This angler profile is with Western New York angler Bailey Eigbrett. Bailey talks to us about his kayak fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in this part of New York State.
When did you start kayak fishing?
I started kayak fishing in 2012 out of a small tandem inflatable kayak that I would take out with my father. At that point it was really more the experience and time with my father that I grew a love for it.
After a while my father had gotten kayaks for himself as well as my family and then it became weekly trips to a different lake to fish and relax. But it was when I got my first angler kayak, a Field and Stream Shadow Caster and really looked into and researched fishing techniques and bass activity that I grew a passion for bass fishing. It came to the point where I was at a lake at 5am every morning.
I love the idea of being able to get where boats can’t, not worrying about the mechanical hassle, and it really tests you’re abilities as an angler. Being on a kayak limits your ability to move long distances so it’s really helped me improve my skills by being able to pick apart and really learn an area and how those fish behave.
What is your review of the Field and Stream Shadow Caster Kayak?
My Field and Stream Shadow Caster has truly treated me well and done the job. Occasionally I borrow my brothers Ascend 128t which is much faster than mine. So for tournaments where I’ll be moving much more I will use his as he so kindly let’s me borrow.
My family and fishing peers like to call the Shadow Caster the barge because it is so wide. Therefore it makes it very stable, and I’m very comfortable standing and fishing out of it. In which I actually more use it as a paddle board than anything when I’m fishing. It is a perfect starter kayak for anyone looking to try it out. But eventually I will be upgrading to something of higher quality and with a pedal drive.
What accessories have you added to the kayak to make it work for your fishing style?
So in my kayak there are two rod holders and a higher sitting seat. These come standard. But I have added a recycling bin that my fishing friend, Billy Pulsifier so kindly lent me, to put in the back to store my tackle. In addition, I have added a triple rod holder and single rod holder onto that recycling bin to then hold 4 rods as well as keep my tackle and soft plastics organized. I have added two mounts on my kayak as well. 1 for my depth finder which I need to upgrade as well as a mount for my GoPro. But lately I have been using a YakAttack Panfish Camera Rod to shoot my videos.
You recently posted about liking to fish in the rain and bad weather. Why is that?
I love fishing in the rain and bad weather for a few reasons. Foremost, I love to adventure, and I love rain. So going out fishing and being on the water is great as long as there’s no lightning, I’m going to do so because I find it fun and adventurous.
Also, many anglers stray away from bad weather. So there’s more area for me to cover and more opportunity for me along with showing myself that I’m dedicated and resilient.
What are your favorite places to largemouth bass fish in Western New York from the kayak?
In Western New York, my favorite place is Conesus Lake mostly because the fishery is loaded with bass and bass of good size along with it being a 5 minute drive from home. Besides that I would have to say Canadice/Hemlock Lake due it being a non-populated lake so there are no houses on it making the scenery gorgeous with the help of some tank Smallmouth. But I have to say my favorite lake I’ve ever been to is Cayuga Lake in Central NY.
What are your favorite methods for targeting largemouth bass in these waters?
My favorite pattern really depends on season. If I were to say my favorite pattern overall, it would be throwing a frog or spook. But can’t deny that I’m in love with a spring chatterbait or swimbait bite with the rod being pulled out of your hands. I have a passion for flipping as well. I love being able to lay the hammer on some fish. For me, the keys to success with any bait are location, weather, and presentation. If you can get those 3 factors aligned, you’ll be on some fish.
What are your favorite places to smallmouth fish in Western New York from the kayak?
I would have to say Conesus Lake or Canadice Lake during the spawn. Just 2 pounders all the way up to 5 pound smallmouth up shallow everywhere on beds. They’re hard to find in the summer months but spring time is a frenzy. Although I would love to get out to Lake Erie to get on some giants.
What are your favorite methods for targeting smallmouth bass in these waters?
The methods I find most efficient for these smallmouth are jerkbaits, swimbaits, shakey head, and a dropshot. I have caught some on topwater but not as much as these other techniques. I’ve noticed that early morning is best for your bigger smallmouth, and you can find some late evening. But during the day you have to be slow and methodical around deep weedlines and drop offs. Unless it’s the spawn when it’s a slug fest.
What are your future plans for Eigbrett Outdoors and your YouTube Channel?
I started my channel out of pure fun and enjoyment and that’s still what it is today. I make them for my own enjoyment and share my adventures with the world. I am by no means subscriber hungry but have dreams of someday having a big following on my social media. As of right now I’m hoping to get home from my internship in Massachusetts and get back on the water for more videos and pictures from my fishing adventures.
Who are your current pro staff companies?
I am currently a part of the pro staff team for Burkes Baits and NetBait. Burkes Baits, run by my guy Tyler, helps me with my massive addiction to jigs and supplies with me the different custom patterns I need to match whatever lake or setting I’m faced with. He’s been awesome when it comes to getting me jigs prior to tournament day to make sure I’m stocked up.
NetBait has been a huge help with my soft plastics. I am a huge fan of their Craw and Creature Baits that I throw on jigs, Texas rigs, wobbleheads, etc. As well as they have the best jig trailers on the market! Lastly their swimbait design is by far my favorite, the action and result of their swimbait beats any others I’ve used on the market including Strike King and Keitech.