The Ten

Meet the KBF Anglers Competing In ‘The Ten’ on the Kissimmee Chain in Florida

“HOLY CRAP!”.  

The Onalaska Omni Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin filled with Dylan Fuqua’s reaction to Chad Hoover announcing him as the seventh member of the Ten. The crowd in the room, assembled for the KBF Championships on the Mississippi River, cheered for the youngest angler ever to make it to the Ten as he moved to the front of the room.  

Then as the list of names continued, another round of excitement. In ninth place; Brad Case, Mike Elsea and Jamie Broad had tied, all receiving an invite to the Ten. 

The DeeZee TENvitational, presented by Meyer Distribution and hosted by Kissimmee Sports and Experience on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Florida, will be held on January 29-30th. It will be immediately followed by the “TEN” on January 31 and February 1st.  The Ten is KBF’s annual recognition “of the most proficient kayak bass fishermen among all KBF members, as measured by [2019] KBF AOY scores”.  It is the goal of every KBF angler who keeps up with the points during the year to land in the top Ten.

For the 2020 event, the Ten, after the three-way tie… and another invite held for the winner of the Tenvitational (unless that winner is already in the Ten), will actually be the “Twelve”.

Let’s do a quick introduction to the eleven, by standings on the AOY Rankings. This is a list of the guys who showed the rest of the crowd how it is done during 2019.  

They were asked to answer a list of “Ten Questions for the Ten” (ok, there was supposed to be 10!) to let you know a bit about each of them.

#1 Rus Snyders – 2019 Angler of the Year, 2019 Tennessee State Champion

The Ten(1)

  • Where are you from?
    • San Bruno is where I grew up, but Nashville, Tennessee is where I have called home the last seven years.
  • Are you going to make it to the ten?
    • Hell yeah I am going to the TEN, not a chance I’d miss an opportunity like that.
  • What is your day job?
    • I own “Professional Power Washing” and specialize in deck and fence restoration.  I’ve also recently started a fishing guide service as well.
  • Kayak Brand?
    • Wilderness Systems
  • Favorite Lake to fish?
    • Clear Lake, California
  • Favorite technique/bait(s)?
    • Fishing a swim jig is probably my favorite technique.
  • Best 2019 Finish?
    • KBF Trail Series Championship at La Crosse, Wisconsin.  Winning this event was a big part in taking home the AOY title.
  • Any goals for 2020?
    • If I could replicate what I did in 2019, I would be more than satisfied.
  • Something personal you would like to share?
    • I just want to thank family, friends and sponsors for all of their support.

#2 Josh Stewart – The only KBF competitor to have been in every TEN event 

The Ten (2)

  • Where are you from?
    • Waverly, Tennessee
  • Are you going to make it to the ten?
    • Yes
  • What is your day job?
    • Painter
  • Kayak Brand?
    • Jackson; Big Rig HDFD
  • Sponsors?
  • Favorite Lake to fish?
    • Kentucky Lake
  • Favorite technique/bait(s)?
  • Best 2019 Finish?
    • Winning the Hobie BOS on Guntersville and the KBF event in La Crosse.
  • Any goals for 2020?
    • Make the Ten again – possibly AOY this time; second the last two. Make the top five in the Hobie AOY. Qualify for Hobie Worlds again.
  • Something personal you would like to share?
    • I throw other things besides a senko.

#3 Derek Brundle – 2019 Rookie of the Year, 2019 Northeast Angler of the Year

The Ten (3)

  • Where are you from?
    • Wareham, Massachusetts 
  • Are you going to make it to the ten?
    • I will be at the Ten and fishing the Tenvitational
  • What is your day job?
    • The facilities manager for a social services company in the Boston area. 
  • Kayak Brand?
    • NuCanoe
  • Sponsors?
  • Favorite Lake to fish?
    • Lake George, NY
  • Favorite technique/bait(s)
    • My ‘go to’ now is to find something offshore, the fish will reload and I can keep catching them on jigs.  The rougher the day, the nastier the weather, the fishing seems to pick up offshore.
  • Best 2019 Finish?
    • Northeast Angler of the Year, KBF Rookie of the year -2nd at NE regional championship Lake Erie.
  • Any goals for 2020?
    • Stay consistent, win a major event, qualify for 2021 KBF NC, qualify for BASSMASTER Classic 2021
  • Something personal you would like to share?
    • Just surpassed the 5 year mark of being cancer free after being diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma cancer! Glad to be alive!!

