Rex Huff joining the Pro Tour
Everyone has a passion for something in life and for Rex Huff it has been fishing. Like any die-hard bass fisherman, he dreamed of fishing professionally. Huff’s dream is about to it reality as he turns pro and competes in one of the toughest tours in America, the Walmart FLW Tour which begins Feb. 7-10 on the waters of Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Fl.
Huff will take part in six competitions leading up to the Aug. 15 Forrest Wood Cup, the grand championship for bass fishermen.
“I’ve wanted to do it for years, but my children were little and I didn’t want to be gone a lot,” Huff said in a recent interview. “They are now both in college, so I thought I would take a chance because I am not getting any younger.”
“It’s either now or never, so I am going to try it a couple of years and see what happens,” Huff said.
Huff said he has always thought of going pro and fished the BFL. “I have fished those for years and you get first priority to go pro if you have fished with them,” he said.
Huff is ready to tackle the six-month tour that will take him from Florida to Alabama to Arkansas to Oklahoma and to Dayton, Tennessee for the final competition July 27-30 on Lake Chickamauga.
Passion for fishing
“When I was a little boy my dad used to take my fishing, so I have been fishing all my life,” he said. “His dad loved to fish and it has become a family tradition. My mom’s dad loved to fish, so I got hit by both sides.”
“I have always lived here in Corbin, so I have always been close to a lake,” he added.
Huff said he probably averages one day a week fishing out of a given year. “It will probably be a little more than that next year,” he said.
“In these tournaments, you are allowed to pre-fish Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and you are off Wednesday with the tournaments being Thursday through Saturday,” Huff said.
Huff plans to use the next three months to prepare for the FLW Tour. “You have to have all your equipment in prefect shape and that goes from the boat to the equipment you are fishing with. You have to take extras of everything in your boat that you can fix yourself. I was in the boating industry for 20 years, so I have learned a lot about boats,” Huff said. “Being prepared is the key to successful fishing in these tournaments.”
Huff said he would be fishing out of a Ranger Bass Boat with a 250-Mercury engine on it.
He is no stranger to fishing amateur tournaments. Huff said, “I have fished a lot of small tournaments through the years, but there are five BFL Tournaments a year.”
Success in the past
He has had tremendous success over the years fishing the smaller tournaments. “I have won probably 20,” he said.
Huff said bass fishing is his favorite type of fishing. “I have always bass fished. I love the way they fight, jump and give you a hard time to catch. They are just a good game fish to fish for and that’s where the big tournaments are.”
Huff said the toughest thing about fishing and fishing tours is finding the fish. “The secret to it is finding them and that’s the number one thing. If you can find them and there are a lot of good fisherman out there, but if you can find them you can catch them, but that is were a lot of skill comes in,” he said.
Huff said he has had many big moments during his bass fishing career, but none bigger than the 1999 Millennium Tournament at Cypress Gardens. “It was a big thrill fishing against all the pros. I came in third place,” he said.
What’s the biggest Bass he had caught? “It was 12-pounds, two ounces,” he said. And, yes it is mounted.
According to Huff, in the FLW, you can catch as man Bass as you want, but you can only weigh your five biggest. “After you get five in the live-well and you catch that sixth one you have to rotate them. You can only keep five in the live-well,” he said. “Once you catch the bigger one, you throw the little one back.”
The average tournament starts at daylight and runs about eight hours.
Not only is Huff turning pro, but also he is now coaching at Georgetown College. His team was recently ranked the number one team in the nation.
“I always took my son, Mike and my two nephews, Nick and Clay fishing and they really got into it. And now, there is a big thing with college fishing and they have their own tour. They asked me to coaching them and I have been there for three years,” Huff said.
“Clay won a tournament at Kentucky Lake and Mike came in third. That is how they qualified for the regional and now my son and nephew Nick made the National Tournament,” Huff said.
“I love being out there with them and it makes lifetime memories. They will have memories of their college fishing days,” he said.
The sign of a good coach is how far you can take your players. “They are already talking about going professional. But, you have to pay your dues in this sport,” Huff said.
Huff hopes to follow in the footsteps of David Walker and Paul Ice. “Paul won the Bass Masters Classic and used to be in our Bass Club here in Corbin. He won the biggest tournament ever and Walker came in third two years in a row in the Bass Masters Classic,” Huff said.
Huff said it helps a lot got get sponsors. “They have what they call wrap boats. They have a Ranger Boat and they get a sponsor, the whole boat is wrapped in your sponsor. I’m looking for one and I think Forcht Bank would really look good on the side of my boat,” Huff said with a big smile.
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