After a successful season in tournament competition along with an unpredictable and challenging year off the water, Cody Huff’s reign as the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Bracket champion has officially come to an end. Huff turned in his Bethel University wrapped rig last week, and a new Toyota Tundra-Nitro Boat combo is being prepared for the 2021 college champ, Trevor McKinney.
Looking back on the year, Cody Huff has a lot to be proud of. Not only did he do an excellent job representing his school, himself and college fishing on the biggest stages in bass fishing, he also had one of the best on-the-water performance records in the history of this program.
With anglers like Jordan Lee, Matt Lee, Andrew Upshaw and Brett Pruett — to name a few — coming up through the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket program, that’s high praise.
The 2020 season wasn’t what Huff expected, largely due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, but the 23-year-old Bethel University student certainly made the most of a chaotic year.
After starting the year off with back-to-back victories on Toledo Bend Reservoir, Huff became the first college fishing representative to make it to Day 3 of the Bassmaster Classic since Jordan Lee. Huff had a solid 2020 Bassmaster Opens campaign and bookended his season with a second FLW Toyota Series victory on Table Rock Lake in early November.
“In a lot of ways I’d like to forget 2020 like most folks, but from a fishing standpoint I am extremely thankful,” Huff said. “From both an equipment and financial standpoint this year was a massive opportunity for me. For the first time in my fishing career I couldn’t use equipment as an excuse. From my baits and electronics, to my boat and tow vehicle, I was able to use the best of the best.”
Like most of his college fishing peers, Huff had always made due with any limitations in his equipment prior to becoming the 2020 Carhartt College Series Classic representative. He took full advantage of the opportunity this program provided, thanks to both his performance on the water and how he carried himself when not competing.
Huff finished his year by locking up sponsor support for his 2021 tournament season before purchasing a 2020 Toyota Tundra of his own so he could be eligible for Toyota Bonus Bucks in 2021 and have a tow vehicle he could depend on.
With Bass Pro Shops serving as his title sponsor Huff will compete on the Major League Fishing circuit as well as at least one Bassmaster Opens division this year, representing many of the same companies he worked with in 2020. While competing in his first season as a professional fisherman, Huff will complete a few remaining online classes to earn his diploma from Bethel University.
“It really is a dream come true,” Huff said with a smile. “I’ll be competing against guys I’ve been watching on TV since I was a little kid. I don’t think it has really hit me yet. I’m just extremely grateful for everything I learned last year. I wouldn’t be in this position without the support of Bassmaster, Carhartt, Bass Pro Shops or Toyota.”
There’s no doubt about it, Cody Huff is a special talent with a bright future. His obvious skill for catching bass better than the competition will continue to serve him well in this sport, but his Midwestern roots, even-keeled attitude and respectful nature put Huff at the top of the list of young anglers to watch.