Denham Springs, Louisiana angler, Derek Hudnall, is entering his third year of competition in the Bassmaster Elite Series. For Hudnall, victory in bass fishing happens when preparation and opportunity meet. “That’s when victory happens,” he says. “When those two meet and it comes together. Victory can happen in any singular moment, or along journey.”
Indeed, Hudnall’s journey in professional bass fishing has provided distinct and memorable victories. “Coming up through the Bassmaster Opens, qualifying for the Elite Series and, of course, fishing in the 2019 Bassmaster Classic… that was the single most victorious moment in my career and really in my life,” he says.
But there was a distinct moment Hudnall recalls when he seized on a key opportunity. “Going back to qualifying for the Classic and the Elite Series itself… when I qualified, we were fishing the Bassmaster Opens Championship on Table Rock and I went into the final day tied for third place. The top three not only qualified for the Bassmaster Elite Series, but would also get an invitation to fish that following year’s Bassmaster Classic. On that final day, I actually caught my fifth keeper on literally my last cast of the day. That singular fish put me into third place… and into the Elite Series and the Classic. That was an absolute moment of victory.
“You’re going to have opportunities in fishing and in life, but preparation is the key to making the most of those opportunities,” continues Hudnall, who believes having the proper tools greatly contributes to such preparation. “As bass anglers, a rod is an extension of ourselves; it’s a necessary tool. If you don’t have the right tool at the right time in the right situation when opportunity comes, then victory is going to be hard to come by. But being prepared – in this case with the right rods that allow you to execute your plan – is absolutely going to set you up for victory every time.”
Hudnall has relied heavily on Legend Xtreme Series rods, the distinct performance characteristics of which place them at the pinnacle of St. Croix’s lineup. “The first time I put this new Victory rod in my hand, it felt like I was grabbing an Xtreme,” Hudnall relates. “It’s so thin, lightweight, well balanced, and extremely sensitive. It’s incredible that St. Croix has made it possible now for anyone to get that really high-quality feel and performance that you would typically only get in a really high-end rod like a Legend Xtreme. But you’re going to get it in this Victory Series, and at an affordable price that’s within reach of a whole lot of anglers. You get that $600 rod feel at a fraction of the cost.”
St. Croix’s all-new made-in-the-USA Victory Series rods were conceived and designed to deliver bass anglers more victories on the water – no matter how they’re defined. Featuring technique-specific lengths, powers and actions that yield lightweight performance with extreme sensitivity, durability and balance via an all-new SCIII+ material, eight new Victory rods are available to anglers right now at select St. Croix dealers online and at retail locations around the country. Angler-friendly retail prices for these new, American-crafted Victory rods range from $180 to $200 and include a transferrable 15-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service.