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Angler Profile

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By Gregg Kizewski  

 

When Rick Byrnes, the man behind FutureBass.com asked us who wanted to cover an “Angler Profile” on Chris Cox, I could not help but grab it! After all, Chris is on my list of the top five bass fishermen in Wisconsin. In July of 2005 when Chris won the Midwest Division Everstart tournament on the Detroit River with 84 pounds of smallmouth


Photo: FLW Outdoors

bass in 4 days of fishing, it really caught my attention. Then just 2 weeks later my eyes were opened wider when his versatility prevailed in a hard fought 3rd place finish at the Midwest Division Everstart tournament on the Mississippi River in LaCrosse, WI. When you look at Chris’s record, you will find that this man quietly racked up over $80,000 in earnings in the 2005 fishing season alone, as well as qualified for the 2006 FLW Tour – a feat that only one other Wisconsin angler accomplished. What is even more amazing about the year Chris had, was the way it started out – a heart attack in early 2005 left him literally dead on the table. Physicians needed to shock him 3 times to get his heart going again. Three stents and 8 weeks of rehabilitation later Chris was ready to carry on with his passion for fishing. This week I received my chance to call Chris, and immediately felt very comfortable – it was like visiting with an old friend that I had not talked to in years. He is not just an awesome angler he is a great guy!

Tournament & Career Highlights

¨      2006 – Qualified for the FLW Tour

¨      2005 FLW EverStart/Northern – 4th place finish in Angler of the Year standings

¨      2005 FLW EverStart/Northern  – Detroit, MI - 1st place finish

¨      2005 FLW EverStart/Northern – LaCrosse, WI – 3rd place finish

¨      2005 FLW EverStart/Northern – Escanaba, MI - 18th place finish

¨      2005 FLW EverStart/Northern – Detroit, MI – 86th place finish

¨      2004 - Qualified for the FLW Tour

¨      2003 FLW EverStart/Northern – 11th place Angler of the Year standings

¨      2003 FLW EverStart/Northern – Lake Erie – 13th place finish

¨      2003 FLW EverStart/Northern – Vermillion – 14th place finish

¨      2003 FLW EverStart/Northern – Lake Champlain – 22nd place finish

¨      Nine top Ten finishes in his FLWOutdoors competition

Tournament Schedule for 2006

¨      2006 FLW Tour

¨      2006 FLW Stren Series – Northern (Previously the FLW EverStart series)

¨      2006 Wisconsin Local tournaments – 8 events

Who is your angling hero?
I would have to say Denny Brauer – I always liked his style, calm and collected. I am more hyper than he is but out of all the great fishermen I have met, he was the only one I have ever asked for an autograph.

What is your favorite tactic or technique? What do you consider your primary fishing strength?  
I really like a little bit of everything. I like to drop-shot, swim jigs, sight fishing, flipping, I like it all. But to be perfectly honest I like flipping more than anything so I would have to call flipping my primary fishing strength.
 

What is your favorite body of water to fish?
I have a few actually. The Lansing pool of the Mississippi River, Sturgeon Bay, Lake Erie, and Lake Champlain in New York.

What path did you follow to get to where you currently are in your fishing career?

I started bass fishing in my early 20's fishing local tournaments in Madison WI, with friends. In 1989 I joined a club (Four Lake Bassmasters). I fished as a no-boater for two Midwest bass tournaments took a 4th and a 7th. I fished as a boater in 1990 out of a 16’ Sylvan in the Midwest bass circuit and finished 3rd overall. From there I went on to fish opens and the Redman (now BFL) on and off. The job I had at the time (sales manager at Don Miller - car sales), required me to work on Saturdays so it was hard to pre-fish. I changed jobs and then I did better in the BFL's. My wife let me try the EverStart Series and I finished 21st overall my first year. The second year I qualified for the FLW Tour. I had a terrible year - I had elbow surgery and then I had my heart attack. After my recovery in 2005, I started the year strong with a win in Detroit and a third at LaCrosse and ended up fourth over all and once again qualified for the FLW Tour, which I am fishing now.

What was the highlight of 2005?
Definitely winning the EverStart in Detroit. It was really amazing and everything went just right. I had 3 rods rigged with a drop-shot when I pulled up on my starting spot. I killed the big motor, went up to the front deck and made my first cast even before my life jacket was off. It felt heavy right away, I set the hook and my co-angler netted the fish – it was a 4-pound smallmouth.  I immediately made another cast and before I even had the trolling motor down, I had another 4-pound fish in the boat. I put the trolling motor down, made another cast and was removing my rain gear – I barely got my rain pants to my ankles and I had another 4-pound fish on. My co-angler had already netted 3, 4-pound fish for me and had not even taken his life jacket off yet. It was amazing!

I really felt I could win in LaCrosse also, but I had a 3-pound fish break off early on the last day of the tournament that really hurt.

What can you tell us about your fishing experiences so far on the FLW Tour?
The biggest difference I have noticed about fishing down south is how a cold front affects the fish. Up north if a cold front moves through it has nowhere near the affect – down south it can really turn the fish off.

Do you still fish local tournaments?
Every chance I get! Every year I fish as many tournaments on the Wolf River as I can, as well as the Sturgeon Bay Open.

What are your long-term goals?
I want to continue to fish on this level and see if I can make a living at it, as well as become a member of a National Team. I also want to do my part to keep the sport growing and get kids involved as much as possible. Watch out for my 5 year old son Curtis, he has the patience and skills to go a long way!

Sponsors:
Ranger Boats
Evinrude
Minn Kota
Humminbird
CastAway Rods
Shimano
P-Line
Power Pole

Web site: www.captchriscox.com

Summary:
Chris Cox is an angler that has all the tools already in place to go very far in the sport of professional bass fishing. You will be seeing his name much more in the years to come!