Brock Boyhers Big Bass Bash story has it all: underdog, nostalgia, drama, a hailstorm, and in the end: victory.

Photo courtesy of Charlie Terrell

by Kate Robbins

Youve never heard a fish story like this one. On his very first cast at his very first tournament, Brock Boyher won the 2023 Spring Big Bass Bash with a 7.27 lb monster. Fighting torrential rain, hail and a brief boat breakdown, Boyher earned every ounce of his victory.

It feels crazy,Boyher said. It feels amazing. After going through everything that we went through, not really having the best boat out there, with it being my first tournament ever and the weather… The outcome was just absolutely unbelievable. I mean, probably statistically impossible.

31-year-old Boyher hadnt even planned on entering the Bash until his friend 19-year-old George Guerra, a member of the Mizzou Bass Fishing team, asked if he could borrow Boyher’s boat just two days before the tournament was scheduled to start. Formerly a biologist for the Missouri Conservation fisheries department, Boyher had always enjoyed fishing but had never fished in a tournament. Figuring it might be fun, he agreed, and the pair signed up for the Bash.

They strategized beforehand for the best place to fish during the Bash; in the end, they settled on a familiar favorite of Boyhers: his grandpa’s honey hole on the Little Niangua Arm.

I grew up 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 and I was telling George about it. And I was like ‘Man, I don’t really know the Lake that well but I have gone there before and I’ve caught a big fish and, who knows, maybe it would be a good spot!’

The men saw the overnight weather forecast was calling for storms, high winds and possible hail, but there was an expected a break in the rain around 6:30 a.m. So they planned to leave at the crack of dawn.

Photo courtesy of Brad Glidewell

The boat that I have is a pretty old Bass Tracker. It’s basically a glorified Jon boat with a 25-horsepower motor. So it goes about 15 miles an hour, 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 a.m.,Boyher said. 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. So we woke up early, busted out there.

After a long, early morning ride, the pair arrived at the spot and begin baiting their rods with a Ned Rig, a type of small finesse bait.

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