Welcome to the very first Kayak Angler Profile. My goal is to introduce the world to as many kayak anglers as possible and get the word out about the accomplishments and goals of these special breed of anglers.
While the questions are the same, the answer will always be unique, and that's what makes these profiles so much fun to follow. So keep an eye out for future profiles, but in the meantime, let's see what Maine kayak angler and guide Matt Charette has to say.
Name: Matt Charette
Where do you live? Maine
Have we fished together yet? If so, do you remember where?
Not yet, but we'll get there.
What kayak do you use for tournaments?
Vibe Yellowfin 130T
When and why did you start kayak bass fishing competitively?
I actually only started competitively fishing this year, I've been an outdoor guide and avid fisherman for a number of years, the tournament fishing community just kind of attracted me. The people are awesome and the work some of the clubs are doing to bring people into fishing is awesome.
What are some of your accomplishments that you are most proud of in the sport?
I've helped participate in some statewide surveys that have brought a healthy natural largemouth bass population back to an area that has struggled to maintain them for years. I'm pretty proud of any work I've done as a conservationist.
What are some of the companies that you are sponsored by or pro staff for?
Vibe kayaks, I only staff for companies I truly believe in, and Vibe has a pretty special thing going.
What is your biggest fish to date and what did you catch it on? (
Do you want my GPS coordinates and the moon phase too?
I caught a 7.2lb 23” largie in a southern Maine lake, I was hitting a kind of swampy bank with a frog, there was big log laydown running perpendicular to the bank and I was hopping the frog over it when she sucked it in, it was probably the least exciting frog blowup ever but she tugged like a tank after I set those hooks. That's a pretty big largemouth up in these parts, I regret not getting girth measurements to have a replica mount made.
What are your biggest challenges either during tournaments or leading up to a tournament?
Most of the tournaments in Maine are in the southern part of the state, I fish primarily in the northern Rivers and lakes for the guide service. Up North there are hardly any largemouth bass, the water is cold crystal clear and rocky, so it's always an adjustment any time I'm fishing in the southern lakes that are much warmer, grassy and now stained. Everything moves different, their habits are different, I spend a lot of time looking at charts and bank structure trying to re-wire my brain.
Sleep in the car, arrive the morning of the tournament, or grab a hotel?
This really depends, I'm an outdoorsman so camping is no big deal to me. I guess if can I'll usually find a campsite near by. If not my truck seats are pretty cozy
One piece of equipment that you wouldn’t consider fishing a tournament without?
Besides my PFD? A good quality set of lip grips too calm the fish and prepare to CPR.
We all have preconceived notions of what we were getting into before that very first tournament. Have there been any surprises along the way for you? If so, what were they?
I'm always shocked when I do well, I grew up fly fishing so getting skunked was just part of fishing. As I get older and my techniques get honed I still mentally prepare for the skunk, it's always a pleasant surprise when you feel that 6th or 7th tug of the day and you can cull up.
Who is one person you would love to kayak bass fish with?
Man I'd give anything to fish with my grandfather again. He taught me a passion for the sport and it's been burning strong my whole life. But for living folks? I'd have to fish with Ike, he just seems like a whole lot of fun and I love his high energy approach to fishing.
What would be one piece of advice that you would give to someone considering entering the sport?
You don't have to win every event to enjoy being out there. Don't forget you're fishing, it beats the heck out of work.