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ELITE PRO STAFF
Hometown: Brookville, IN
From the time I was a little kid, all I ever wanted to do was fish the Bassmaster Classic. As far as I’m concerned, the biggest event in the world of fishing is the Bassmaster Classic. That’s where the best of the best compete against each other each year.
Hometown: Park Hill, OK
Hobbies: Deer hunting
Jason Christie grew up hunting on family land, fishing on the local lake, and playing basketball. He graduated with a degree in education in 1998 and began coaching. Jason’s love of fishing and the support of his family helped him decide to stop coaching and begin a career as a touring professional angler. Since going pro, he has been a 5X Bassmaster Champion, 2X Bassmaster Open Champion, and 4X Elite Series Champion, most recently at the 2021 Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River.
When not on tour, Jason enjoys deer hunting and spending time attending his three daughters’ athletic events.
Key factors that persuaded Jason to make the jump from glass over to high-performance aluminum include the extreme shallow draft, speed, SeaDek floor covering, exceptional rough water handling, and greater fishability. I can put it through anything to get the job done!
Hometown: New Iberia, LA
Hobbies: Spending time with family & bowhunting
Caleb Sumrall grew up fishing in southern Louisiana with his dad and grandfather. His interest was diverted to golf during high school, working a job and eventually starting a family with his wife, Jaci. At 25, he started fishing local tournaments and then B.A.S.S. Nation events. That decision put him on a path of opportunity that many can only dream of. Caleb qualified for the 2017 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell and won the event, which was a life-changing moment in his career, as it qualified him to fish the Elite Series the next season. In 2018, Sumrall finished in the money nine times — four times on the Elite Series (including a 13th place at Lake Oahe), four in the Bassmaster Opens (including ninth at the Championship on Table Rock) and his Classic debut. Caleb specializes in shallow water bass fishing, but understands that that technique won’t sustain him throughout an entire Elite season. Caleb joined the Xpress Boats Elite team in the fall fo 2019 and is excited for the new opportunities running the “Original” all-welded aluminum will offer him.
Hometown: Mannford, OK
Hobbies: Deer hunting
Dale Hightower caught “the bug” as a youngster fishing with his dad for crappie and catfish in ponds around eastern Oklahoma. He began bass fishing in his early teens, which eventually lead to Monday Night Jackpot tournaments, near his hometown of Manford. “That’s where competitive fishing began for me, with my father-in-law Monty Troxell,” Hightower said. Dale and his wife Alicia own a successful heating, cooling and refrigeration business. He is thankful that she truly understands the demands of being a professional angler and fully supports him. He transitioned from fishing out of fiberglass boats to aluminum in 2018 when he joined Xpress Boats Elite team. In regards to running his X21 Pro, Dale Said “I love the way it rides and handles in extremely rough water and how shallow it drafts.”
Hometown: Bella Vista, AR
Hobbies: Hunting & traveling
Harvey Horne has been chasing after his dream of becoming a professional bass fisherman his entire life. His win at the Central Open on the Arkansas River in 2018 opened up the door to fishing the Bassmaster Elites. Harvey was given the chance to turn his dream into reality. Running an Xpress Boats X21 Pro has allowed him the confidence to go shallower where other boats cannot go and opens up more water for me to explore, plus he has the confidence of being able to handle rough water too.
It’s actually intriguing to step outside your comfort zone because you can’t improve as an angler unless you are put in challenging situations.
HUNTING PRO STAFF
3 time World Champion Duck Caller, Executive Producer of RNT-V, Owner and President of RNT Calls Inc.
Growing up duck hunting and fishing here in the heart of the Grand Prairie and spending time in a boat is second nature. I have a choice and my choice is Xpress Boats. Great performance, amazing handling characteristics in shallow and deep water, superb structural integrity, all wrapped up in great looking package.
Whether your looking for a duck boat or a bass boat, look no further than Xpress boats, they are the Choice of these champions!
Producer RNT-V, World champion Duck Caller and Public Relations manager for RNT Calls Inc in Stuttgart AR.
Having the good fortune to spend a great deal of time in and around a lot of boats, I’ve learned to appreciate quality, performance and aesthetics. I have a choice which boat I can run, that choice is Xpress. From bow to stearn, it is obvious Xpress strives to build a boat that is tough as nails, handles like a dream, and looks great on the water!
