As is the case for most of us right now, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed Cody Huff’s short-term plans. Fortunately, Huff’s long-term goals remain as steady as the Bethel University wrapped Toyota Tundra he’s driving throughout the 2020 tournament season.
After a strong showing at the 50th Bassmaster Classic, Huff had his eyes set on the remaining Bassmaster Opens and graduating from Bethel. The 2019 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Bracket champion experienced an incredible start to his 2020 fishing campaign, which included two major wins in February as well as a Day 3 appearance at the Classic. Not bad for a 22-year-old, full-time college student.
While he would have preferred to keep his momentum rolling, Huff’s plans were adjusted when fishing tournaments across the country were postponed or canceled, and social distancing requirements became the new norm.
“When reality hit me and tournaments started getting affected I was definitely a little disappointed,” Huff admitted. “There were a lot of cool places I planned on traveling to this spring, but to be honest the biggest bummer is missing out on my final year of college fishing. With that being said, there are more important issues going on in the world right now than a few fishing tournaments.”
With maturity beyond his years, the young man from Ava, Mo., has come to terms with a few personal disappointments while maintaining a positive mindset.
After an extended Spring Break, Huff learned he would not return to his Alma Mater to round out his senior year. Instead with 12 credit hours left to receive his Business degree, Huff is completing online courses to finish his college education.
And even though tournament competition has been put on hold, Huff knows most dates will be rescheduled and has been spending as much time on the water as possible. He has been sure to #FishSmart — practicing safety, responsibility and common sense anytime he heads to the boat ramp. Taking advantage of the break to sharpen his fishing skills, optimize his equipment and spend time with family.
“On the bright side I’ve been able to use the time off to get out on the water as much as possible,” Huff said. “I haven’t been able to spend a spring around home since leaving for college. So it’s been great to have the extra family time along with fishing our local lakes. There are always some positives if you look at it the right way.”
Famed Ozark fisheries like Bull Shoals and Table Rock Lake have been Huff’s regular stomping grounds as he prepares for the new dates of the Opens to be announced. While Huff is making the most of the downtime in Southwest Missouri, he is hopeful he’ll be able to spend a few days scouting some of the fisheries left on the Bassmaster Opens schedule — another advantage of looking at the glass half full.
For now though, Huff refuses to remain idle and continues to work hard at whatever task he has in front of him. Whether that includes submitting online assignments, chores around the house, chasing after turkeys or improving his fishing skills. It’s all the same to Huff. He’ll lean into his Midwestern roots and roll with whatever changes 2020 throws his way with his eyes looking forward.