Making a living in professional bass fishing can be hard enough, especially if you pay most of your expenses out of your own pocket. One way to make life easier is to be consistent – which is what Troy Morrow has been doing for the past few years on the Walmart FLW Tour.
Morrow began his career by fishing mostly BFL events with some EverStart tournaments mixed in. It wasn’t until 2010 that Morrow would get his big break after winning the BFL All-American on DeGray Lake. That tournament qualified him to fish the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Lanier – essentially his home body of water. He went on to take fifth in his first trip to the Cup and would finish the year by winning a BFL Regional.
The Eastanollee, Ga., resident spent the 2011 season trying to match the year he had prior. Like most Tour rookies, his first was not his best but since that time Morrow has begun to put the pieces together with points finishes of 29th and 34th over the past two years.
“I’ve been very consistent in my career,” said Morrow. “In my position right now consistency is the only way I can keep doing this. If I don’t cash checks I may not be able to fish the following season since most of my expenses come out of pocket.
“Fishing the way I do to be consistent is a good and bad thing. On the one hand I usually take a check home at the end of a tournament, but the bad thing is I tend to play more cautious and won’t explore something that could put me in contention to win.”
Aside from his first trip to the Cup Morrow has four top-10 finishes on Tour to his credit since 2011 – two of which were eighth-place spots at the 2012 and 2013 Cup. So in that time has fishing for a check ever held him back from potentially placing higher?
“The one tournament that comes to mind was the Table Rock Tour event back in 2012,” the 42-year-old pro explained. “For the first two days of that tournament I played it a little safe. Day one is what really cost me. I wanted to get a limit before I went to my big fish spot. Well, it turned out that spot not only had big ones but it also had numbers of big ones. I had big bags the final three days but if I would have went to that spot sooner to begin the tournament who knows what could have been. It could have been a case of me misreading what my practice was telling me about that spot, but it’s hard to say. I still took third so I can’t complain but I still think about what could have happened.”
Of course hindsight is 20/20 but with a new year and new season on the horizon Morrow is focused and ready for the challenge.
“It really seems like my predominate failure the past few years has been day one. That probably comes with fishing conservatively the first day. If I make it through the first day, though, I’m fine. I’ll work on that this year and we will see how it goes.
“I try not to really set any major goals just because I think it puts too much pressure on you. I just want to keep cashing checks and make it to the Cup on Lake Murray because I like that lake. That will give me a little more drive this year to make sure I get to fish that tournament. I guess I’d also like to crack the top 10 on Lake Hartwell (one of Morrow’s favorite lakes) which is something I have failed at so far.”
Morrow is a very versatile angler and loves to visit new bodies of water.
“I love new lakes and figuring out how to catch fish there. I really wish that the Tour would make it so we didn’t get any prepractice time and it’d be nice if we went to new lakes as well. Lakes where guys don’t have tons of waypoints to go off. That is a setting I think I would really excel in. My style is to dissect water quickly in practice and find fish away from the crowds.”
The Georgia pro also plans to fish some Rayovac FLW Series events this year.
“I am going to fish the entire Southeast Division of the (Rayovac FLW Series). I’m even going to try and fish the Texas Division on Sam Rayburn as kind of a prepractice. I’m not one for going out of my way to prepractice but if I can work it in between lakes I will. Even if all I can do is ride around and get a feel of the lake. That way when I get home I can think about how I want to approach the lake when practice for the Tour event starts.”
The 2014 FLW Tour seems to offer everything Morrow could ask for from fishing his favorite lakes (Hartwell and Murray) to utilizing his favorite technique of deep cranking at Kentucky and Pickwick lakes. Although his career is young, Morrow has already proven he can handle the ups and downs of a season like a tested veteran – and you can bet he’ll be fishing like one this year, too.
Morrow will return with the BoatU.S. Weigh-to-Win boat wrap this year. While his wrap was white last year he says that he “joined the dark side” for 2014 and will have a black wrap. His other sponsors will remain the same and he picked up three new sponsors as well – Outkast Tackle, Eco Pro Tungsten and Lowrance.
“I have a great base of sponsors in a great industry,” said Morrow.