Kayak Angler Profile- Matt Ball
OK. This one excites me a bit. Matt Ball is just a great guy. An extremely accomplished kayak angler for sure, but also a man who will go out of his way to help his fellow anglers make the most of their time on the water. I have been fortunate enough to spend a good deal of time talking with Matt, but more importantly, watching his interaction with other anglers. Make no mistake. Those other anglers are Matt's competition. But Matt still goes out of his way to offer them advice and help them out. It's one of the reasons that my fishing partner, Steve Leaman and I, made the sort of tongue and cheek "Matt Tricia Ball Fan Club", complete with t-shirts. It was our way of having fun with Matt, but also showing him the respect that he has earned.
Matt Ball Little Hocking, OH. Grew up in Grafton, WV
Have we fished together yet? If so, do you remember where?
No but we need to take care of that soon
What kayak do you use for tournaments?
Jackson Coosa FD and Jackson Mayfly
When and why did you start kayak bass fishing competitively?
Started competitive fishing in 2014 at MSKA New River tournament
What are some of your accomplishments that you are most proud of in the sport?
All the great friends across the country that I have made through this. Every event is a chance to meet new great people and catch up with friends from past events. Winning the KBF National Championship was pretty cool also. Another thing that I am very proud of are all the people that I have gotten into this sport over the years. A lot of good friends I now have to fish with and travel with that I feel I had a big part in their kayak fishing career.
What are some of the companies that you are sponsored by or pro staff for?
Proud member of MSKA, WVKA, and KBF
What is your biggest fish to date and what did you catch it on?
My longest smallie was 21.75" and my biggest largemouth was 22". The smallmouth was caught on a small jig with a 412 baitco 3.5 free worm tailer in the Greenbrier river. My largemouth was caught on a River2Sea Whopper Plopper on AEP recreation lands in Ohio.
What are your biggest challenges either during tournaments or leading up to a tournament?
I have a hard time deciding where to fish. I research so much that I tend to have too many options. Sometimes that can lead to second guessing your choice in tournament day.
Sleep in the car, arrive the morning of the tournament, or grab a hotel?
I used to do the sleep in the car thing. Now I enjoy a hot shower and a comfy bed at a hotel.
One piece of equipment that you wouldn’t consider fishing a tournament without?
Ned rig. No matter how hard that bite is I can usually get a limit with a Ned rig.
Who is one person you would love to kayak bass fish with?
I always enjoy fishing with my family. My dad who taught me everything and my kids who I love to see learn and get better as anglers. I Also want to fish with the Matt Tricia Ball Fan Club in the future.
----->>>> (We are excited about that as well.)
What body of water is your favorite to fish a tournament on? Why?
Kentucky Lake because it has been very good to me over the years. Also the New River in West Virginia.
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 am a mix of both. I extensively research every location through the web and maps and articles. Once I get to a location I go with my instincts. I try first to find fish the way all the research has told me. If that doesn't work I go back to doing what I do best and start looking for things that are familiar to my style of fishing which is more of a finesse tactic.
What would be one piece of advice that you would give to someone considering entering the sport?
Cherish the friendships you can make. The glory of a win will pass but the people you meet can last a lifetime. Also don't ever let it take the joy out of Fishing. If you aren't having fun anymore don't do it
How do we follow you on social media?
#MattBall #Mayfly #JacksonKayak #412BaitCompany #MSKA #WVKA #WVOutdoors #13Fishing #GerberGear #CalCoastFishing