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On Tour with Mike McCoy

When you are fishing at the highest level of competition, you need gear you can count on. This year on the FLW Tour I have really relied on the Z-Man line of ElaZtech baits to put what fish I have caught in the live well. This has been a tough year for me, but I would hate to think just how tough it would have been if I did not have this line-up of baits to fish.

Beaver Lake, Arkansas – Lake Conditions for this tournament were erratic. Beaver lake came up 15 feet in a matter of days. Everything I had found in practice was shallow. Come tournament time, I couldn't see any of the fish I was seeing in practice. The high water also played mind games with me as well... Not only high water conditions, but muddy water played a huge roll in what was going on at this event. For Beaver Lake, I really struggled. I had to downsize, fishing The TRD in PB&J. Although this got me a few fish, it was not nearly enough to be competitive.

Mississippi River, Wisconsin - What an AWESOME fishery! This event was a really cool deal. Both small mouth and large mouth spawning in the same areas at the same time. One cast it is a large mouth and the next cast it is a small mouth. ZinkerZ, Turbo CrawZ and Palmetto BugZ were the ticket for this event. Because the bass were spawning in specific bushes, I would target these bushes with the Palmetto BugZ in Black/Blue and Turbo CrawZ in Green Pumpkin – color depended on the water color. In between the specific bushes, I would throw the ZinkerZ in black/blue searching for cruising fish in between. I was competitive in this tournament, but came up just short of the money.

Potomac River, Maryland - This event was a classic "should have, could have" tournament. I really zigged when I should have zagged. In this event I tried to catch some fish in muddy water on a crankbait, but my boat draw and the tides did not work out. Tournament time found me throwing a Green Pumpkin ZinkerZ in the grass for the less aggressive fish and a white Hard Leg FrogZ for the aggressive fish. I did not find a good concentration of fish in practice, so I stayed in 2 areas and pounded the areas looking for the fish. This did not pan out well and I finished way back in the pack.

This year's FLW Tour season did not turn out like I wanted it to. However, it provided some bright spots and tough lessons. It has given me some serious motivation to return next season to seek my revenge on the tour. This year was a dream come true – to be able to make your dreams a reality is truly special! I would like to thank all of my sponsors for making this year special! I am really looking forward to seeing what 2018 has in store. Until next time tight lines and good fishing!!!

-Mike McCoy

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