Jesse Ewing is an impressive angler from Virginia. We cover a lot in this interview. We talk about his time volunteering with Cast for Kids, his bass boat, his jon boat conversions, his tournament fishing, and his favorite place to fish in Virginia. I enjoyed getting to know Jesse and so will you.
Recently you participated in Cast for Kids on the James River. What was the experience like?
Cast for Kids was amazing! It was very rewarding to be able to take a kid and their family out for a day on the water. Even though my kid was unable to land a fish, he and his father still had a blast. In fact they had so much fun that we stayed out fishing well past the time we were supposed to be back to the ramp…haha.
How long have you been fishing?
I have been fishing for as long as I can remember. My dad loved fishing and installed that in me early on. I remember living in south Florida at like 8 years old fishing backyard canals in my neighborhood all day long. I would catch bluegills, bass, catfish, and the occasional unlucky turtle.
How long have you been tournament fishing?
I have been tournament fishing for about 5 years now. It started off as a way to meet a few new friends and learn some new local bodies of water. I started in a competitive jon boat trail called Bass Chasers. My first year I finished 5th in overall points…I was hooked!
What have been your 3 favorite moments as an angler, tournaments or for fun?
Cast for kids is up there…seeing the joy and dedication on the young kids face as he made cast after cast never giving up hope that at any moment he could land a giant! It reminded me of myself fishing a tournament.
Going to watch the Bassmaster Classic and Expo is also one of my favorite fishing memories. Although I didn’t fish there just seeing all the pros and tackle displays was a memory I will never forget
Qualifying and fishing in the BFL Regional Championship at Lake Lanier in Georgia was an epic trip! Knowing that my hard work payed off and I was one of a select few that qualified to fish this tournament was rewarding enough. But then I got to the lake and saw how beautiful it was. Lake Lanier is one of the most gorgeous lakes I have ever been on. I didn’t make it past the 2nd day of fishing but still a great trip and lasting memory.
How has 2018 been so far for bass fishing?
2018 has been tough for me so far. I am fishing a different and tougher series this year. The Virginia Elite 70’s is literally some of the best of the best around with big names like Jacob Prowznik and Woo Daves. My teammate Allen Luck has been crucial in helping me learn bodies of water I’ve never fished and keeping morale high when the fish aren’t cooperating. The highlights are yet to come… we have two of my favorite fisheries up next. The Potomac river and the James river.
What is your favorite Virginia bass fishery?
That’s a tough question for me. I am originally born and raised Florida however I have spent more of my life in Virginia, and my tournament fishing has largely consisted of Virginia and surrounding states. My current favorite body of water to fish is Back Bay located in Pungo, Virginia. It is a place with major history as one of the best bass fishing places of all time in the late 70’s. DGIF has been working hard in recent years to bring it back to its former glory.
What bass boat are you fishing out of?
I am currently running a 2012 Skeeter ZX20 with a Yamaha SHO 250. It also has an Atlas hydraulic jack plate, twin Power-Poles, Lowrance electronics and Minnkota Fortex trolling motor. I absolutely love my Skeeter and the products paired with it! It is fast, stable, smooth ride, reliable, and fishes like a dream!
You also converted a jon boat to a bass boat layout. What went into that?
My competitive fishing career started in a jon boat and over the years I have done several “bass jon” conversions. I think I have owned over 10 jon boats and not one went untouched. This most recent one in my opinion is the best yet. I have an 8 foot rod locker with a timed aerator/livewell, recessed trolling motor tray, jack plate for the outboard, and all the wood is sealed to prevent water damage.
I started with stripping everything out so all that is left is a bare shell. From there i worked on the frame work that would be the supports for all the decking and storage hatches. Then I cut out all the plywood to fit only to take it apart to paint with oil based paint. Then you can carpet it all and put it all together.
For me the hardest part is making sure all the deck pieces fit evenly. My OCD wouldn’t allow me to have one piece 1/4 inch off from another…lol.
What do you consider your favorite and strongest bass fishing methods/presentations?
My favorite and strongest bass fishing techniques are unfortunately not the same…haha. My favorite is topwater specifically hollow bodied frogs.
My strongest changes year to year but I would say a spinnerbait has always been consistent for me. I make my own custom spinnerbaits, and I feel they give me an edge. Being successful at using a spinnerbait to me means throwing it in areas it doesn’t belong! I often use my spinnerbait as if it was a jig flipping and pitching into the thickest cover possible. Cause that’s where the big girls live!
What are your fishing goals for the rest of 2018?
This year my goal is to finish the year strong and to at least place “in the money” at one of the VA Elite 70 tournaments.
Who are your sponsors/pro staff companies?
Beast Coast Fishing, Denali Rods, NuTech Lures, BJ’s Jigs, and TRC Covers.
I choose only to represent companies that I believe in their products and actually use their products fishing. Each one of my pro staff companies are in my opinion the best at what they do! Not only do their products catch fish or make fishing easier but they all also have a personal relationship with me. I’m not just another order number to them. That means a lot to me and shows me that they care.