How and Why Brian Simon is Looking Different on the Champions Tour
When you look across the field of Champions Tour anglers on any given tournament morning you will see fiberglass bass boats after fiberglass bass boat bobbing in the waves waiting for takeoff.
But as you scan the horizon you may notice one rig that sticks out from the others, that’s Brian Simon. Brian is one of the only anglers fishing out of something other than your typical bass rig and we wanted to get the full story on why.
For the last three years Brian has been running a big deep V boat that measures 20’1” and has an 8’ beam. The big boat is powered by a 250 horsepower engine and “with its massive front deck and immense amount of storage, I just sometimes don’t know what to do with all the space, chuckled Brian.”
Brian chose to get into this boat mainly because of the layout. He previously owned two bass boats and fishing several tournaments a year, he wanted a boat that had a large front deck and lots of storage. He wanted to fit everything he could ever need in his boat without weighing himself down too much. “You know how bass guys are with thirty rods and twenty tackle boxes…” he jokingly told us.
The Champions Tour is no stranger to big bodies of water that can get a little rough and Simon, “that’s the second reason I chose to go with this big boat over a conventional bass boat, as I want the ability to handle those larger bodies of water.”
Simon noted that today’s 21’ fiberglass bass boat handle just fine on larger waters. Simon wanted a boat that was a little deeper and provided a little more security. “My grandpa was a huge influence on me when it came to fishing. As he got older it was more difficult for him to get in and out of the boat, if I could even talk him into going. He didn’t like fishing out of the bass boat. He was afraid of falling in. I could tell he was uncomfortable, he sat down the majority of the time we were out. As I’ve gotten older, a little wiser, I’ve realized that comfort is a huge part of any fishing trip. Whether it is a couple hours on the lake or an eight hour tournament.”
Brian said the advantages of having this specific model are quite noticeable once you take her for a spin. “I fished the Champions Tour Open on Mille Lacs last year and a fellow angler was giving me some friendly fire about having a “Tuna Rig,” but it was because I could run through the rough water faster. He said, “On those windy days it must be nice to be in that Tuna Rig.”
“The only disadvantage I can think of is my top speed is about 55-57 mph. Now, most people would think that’s fast enough. For guiding, I never go above 45 mph. For tournament fishing, yes I’m getting passed, but I’ve learned a lot about tournament fishing the past few years and speed rarely wins tournaments.”
Brian’s rig has an extended platform, and “it makes tournament fishing more efficient and guiding a whole lot easier. I’m able to fit more clients in the boat without feeling crowded. It’s a multi-species rig. I can get shallow enough to fish docks and pads. But I can set up for trolling walleyes or muskies at the drop of a hat.”
Simon also runs Traxstech Accessories on his rig, he has sections of track on both Starboard and Port side gunnels. “I can easily slide on rod holders, cup holders, downriggers, and I even have an attachment for a grill…this comes in handy for those guide trips or a long day of pre-fishing! I have all my electronics mounted to the boat with Traxstech as well.”
With today’s advancements in sonar technology, Brian is able to capitalize on opportunities and aid in his client enjoyment on the water and his hopefully success in tournaments.
The Minn Kota Ultrex is probably the ultimate accessory on Brian’s boat. Not only does it have the power to handle the windiest of days, but with the click of a button he can Spot-lock. No foot control, hands free, and worry free…just worried about setting the hook! “The Ultrex in my opinion is the single most important game changer in the fishing industry since I started fishing. I know that’s a bold statement when you think about all the advancements in electronics and sonars we have now a days, but when you’re tournament fishing, or guiding, your homework is done already. Its game time hit that “Spot-lock” and fill up that livewell!
“This year I started a fishing guide service, B. Simon Outdoors is my ten year plan,” he chuckled. “It’s a part-time side business that I hope to someday turn into a full-time business. I only guide in my leisure time as I’m a full-time painter for a contractor out of Minneapolis. So, no I’m not a professional fisherman nor do I fish for a living…yet! I’m more of a professional painter than anything. The feeling that I got when I took my grandpa out fishing is a feeling that I can’t live without. Guiding is a gateway to have that feeling. To share knowledge and to constantly learn with others is what drives me more than tournament fishing.”
Catch Brian on the water all season on the Champions Tour long catching bass and grilling brats, which sounds like a good day to us.