January 2, 2014 by Sean Ostruszka
(Editor's note: This article originally appeared in the 2013 Winter issue of Bass Fishing magazine. To read more compelling articles from Bass Fishing magazine each month, become an FLW subscriber member. If you'd like to sign up for a digital subscription to access articles online, click here).
Q&A with Andy Morgan
Sean Ostruszka: You've had some time for the Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year title (presented by Kellogg's) to sink in. What are your thoughts on the season?
Morgan: I wouldn't say it was a perfect season, but it sure worked out. I mean, it was a good year, but not a great year. I was surprised to even have a shot to win after Beaver Lake (he finished 68th). Honestly, it was never even on my mind until someone mentioned right before Chickamauga that I had a shot at winning it.
Sean Ostruszka: So after Beaver you figured AOY was out of the question?
Morgan: After Beaver I said, "There ain't no chance." You have to catch them good at all six tournaments. I'm talking top 20. Everybody is just too good to slip up like I did.
The thing is, we all slipped up at least once this year.
Sean Ostruszka: Where does the AOY title rank among your career accomplishments?
Morgan: It has to be up there because it's one of the hardest things to win. You have to have 18 or 20 good days of fishing to win it. You only need four good days to win a tournament.
Sean Ostruszka: You live near pretty good smallmouth country, yet I heard you don't like them. What do you have against smallmouth?
Morgan: I just hate them. There's no way to pattern them. They're nomadic. It's like hunting whitetail deer, and then suddenly being forced to leave the woods and hunt mule deer.
I despise those fish. They've never helped me once in a tournament.
Sean Ostruszka: Not once?
Morgan: Let me take that back. There was one instance where I caught three at Table Rock (in 2010) that helped me make a top 10, but that was a fluke.
Sean Ostruszka: Man, most pros love them because they fight so hard.
Morgan: Those fish just think they fight hard because they think they're bigger than they are.
That's another thing - a 4-pounder is not a big smallmouth. I hear all the time about how great the fisheries are up North because they have 4-pound smallmouths. Please. I have caught big smallmouths. I caught an 8-pounder down here at Watts Bar. Now that's a big smallmouth.
Sean Ostruszka: What's the one fishing story you love to tell people?
Morgan: I don't know if it's my favorite, but it's one Terry Bolton and Dan Morehead love to tell about me. We were fishing a tournament at Sam Rayburn, and during practice they were really catching them on a Carolina rig. I hate a Carolina rig, but I wasn't catching anything . So I go out and fish with Terry and we both are throwing a Carolina rig. And we're both catching fish. Of course, everything I catch is small and everything he catches is big.
Come the first day of the tournament, I go out throwing that stupid Carolina rig and catch two fish. I was irate. I mean, I was so mad that I threw my entire Carolina rig box in the lake when I got back to the ramp. I've never thrown a Carolina rig since.
Sean Ostruszka: How many years ago was that?
Morgan: I was in the `90s.
You want to know the worst part? I'm throwing that Carolina rig, and all around me guys were whackin' `em flipping the bushes, which is what I love to do. I got off the water and wrote myself a note that said, "If the water is in the bushes, fish the bushes!" I still have it.
Sean Ostruszka is a staff writer for FLW Bass Fishing magazine.