By John Johnson
BassFan Senior Editor
Seven-plus years into his tour-level career, Cody Meyer finds himself in his first true funk.
The Californian's last two finishes rank among the four worst he's posted since turning pro in 2010. He's in 76th place in the Angler of the Year race and needs to rally a bit, starting this week at Lake Cumberland, in order to avoid missing the Forrest Wood Cup for the first time.
"I've definitely had a couple of bad tournaments, and it sucks," he said, referring to his 90th-place showing at the Harris Chain of Lakes last month and his career-low 119th at Lake Travis in February. "I just need to go out and fish my strengths and fish my way out of it – you have to do what brought you to the dance.
"It's worked for me for years and it'll work again. I just don't know if it'll be this year or not."
No Common Thread
Meyer is renowned for catching a limit on an Tour-record 50 consecutive competition days, a streak that ended at Lake Hartwell in 2017. This year, he's managed to put five fish in his livewell just twice in his six days on the water.
He said the reasons for his failures in the past two tournaments were dramatically different. He had the bites to make a run at the Top 20 at the Harris Chain, but couldn't keep them hooked up. He had no trouble boating fish at Travis, but the vast majority failed to meet the minimum-length requirement.
"In Florida, for sure, I had tons of opportunities to do real well and possibly make the cut," he said. "I hate to use losing fish as an excuse because they come off on everyone, but that was a tournament where everything went wrong (in that regard).
"I was catching 60 to 70 bass a day at Travis, but I could not catch keepers to save my life. My plan was to catch as many as I could and just cull through them, but that was not the deal. You'd think that if you're catching that many you'd eventually get five 14-inch largemouths, but I couldn't make that work."
A 21st-place finish at Lake Guntersville to begin the campaign is preventing him from being buried ever further down the points list. He figures that his average finish for the rest of the year needs to be no lower than 50th in order to attain his ninth Cup qualification.
In 2014, when he was edged out by Andy Morgan in a season-long AOY duel, his lowest finish was 27th.
"I'd kill for a 27th right now," he said. "I'd do a back-flip."
Was Giant Spot a Jinx?
Meyer caught a 10 1/2-pound spotted bass from Bullards Bar Reservoir near his home in December that he submitted to the International Game Fish Association for world-record consideration (it's uncertain what will happen with that application at this point, as an 11 1/4-pounder was caught from the same impoundment in February and is also undergoing the certification process). He said that ever since he boated that giant, his fishing has been a little off-kilter.
"It's just been a weird year for me," he said. "Even when I go out when I'm home, the way things have happened have just been kind of bizarre."
He was asked if his two straight bombs are trumped by the thrill of catching that monstrous spot.
"It probably doesn't, to be honest. That fish did a lot for me, but 20 grand (the minimum amount he would've received for finishes of 60th or better at Travis and the Harris Chain) is a lot of money.
"I've never been a record-chasing type of guy and it was just amazing when I caught that thing, but ever since then I've been on a struggle to catch big ones. It's like that fish took away a lot of my mojo."
Following this week's event at Cumberland, the Tour makes its annual stop at Beaver Lake at the end of the month, then goes to the Mississippi River (Wisconsin) in May and wraps up at the Potomac River in June. He'll have plenty of chances to get back into Cup contention, but he can't afford another stinker.
"I love Beaver Lake," he said. "I've never been to LaCrosse, but it sounds like a fun place, and I don't care much for the Potomac, but I've been there often enough to know where I need to go.
""It's not like I'm down on myself or that I have no confidence; I don't know if it's just not my time or what. I'm bound and determined to get back on track, but if I don't catch them in this tournament, then I'll be looking forward to next year."