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Angler Profile

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By Eric Jex

 

Having the opportunity to talk fishing with the angler currently 8th in the overall FLW Tour standings was extremely exciting for me.  My initial intent was to profile Jim Moynaghís career and hopefully obtain some insight into Jimís success and how he got to where he is today.  What I found while interviewing Jim was another regular guy that seemed genuinely happy to just talk fishing, like we were leaning up against our boats at the landing after a day on the lake.  A regular guy that took 2nd place in the recent FLW tour event at Pickwick Lake, and currently stands in 8th place in the pointís race. 

Jimís Background and Career Highlights
Growing up in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area Jim (like many others) credits his father for getting him into fishing.  Jim Moynagh became involved with his first bass club in the 1970ís in Minnesota.  Club tournaments were really his first taste of tournament fishing, a few years of success at the club level peaked Jimís interest.  He started looking for bigger tournaments with bigger opportunities to move his career forward.  Building
up his confidence and having success at the local tournament level jump started his career.  Eventually Jim got to the point in which he was able to focus primarily on fishing and became a full-time pro in August of 1995.  Two years later, Jimís first year fishing the FLW Tour, he made a huge splash by winning an FLW Tour event at Lake Minnetonka.  Beating out anglers like Mark Davis, Dion Hibdon, and locals legends like Tony and Ted Capra put Jim at the fore front of the sport in his rookie year on tour.  Jim remembers having some extremely intense practice periods leading up to the tournament on Minnetonka and having that intensity and success carry over to the tournament days. 

Since 1997 Jim has competed in every FLW Tour event plus 4 FLW Tour Championships.  His highest finish for one season was 8th in 1998, that year he took 17th place at the FLW Championship on the Mississippi in Moline.  Jim says he has had some inconsistent years since 1998, and is focusing on getting back to the FLW championship this year.  Ironically, after his 2nd place finish at Pickwick Lake in March and a top 50 at Beaver Lake a few weeks ago Jim is currently sitting in 8th place in the overall standings.  I could spend much more time rattling off Jimís successes at other levels including the Stren Series, BFL and Ranger M1 tournaments, instead letís start learning more about what makes this ten year FLW pro tick. 

Goals for 2006
Jim wants to capitalize on his good start to the 2006 season by making it to, and being a contender at the FLW Tour Championship.  He would love to get back into the winners circle as soon as possible, but just as important he wants to become more competitive at each and every event. 

Favorite baits and techniques?
Well this one might be obvious to anyone familiar with All-Terrain Tackleís ďJim Moynagh Rock JigĒ.  Thatís right, the jig named after him is his go to lure, it is the lure he caught most of fish on in his recent 2nd place finish at Pickwick.  When the Jim Moynagh Rock Jig isnít at the end of his line Jim prefers fishing a variety of techniques with a Senko.  He was actually one of the first anglers on tour to successfully utilize a Senko.  Like thousands of other bass aficionados, when the right conditions present themselves top water baits are among his favorite lures. His versatility and ability to change techniques to match current conditions has much to do with his success.


How have you changed?  / What have you learned over the past 8 to 10 years on tour?
Some of the most critical things Jim feels he has improved on over recent years on tour include his approach to practice and his versatility as an angler.  Being able to eliminate and break down water faster in practice has lead him to recent success.  Another thing Jim has learned to do is become more versatile.  When he was a rookie on tour he relied mostly on his patented rock jig or flipping shallow cover.  While these still remain to be his stronger go to techniques, he now has the capability to employ other techniques, and maybe more importantly has a better understanding of when to employ different tactics.  Casting accuracy and ability to dissect cover is another area of improvement Jim has focused on while on tour. 

Aside from the above improvements, Jim feels maybe his most important adaptation has been his much improved ability to fish different bass in different situations.  When he first came on tour he was primarily a Largemouth angler, he has become much better at figuring out Smallmouth in a variety of water types.  In fact, he now tends to focus on Smallmouth rather than Largemouth on bodies of water that contain solid populations of both.  He has been able to focus on getting more consistent bags by zeroing in on smallmouth.

Favorite Bodies of water?
Lake Minnetonka has been good to Jim in many different tournaments; therefore he considers it his favorite tournament lake.  However, Jimís favorite body of water to just go out and fish is Rainy Lake in Northern Minnesota. 

Favorite Aspects of Being a Pro Angler?
Being on stage on the final day of a tournament.  Competing and going through the emotions when you have an opportunity to win is what drives Jim, and what he really enjoys.

Least Favorite Aspects of being on Tour?
Undoubtedly the hardest part of being on tour his being away from is wife and two children for extended periods of time.  Having to make sacrifices in your social life with family and friends is very difficult. 

Advice to Aspiring Tournament Anglers?
Jim thinks the most important thing for aspiring tournament anglers is to be realistic with themselves.  Tournament fishing can get expensive, so be realistic with your financial situation as well as your ability.  Make sure the success youíve had on a local and then regional level warrants a move towards the top levels and tours.

Jim Away From the Lake
When Jim is not on tour he enjoys and values his family time.  He likes to play sports with his two young boys and go on family trips.  He also likes to take his boys out fishing, if he can pull them away from hockey or other sports they may be playing in a particular season.   

Sponsors

Tyson
All Ė Terrain Tackle
Vexilar
Salmo Lures
Ranger Boats
Yamaha Outboards
MinnKota

Jim is truly a class act and I hope I get the opportunity to work with him again in the near future.  We also wish him best of luck in this years upcoming FLW events.