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Cast Away

Posted by admin on April 19, 2011

tM_SS1.jpgCollege angling experienced explosive growth the last two years with full divisional trails, college rivalries and even scholarships to college for highly recruited anglers. In fact we believe a lot of the next superstars in professional bass fishing are already in college circuits. Just like at the professional levels, some of the same names keep showing up regardless of the tournament circuit. One of those names is Tyler Moberly.

Moberly fishes for Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) and has been fishing college circuits for more than three years. Moberly comes from a fishing family. Many folks will remember his father, Terry Moberly who not only won $100,000 in Feb. 2009, but also won $1 million last year as the  grand champion in FLW Outdoors fantasy fishing contest.

Now Tyler is making a name for himself. Earlier this year, he won as a co-angler in the BFL Mountain Division event on Dale Hollow. It was a brutally tough tournament, and Moberly was the the only co-angler to bring more than three bass to the scale.

As part of the EKU fishing team, however, he's really begun to make his mark on fishing. He won the first open invitational of the Boat US Collegiate Bass Championship series on Kentucky Lake with partner Kyle Raymer. He also won the College Bass East Super Regional on Clarks Hill with former partner Richard Cobb. And most recently he won the College Bass National Championship on Lake Brewer, a lake in Arkansas that he and his partner Jonas Ertel had never seen or wet a line on. Just this month, he was named to the FLW Outdoors Magizine All-American College fishing team. Earlier this year, he and his partner finished ninth in the first FLW Outdoors College Fishing National Championship.

So how does an angler from Eastern Kentucky get to the top of college fishing?

"I don't know, I think there are a lot of good fisherman in Eastern Kentucky and a lot of tough fisheries," Moberly said. "We cast a jig a lot. I learned to cast a jig from fishing as a co-angler with John Devere. The Deveres are probably the best jig fishermen in the nation."

"At all of my tournaments I've done well, I've caught my fish on a Cumberland Pro Caster or Cumberland Pro Football jig." Moberly said. "With either black and blue or Barren craw, I know I can go just about anywhere and catch bass. Of all the jigs I've thrown, it comes through the rocks and cover better. Brian Wilson has the perfect head and the best hook I've ever used in a jig."

Besides his confidence in those jigs, as much as his success has come from how he fishes a jig. Where most people either flip and jig to cover or throw a football jig offshore structure, much of Moberly's success has come in between. A technique born in Eastern Kentucky is casting a jig on rocky banks and covering what a lot of anglers consider that mid-range area, where most guys throw a crankbait or something that covers water quickly. Instead of fishing directly on the bank or way offshore, Moberly and others had much success on lakes like Cumberland, Dale Hollow and Barren River casting a jig on "do-nothing-looking" rocky banks and crawling them painstakingly back to the boat.

If Moberly is fishing a point, he might make a precise cast across or down the point, but a lot of times when he's fishing something like a main lake pocket, he'll fan cast to cover the whole pocket. Then slowly drag his jig back over every rock, often finding subtle pieces of cover others miss.

"If you don't have a jig tied on, it just seems like you're going to get beat," Moberly said. "Anytime I'm around rocky banks or deep water, I want to have a jig in my hand. It's so versatile and can be fished in so many places and so many different ways."

Moberly believes that most tournaments are won either flipping shallow or fishing out deep. So he chose to constantly work to improve his offshore fishing and fishing more of the in-between water away from the bank.

While he's still figuring out his goals in college studies, he's definitely got the college fishing game figured out, and its only a matter of time and the right connections before he's going to be moving up the ranks on the professional fishing circuits.