Chosen by champions, check one out, you’ll be glad you did!
DARYL & BLAKE HODGE
Hometown: Lancaster, SC
Hobbies: Waterfowling & competition waterfowl calling
Daryl owns and operates the Wrecking Crew Guide Service here in both SC & NC where we offer guided duck & goose hunts. Daryl has over 35 years of waterfowl hunting experience and have 6 top five finishes in the SC State Duck Calling Contest in addition to being named 2010 Drake Waterfowl Field Expert of the year and 2011 Drake Waterfowl Southern Flyway Field Expert Manager.
Blake has over 13 years of waterfowl hunting experience and has been guiding for the last 3 years. Blake over 65 top five finishes with 20 wins and 1 world championship. He has won the SC State JR Duck Calling Championship 3 times and has won other state titles in NC, VA and TX.
A hunter only gets so many opening days.
LEE ELLIS & DREW CARROLL
The team at Seek One, Lee Ellis and Drew Carroll, are proud members of the Xpress family.
Lee and Drew are known for their YouTube series on bowhunting giant whitetails in the Suburbs of Atlanta, but when they aren’t in a treestand you can find them at the helm of their Xpress X19 Pro. Lee and Drew have been bass fishing most of their lives and competed for a season on the Auburn University and University of Alabama bass fishing teams. From occasional weekend tournaments, to river fishing and pond hopping, the Xpress X19 Pro gives Seek One the versatility they need to fish a variety of environments for their YouTube channel.
Running guide operations for Bill Byers Hunter Club, which has been in business for over 65 years, has allowed Cason and staff to rely on three things; safety, durability, and relationships. We know that when our clients get into that Xpress Bayou Series they are in the safest, most durable rig on the market. It’s going to perform every day of the season, year after year.
In three generations we’ve seen a lot of trends come and go in the duck hunting world. The Xpress Boats Family isn’t one of those.
FISHING PRO STAFF
DOUG MILLER & GROSSE SAVANNE LODGE
Hometown: Lake Charles, LA
Doug Miller was born and raised in Louisiana and has been fishing and hunting his entire life. He has a distinguished job as Director of Operations and Development at the famous Grosse Savanne Lodge in Lake Charles, LA. This world-class outdoor destination offers thrilling activities including waterfowl hunting, bass fishing, saltwater fishing, alligator hunting, and ecotours.
The Xpress Boats family has revolutionized the aluminum boat industry. This is NOT your grandfather’s aluminum boat. Joining the Xpress Team was the best move Grosse Savanne ever made!
HIROFUMI NAITO – HIRO NAITO
Resides In: FL
Hirofumi is widely known as “Hiro” and has experienced fishing in various styles since childhood. Hiro currently lives in Florida, the sacred place of the black bass and is the Pacific Rim representative for one of the largest companies in the world. An expert in lure fishing, Hiro has been widely published, not only in the U.S., but also Internationally on lure design, presentation techniques and catching big bass.
Throughout the years, Hiro has developed a close relationship with many professional bass anglers and keeps in touch with the latest information, such as their techniques and fishing styles. In 1983, Hiro became the first Japanese angler to participate in the world’s highest bass tournament, “Bassmaster Classic” as a press angler. “It’s kind of like a bridge between America and Japan” said Hiro (excerpt from HIROism profile).
Born in Gunma Prefecture in 1955. Hiro is revered in Japan as the “Bill Dance” of bass fishing, a true legend and a great friend of Xpress Boats.
Hometown: Lawrenceburg, TN
Luke Dunkin has been part of the professional fishing world since the age of 19. Having competed on the Bassmaster Opens and FLW Tour for several years. In 2020, Luke switched his focus from competing on tour to other projects like his Low Budget Live and LD AND THE MC podcasts where he breaks down the bass fishing industry from an insider’s perspective. In 2021 Luke will be competing in the Bassmaster Opens and will be the host for the National Professional Fishing League’s LIVE coverage.
