Interview with Bass Fishing Up&Comer Peyton Igo
Louisiana Tech University points leader, Peyton Igo, answers some questions about his experience on the Association of Collegiate Anglers Tournament Series. LA Tech’s Angler of the Year for two years in a row, Peyton has led the University, fishing in more than 40 events with one national win in the FLW Sam Rayburn Reservoir Invitational. Peyton has performed consistently well in national competition with multiple top 5, 10 and 20 finishes out of an average of 200 boats competing. He has been instrumental in Louisiana Tech University being ranked in the top 20 in the Association of Collegiate Anglers School of the Year Program.
Q: Peyton, let’s start from the beginning. When did you get into fishing and what was the first fish you remember catching?
A: I’ve been fishing ever since I could hold a pole but, I got real serious about bass fishing when I was about 15. My first fish was definitely a bluegill caught in my grandpa’s pond when I was 4.
Q: Growing up, who were your earliest bass fishing heroes?
A: My dad was a tournament fisherman. So, him along with his fishing partner Martin Elshout were big heroes of mine. As far as Pros, Shaw Grigsby and Denny Brauer are who I’d consider my fishing Heroes.
Q: What is your favorite fishing memory?
A: Definitely when my dad, brother and me caught over 90 bass in the 3 to 9 lb. range on a private Lake in Texas in a span of about 5 hours.
Q: That right there is hard to beat. Now, you are the lead singer of a popular local band and a collegiate fisherman. How do you keep the girls from smothering you? Beat them back with your fishing rod?
A: Well, yeah. I gotta fight ‘em off now and then between the band and fishing. But, I don’t pay attention to all that because, I ‘ve got about the best girlfriend in the world that supports me 100% with all the traveling I have to do fishing and with the band, plus she’d probably beat down any girl that tried to come after me.
Q: How did you get involved with the Louisiana Tech Bass Fishing Team?
A: When I moved to Ruston, my roommate who had just graduated was the former President of the club and, got me hooked up with the team.
Q: Louisiana Tech has done pretty well in the Collegiate Tournament Series. Being such a small school, how does that affect you guys?
A: The standings are based on cumulative points from up to two boats per event. LA Tech is a small school and usually has only one boat competing in a tournament compared to the other schools in the top 25 entering two to three with the best two counting toward the total score. We are fighting an uphill battle as far as that goes but, it makes it even sweeter when we are ranked.
Q: What was your biggest pay day?
A: Definitely when we won the FLW Sam Rayburn Reservoir Invitational. We won the tournament and ended up taking home about six grand.
Q: February was a pretty good month for you and big bass. What is your favorite time of year to fish for the big ‘uns?
A: Yeah, this February was great for me. I caught a 9.4, 9.7, and an 8.1 along with a number of 6 and 7 pounders. Late February and the whole month of March is always good to me and, would have to be my favorite time of the year to fish.
Q: I saw where you had 5 fish at over 23 lbs. back in March. That sounds pretty dang good to a guy like me. What is your best 5 to date?
A: I caught 5 that weighed over 31 lbs. on Corney Lake. Unfortunately, it was during practice before the tournament.
Q: Wow, that had to feel great to pull that kind of weight in practice. Were you able to produce the big fish during the tourney?
A: No, actually I had terrible luck. The tournament was cancelled because the roads froze over. It was rescheduled for 3 weeks later and by then, the big fish had moved with the temperature change. I ended up coming in 3rd.
Q: You had some tough luck on day 2 of the Bassmaster Wildcard in Alabama. You had a good first day but, things backlashed on the second day. What happened and how do you deal with something like that?
A: We were in the top ten after day one. Day 2 I lost my lucky hat, had a 5 pounder jump right out of the net, and lost a 3.5 pounder. We still had 17 pounds of fish in the live well on the way back when the prop spun off and we had to call for a tow. It is hard to bounce back after a day where everything goes wrong. I stuck to the same game plan as day one and was given the same opportunity but, we just ran up against obstacles. Had things gone right, Day 2’s weight would have gotten us a national qualifying spot. You just have to tell yourself that it wasn’t your time and, shake it off. When you lose a big fish like I did that day, you just gotta regroup and keep chunking like it never happened.
Q: You fish tournaments year around in the cold, wind, rain & heat and, some days you just can’t catch a break. How do you stay motivated?
A: Fishing is mentally and physically challenging. Staying motivated is definitely the hardest part of it all. Every time I’m on the water, to stay focused, I set a game plan and no matter what I stick to it. Right or wrong.
Q: Do you have any fishing superstitions?
A: I don’t have many superstitions, just don’t bring any bananas on my boat or catch a fish on the first cast. (laughs) I also have a cap in my boat that I never wear but, it stays in there for good luck.
Q: How big a part does luck play in tournaments?
A: Really, luck to me is just where preparation and hard work meet opportunity. It takes skill to know where to fish and how to fish it when you get there but, that lucky big bite does go a long way.
Q: What is your greatest strength out there on the water?
A: I’d have to say my strong point is definitely top water. I’m what they call a frogger. I can catch them really good this time of year throwing frogs and other top water baits.
Q: I feel the same way, Peyton. I just love it when the toilet flushes underneath my bait. That’s why I love fishing the dry flies for trout. What would you say is your weakness?
A: My biggest weakness is definitely the deep ledge and point fishing. I can do it and have to do it a lot in tournaments but, I have more confidence up shallow.
Q: What is your favorite Lake or River to fish? Favorite rod/reel? Go to Bait?
A: I’d have to say Guntersville, Alabama is my favorite place I’ve fished. My favorite rod & reel combo is a 7’ 3” medium heavy Temple Fork Outfitters Tactical Series rod with a Bass Pro Shops Pro-Qualifier 7.1.1 bait cast reel. The Go-To bait is always a Texas rigged baby brush hog. It catches fish year round.
Q: Any sponsors you’d like to give a shout-out to?
A: My main sponsors that I’d like to thank are Temple Fork Outfitter for awesome rods, Smith Marine for all my boat maintenance, Red Rock Rentals, Homer Humphrey Lures, Strike King Lures, Toledo Town and Tackle, and Elite Tungsten Weights. I wouldn’t make it to all the tournaments without them. They really make it all possible.
Q: Do you see yourself as a professional bass fisherman or is this just a hobby? You have had success with it on the collegiate level. What do you think it would take to get to the next level?
A: If the right doors are opened, yes. I could see it as a full-time career but, if not I’d still continue to fish local professional tournament trails. To take it to the next level on my own, it would take a lot of time, dedication & money. You’ve got to pay to play.
Q: What is your #1 goal in the next year?
A: This next year I’m planning on fishing the FLW BFL (Bass Fishing League) National Tournament Trail. I’m just hoping I can stay consistent in hopes that I can win one of these tournaments. That would be a big step.
Peyton, thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. Good luck on the water. The folks at Bayou Bushmen love seeing the pictures of all the big bass you catch and we’ll definitely be making it to see the band play again soon.
To contact Peyton’s guide service or for sponsorship inquiries, shoot him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org