Getting bass fishing insight from a pro

Could you imagine winning $40,000 for finishing in third place in a bass tournament you are fishing by yourself?
Well, that’s just what pro angler Jim Moynagh did this past weekend at an FLW Series event on Lake Champlain in New York state.
Many of you know who Moynagh is because he, along with partner Joe Thrun, consistently show up at the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship and whup everybody. They have won the event four times—a record only a couple of anglers have a chance at equalling in the near future.
During the rest of the year, while all the other anglers from the FFCBC are back at work, Moynagh is fishing a tournament somewhere. The only “true pro” in the FFCBC, he has made a living by fishing tournaments—something not many anglers have accomplished.
Most of the big events Moynagh fishes are pro-am style events, where he fishes by himself but has a different co-angler in the boat each day who is fishing in a separate “co-angler” tournament.
To do his job, Moynagh has to log many miles on the road to get from one event to the next. Since he lives in Minnesota, he has to drive much farther than most anglers because the big events mostly take place in the southern U.S.
I caught up with Moynagh as he was driving home from Lake Champlain through Michigan and talked fishing with him.
“I was happy with my finish this weekend, but when you have a chance to win, you always wish it works out,” he remarked.
First place in this event, by the way, was worth $125,000, which Moynagh missed out on by only a pound, so he has to have some disappointment. But by the sounds of things, everything worked out pretty good.
“It is just so hard to win these big tournaments,” he admitted. “I have had quite a few good finishes over the last few years, I just have not been able to seal the deal.
“I found some largemouths in a part of the lake that is not generally known for having ‘winning’ quality fish, so that was good,” he recalled. “I had a really good spot that I caught most of my fish off of, and my co-anglers caught a couple of five-pounders, so I was lucky with the spot that I found.”
I asked Moynagh what he does when he goes to a new lake in order to figure out what the fish are doing and the best way to catch them. FLW anglers only are allowed to practise for events in the four days before the tournament, so there is limited time to figure this stuff out.
“I like to spend my first two days fishing deeper stuff,” replied Moynagh. “Usually deep fish are more dependable, the numbers are greater, and sometimes the size quality is better.
“Most guys can figure out shallow fish pretty quick, so I usually save that for the last day or two right before the tournament if I have to.
“It is always good to get a couple of game plans together in case your number-one plan falls through,” he added.

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