ayak fishing is continuing to gain in popularity
across the West Coast with tournaments
exceeding 100 anglers per event. The traffic of kayaks, big boat anglers plus pleasure boaters/jet skiers
can make for some tough conditions on highly pressured
As most of you have witnessed, the high boat traffic
starts up in the late spring and runs through the fall.
Some of the most highly pressured waters are the
Southern California lakes and reservoirs. I caught up with
kayak angler Shane LemMon who was eager to share his
experiences and provide some strategies for success.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SHANE
Shane LemMon resides in Corona, Calif. and is a highly competitive tournament bass kayak angler and host of the Bass Thumbs Fishing podcast, focusing primarily on the West Coast and Southern California tournament scene.
LemMon’s passion for the sport is palpable and he is a driving force behind the growth of tournament kayak fishing on the West Coast.
He has racked up a successful tournament record (23 top-ten finishes out of 47 events on TourneyX) and is known for his versatility and finesse fishing prowess.
Most recently he captured the win at San Vincente Reservoir (only 2.5 square miles, located in San Diego County) on the KBF Trail Series.
In 2021, he captured another big win on Lower Otay Reservoir (also located in San Diego County) for the ABA/SoCal Kayak Anglers Open.
In addition to his local success, he has competed on the national stage including a 13th place finish out of 240 anglers at the KBF National Championship on Lake Guntersville
in 2020 and a 44th place finish out of 146 anglers at the B.A.S.S. National Championship at Possum Kingdom Lake, also in 2020.
We sat down with LemMon for a Q & A.
WB: Describe the Southern California waters and how they differ from other fisheries:
SL: Most are deep, clear water reservoirs and are quite small in comparison to other areas. Several are about 4-miles by 4-miles and they are all highly pressured. They are all very crowded with boat traffic. Additionally, some lakes are only open a few days per week which can make pre-fishing a real challenge. With limited time and big crowds, you have to be able to adapt quickly.
WB: How do you deal with the crowds:
SL: The crowds are a huge factor. Open communication is the key to preventing issues on the water with other anglers. I’ve seen so many anglers not say anything and let their frustration build. Instant communication is the key to breaking the ice. When approaching another angler or if they are approaching your area, immediately greet them and develop a plan that works for both parties. Another strategy, is to do your best to get away from the crowds. That is best accomplished by getting offshore and targeting
fish that are less
sonar has really
helped and has
been a big key to
WB: How about a quick tip for getting highly pressured bass to bite:
SL: Dropping your line size is absolute necessity. The fish are definitely line-shy. Dropping down to 6-pound-test for your finesse techniques will get you more bites and has been another big key to my success.
WB: Let’s talk about some summer and fall techniques:
SL: If you don’t have a dropshot, Neko Rig or weightless wacky-rig, you are