GUNTOWN, Miss. — Catching a big bass in his first tournament got Ty Cox hooked on competitive fishing.
“I started fishing at mostly ponds and small local lakes with my dad the summer I was 12 years old,” said Cox, one of the Mississippi anglers selected for the Bassmaster High School All-State team.
“The fall of that year, we competed in my first tournament, which was the Darryl Worley Tennessee River Run, and I caught the lunker of the tournament and won my first trophy along with prize money.
“That was the beginning of a deep desire to fish competitively that only burns stronger the older I get.”
Cox eventually joined the Mid-South Junior Bass Club and won the club’s Angler of the Year award in 2010. His youth club accomplishments include finishing second in the 2012 Mississippi Bass Federation Youth State Championship; winning the 2013 Mississippi TBF High School Championship; placing third in the 2014 Mississippi TBF High School Championship; earning the 2014 Alabama Bass Trail Student Angler of the Year Award; and taking second in the 2015 TBF High School Fishing World Finals.
“During high school, I fished many different series, including the Lee County Bass Club, BFL Mississippi Division, Fishers of Men Legacy Division, Alabama Bass Trail and ABA Weekend Series,” said Cox, now 18.
Chris Morlock, Mid-South Junior Bass Club advisor, has watched Cox develop into a top-notch angler.
“When a lot of kids were in baseball, he was in a boat with his dad, and that made a huge difference,” said Morlock, who noted Cox was worthy of the All-State pick because of his personality. “He is very generous with his time and is a nice young man to be around. Ty has always been a first-class kind of kid.”
For the past 3 1/2 years, Cox has been working with his parents with the family business, Hammer Fishing Rods.
“This has given me great learning opportunities in the fishing industry,” said Cox. “I have worked expos including the Bassmaster Classic, the Forrest Wood Cup, the Ray Scott Championship, the Mississippi Wildlife Expo and many smaller events.”
After graduating from Saltillo High School, Cox now attends Itawamba Community College, where he’s majoring in marketing. He and a fellow student are in the process of starting a fishing team at the college.
“After college I want to help Daddy with the rod company and take it over one day,” Cox said. “I will probably fish some Bassmaster Opens and FLW Rayovacs and try to make it as a pro one day.”