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From Duck Hunting to Crappie Fishing with Jeff McCoy - Part 5: My Trolling Motor Makes the Difference

Oct 26, 2013 - War Eagle: Jeff, how do you have your trolling motor set up, and what type of trolling motor do you use with your War Eagle boat when you’re fishing crappie tournaments?

McCoy: I have a 70-pound Minn Kota trolling motor with a 52-inch shaft, which allows me to fish rough water. I’ve got a variable-speed trolling motor, so I can finely tune the speed at which I’m trolling. Sometimes when I’m fishing, I want to speed up a little bit, because on many occasions, the crappie prefer a faster-moving bait to a slower-moving bait. I’ve also customized the trolling motor mount on my War Eagle boat. I have a platform that sits on top of my trolling motor mount. Then I can place the trolling motor at an angle on the front of the boat. So, it pulls the boat from dead center, which allows me to easily troll poles off both sides of the boat without the trolling motor being in the way of the fishermen.

War Eagle: How well does this trolling motor handle the 17-foot boat?

McCoy: The motor handles the boat great. I’m really satisfied with this trolling motor boat combination.

War Eagle: How and why did you decide to fish the spider-rig technique of trolling for crappie?

McCoy: My father-in-law is a big crappie fisherman, and he’s been crappie fishing for years. I learned spider rigging from him. I spider rigged before I ever fished with a hand pole.

War Eagle: In an average national tournament, how do you usually finish?

McCoy: I fished the tournaments this year with my father. Last year, I fished with a buddy of mine, Chris Eubanks. We did pretty good I guess. Our best finish was at Reelfoot. We finished 11th at Sardis Lake, but in the National Championship at Reelfoot, we finished 28th out of 248 contestants. That was probably my proudest moment in crappie fishing. When we fished this tournament, the water was so low that we could see the stumps all over the lake. Instead of spider rigging, we decided to fish with single poles and bounce jigs right up against the side of those stumps. That’s how we found our fish. After the tournament was over, we learned that the winner was using the same technique we used. He just caught bigger fish than we did. We had 13.51 pounds for a 2-day weigh-in of 14 fish. So, our average crappie was just less than 1 pound.

War Eagle: Why would you recommend War Eagle boats to other fishermen?

McCoy: They’re tough, they have a long life, and they have a great resale value. I’ve become a War Eagle fanatic. I like War Eagle boats because of their versatility. You can put any kind of accessory on the boat you want. I was able to build custom-rod holders on mine because of the track system War Eagle has on the side of their boats. You can outfit a War Eagle boat any way you want for fishing, duck hunting or anything else you want to do with your boat. You can visit a dealer and tell him what you want on a boat, and more than likely, that accessory is already available as an aftermarket product. They have dog ramps for duck hunters, pole holders for fishermen and just about anything you want on a boat or added to your boat. If I thought there was a better boat on the market for duck hunting and crappie fishing, I’d buy it. That’s the reason I bought my War Eagle boat. It’s the best boat on the market for a dual-season sportsman like me. It’s a good duck boat and a great crappie boat. Also, I can use it for tournament fishing. These are the reasons I like it, and you will, too.

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