In this edition of 5ITB we head north to the land where smallmouth reign supreme and talk to one of the more amazing bronzeback anglers on the planet, Goodyear and FLW Pro John McGoey.
Why do you fish?
I have fished since I was a small boy, my Dad started me. He was very busy (bus driver) and because of that he wasn’t able to take me very often, but he made sure his friends or family friends would get me to the water.
You’re from the North like I am. I have said for years that the smallmouth up here are different than they are in the south, that they seem to have an attitude problem, lol.
Would you agree with that?
You are right the northern smallies are crazy compared to the southern fish; I like to say they are nuts!
In your opinion why is it your smallmouth up north are so much heavier?
Golbies. The fish are just gorging themselves on them. I predict you’ll have them in the Finger Lakes within two years and you’ll start to see a difference soon after that.
You’ve fished tournaments with over 25 lb bags. In fact you told me of one in particular where you had 29 lbs and took second because “I had 2 7’s, a 6, a 5, and a 4 lb rat I couldn’t get rid of”, but you’re favorite way to fish is with a flipping stick?
Favorite way to fish is with a flippin stick in my hand and a Perfect Jig on the end. That is the only way to fish (lol).
How is that even possible?!? I’m sure you’re gonna tell me Ontario or Simcoe is your favorite body of water.
Yes, Lake Ontario is for sure. But flippin and pitchin is the way I live to fish!
So why Ontario?
Big, deep water smallies. The Potomac is a close second and when I’m there I have my flippin stick in my hand the entire time.
What’s your least favorite?
Least favorite lake is the Potomac river cus it is so humbling. I’ve had tournaments there where I’ve won thousands (he’s referring to his top ten finish on the FLW Tour Majors in 2011) and come back a year later and had great practice and then my fish just disappear.
What are you planning to fish in 2014?
Next season I am planning on fishing the BASS Opens and if the FLW Everstarts go to the Potomac I will go there as well cus it is a great place.
If you weren’t fishing, what would you be doing?
If I was not on tour it would be doing what I am doing: running the Goodyear store where I work with plans to own it.
Everyone has someone they talk to, or learn from. Who is that person for you?
I have got a good buddie here at home who fishes a lot, not competitively or in tournaments, but he’s on the water a lot, he is really good and I always talk with him, ask what I am doing wrong or how I could be better. His name is Jeff Pammett.
When we were fishing together on the Potomac I went through more sunscreen in one day than most people use in an entire summer.
Do you think there’s any hope for me to ever get a tan of any kind?
Honestly I don’t think so. After you killed the second bottle of SPF 50 I liked your “Just give me a stick of butter” comment. I think you should stick to the shade when possible.
Great. On that note, let’s get to the 5ITB!
1. What’s it like on a Sunday at home when you’re not fishing?
A Sunday at home here with no fishing in July would be having some cocktails and lounging by the pool with my wife and friends. We have a lot of fun doing that.
2. Do you have any pre tournament rituals or superstitions?
No rituals or superstitions for me just like to practice hard and fly by the seat of my pants when it is all done.
3. Where was your best finish this year and where did you struggle the most?
No great finishes this year, I have gone through a rough patch and I cant put my finger on why. I would say I struggled the most at Oneida cus I could not ever really figure out the fish there.
4. What is the one body of water you would fish in 2014 if you had your choice?
The one body of water that I would like to fish is Okeechobee in Florida cus it has lots of big fish.
5. What’s the one thing nobody knows about you?
I’d give you my last dollar if you needed it. I’m always helping people whenever I can.
*For the record, John is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He’s given me countless hours of advice, gear, sunscreen, made appearances with me at bait and tackle shops, and is always willing to help other people catch more fish. It’s meeting people like him that remind me there’s a whole other side to fishing these tournaments. Weigh-ins last a few seconds, friendships last forever.