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Angler Profile

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By: Eric Jex

 

I had the pleasure to interview Jim Moynagh earlier this year and due to his successful season a follow up was in order. This time I would be conducting the interview on the water.  I started the day by meeting Jim at Cabin Fever Tackle in Victoria ; from there we went to the landing of a small 300 acre lake in the Victoria area (not Auburn, not chasing records today!). 

Last time I spoke with Jim he was sitting in second place in the FLW angler of the year race following the fourth event at Beaver Lake in Arkansas .  This time I caught up with him only a few days after he finished fifth place in the final event of the Silverado Pro/Am event on Lake Minnetonka.  The fifth place finish locked up the 2006 Silverado Pro angler of the year title and put another notch in his belt.  As we arrived at his first spot we further discussed Jimís 2006 season, both on the local circuit as well as the FLW Tour.  He stated one of his keys to success this year was sticking to his initial game plan.  Having those initial plans work early in tournaments made them easier to stick with and allowed Jim to fine tune his presentation and find those spots within the spots rather than having to scrap one approach completely.  Jim also got back to fishing more Rock Jig presentations.  His primary presentation in his top four finishes in 2006 included utilizing the Jim Moynagh Rock Jig by All-Terrain Tackle.  As we talked about his confidence using the jig Jim pulled his first fish of the day from under a dock with a 3/8 oz version. 

The small bass was just a start to the day, we moved from pitching docks to flippin shallow pads and shoreline cover.  Motoring along Jim talked more about how comfortable he felt on the Tour this year; even in the events he didnít finish high in, he felt like fished well.  The first event of the year at the Big O was a good example.  Jim finished ninety-first overall, but he was on fish all week and felt he was taking the right approach by flippin vegetation mats.  He just couldnít come up with the big bag often needed to finish in the money at Okeechobee.  Making good decisions and staying with his plan got Jim in the money at the second event of the year at Lake Murray where he finished in forty-second place.  Pickwick Lake was the third event of the season and would prove to be a very successful one for Mr. Moynagh.  Jim made the final cut at Pickwick for the first time in almost three years by fishing the Rock Jig around deep brush piles.  When the week was over Jim finished in second place and began his drive towards angler of the year.

Beaver Lake and Kentucky Lake also proved to be great tournaments for Jim finishing twenty-ninth and eighth respectively. After the final event of the year at Lake Champlain in New York where Jim finished forty-ninth he had wrapped up third place in the overall Angler of the Year standings and a trip to the FLW championship.  At the championship Jim was in a slugfest with his first round opponent Kim Stricker.  Stricker ended up getting past Moynagh and into the second round by just 4 ounces.  Jim felt he fished well and didnít leave anything on the water; he just got edged out by a hot angler.  Even though he fell victim to the bracket style tournament Jim likes the format.  It brings different strategy and a different style competition to the event.  The NCAA tournament like bracket forces anglers to adjust accordingly day-to-day as their situation with their pairing changes.  Many anglers including Moynagh want to go out and catch a good solid bag in day one without burning all their fish, as day two comes more strategy goes into his approach and decision making.  Jim stated that day two tends to turn into much more aggressive fishing with more anglers going for broke.      

As we changed gears and looked into 2007, Jim changed gears on the lake.  We started flippin bog and pad sections in a little deeper water.  It wasnít long before Jim had used his 3/8 oz jig to boat a couple of nice quality fish.  We started talking about the 2007 FLW Tour schedule that had just recently come out.  Moynagh wasnít real concerned one way or the other with the schedule, he said he just goes to lakes they tell him to and fishes the best he can.  The particular lakes chosen for the schedule are out of his control so he doesnít spend too much time thinking about it.  What he does think about is the bodies of water themselves, and how heís going to approach them.  I asked Jim if there are any lakes on the schedule he likes or dislikes, he just stated ďNot really, I like lakes with fish in themĒ.  He does like lakes that present the opportunity to fish both Largemouth and Smallmouth though; he prefers to fish Smallmouth if feasible.  He feels his Minnesota upbringing has helped him gain some great experience fishing for the brown bass. 

Moynagh has fished on the FLW Tour for the last decade, but also has some experience fishing BASS events.  Jim fished 33 BASS events, and has finished in the money 10 of those 33 times.  His best finish in BASS came in 1998 when he took third at Old Hickory Lake in TN.  He also posted top 10 finishes at Sam Rayburn Lake in TX and Fort Gibson Lake in OK.  Going back to fishing BASS events is not in Jimís plans at this time. Even though he would like the opportunity to fish in a Bassmaster Classic, he has come close multiple times just missing the cut 3 different years.  For now though he plans on focusing on the FLW Tour and his family, time away from his family is not something he would want to give up to fish both tours. 

As I was talking about 2007 plans and other possible tournaments Jim would fish outside the FLW he was flippin pads with a Ĺ oz All Terrain Grass Jig.  This turned out to be the pattern of the day as Moynagh pulled out 4 pigs in the upper 3lb to upper 4lb range.  By the way, in 07 Moynagh plans to fish the full FLW Tour again as well as other local events that work into his schedule.  His goals for the 07 season are similar to other years; stay consistent throughout the year, get to the championship and shoot for Angler of the Year, maybe even a tournament victory or two. 

I would like to thank Jim for his time and a great day on the lake.  We as well as Jim would like to thank his sponsors Tyson, All-Terrain Tackle, Vexilar, Salmo Lures, Ranger Boats, Yamaha Outboards, MinnKota, and Gamma line.