It's time for the Midwest to shine and Illinois kayak angler Scott Shaw is in the spotlight. Scott is known for throwing crankbaits, in particular squarebills, and his spot on the Skirmish Baits team, lets him know he is tossing the finest baits out there. Go back a profile or two and make sure you check out Dwain Batey, because he's the magic man behind the great paint jobs. So let's get to reading and see what makes Scott tick.
Name: Scott Shaw Yorkville, IL
Have we fished together yet? If so, do you remember where?
Yes, 2017 Lake of Egypt KBF Trail event. Any colder, and it would have been an Ice fishing event. That day was brutal. If I remember correctly the morning launch temp was about 30 degrees with a high in the mid 40s. That combined with the sustained 5-10 mph wind made for “great” fishing conditions.
What kayak do you use for tournaments?
Over the past three years I have had several kayaks. From an Ascend FS12T to a Feel Free Lure and now a Vibe Seaghost 130. All three kayaks have their pros and cons but the Vibe is in my opinion the best kayak for me and my needs out on the water. The quality and standard options make it an affordable and amazing kayak. It is extremely stable, agile and it won't kill your back loading and unloading it. I fish multiple water types and I only need one kayak to do so. From small pond to river, lakes to flats fishing it covers them all. I’ve traveled across the Midwest and Southeast both for fun and for tournaments, and this kayak has not let me down.
When and why did you start kayak bass fishing competitively?
I started bass fishing competitively 7 years ago as a co-angler and 4 years ago I started KBL (Kayak Bass League) with a few good friends and switched over to the kayak tournaments because of the lower cost and easier travel. I do have plans to get back to co-angling in the near future. It is a totally different experience.
What are some of your accomplishments that you are most proud of in the sport?
Qualified for the KBF National Championship three years in a row. Only able to attend one year. Finishing with a 1st place win and Big Bass in a tournament on my Birthday. I am also honored to represent all of the companies I pro staff for or am sponsored by.
What are some of the companies that you are sponsored by or pro staff for?
What are your biggest challenges either during tournaments or leading up to a tournament?
Finding time to pre fish has been my biggest struggle as an angler. With me being in the construction industry, Saturday work in the summer is almost always a possibility, which leaves me little or no time for pre fishing. The second biggest challenge for me was getting stuck on the past or techniques I think I need to throw when my experience or gut is telling me otherwise. For example, I did not throw any finesse technique once last year and I know it hurt me in the long run both in tournaments and gaining knowledge of lakes and conditions.
Sleep in the car, arrive the morning of the tournament, or grab a hotel?
Depends on the location, I've done all three.
One piece of equipment that you wouldn’t consider fishing a tournament without?
What would be one piece of advice that you would give to someone considering entering the sport?
If you’re looking to get into kayak fishing(tournaments or recreational) demo demo demo the kayak if you can before you buy. If its bass boat events, try and talk to the directors and other member of the club or organization on what to expect, how things are setup (meetings etc) so you do not go into a season blind. Also talk with other co-anglers about their experience. Talk about proper etiquette and composure while fishing as a co-angler.