Hometown: Inverness, FL
Xpress was the first boat I found to meet all of my needs in a bass boat. From the power of my Yamaha 250hp SHO to the super shallow draft allowing me to quietly fish areas others can’t make it to. Over the last 5 years of owning Xpress Boats, they have gone above and beyond to make me feel like part of the family.
Hometown: Granbury, TX
In 1997, my parents moved me to a neighborhood in the suburbs of Oklahoma City, which changed my life. I grew up next to two ponds where I spent most of my time. It was early spring when we first moved there, and I’ll never forget seeing my first largemouth siting on a bed. The determination to catch that fish as an eleven-year-old boy is something that I still carry today. I spent most of my childhood studying and fishing every single waking moment I had. The passion that was in me was something I couldn’t explain. That passion is how fishing became my life. From placing in the top 20 in the FLW BFL series on Toledo to the top 20 at an FLW Costa on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees I know it is my passion that will grow me in the sport.
My mission in the fishing industry is to show the younger generation that dreams are made to pursue. My goal is to take myself to the top of the industry, but most importantly is to be the best role model I can be.
Getting in an Xpress bass boat was one of the best decisions I’ve made when it comes to the way I fish. The whole buying process with Carey & Sons Marine, in Granbury, TX, was painless. It was very comforting knowing I was going through a dealer I could trust. From rigging to help with questions everything was on point.
When it comes to a motor that will keep me on the water and give me the security I need in order to be a contender, I will always choose Yamaha. I never have to worry about whether or not it will start or perform. I really appreciate the fuel millage I get. Hands down the best motor on the market! This is my 4th year to run a Yamaha 250 SHO and I wouldn’t think of ever changing.
I’ve been blessed enough to have had a couple different boats since I’ve really started to purse a living in the fishing industry, two of which had carpet and the last one I had came with padding on the front portion of the deck. I thought that was great until I discovered SeaDek. With SeaDek, the entire boat feels the same way a carpeted boat with padding does. SeaDek is so easy to clean, soft on my bare feet and never gets to hot. I get a lot of questions about it and once they get in the boat they realize why I choose SeaDek.
Hometown: Grapevine, TX
I currently fish 25 plus tournaments a year. Team Trail Outdoors, Fun-n-Sun Couples Trail with my fiancé, BPS Series, and the Bassmaster Central Open on Lewisville as a boater in 2020. My goals are to win the Bassmaster Open and secure a spot in the Bassmasters Classic. It has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. Growing up fishing ponds and just loving the outdoors is what started this passion for bass fishing in my life. I have a 10 year old daughter and a beautiful fiancé. I hope to build solid relationships in the fishing industry with companies I believe in and help them to promote products on social media and in person.
At the end of the day I’m just a regular guy who loves bass fishing and the impact the outdoors has had on my life.
Hometown: Perkinston, MS
I was born fishing saltwater at a young age but was always intreaged about bass fishing. I started tournament fishing in 2003, participating in local events, Mississippi Bass Nation and Fishers of Men Tours qualifing for the Bass Nation Nationals in 2009. I have had a smaller Xpress for years along with a bigger fiberglass boat. I started running the Xpress X19 full time and its been nothing but awesome. I fish a lot of shallow water locally and the X19 gives me everything i need to fish shallow, big, skinny and rugged water anywhere in the country.
Continue to pursue what your heart desires, never forgetting to be an arm of the sales and promotional market for the company I represent. Most importantly sharing the gospel of Jesus each and every step along the way.
I have had the pleasure of working with Smith Motor Company in Hattiesburg, MS, as my Xpress dealer. Hayden and his dad are great individuals to work with and will meet all your needs when purchasing your new Xpress. Its always a great experience.
Running a Yamaha is the only option for powering my Xpress. The 200 SHO on the back of the X19 is nothing but a pure adrenaline rush. I have been running Yamaha since my fishing career began and the dependability is above and beyond all expectations. If you are not running a Yamaha, you don’t know what your missing.
