Living in extreme northwestern Missouri, Andrew Nordbye could fish the mighty Missouri River. But he prefers his home waters of Mozingo Lake near Maryville. Boasting 26 miles of shoreline, the lake is a fairly recent (1994) 1,000-acre impoundment of the eponymous creek.
Nordbye particularly appreciates the quality of the bass he boats out of Mozingo, where he regularly releases largemouth of four pounds or bigger. As an angler on the Costa FLW tour circuit, weight matters quite a bit to Nordbye.
“I used to see five-pounders all the time,” he says.
Nordbye says that as word about the lake got out, fishing pressure has increased and reduced the number of trophy hogs in Mozingo. Bassmaster listing it among the country’s top 100 bass lakes didn’t help, either.
Nordbye is a native of Northwest Missouri, where he grew up fishing with his dad, Tom. He remembers fishing as early as age three and says that he’s wanted to be a pro bass angler since he was five years old – and now he’s living the dream.
Getting to the dream, though, took a lot of hard work. He fished as often as he could, learning the tricks and techniques that would entice big bass to bite his bait.
During college, at Northwest Missouri State, Nordbye was president of the Northwest Fishing Club and fished competitively on the FLW collegiate circuit. In 2015, he finished fourth in the field at the YETI College Fishing Open and netted an invitation to the YETI College Fishing Championship in 2016.
After fishing three tourneys as a pro in 2017, Nordbye finished in 31st place overall in the Costa FLW Series Central division. And he’s looking forward to boating bigger bass in 2018.
When he’s fishing a tournament, Nordbye likes to arrive a week or so early to pre-fish the lake or river where the competition will occur and get a feel for the fishery. He studies the structure, currents, wind patterns over the water and tests different baits to see what the bass are biting.
Nordbye targets structure and cover, like rocks and weeds. Some tournaments take place in lakes that have flooded old strip mines or quarries, where he targets the ledges and drop-offs where the largemouth lay in wait for bait.
His go-to bait is a shaky head with a finesse worm that he’ll bounce slowly off the bottom until the bass can’t take it anymore. Sometimes, a top water hollow-bodied frog can be effective, too.
Later this year, he may have to switch it up though. Fish Hog Tackle, out of Camdenton, Missouri, plans to release “Nordbye’s Finesse Spinnerbait,” which Andrew helped to design.
When he’s not fishing tournaments, Andrew guides and is very involved with his faith – of which he believes fishing is an extension.
“Fishing is a passion God has instilled in me,” he says. “It’s my mission to share the love of Christ with others through fishing.”