Oct 24, 2013 - Jeff McCoy, the assistant chief of police in Trenton, Tenn., has owned two War Eagle Boats and is preparing to purchase his third boat this year. This 5-part Q-and-A with McCoy will examine how McCoy’s boat needs change as his life does.
War Eagle: Jeff, how have you done on the professional crappie circuit?
McCoy: Not that great. I'm still learning. When I say I fish pro circuits, I don't mean I've fished a lot of them. I have a heavier schedule this year than I did last year.
War Eagle: What do you think about fishing big national tournaments?
McCoy: I love them.
War Eagle: What is it about the national crappie circuit you love?
McCoy: I've met some of the best crappie fishermen in the world fishing the national crappie circuits. I'm learning numerous ways to catch crappie under different water and weather conditions. Fishing a national crappie tournament is like taking a college course. Every day I'm there, I'm learning. I've learned that there's more than one way to catch crappie. I've always fished man-made structure because I fish on Kentucky Lake where there are plenty of crappie mats and hot spots built by the fishermen who fish the lake. But when I started fishing the national crappie circuits, I saw that the people who fished the creek channels, the mouths and the bends of creeks and open-water structure caught more and bigger crappie than I did. I was really surprised that those national pros showed me and taught me the techniques they used to catch more and bigger crappie. From the national pros, I've also learned how to go to a lake I've never fished before and find and catch crappie. I've still got a lot to learn, but I've learned a lot more than I've ever thought I can by fishing national tournaments. I'm not what I'd consider a good crappie fisherman yet, but I'm getting there. I've learned that if you fish national crappie tournaments, you can learn a tremendous amount of information on how and where to catch crappie that you can use anywhere you fish. I want to become as good a crappie fisherman as I can be. I've found that the national crappie circuits offer me the opportunity to be around and learn from some of the best crappie fishermen in the nation. Too, I'm getting a little bit better after every tournament I fish.
War Eagle: What's the entry fee on the tournaments?
McCoy: On the Crappie Master tournaments, the entry fee is about $155 for a two-man team. On the Crappie USA circuit, our entry fee is $75 for a two-man team. The entry fee is well worth the price for the education you get in crappie fishing.
War Eagle: How does your War Eagle boat hold up in competition as compared to the other contestants' boats?
McCoy: That War Eagle boat is tough. When we fish lakes like Reelfoot, I've watched fiberglass boats get eaten up by stumps and logs. I can see riveted aluminum boats start leaking after they hit stumps and logs and get bent up. But you can check out my War Eagle 1754 and see that it doesn't have a dent in it. Now, I'm not saying that my boat can't get a dent in it, but I've fished so-many rough places that if it could have been dented, I would already have dented it.
War Eagle: How does the 1754 handle rough water?
McCoy: The War Eagle 1754 sits high off the water, so it takes rough water really well. When I've got a full tank of gas in the 90 hp, it still sits higher in the water than most crappie boats do.
War Eagle: When you're fishing, how does the War Eagle handle the waves?
McCoy: I've had the War Eagle boat in rough water before, and it can handle the rough water better than I can. I normally spider rig for crappie, and I really get aggravated trying to spider rig in rough water. I've learned that I don't hold up as well in rough water as my War Eagle boat does.
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Next time in Part 4: About My Crappie Education