It’s no question that fishing the Walmart FLW Tour fulltime can take its toll both mentally and physically. Though it is often overlooked, staying fit is one of the best ways to handle those stresses. M&M’s pro Jim Moynagh makes it a point to exercise as much as he can and it has helped him continue to compete for over a decade on Tour.
“I remember a tournament on Lake Erie years ago that I fished and of course it was windy,” said Moynagh. “It was rough on the first day and after that boat ride my core was sore for the next couple of days. That was back when I didn’t workout regularly. But now I don’t get sore like that after a rough boat ride or a long day on the water.”
The Carver, Minn., resident has fished the Tour since 1997 but points out that he hasn’t always kept to a consistent workout routine.
“I have always been someone that liked to exercise but about a dozen years ago is when I started to do it steadily,” Moynagh explained. “What (working out) does for me is help to prevent elbow, shoulder, wrist and back injuries that can be common. Obviously it also helps to keep weight off as well. Body fat is just dead weight that can help to fatigue the body throughout a day on the lake.”
While Moynagh works out as often as he can when not traveling, he keeps to a strict routine when on the road.
“I work out as much as I can during tournament season. I have a set routine I like to do and it starts when I leave Minnesota for a tournament. Usually the drives are pretty long, and occasionally I’ll pull over at a truck stop, put my running shoes on and go running. I also have a membership to Snap Fitness so if I find one on the drive I’ll pull over and workout there.
“The day before official practice (Saturday) starts I like to get a good workout in. I keep a gym mat and resistance bands in my camper to assist me in my full-body workout. Again, if there is a Snap close by I'll go there but I like to be prepared."
Once official practice begins, however, Moynagh puts exercising on hold.
“For the three days of practice I don’t workout. I’m there to catch fish. I don’t like skipping workouts, but that’s the way it is.”
Moynagh gets back on the wagon during the off day with another full-body workout. After the tournament starts he alternates between 30 minutes of running and full-body workouts at the end of each day throughout the event.
Aside from the physical benefits these workouts have, there is also a mental aspect that helps keep Moynagh focused on the task at hand.
“Some of these workouts leave me pretty exhausted. I figure if I can make it through them then I can make it through anything a day of fishing will throw at me. The exercise also helps me to center my mind. If I’m excited after a good day of a tournament then I workout to help center my mind. The same thing is true if I have a bad day, then the workout helps bring me back to where I need to be for the next day.”
For those that may not know, Moynagh travels the country with a camper in the bed of his truck so when he’s not on the water he can be found at the local campground. Since he likes to minimize time spent driving to town if it’s not necessary he will often find ways to workout around the campground, especially if a Snap Fitness isn’t nearby.
His favorite thing to do is go running. He loves to see the sights around the lake and notes that some areas can offer very difficult terrain to jog in. Moynagh says that both Lake Guntersville and Beaver Lake offer hills that can provide a fun challenge to run up.
The M&M’s pro is certainly excited to start the 2014 Tour season, but maybe for a different reason than most.
“I love to compete and I can’t wait to get back out fishing but I’m looking forward to losing some weight,” laughed Moynagh. “I lose weight during the tournament season and since the Forrest Wood Cup I have put some of that back on and that’s even with working out six days a week. I’m looking forward to the new season and especially getting over those delicious holiday cookies.”