It has always amazed me the number of quality kayak anglers that hail from West Virginia. These guys and gals just flat out catch fish. Nathan Finney is one Mountain State resident who isn't afraid to jump right into the mix with some of the best anglers in the United States. Nathan is another boat convert who has chosen to trade in his gas card for some paddle power and hit the West Virginia rivers looking to hook into the biggest bass he can find in the tightest spots he can get to.
Nathan Finney Charleston, West Virginia
Have we fished together yet? If so, do you remember where?
We haven’t, but I’m always up for new people and places to fish.
When and why did you start kayak bass fishing competitively?
I started kayak fishing a few years ago with Mountain State Kayak Anglers. I had an actual motor boat and sold it for the kayaks. Tournament kayak fishing lets you see some of the more remote places of the state that you cant see with a big boat.
What are some of your accomplishments that you are most proud of in the sport?
What is your biggest fish to date and what did you catch it on?
My biggest fish to date is a 20 inch large mouth from a small local lake. I caught it on a Live Target hollow body field mouse in lily pads. I hadn’t been getting bit on anything that day and decided to throw it since it had been sitting in my tackle box for months. It definitely paid off.
What are your biggest challenges either during tournaments or leading up to a tournament?
My biggest challenges are second guessing myself during a tournament or worrying about what everyone else is catching.
Sleep in the car, arrive the morning of the tournament, or grab a hotel?
Depends on the location and the tournament. If it’s a 1 day tournament I'll sleep in the car, 2 day tourneys I get a hotel.
One piece of equipment that you wouldn’t consider fishing a tournament without?
PFD. My tournament trail requires it, but I don’t get on my kayak without it on, tournament or not.
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 had preconceived notions that it would be something like you go to fish and leave. I was wrong. It's more of a get together with friends with a fishing tournament in the middle of it.
Who is one person you would love to kayak bass fish with?
Id love to fish with Mike Iaconelli. I know he’s not necessarily a kayak angler but I like his energy and passion for the sport.
What body of water is your favorite to fish a tournament on? Why?
My favorite body of water for tournament fishing is smaller rivers, I like the scenery and that its usually lower pressured by recreational anglers.
Are you an old school “rely on my instincts” angler, or do you employ technology more in tracking down where you are going to fish?
I'd say I’m a little of both. I like technology like Google Earth to find new places. When I get there, I like to rely on how it looks as far as laydowns and cover to find fish. I have electronics on my boat but mainly only use them for water temp and depth.
What would be one piece of advice that you would give to someone considering entering the sport?
Don’t get caught up on brands. Just because it’s a big brand name with a ton of people using it, doesn’t mean it's the right boat for you. Find a dealer, most of them have demo boats. Try as many as you can until you find what best suits your needs.