Team Kickerfish contributor Jeremy Santos interviewed local tournament angler Josh Peacock recently. The St.Croix Rods Pro Staff is an accomplished writer and tournament bass angler based out of Kenora, Northwest Ontario.
1) How did you get into fishing?
Fishing has been a big part of my life since day one. My family has lived on the shores of the Winnipeg River in Northwestern Ontario for going on 5 generations! I guess I was just kind of born with the fishing gene. My Dad Norm introduced me to fishing, and my cousin Clay Lajeunesse got me hooked on chasing bass!
2) If you could fish with anyone you wanted to, who would it be?
That’s a tough one! There are a lot of great anglers out there but if I had to choose just one it would be my late Grandpa Bud Peacock. He loved to fish and had a knack for catching the biggest fish each time out. It would be awesome to share one last day on the lake with him and show him how much I’ve learnt since the days when I was just a kid, I would sit on the porch out at camp and read all of his fish Fishing Magazines cover to cover!
3) Who is your favorite fishing “celebrity”?
Another tough one. I look up to a lot of the Elite Series guys on the Bassmaster Trail like Mike Iaconelli, John Murray, Rick Clunn, and Aaron Martens just to name a few.
4) If you had to target only one fish for the rest of your life, what species would it be and why?
That’s easy! It would be largemouth bass. I love fishing heavy cover and weeds, their sheer brute force when you first slam back your rod on a big largemouth is addicting.
5) How has your profession (Fisheries Biologist) and education (Bachelor of Science in Fisheries Management & College Diploma in Fish and Wildlife Management) helped you in your fishing career?
To be 100 % honest with you my job hasn’t really helped me out at all on the water, if it did there would be a lot more Biologists and Scientists fishing/winning tournaments. If anything my local knowledge and fishing background (tournament angler, and 7 years as a fishing guide) has complimented my career choice. Where it has helped me the most, is in strengthening my writing and communication skills.
6) What lure or bait would you call your go to fish magnet?
I would have to say a suspending jerkbait, like a Vicious VJ90. It’s my #1 lure for finding fish and covering water. In prefish it’s also great because you can lure fish in towards the boat by working your bait very erratically then killing it within eyesight. It allows you to gauge the quantity and quality of fish on a spot without stinging them!
7) What was your very first tournament boat?
My very first tournament boat was the boat I’m still running today a 1999 Skeeter ZX202c Bass Boat. I saved every tip in US dollars that I made while guiding and put it towards my first boat. We have been through a lot together, and she’s been very loyal! I just recently repowered it with a brand new Yamaha VMax SHO 200 hp from WSL in Kenora. I still can’t get over how good it is on fuel for a high performance engine!
8) In your mind, what is the most important aspect in competing in a fishing tournament?
The mental aspect of it, and confidence. If you start off your day with a bad attitude and a pessimistic outlook, you aren’t going to catch them. If you stay upbeat, positive, and have a lot of confidence, good things are going to happen!
9) Before a tournament starts, what is your pregame ritual or so called “lucky” routine?
I don’t have too much in the way of pregame rituals until I have a good day. If I have success on Day One, I try and do everything exactly the same. I will listen to the same music, wear the same clothes, pack the same lunch you name it. Conversely if I have a bad day I will switch hats, flip flops, basically my entire wardrobe and routine. I know it’s weird, but I’m really big on getting a good flow going. Everything should be in a rhythm and feel effortless.
10) What kind of advice can you share with new tournament anglers?
The best piece of advice I can give is to work hard and spend time on the water. Success doesn’t happen over night. There isn’t one magic lure or magic spot out there. It’s more about gaining experience and knowledge on what baits to throw when, and learning the water you are fishing.
11) Being a St. Croix pro staff, which I am truly jealous of, I want your 100% honest opinion. What makes St. Croix Rods the best rods on earth?
I think it first starts with the people. The owners and key people of the company are high quality individuals, and so are their staff. When you go to the St.Croix’s Factory in Park Falls, Wisconsin it really feels like home (not just because of the beautiful white pines), but the people are so nice and treat you just like family! St. Croix Rods are designed and made right here in North America, that means that the quality and attention to detail needed to make the Best Rods on Earth is right in their back yard, and everyone is on a first name basis. That type of company is so hard to find these days. St.Croix is always on the cutting edge of blank and component development, so much so that even as a pro staffer I have trouble keeping up with all of their latest advancements and new models! The big thing here is that they stay away from the gimmicky stuff, and are constantly redesigning and refining rod technology, they really have it down to a Science.
12) List your top 5 most memorable moments fishing.
- Filming an episode of Extreme Angler TV with Karl Kalonka that will air this winter!
- Catching a 4.98 lb largemouth on Day 3 of the KBI back in 2006, it was my first big bass award, and it really solidified my obsession and constant pursuit of that special kicker fish! There’s no better feeling than landing a truly rare fish when it counts the most!
- Finishing 5th at Bassin’ for Bucks in 2012, we creamed an 18.78 lb limit of all largemouth on the final day which catapulted us into the lead until the final 4 boats had to weigh in.
- Making the Kenora Bass International Boat Parade in 2010, we were in 4th place (0.5 lbs out of 1st) going into the final day! We bombed on day 3 but the experience was invaluable. I’m definitely looking forward to making it back there again soon, it’s not an easy thing to do!
- Finishing 2nd last year at Bassin’ for Bucks, we had a really strong tournament, and weighed the biggest largemouth (twice) on the final day. It was a really tough day three, as there was a long fog delay which shortened everyone’s fishing time considerably. We were 1.35 lbs short of winning the tournament, a good reminder that every bite and every fish counts!