Nolan Minor captures first tourney victory, brother Ewing snags second on one of country’s premiere smallmouth rivers.

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (August 8, 2022) – Nolan Minor panned the shallows of the Susquehanna River and sifted up a bounty full of bronzebacks to seal his first professional tournament victory at the 2022 Hobie Bass Open Series (B.O.S.) Anchored by Power-Pole® Susquehanna River event held July 30-31. Throwing an Evergreen Gizmo to tempt shy but surface feeding smallies in mostly shin-deep water, the 24-year-old from Charlottesville, VA, tallied 187.75 total inches of bass to top the field – and his brother, Ewing Minor, who finished second – buy a full two inches. Jake Harshman grabbed third as all three finished in the top four slots on both days of the catch, photograph and release (CPR) event.

“It really was a great weekend if your last name was ‘Minor’” said tournament director, Cody Prather. Not only did Nolan grab the gold while Ewing captured silver but their dad, Todd Minor, finished in the top 20 on Day 1 before falling off the pace. What a great weekend he must have had tracking his boys as they battled it out for the top two spots.”

Which is exactly what the Minors squared had set out to do, explained Nolan. “Ewing and I don’t really share waters because we’d be splitting the potential catch, but we do exchange information during tournaments. So, when I found myself on a solid pattern, I clued him in. He managed to find a comparable spot that offered a similar bite, but his fish were just slightly smaller on Day 1. He’s had some serious success in these competitions, so I was glad I managed to hold him off down the stretch.”


Nolan Minor spent most of his time working the famed smallmouth river on foot since, due to the shallow nature of the Susquehanna, the rules allowed safe portaging and wading as long as the boat remained tethered to the angler.

“I had a few bass on a Berkley Choppo, but most of the fish I saw were giving it a look and then shying off,” said Nolan. “Fortunately, I brought along a couple of Ever Green Gizmos after talking to a friend who had said he was experiencing a solid topwater bite on the James River back home in Virginia. At 1.5 inches and 3/64-ounces, that lure is a lot more subtle, and it proved just the ticket for those cautious smallies. I was simply floating black and green pumpkin patterns on the surface for those ‘bug fish,’ adding a twitch for any that seemed interested but wouldn’t commit. The bass just crushed ‘em.”

Nolan, who is no stranger to shallow water river smallmouths, having grown up targeting them at home, planned out his entire approach to the Susky event more than two weeks prior. “I know from experience that big shallow water smallmouths will smack topwater offerings in the heat of summer, but I still can’t believe how perfectly things worked out,” he said with a laugh. “Usually, you need to make some adjustments at any event – but this game plan proved spot-on right from the start.”

While Nolan walked the flats, Ewing, 20, chose to stay in his vessel but used a novel approach to round up his fish. “I was floating down past my spots and then looping back upriver to approach them from below,” he revealed. “I didn’t find quite the concentrations of fish that Nolan was able to locate, but I had plenty of action. I was mostly sight-fishing, letting that Gizmo float and giving it just a slight twitch or two if a bass nosed-up and didn’t eat it.”

While this was Nolan’s first win on the tournament trail, it didn’t come as a surprise to his brother. “He can fish,” said Ewing. “He’s as good an angler as you’ll ever meet. He’s taught me more about fishing than anyone else. Having him and my father as mentors has really helped me grow into the successful angler I’ve become.”

“It was nice to have the whole family out there this weekend,” continued Ewing, “and I’m thrilled my brother got it done against such stiff competition. You had anglers like back-to-back champion Jody Queen and Drew Gregory at this event, plus a packed field of river smallmouth sharpies. When you win a Hobie B.O.S. event, there’s no doubt you’ve beaten the best.”

Both Minor brothers were using Hobie Kayaks for the event with Nolan in a PA12 360 and Ewing in an Outback loaned to him by Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, TN, where he is currently a sophomore member of the fishing team. Nolan totaled 95.5inches of bass on Day 1 to lead the field while Ewing took the third spot with 92.5 inches. On Day 2, Ewing charged hard to lead the pack with a 95.5-inch total while Nolan drilled 92.23 inches for fourth place.

Harshman, 37, of Pennsylvania, chose to focus his efforts on stretches of fast-moving, highly oxygenated water, buzzing a spinnerbait so the blades mostly fluttered on the surface. “I found about four spots in a 200-yard stretch of the river that were holding a lot of bait and just kept rotating through them,” he revealed after finishing fourth on Day 1 with 91.75 inches, and second on Day 2 with 93.25 inches. “Congratulations to Nolan and Ewing, they are both class acts and solid fishermen. For his youth, Nolan has a wealth of knowledge about bass and his victory was well deserved.”

For their efforts, Nolan Minor banked $10,500, Ewing Minor earned $5,500, and Harshman pocketed $3,200. Bassin’ Big Bass honors and a $500 check for the tourney’s largest fish went to Collin Lamkin, of Chicago, IL, for a 21.50-inch lunker smallmouth caught on Day 2 using a Whopper Plopper 75.

Additionally, AFTCO Angler of the Year (AOY) points were awarded to the top 100 finishers in the 192-angler field. Nolan Minor, Jake Harshman and fourth-place finisher Chris Blair also punched tickets to the 2022 Hobie Tournament of Champions (TOC) on Caddo Lake, November 11-13, in Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana. Ewing Minor had previously qualified by winning the Broken Bow event. The TOC is a three-day 50-angler championship with a $100,000 payout guarantee and $45,000 first-place prize.

“The Susquehanna River welcomed us with open arms once again,” summed up Prather following the award ceremony. “When it comes to river fishing, this place is a smallmouth heaven and a kayaker’s dream. There are very few boats to pressure the fish here, and our competitors basically have the waters to themselves when the Hobie B.O.S. comes to town. Big thanks to the Hershey Harrisburg Sports & Event Authority for inviting us out. We had a slugfest from the first cast to the last cast which is just the way we like it. All of our participants seemed to catch well with a lot of limits, plenty of smiles and even some personal bests. Everyone went home happy.”

Especially Nolan Minor, who expressed his admiration for the tournament’s competitors in general and the Hobie B.O.S. Anchored By Power Pole in particular. “It’s really neat to be able to fish for river smallmouths from a kayak while cutting in some wade fishing,” he remarked. “And to have a chance to win $10,500 doing it is a unique opportunity that’s so new to the kayak fishing scene. Payouts like this simply didn’t exist on the kayak trail a few years ago. The Hobie B.O.S. is undisputedly the most competitive kayak series right now, and that’s drawing even more great anglers to these contests. I love the opportunity to fish with the best, and I get that chance every time I launch in a Hobie competition.”

Up next on the Hobie® B.O.S. Series Anchored By Power-Pole® schedule is the Wolf and Fox Rivers event in Appleton, August 20-21. Registration is now underway.