Marathon Man Morgan Starts With a Sprint

Another FLW season is underway, and obviously Mark Rose should be thrilled with his victory on Guntersville. For an Arkansas river rat, he seems to have found a true comfort zone on the Tennessee River impoundments, regardless of the time of year. While he’s established a very preliminary lead in the AOY race, anyone with serious designs on that title knows that it flows directly through the current 7th place angler, Andy Morgan.
Morgan has been the AOY on three separate occasions, and has finished in the top ten every season since 2007 – 10 straight years, and based on this year’s very limited returns we have no reason to expect that the streak will end in 2017. It is one of the most remarkable – and most unheralded – achievements in the sport of bass fishing. To me it’s like a pitcher winning 20 games 10 years straight, or a power forward leading the league in rebounding 10 times in a row. It’s not that it can’t be done, but rather that there are all sorts of forces working against you and not many working in your favor.
What should really scare anyone trying to wrestle the title away from him is that the 7th place finish at Guntersville was his best start to an FLW Tour season since he finished 4th at Toho in 2008. He’s had a couple of other top tens along the way (2010 and 2012) but none as strong as 7th.
In his three AOY seasons of 2013, 2014 and 2016, he started off with 14th, 13th and 40th place finishes. In fact, last year he didn’t get his first top ten until the 3rd event of the season. Of course it is too early to tell exactly how the season will play out, as there’s a lot of casting left to go, but at this point it would seem he’s playing with house money.