John Cox, who joins the Bassmaster Elite Series this year after qualifying through the grueling Bassmaster Opens trail, is running a deep V 1850 Bass Hawk Crestliner aluminum boat that has a top speed of about 60 mph. And that’s just fine for the angler who was a real force on both Opens divisions last year, with five Top 20 finishes that included a win and a second-place finish.
Being able to comfortably run in rough water during the northern swing was one consideration, but it really boils down to an incident that changed his philosophy on the need to get to his early morning spot quickly.
"I ran myself over in, like, 2012 or ’13,” Cox explained. “I got thrown out and the motor got me.”
Cox was fishing another tournament circuit when the accident happened, and his co-angler (Bryan New, who won the BassPro.com Bassmaster Central Open on Lake Kissimmee last month) was thrown over Cox’s head and into the water.
“I tried to hold on, and that was probably a mistake,” Cox said.
The angler hit the water close to the boat, and he sustained injuries to his leg, side and head when the boat ran over him. Fortunately, he was not cut by the prop.
That incident happened while he was running a fiberglass bass boat at high speed, so from that point on Cox hasn’t been one to hammer down.
"I was running like 70 (mph when the accident happened), so I just kind of run slow now — because it’s not worth getting run over, you know,” he said.