Inside Elite Boats

Inside Elite Boats: Mike Huff

Take a complete walk-through of Bassmaster Elite Series angler Mike Huff’s Vexus bass boat.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Take a complete walk-through of Bassmaster Elite Series angler Mike Huff’s Vexus bass boat.
A wide shot shows Huff’s complete rig with a Toyota Tundra that tows his Vexus. The truck's 5.7-liter V8 engine provides plenty of pulling power and reliability to get to each tournament location.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - A wide shot shows Huff’s complete rig with a Toyota Tundra that tows his Vexus. The truck's 5.7-liter V8 engine provides plenty of pulling power and reliability to get to each tournament location.
The pickled fork front end design makes the front of the boat slightly wider. This gives him more room to stand and more space to place rods on the deck. “It works out really well for buddy tournaments, because it gives enough space for two people to fish on the front of the boat.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The pickled fork front end design makes the front of the boat slightly wider. This gives him more room to stand and more space to place rods on the deck. “It works out really well for buddy tournaments, because it gives enough space for two people to fish on the front of the boat.
To keep from scratching or damaging the V of the hull, a shield is installed for extra protection while running the boat in the water or beaching the boat.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - To keep from scratching or damaging the V of the hull, a shield is installed for extra protection while running the boat in the water or beaching the boat.
Huff runs a Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor on his Vexus.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Huff runs a Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor on his Vexus.
Installed on the bottom of the Ultrex is the Humminbird transducer, which is paired with his Humminbird electronics system.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Installed on the bottom of the Ultrex is the Humminbird transducer, which is paired with his Humminbird electronics system.
The 112-pound, 36-volt Ultrex comes equipped with the i-Pilot system. It allows for remote and Bluetooth control of the trolling motor.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The 112-pound, 36-volt Ultrex comes equipped with the i-Pilot system. It allows for remote and Bluetooth control of the trolling motor.
A look at the full Minn Kota system.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - A look at the full Minn Kota system.
The Vexus bass boat is large and tall. The trailer steps make it much easier to get in and out of the boat when it is trailered in the parking lot or garage.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The Vexus bass boat is large and tall. The trailer steps make it much easier to get in and out of the boat when it is trailered in the parking lot or garage.
The pickle-fork front end allows for an extra padded area to stand closer to the very front of the boat.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The pickle-fork front end allows for an extra padded area to stand closer to the very front of the boat.
A Talon foot pedal mounted on the front deck allows Huff to drop and raise his Talons with his feet while fishing up front.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - A Talon foot pedal mounted on the front deck allows Huff to drop and raise his Talons with his feet while fishing up front.
The Humminbird Helix 12 is flush mounted to the front deck of the boat.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The Humminbird Helix 12 is flush mounted to the front deck of the boat.
Trim and Nav light buttons are also placed on the front deck for easy accessibility while fishing on the front deck.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Trim and Nav light buttons are also placed on the front deck for easy accessibility while fishing on the front deck.
Tools are easily reached thanks to a tool tray being flush in front of the trolling motor pedal cavern.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Tools are easily reached thanks to a tool tray being flush in front of the trolling motor pedal cavern.
The Minn Kota trolling motor foot pedal sits deep in the front deck for a more natural stance while operating the trolling motor.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The Minn Kota trolling motor foot pedal sits deep in the front deck for a more natural stance while operating the trolling motor.
A full view at the front deck layout of Mike Huff’s Vexus bass boat.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - A full view at the front deck layout of Mike Huff’s Vexus bass boat.
The extra room on the front deck is obvious when standing in the boat. There's plenty!
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The extra room on the front deck is obvious when standing in the boat. There's plenty!
The Rod Buckles are in place to keep rods strapped down and secure when driving to the lake and when running on the lake.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The Rod Buckles are in place to keep rods strapped down and secure when driving to the lake and when running on the lake.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - "I like the low-profile wall along the front for when I’m flipping jigs and stuff. The deeper sides tend to get hit from time to time, so the lower sides are nice for my style of fishing," Huff said.
Currently it is empty, but Huff uses this trailer compartment for tools such as tire irons, extra lugs and anything he may need to fix a flat tire roadside.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Currently it is empty, but Huff uses this trailer compartment for tools such as tire irons, extra lugs and anything he may need to fix a flat tire roadside.
