That's Brock Boyher (left) who just won $100K at the annual big-fish Spring Big Bass Bash tourney on Lake of the Ozarks, with his pard George Guerra. It was the first tournament Brock ever fished and his 7.27 – on I believe a Z-Man Ned rig! – was the first fish he caught that day...and that's not even half the story. Check it, from lakeexpo.com:
> They strategized beforehand for the best place to fish...in the end they settled on a familiar favorite of Boyher's: his grandpa's honey hole on the Little Niangua Arm. "I grew up you know, as a young kid probably 20 years ago, going down there to see my grandparents, and I would go to this one spot. And I remember catching a big fish there...."
> They saw the overnight weather forecast was calling for storms, high winds and possible hail, but there would be a break in the rain around 6:30 am. So the two planned to leave at the crack of dawn.
> "The boat that I have is a pretty old Bass Tracker. It's basically a glorified jonboat with a 25-hp motor. So it goes about 15 mph and the spot was 10 miles from where we were staying. So we had to wake up super early in the morning just to get there by 6:30 am. We thought we would maybe have enough time to get a few casts in and just try and haul it back there before that terrible storm hit.
> They threw out the first cast, and immediately Boyher felt something tug on his line. Initially, he thought it was a snag.... "And then all of a sudden, it just started screaming, dragging and like the fish started to run out and I'm like 'George, I got a fish!'"
> ...pulled in at 6:35 am, possibly the first fish caught of the entire tournament. They knew they had a big one, but they still had to make it to the weigh-in.... "We look up as the storm of the century is rolling in with lightning strikes and everything. I mean, it's right on the horizon and we can see it coming, and we're like 'Dude, we have to get out of here.'"
> The weigh-in station was 20 miles away. With the boat's little 25-hp motor, they had almost no chance of outrunning the coming storm.
> "We just started hauling and going about 10 mph, trying to get back to the weigh-in. Big whitecap waves. I thought to myself, There's no way we're gonna make it. And we come around the bend...there was a rainbow in the sky and I was like, 'God is with us.'"
> The pair managed to pull into a random boat slip before the storm began, but misunderstanding the Big Bass Bash rules, Boyher stayed on the boat. "I kid you not, it was like a tornado rolled in. Quarter-sized hail that's flying straight sideways. I have a picture of me standing on the boat, holding on for dear life with this giant fish in the livewell, this $100,000 fish in the live well. And we survived."
> When the storm finally subsided, they continued the long trip back to the weigh-in, but their troubles weren't over yet. Just 6 miles from the weigh-in, the boat began to struggle. "...it started to look like the boat was sinking."
> ...checked the bilge pump and discovered that when the livewell was pumping water in, the bilge pump had stopped pumping water out, and the boat had been taking on water. Guerra bailed with a bucket, and in a final crawl to the finish line, the two made it to the weigh-in station.
> "The guy who did the lie-detector test told me – after I passed and I'm like, 'You think I'm gonna win?' And he's like, 'You're gonna at least have to catch an 8-lber.' So we fished, trying to catch an 8-lber...."
> Boyher and Guerra continued to fish for the rest of the tournament, enduring 2 more storms out on the water, battling high winds and more hail. But in the end, the first fish won it all....
> Boyher split the money with Guerra [who got Brock to fish the tourney] who is working to become a tournament fisherman. Boyher plans on using his half to invest in land.
That crazy amazing or what? Thanks to bass-head Don H for the heads up.
Here's the rest of the electronics quote from #3:
> "...my advice is to just go out there and fish. Do what brought you to the passion in the beginning. I loved fishing growing up, and I didn't use a fish finder. I would just look at a spot and just say, 'Oh man that looks fishy,' and I'd go catch fish! I loved it and that's what made it fun. And that's why I kept fishing. It's not about how nice your boat is or how much you spend on a fish finder."
Of course he's right for some folks, but many other peeps like electronics – just like some guys love to shakey, some like to crank deep, etc. All good!