020!
- Erica Novak