Cody Huff

Cody Huff, a 22-year-old college student from Missouri, won the FLW Toyota Series Southwestern Division season opener on Toledo Bend using a 7/8 ounce jigging spoon to target suspended bass over deep water. He pocketed more than $35,000 for the win.

Rob Matsuura/FLW

College student tops vets with old school tactic

Cody Huff seems to have found his groove on Toledo Bend.

Huff, a 22-year-old Bethel University college student from Ava, Mo., recently won back-to-back bass tournaments on the sprawling reservoir along the Texas/Louisiana border.

The first came in the Bassmaster College Series event held on Jan. 23-25. Huff and his team partner, Dakota Pierce, also from Ava, went wire-to-wire and walked away with the winner’s trophy after catching a three-day total of 60 pounds, 7 ounces. They earned their college club $3,000.

The second came a week later when Huff notched his first pro level win with a convincing performance in the FLW Toyota Series Southwestern Division season opener on Jan. 30 - Feb. 1 with a three-day total of 61-11. Huff took home $35,395 for the title.

The college senior beat out a bunch really big sticks to win the dough, many with decade’s more experience on the 185,000-acre reservoir. Even more impressive the fact that he used a bait that’s old as the hills to do it.

Huff caught all of his fish using a 7/8 ounce jigging spoon with hammered silver sides. It’s basically a shiny chunk of lead with a single treble hook that does a great job of imitating shad.

There are a variety of ways to fish a spoon, but Huff chose to fish it vertical around pods of shad he found at suspended depths using high-tech electronics. It was a monotonous program calling for patience and precise presentations that Huff carried out to a tee en route to earning the respect of many seasoned pros more than twice his age.

“He’s good….real good…. scary good,” said Toledo Bend fishing guide and tournament pro Stephen Johnston of Hemphill. “He’s like a cross between Kevin VanDam and Brent Ehrler. He’s definitely going to be a guy to watch in the future.”

It’s a good time for the young angler to be riding a hot streak. He’s set to compete in the biggest event of his life next month in the 2020 Bassmaster Classic on March 6-8 on Lake Guntersville in Alabama. He earned that ticket as the 2019 Bassmaster Carhartt College Series bracket champion.

Huff was the only angler from outside Texas and Louisiana to make the Top 10 in the tournament. Rounding out the Top 10 were David Curtis of Trinity, Matthew Boyt of Converse, La., Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Justin O’Brian Cooper of Zwolle, La., Chris Lewis of Longview, Darold Gleason of Many, La., Benjamin Gulett of Converse, La., Cody Pitt of Many, La., and Phil Marks of Dallas.

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