Hometown: Hemingway, SC
I grew up fishing ponds around coastal South Carolina. It was not until 2015 when Chris Wells “The Bass Chaplain” visited our church that I was introduced to tournament bass fishing. The following year Chris talked me into marshalling in the Bassmaster Elite tournament Winyah Bay and I understood what I was missing out on. Within days I visited Marshalls Marine in Lake City, SC and was looking for an entry level bass boat. I laid my eye on a 2016 Xpress X19 and was in love. I talked to a couple of the pros that I had made friends with and was advised it was a solid rig for fishing the rivers of coastal SC. I pulled the trigger and was amazed at how well the X19 handled and rode. The Yamaha was very responsive and put it on plane quickly. After 2 years of fishing local club tournaments and winning a few, I felt I needed to step up to a pro level boat and knew without a doubt I would be staying in an Xpress. I rode in a Phoenix, Ranger, Nitro, and Bass Cat and none of them impressed me enough to even consider making a switch. I visited Marshalls Marine again and ordered a loaded Xpress X21 Pro. I could not be happier with my choice. With Yamaha, Humminbird, Minn Kota, and SeaDek it is the complete package. Every time I hit the boat ramps, I have people asking about the boat and they are amazed that an aluminum boat could be outfitted this way. In 2019 I started working closely with “The Bass Chaplain” and going to Bassmaster tournaments and quickly became friends with the Xpress Pros and after developing a friendship with them and the leadership at Xpress I inquired about stepping up and becoming part of the Xpress team and representing this fine company. I am now committed to fish the next 2 years (2021 & 2022) in the Fishers of Men Trail and The Carolina Anglers Team Trail in South Carolina. I hope to represent Team Xpress well.
Hometown: Sapulpa, OK
Hobbies: Family, faith & fishing
John Soukup is a husband to Molly Soukup, and father to three kids; John, Noah, and Alex. John’s first word was “fish”. John was introduced to the fishing world by his father at a very young age and now fishes The National Professional Fishing League, where he recently earned a championship at the 2021 The League | Stop One – Lake Eufaula.
“We didn’t have much, so I grew up a dedicated creek fisherman.”
Whether it was chasing crappie in a heated dock, or dropping a belly boat in the creek for bass, John has always loved fishing. He dreamed at a young age of one day becoming a professional fisherman. Taking the longer route, John focused on family and business running his flooring business to provide for their needs. In 2017, John qualified for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, where the idea of The Bass Tank was born.
John is the Co-Owner owner of The Bass Tank. They are the fastest-growing electronics dealer in the nation. They pride themselves in knowing fisherman’s needs as being fishermen themselves, and in having the best team available to support customers before, during, and after a sale.
As an individual fisherman, John fishes both professional bass and crappie trials. He has helped pioneer new fishing techniques utilizing Garmins Livescope. Being at the forefront of new technology has allowed John to target trophy fish that others cannot reach.
“Although I have the capability of staying deep and chasing suspended fish, my true passion is running shallow water. I always feel at home, and I have had the majority of my success fishing skinny water. I am excited and have confidence in joining the Xpress Team. My X21 is the only option that allows me to do both (ultra-shallow and deep). It is truly a team package I am 100% behind and proud to be a part of.”
Hometown: Ashdown, AR
Hobbies: Deer, turkey, and waterfowl hunting, along with grilling
Jared Fyock grew up with a dad and two grandpas that all had the same love for the outdoors and great leaders, who helped shape his path in life. After graduating high school, Jared joined the US Air Force and served five tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Once honorably discharged, he moved home to Arkansas and started working at Red River Army Depot. Jared is very blessed by his beautiful daughter Rylie and a handsome son Brooks, who both have the same interest in the outdoors as he does. Two years ago, Jared had the opportunity to start X-Series Fishing and Tours, a crappie fishing guide service on Millwood Lake, which was one of the best decisions he has ever made. He enjoys teaching people how to fish for crappie and loves watching them have the time of their lives boat flipping slab crappie. Jared also competes in the Crappie Masters state and national trail out of his Xpress X21 Pro.
“The comfort, fishability, and safety of my Xpress are second to none.”
Hometown: Pell City, AL
Everyday is different when it comes to bass fishing. Figuring out the puzzle is my favorite part of bass fishing! When you figure puzzle out, there is no greater feeling.
The reason I chose Xpress Boats is very simple, Xpress has a boat for every person’s budget and style! From the brand new H18 which is an amazing starter boat all the way to the X21, which can compete at any level of the tournament scene. With Xpress, there will always be a boat you can choose and love.
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