How Andy Morgan Pulled off Comeback Victory for Third AOY Title
Consistency is always the key for those who win Angler of the Year. After starting the season off with a couple of rocky finishes by Andy Morgan standards (40th and 42nd), he still managed to cash a check in those events. Still, it left him with a lot of work to do in order to make a run at his third Angler of the Year title in four years. Andy Morgan is the absolute last person that we’d want to fish against at any of the last four stops of the 2016 FLW Tour season (Beaver, Pickwick, Kentucky, Champlain), and I’m sure many of his fellow Tour pros would agree.
We caught up with Andy after the FLW Tour event at Lake Champlain to get his thoughts on how he was able to pull off a slow, but remarkable comeback to add a third Angler of the Year trophy to his collection.
Garmin: What was going through your head after finishing 40th at Okeechobee and 42nd at Hartwell, and how were you able swing the momentum back in your favor?
Andy Morgan: Okeechobee has always been a toss-up for me. I’ve been on both ends of that more than once. A lot of times, how you start the season in Florida is either the bearer of bad news or the bearer of good news. Usually with a solid finish in Florida, I’m kind of a threat to possibly win AOY. But a 40th place finish for me in Florida this year wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great.
I was excited going into Hartwell because I typically do really well there (Andy hasn’t finished lower than 15th at Lake Hartwell since 2005). Finishing 42nd was tough to swallow because there’s always a lot of good stuff to throw at. It’s a big lake and you can get away from pressured areas. Everything kind of backfired at Hartwell and didn’t really go my way. I was basically just scrambling around on Day 2 trying to cash a check.
The last four events were really in my wheelhouse. I was able to power fish and just go out and do what I’m comfortable doing. At that point, I knew it was a long shot to possibly win Angler of the Year, but I knew it was a possibility to have four good finishes to end the season. I knew I’d have to make four cuts and at least three in the top 10. I got close – I tied for 10th at Pickwick and the tiebreaker kicked me to 11th, but even though it was a long shot, the season finished out just like I was hoping it would.
G: How did Garmin electronics play a part in winning Angler of the Year?
AM: The biggest thing for me this year was the Garmin LakeVü HD Ultra mapping. My mapping is always super important to me, but when I received the software update earlier this year that had the Depth Range Shading, it was a lot easier to follow the contour lines. It helped make reading the map and making decisions on the fly a lot easier, which saved me valuable time getting to the places I needed to go.
A lot of guys out there just think I beat the bank all day, but that’s not necessarily the case. I do it a lot, but I still fish a lot of shallower contours. A lot of these guys that are fishing offshore are fishing deep water. I fish offshore, too, but I’m typically throwing to shallower water.
G: How do you feel going into the Forrest Wood Cup at Wheeler?
AM: Looking to the Forrest Wood Cup at Wheeler Lake, I think it’ll be won offshore, but I think it can definitely be won by mixing it up and catching a few shallow and a few deep each day. I think if somebody can catch a few shallow and a few deep each day, they’ll definitely be a contender for that $300,000 check.
It’s not going to be a typical Tennessee River slugfest. It’s August, and it’s a tough time of year to be fishing. The fish aren’t just going to eat it up. There’s going to be some fish caught, but you won’t see many springtime stringers caught. 12-14 pounds per day should set someone up pretty good, but if one of those guys catches an 18 or 20 pound bag, they’ll have it real good going into the next day.
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