#4 Cody Milton – 2018 Angler of the Year, 2019 Southeast Angler of the Year

The Ten(4)

  • Any goals for 2020?
    • The main goal I set for myself in 2020, is to win major events. I’ve been able to put myself up there a few times but I’ve always fallen a little short
  • Something personal you would like to share?
    • There’s nothing super personal, something kinda interesting is I haven’t fished since the TOC in Arkansas. I love taking a winter break from fishing. Growing that hunger back to compete is key. I really feel like you have to take time off every year to find that drive again.

#5 Matthew Scotch – 2019 Texas Region Angler of the Year

The Ten(5)

  • Where are you from?
    • Richmond Texas, but really all over Texas. I’ve lived in Richmond, Rocksprings, San Antonio, Austin, College Station, and Fort Worth.
  • Are you going to make it to the ten?
    • Of course! I worked hard to qualify and wouldn’t miss it!
  • What is your day job?
    • Kayak fishing guide for at Lone Star Kayak Guide
  • Kayak Brand?
    • Hobie; Outback
  • Sponsors?
  • Best 2019 Finish?
    • I won fortunate to win 7 events in 2019. My second place finish at the Hobie TOC might have been my most memorable though.
  • Any goals for 2020?
    • Be myself and don’t try to be better than anyone but myself. I want to win every tournament I enter, is that realistic?
  • Something personal you would like to share?
    • I’m single ladies…

#6 Casey Reed

The Ten(6)

  • Where are you from?
    • Lynchburg, Virginia 
  • Are you going to make it to the ten?
    • I’m not sure what it would take for me to miss it, but let’s hope whatever that is doesn’t happen. 
  • What is your day job?
    • I work at a year-round ski and snowboard facility. 
  • Kayak Brand?
    • Old Town 
  • Favorite Lake to fish?
    • Smith Mountain Lake 
  • Best 2019 Finish?
    • I had two first place finishes in the KBF Trail Series. Lake Anna, and Lake Erie. 
  • Any goals for 2020?
    • I’d like to finish in the top 10 again in KBF, and get on stage at a B.A.S.S. event 
  • Something personal you would like to share?
    • I’d just like to thank my friends, family, and sponsors for the support.

#7 Dylan Fuqua – The youngest KBF member to ever make the TEN (15 years old!)

The Ten (7)

  • Where are you from?
    • I am from Carterville, IL.
  • Are you going to make it to the ten?
    • I will be at the Ten. 
  • What is your day job?
    • I’m 15 so I don’t have a job…
  • Kayak Brand?
    • I fish out of a Native Watercraft Titan 12.
  • Sponsors?
    • I am partnered with FishUSA and Native Watercraft.  
  • Favorite Lake to fish?
    • I don’t really have a favorite lake to fish but my favorite lake that I fished this year was the Madison Chain Lakes in Wisconsin. 
  • Best 2019 Finish?
    • My best 2019 finish was in Madison Wisconsin, I got first place in the Pro and Trail series! 
  • Any goals for 2020?
    • My #1 goal for 2020 is to learn how to use my fish finder!
  • Something personal you would like to share?
    • Yeah I just can’t think of anything interesting. Lol!

#8 Ken Wood

The Ten (8)

  • Where are you from? 
    • Originally from Brockton, MA. Currently living in Taunton, MA.
  • Are you going to make it to the ten? 
    • Yes, sir! 
  • What is your day job? 
    • IT Support Technician.
  • Kayak Brand? 
    • Jackson Kayak (Big Rig FD).
  • Sponsors? 
    • No personal sponsors, but the following sponsor the trail I run, Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’: Dakota Lithium, Rocky Ledge Tackle, Radfish Lures, MGC Fishing Equipment and Supplies, Go Bananas Outdoors, and everyone’s favorite masters of marketing, Titan Tungsten. 
  • Favorite Lake to fish? 
    • You’re not supposed to ask that! Haha. Actually, I don’t have any favorite lakes. Sure, I have some local spots I’ve been fishing since I was a kid and love doing so, but I just enjoy the act of fishing, the adventure of it all, and so I’ll fish anywhere and have a blast doing so. 
  • Favorite technique/bait(s)? 
    • Power-fishing spinnerbaits & chatterbaits.
  • Best 2019 Finish? 
    • First place on the TRAIL and PRO sides at the KBF Trail Event on Lake George against 132 anglers. Also took home the Big Bass Brawl prize. 
  • Any goals for 2020? 
    • I’d like to make the top ten again. Last year I feel like I got a lucky break, with a few people higher than me in the standings (I was 14th) not making it to the Regional Championship. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have made it, as a few others ahead of me didn’t do well at the event and dropped out of the top ten as a result, but I still feel like there’s asterisk next to my name going into this year’s the TEN event. 
    • I also want to fish cleaner. Last year some key fish came unbuttoned—two at East/West Harbor and three maniacal smallies at Lake Winnepesaukee—that would have solidly placed me in the top ten going into the Regional Championship. 
    • So… fish cleaner, fully earn it.
  • Something personal you would like to share?   
    • Nope!