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Photo: Dalton Tumblin - ...
Like most Elite Series anglers, Huff has a custom boat wrap displaying his sponsors and protecting the original gel coat of the boat.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Like most Elite Series anglers, Huff has a custom boat wrap displaying his sponsors and protecting the original gel coat of the boat.
The material on the front deck is slip-proof and padded. This makes it more comfortable to stand on the front and fish for long periods of time, while also providing a nice grip to prevent slipping and falling.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The material on the front deck is slip-proof and padded. This makes it more comfortable to stand on the front and fish for long periods of time, while also providing a nice grip to prevent slipping and falling.
A massive rod locker stores plenty of Huff’s rod-and-reel combos while out on the water. Having options is important during an Elite event.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - A massive rod locker stores plenty of Huff’s rod-and-reel combos while out on the water. Having options is important during an Elite event.
An upper deck in the rod locker has room for three or four rods. “I use this to store the rods rigged with treble hooks, because everyone knows that treble hooks like to get caught on everything when stored in the locker.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - An upper deck in the rod locker has room for three or four rods. “I use this to store the rods rigged with treble hooks, because everyone knows that treble hooks like to get caught on everything when stored in the locker."
The center storage locker is used to store Huff’s tackle. He organizes his tackle in plastic boxes and bags for organization and easy accessibility.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The center storage locker is used to store Huff’s tackle. He organizes his tackle in plastic boxes and bags for organization and easy accessibility.
A full view of the massive amounts of storage offered on the front deck. The compartment on the right side is used for more tackle and other essentials such as rain gear and jackets.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - A full view of the massive amounts of storage offered on the front deck. The compartment on the right side is used for more tackle and other essentials such as rain gear and jackets.
Under the center locker door is a picture of Huff’s grandfather, the man who took Huff to his first Bassmaster Classic. Huff keeps this picture taped up as a good luck charm and to remind him what he fishes for.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Under the center locker door is a picture of Huff’s grandfather, the man who took Huff to his first Bassmaster Classic. Huff keeps this picture taped up as a good luck charm and to remind him what he fishes for.
The co-angler side of the boat offers ample amounts of space and nifty rod tubes to stay organized and reduce the clutter and tangling of co-angler rods.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The co-angler side of the boat offers ample amounts of space and nifty rod tubes to stay organized and reduce the clutter and tangling of co-angler rods.
A Kolpin rod organizer is mounted on the co-angler side. With the handle end of the rods in the rod tubes, the rods can lay inside this to stay organized and reduce tangling.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - A Kolpin rod organizer is mounted on the co-angler side. With the handle end of the rods in the rod tubes, the rods can lay inside this to stay organized and reduce tangling.
A pull out compartment next to the console of the boat is used by Huff to store items and tools that may be needed while fishing. Huff keeps items such as pliers, sunscreen and flares in this compartment.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - A pull out compartment next to the console of the boat is used by Huff to store items and tools that may be needed while fishing. Huff keeps items such as pliers, sunscreen and flares in this compartment.
“The seats are probably by far my favorite part of this boat,” Huff said. The air wave pedestal seats are shock absorbent and back-and-forth adjustable to accommodate leg room. The shock absorbance is better for your back and provides a more comfortable ride when hitting waves. The adjustability allows the angler to sit further back or closer up to adjust for height and preference.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - “The seats are probably by far my favorite part of this boat,” Huff said. The air wave pedestal seats are shock absorbent and back-and-forth adjustable to accommodate leg room. The shock absorbance is better for your back and provides a more comfortable ride when hitting waves. The adjustability allows the angler to sit further back or closer up to adjust for height and preference.
The sleek design of the console is compact and aerodynamic for performance and functionality. And it looks great.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The sleek design of the console is compact and aerodynamic for performance and functionality. And it looks great.
Huff uses the cooler compartment located between the driver and passenger seat to store food and drinks. The cooler is also divided, so he also keeps other essentials in the compartment separated from the food and drinks.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Huff uses the cooler compartment located between the driver and passenger seat to store food and drinks. The cooler is also divided, so he also keeps other essentials in the compartment separated from the food and drinks.
A full view of the Vexus driver and passenger layout.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - A full view of the Vexus driver and passenger layout.
