amian Thao is one of the top kayak fishermen
on the West Coast and has many tournament
wins with several top-10 finishes during his fishing career. Thao competes out of a Hobie PA 14
360 with a MotorGuide trolling motor on the bow and
a Torqueedo 1103 on the stern. His graphs consist of a
Lowrance HDS live 9 and a Garmin Panoptix 9” forward-
facing unit. He shares fishing vids on his channel –
WesternBass caught up with Thao for some insight
on successful springtime strategies for kayak bass
WB: Let’s start with some background info for those that may not know you. How did you get started fishing, and how long have you been fishing competitively?
THAO: I am thirty years old and reside in Fresno, California. I have been competitively kayak tournament
fishing since 2016. At a very young age, I started fishing for panfish with a worm and a bobber with my family at local ponds and rivers.
WB: What water temps do you start looking for shallow springtime bass?”
THAO: I start when the water temperatures reach the high 50s (between 57 to 58 degrees). This is when I try to find the first wave of spring fish that have moved to the shallows.
Bass spawn in waves, and the early or first wave of bass can be the more aggressive; thus, easier to catch and can be the larger bass compared to the later spawners. For me, it is important to catch the early spawners because many times, you think you are finding the early spawners, but you are actually late, and a wave of bass have already spawned. I have seen beds that have had fry already there when I first started looking.