#9 Brad Case

The Ten (9)

  • Where are you from?   
    • Florence, MS
  • Are you going to make it to the ten? 
    • Yes.  I will be there by the 21st to start pre-fishing
  • What is your day job?  
    • Retired Military
  • Kayak Brand?  
    • Wilderness Systems ATAK
  • Favorite Lake to fish? 
    • Lake Jackson, FL and next is Lake Eufaula, AL still call it my home lake after 6 years.
  • Favorite technique/bait(s)? 
    • Topwater Frogs
  • Best 2019 Finish? 
    • 3rd place KBF Texas Region Angler of the Year, 9th place KBF Angler of the Year
  • Any goals for 2020?    
    • To fish the KBF Pro and BASS and have fun. 
  • Something personal you would like to share?   
    • You can die more than once. 

#10 Mike Elsea – Winner of the 2019 KBF National Championship

The Ten(10)

  • Where are you from?
    • Mooresville, Indiana 
  • Are you going to make it to the ten?
    • Yes.  I will be going to the Ten.
  • What is your day job?
    • Biologist. 
  • Kayak Brand?
    • Native Watercraft – Titan 10.5
  • Sponsors?
  • Favorite Lake to fish?
    • Tough Question! Toss up between Guntersville, Pickwick, or Sam Rayburn
  • Favorite technique/bait(s)?
  • Best 2019 Finish?
    • 2019 National Champion 
  • Any goals for 2020?
    • To be in a position to fish full-time
  • Something personal you would like to share?
    • I just love this sport and where it’s going. I’m excited about the new opportunities that are coming and wish everyone a great 2020 season.

#11 Jamie Broad

The Ten (11)

  • Where are you from?
    • Grew up in East Texas (Longview). Live in Bossier City, Louisiana now.
  • Are you going to make it to the ten?
    • Would not miss it.
  • What is your day job?
    • Product Line Manager for National Oilwell Varco. I handle the centrifugal pump line of our company. 
  • Kayak Brand?
    • Wilderness systems ATAK 140 and Radar 135. 
  • Favorite Lake to fish?
    • Caddo 
  • Favorite technique/bait(s)?
    • Frog/any topwater 
  • Best 2019 Finish?
    • O.H.Ive Pro Event; 1st place
  • Any goals for 2020?
    • Have fun. Stay focused on finishing top 10 in every event.
  • Something personal you would like to share?
    • I am very thankful for the opportunity to fish with the great group anglers coming to the TEN. This is going to be my 3rd year fishing KBF events. I can’t say I have ever met a better group of people. This group has become a part of my family. 

#12 TBD – Winner of the TENvitational; if not already listed above.

Write your name here!

If you are new to KBF, and thinking that you cannot compete at this level; reconsider. Derek Brundle, the rookie of the year, and Dylan Fuqua, in his second year, rocketed to the top ten against the best kayak bass anglers in the United States. These two guys show that this can be an opportunity for anyone, everyone, to prove their abilities as anglers.  

Please follow along during the Tenvitational and the Ten on TourneyX. Dwayne Walley has made it easy for you to keep up with your favorite anglers as the event progresses and you don’t want to miss it! 

And if you really want a closer look at what is happening; those who are qualified for the Tenvitational, it is not too late to sign up! With this kind of payout….why not?

The Ten (13)


This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert

Become an ANGLR Expert and apply here.

Mike Cheatham

ABOUT Mike

May 2016, sat in my first kayak. October 2016, skunked in my first tournament. Spring of 2017, placed 11th in the KBF Open and have chased the addiction since. Fishing is the one place my mind gets quiet, the place I have always found peace. To do it competitively with a great bunch of folks is just a bonus. To have an opportunity to combine my love for fishing with writing...I feel like I have finally found a place in this world! I do have the support of a wonderful woman who understands my need to be on the water; she supports my dreams fully....life is truly good.

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ANGLR Expert, Mike Cheatham

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