June 23, 2014 by David A. Brown
Repel pro Cody Meyer doesn’t fully define his life by fishing. In fact, the 31-year-old angler from Auburn, Calif., complements all the tournament travel and promotional activities with a couple of curious livelihood elements. The interesting part is the strong parallels – both thematic and practical – between what he does on the water and off.
With 20 top 10s, including three in his five Forrest Wood Cup appearances, the sixth-year pro has put together a solid career abounding with bigger-and-better potential. Currently neck-and-neck with pro Andy Morgan for the Angler of the Year title, Meyer has kept himself in the game by nurturing a strong sponsor stable, while also ensuring himself steady income to keep the engine running.
Cody ‘n Cars
For more than a decade, Meyer has run a car wholesaling operation. Following in the footsteps of his father’s 30-year career, he essentially brokers pre-owned auction vehicles through his nationwide network of dealers.
“I’m not a ‘used-car salesman,’” Meyer joked. “I sell to the used-car salesmen.”
Indeed, Meyer rarely even touches the merchandise. It’s all done by phone, and that, he said, fits really well into his travel-heavy lifestyle.
“It’s a great job to do on the road,” he said. “I can buy and sell on the road, and don’t have to be there to make some money. I’ll be out there fishing and someone will call me and say, ‘Cody, we have these five cars.’ I’ll hang up, make one call to sell them and make another call to arrange for the transportation.”
While this revenue stream has helped him pay the bills en route to developing the career he now enjoys, Meyer said that the business often yields that thrill-of-the-hunt appeal so common to his bass pursuits.
“There’s always that adrenaline rush of finding that one car that’ll make you a lot of money,” he said. “You’ll go to an auction or dealership, and certain cars have high profit potential.
“With fishing, you don’t know what you’re going to catch, and in the automobile wholesale business, you don’t know what you’re going to buy. Like every cast, every car could be the one.”
A Blossoming Opportunity
For the past several years, Meyer has also harvested acacia tree pollen, which the pharmaceutical industry uses for allergy medicine. Acacias originally came from Australia, and, as Meyer notes, those in California produce a pollen suitable to a wide range of allergy meds.
Here again, angling parallels exist. First, is timing: Acacias pollinate in late winter to early spring. Moreover, Meyer notes that collecting at the right time of day greatly impacts success.
“I’ll start in the San Francisco Bay area in January and then work up north to Redlands,” he said. “You just follow the coast and follow the climate through early spring. If you get off the pattern, you’ll miss the whole thing.
“I’ll start about 9 a.m., because any earlier and there’s still dew on the pollen. If you go too early, the pollen will be wet and that can cause mold.”
Timing, seasonality, geographic advancement – sounds a lot like considerations common to a fisherman.
“You don’t want to be fishing prespawn patterns when the fish are spawning, and you don’t want to be fishing spawning patterns when they’re in postspawn mode,” Meyer said. “It’s the same thing with pollen – it’s all about knowing when to be there.”
And if we can stretch the allusion a step further, Meyer said that reaching blindly for blossoms is a lot like approaching a lake with no planning – you might get stung.
“You can wear gloves, but that slows you down and the more you pick, the more money you make,” he said. “So many times, I’ll reach up above where I can see and a honey bee gets me. It happens about every three days.”
West Coast Wisdom
Now, supporting the fishing theme that courses through his life, Meyer and his wife bought a house on Auburn’s Lake of the Pines about two years ago. Nice view, but there’s a practical application supporting his ongoing development.
“I get to come home and relax from the tournament schedule, but I’m 2 minutes from the water,” he said. “That’s good because I can go out there and practice, test new baits and stay fresh.”
It’s safe to assume that Meyer is throwing a broad array of baits into Lake of the Pines. As he says, cutting his teeth on diverse California fishing has given him a wide range of skill sets that have benefited him on Tour.
Meyer calls Champlain his favorite lake and frowns at the ever-challenging Red River. Nevertheless, he understands the value of synthesizing his California experience with what he’s continually learning about Central and Eastern U.S. waters.
“I credit the West Coast for much of my success,” Meyer said. “You can fish Clear Lake where you can flip, throw braid and throw big swimbaits. And then you can drive an hour north and throw 4- to 6-pound test in 40 feet of water. You kind of learn everything.
“I went back to the East Coast knowing that stuff, but I’ve worked on getting to know the (Tour) lakes and their seasonal patterns. It’s learning stuff like how the fish respond when the TVA reservoirs pull current and when the bluegill spawn offers that bream-bed bite. As I become more familiar with these things, I feel more comfortable with it, and I’m fishing with a lot more confidence.”
Chasing the W
A consistent performer who’s knocked on victory’s door multiple times – including a second- and third-place finish at the Forrest Wood Cup (2010, 2009) – Meyer’s 2014 season has been his most successful yet.
A trio of top 10s – fifth at Okeechobee, fourth at Hartwell, ninth at Beaver – have him looking like the kind of angler who’s one cast away from notching his first FLW win.
Meyer said he’s proud of his 2009 Rayovac FLW Series Western Division Angler of the Year title, but a legitimate shot at a Tour level AOY is a big deal for him.
“It’s everything; it’s what you dream of,” he said.
With a nod to Morgan’s proven prowess, the humble Western pro said the season-long race has pushed him to up his game.
“That guy is just amazing,” Meyer said of his fellow pro. “To be in the hunt with him, no matter how it ends up, is really special.”
Lifting the Forrest Wood Cup trophy would also qualify as “special.” Meyer will see Lake Murray for the first time at this year’s championship event, but Meyer thinks the scene could set up well for him.
“I like that it’s during the summer, and that’s a time when I rely on my strength – finesse fishing,” he said. “No matter where you’re fishing, you can always put five in the boat with finesse tactics.
“I also like that you’re not fishing for points at the Cup. You just swing for the fence and go for broke."
For now, Meyer is tempering his ambition with patience. That’s not the same as letting off the gas. Rather, with maturity comes an appreciation for the steps leading to the objective.
If anyone is on course to greatness, it’s Cody Meyer. He knows he can win, and his steady course of improvement has “success” written all over it.
“I think it’s just a matter of keeping on the path and not rushing the process. It will come.”