Huff runs dual Humminbird Helix 10s mounted on the console of the boat.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Huff runs dual Humminbird Helix 10s mounted on the console of the boat.
Vexus comes with their own custom graph mounts, which are used to mount the two units.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Vexus comes with their own custom graph mounts, which are used to mount the two units.
A keypad is used to start and stop the boat, using a custom pin number to start the boat.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - A keypad is used to start and stop the boat, using a custom pin number to start the boat.
Digital gauges keep track of the hours, speed, RPMs and more all in two gauges. Limiting the number of gauges on the console allows for bigger graphs and more electronics.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Digital gauges keep track of the hours, speed, RPMs and more all in two gauges. Limiting the number of gauges on the console allows for bigger graphs and more electronics.
Blinker-style trim tabs allow for quick and easy outboard trim snd jack plate adjustments.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Blinker-style trim tabs allow for quick and easy outboard trim snd jack plate adjustments.
Here's the full view of the steering wheel, trim tabs and gauges layout.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Here's the full view of the steering wheel, trim tabs and gauges layout.
This panel includes all of the necessary buttons and switches to operate the boat and its accessories. Located in a convenient spot by the console, the panel is easy to reach, and highly responsive.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - This panel includes all of the necessary buttons and switches to operate the boat and its accessories. Located in a convenient spot by the console, the panel is easy to reach, and highly responsive.
An adjustable pedal comes pre-installed in the boat for foot-controlled acceleration.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - An adjustable pedal comes pre-installed in the boat for foot-controlled acceleration.
“A good thing about the livewells is you can put them all the way on full and it fills the water all the way to the top, and this prevents the fish from sloshing around and getting beat up in rough waters while driving the boat,” he said.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - “A good thing about the livewells is you can put them all the way on full and it fills the water all the way to the top, and this prevents the fish from sloshing around and getting beat up in rough waters while driving the boat,” he said.
Large handles are available on both the passenger and driver's side for holding onto while riding, and also to help climbing in and out of the boat while it is parked on the trailer.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Large handles are available on both the passenger and driver's side for holding onto while riding, and also to help climbing in and out of the boat while it is parked on the trailer.
Ample space is provided in the rear storage compartments of the boat. These are used to store items such as life jackets and other essentials.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Ample space is provided in the rear storage compartments of the boat. These are used to store items such as life jackets and other essentials.
Deep livewells provide more space for more fish and bigger fish. The plexiglass lids keep fish from being able to jump out when opening the livewell lid.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Deep livewells provide more space for more fish and bigger fish. The plexiglass lids keep fish from being able to jump out when opening the livewell lid.
Minn Kota’s Precision On-Board Charger keeps things organized and convenient while charging.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Minn Kota’s Precision On-Board Charger keeps things organized and convenient while charging.
The large back compartment is filled with batteries, wires and the battery charging system. The center of the back compartment is sectioned off and organized to fit more items, if needed.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The large back compartment is filled with batteries, wires and the battery charging system. The center of the back compartment is sectioned off and organized to fit more items, if needed.
BoatBuckles are easy to use and keep the boat secure when trailered.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - BoatBuckles are easy to use and keep the boat secure when trailered.
Huff uses Talons to keep the boat in position while fishing in shallow water.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Huff uses Talons to keep the boat in position while fishing in shallow water.
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Photo: Dalton Tumblin - ...
For mounting and adjusting the engine, the Vexus it equipped with an Atlas jack plate.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - For mounting and adjusting the engine, the Vexus it equipped with an Atlas jack plate.
A full view of the rear of his Vexus.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - A full view of the rear of his Vexus.
Powering the boat is Mercury's 4-stroke ProXS 250. With power and reliability, the Mercury ProXS will get him anywhere he needs to go quickly and without problems.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Powering the boat is Mercury's 4-stroke ProXS 250. With power and reliability, the Mercury ProXS will get him anywhere he needs to go quickly and without problems.
Finally, the Vexus has a built-in ladder, which is able to retract from the back of the boat and be completely stowed when not in use.
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Finally, the Vexus has a built-in ladder, which is able to retract from the back of the boat and be completely stowed when not in use.
Thanks for the tour, Mike!
Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Thanks for the tour, Mike!