By John Johnson
BassFan Senior Editor
Cody Meyer could be considered the Joe DiMaggio of the FLW Tour.
DiMaggio, the New York Yankees superstar of the era just preceding and immediately following World War II, is most renowned for collecting at least one hit in 56 straight games during the 1941 season. Meyer, the 4-year pro from California, is riding a similar streak in his own sport as he's brought a limit to the scale on 42 consecutive competition days (encompassing regular Tour events and the Forrest Wood Cup).
In his first appearance on the national scene, at the 2009 Cup at the phenomenally stingy Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, Pa., he proved his mettle by bringing a five-fish sack to the stage on 3 of the 4 days en route to a 3rd-place finish. He launched his Tour-level career the following spring and, because of his ability to box a full stringer day in and day out, he's yet to have a year that could be considered even remotely poor by most pros' standards, notching three straight Top-15 showings in the Angler of the Year race.
"Honestly, it's because of finesse fishing," he said. "A lot of times you can't catch big ones doing it, but it can bail you out. Growing up out west and fishing a lot with 6-pound test, I know how to do it, and sometimes a tournament comes along where I have to do it.
"A lot of people will say, 'Oh, all he does is dropshot,' but I actually love flipping and throwing things like topwaters and swimbaits and frogs. I always start out looking for ways to catch the bigger ones, but by the third day of practice or maybe the end of the second day, if I can't catch them flipping or on top, I'll start looking to (finesse).
"I don't necessarily want to do it," he continued, "but I will if I have to, for sure."
Hard Feat to Pull Off
Catching five keepers at some of the venues the Tour visits isn't all that difficult. At others, though, there are days when that task becomes a severe challenge, and thus Meyer's current streak appears to be unequaled among his FLW brethren.
Reigning Tour AOY Andy Morgan, one of the steadiest sticks in the game, had a four-fish day at Lake Eufaula just this past season. Likewise for perennial points-title contender Bryan Thrift. David Dudley, who'd won the previous two AOYs, boxed just two keepers on opening day at Lewis Smith Lake.
Luke Clausen weighed three fish on day 4 of the 2012 Cup at Lake Lanier. Newly minted Cup champion Randall Tharp turned in two short bags during the '12 campaign and two-time AOY Jay Yelas did so on three occasions that year.
Jacob Powroznik, with 36 straight limits, looks to be the only angler on a current run that comes close to equaling Meyer's. Powroznik's last short sack came on day 3 of the 2011 Cup (Lake Ouachita).
Meyer has limited out every day since day 2 at the Red River in 2011 – if not for that four-fish day, his streak would stand at an astounding 59. Not coincidentally, he logged what was by far his worst-ever Cup placement at that venue just last month (36th).
"I've been there a couple times now, but that's a place I've never figured out," he said. "I just don't understand those rivers yet. This time I went there with a real positive attitude and I fished hard during practice, but all of my confidence went away real quick.
"Anywhere that has snakes, grass and alligators all in one place, I'm just not going to do well there."
If not for a late rally at on day 2 at Eufaula this year, he'd have joined Morgan, Thrift and a host of others in the non-limit contingent.
"I had a 3 o'clock check-in time and I was coming back in at 2:30 with only three fish, and then I caught two on a dropshot within a quarter-mile of the ramp. I didn’t have a huge finish (32nd), but those fish were huge as far as getting a check, and for the points."
More Risk-Taking Ahead?
Now that he's established himself as one of the stalwarts of the circuit, Meyer said he may begin to adjust his mindset a bit and take on more of a gambler's mentality. He wants to win an event at this level and, after four finishes of 11th or better, he badly wants to win the Cup.
In order to pull off a victory, he may have to give power-fishing more of a chance on particular occasions, and that might mean an end to his limit streak.
"I definitely do think I'm going to have to go for broke more often," he said. "I've made a lot of checks so far, but I haven't won yet. You can win with finesse if the circumstances are right, but it's more of a way to make checks and qualify for championships. It needs to be in your arsenal, though, if you want to stay consistent."
Going forward, he'll try to model his approach on the one used by fellow California native Brent Ehrler.
"He fishes finesse a lot, but he knows where the line is when he has to swing for the fence. And he seems to win one every year."
> Meyer will compete in his first Toyota Texas Bass Classic next week. He'd planned to fish last year's edition, but incurred major vehicle troubles en route and didn't get much farther east than Reno, Nev. This time, his boat is already in the vicinity and he'll fly out and back.
> He's resorted to using 4-pound line on a couple of occasions in Tour events. "That's scary," he said. "You're okay if you can get (the fish) in open water, so unless you're fishing shallow, you're usually fine. But if there's one stick or one dock pole around … you don't have the power to slow them down. Even a 2-pounder will just keep going and going and you can't stop it."