Maine Bass Anglers

Bass Fishing with a Maine Lobsterman

Angler Profile Shane Hatch

Shane Hatch is a Maine lobsterman who also has a love of bass fishing. Shane not only catches largemouth bass and smallmouth bass on his favorite Maine waters but also fishes the FLW Northern Costa Series. We learn about Shane’s fishing in this Maine bass angler profile.

First, tell us about the boat Jill Cayden. Are you a lobster fisherman? 

I am a Maine lobsterman. I started at the age of 7 with 15 traps in a small outboard hauling by hand. I gradually worked my way into larger vessels and to the state limit of 800 traps. I now own and operate a 44 Calvin Beal lobster boat powered by a 750 hp Iveco Diesel engine named the JillCayden. It is named after my dog and cat roughly 8 years ago.

What is it like to be a lobsterman?

Hard work, rough seas, and long hours is really just the start of explaining the job. I go in upwards of 50 miles from port to the grounds I typically fish, staying overnight on the boat to save travel time and take full advantage of short weather windows. I love being on the water and fishing, so it really is a perfect fit!

After long hours of fishing for lobster, what makes you want to go after green and brown bass on freshwater lakes and rivers? 

Being on the water is like home to me, and I love that bass fishing is always changing. On any given day you start basically from scratch and put the pieces together. I am one to always follow my gut and want to find the now rather then get stuck doing what was happening. I also enjoy new bodies of water.  Finding what makes a lake tick and never knowing just what’s around the corner.

Shane with Two Impressive Tournament Day Largemouth Bass
Shane with Two Impressive Tournament Day Largemouth Bass

What do you love specifically about tournament fishing? 

The competition! I like to see how the pieces from practice come together or fall apart. When the plan doesn’t go together and in a limited amount of time and find how to put a big bag in the livewell. 

What is your favorite northern tournament body of water? 

Now you would think I would pick a place I have been to a hundred times. Two weeks ago, Lake Erie for the Northern Costa totally changed my mind. On any given hook set you were catching a 4 plus smallmouth. Even though we fished only one day of Eastern Lake Erie, she showed what is capable there. I believe there were 44 bags over 20lbs!

What were keys to success on Lake Erie?

Understanding/trusting my hummingbird electronics. I spent a lot of time looking at my graphs, trying to find a little something off the beaten path.  It seemed to work when  I pulled almost 22 pounds of smallmouth from Lake Erie. A few penalties cost me a spot in the top ten but I came home with a check nonetheless.

What do you consider your top 3 favorite Maine bass fishing waters? 

My favorite 3 lakes in Maine are Webber, Androscroggin Lake, and Three Mile Pond. The quality of fish in these lakes and most the lake in Maine is remarkable. Typically a spring event on Webber is won with 25 to 28 pounds for a 5 fish limit of largemouth!

What do you consider your strongest attribute as a bass fisherman?

Having an open mind and searching for what they will eat at that given moment might be my strongest suit.

What do you consider your most challenging method?

I would probably say dock fishing. We don’t have huge docks or even the numbers like other parts of the country. I feel if you were to drop me at a Lake Norman or Smith Mountain I would not be as efficient as others. So guess I need to work on that huh!

Shane Hatch at Lake Okeechobee with a big Largemouth Bass
Shane Hatch at Lake Okeechobee

You obviously love Lake Okeechobee. How often have you been able to fish this famous bass lake? 

I have been over 6 years visiting the Big O. During the winter months I am limited because of weather on how often I can go offshore for work.  Winter weather can be very unpredictable, so I will take some time to go fish in the sun!  Two things I love are the numbers of fish you can catch there, and on any one hook set could be a 8 to 10 pound fish.

Secondly every year the grass changes, along with how the wind affects water clarity. You have to basically relearn the area you are fishing and be quick because there is just so much ground to cover. If you haven’t been there before, you need to go!

Lastly, how has the FLW Northern Costa Series gone so for far you? 

Erie went well for being shortened  to a single day event. I managed a 32nd place finish but was really looking forward to getting back out for day 2!  

Champlain on the other hand was a slight hiccup. Day one, I took a huge gamble running 70 miles to Ti in a strong North wind. With it predicted to diminish, I felt that was my best chance of making a top ten. I had a great day of practice down there but it all fell apart.  

I am excited for the 1,000 island event! I will be watching the weather close to determine a game plan for the event. Unlike Erie, the tournament director could shut the lake off and hold us to the river.

Do you have any sponsor companies? 

I only have a couple small companies from home that have helped me so far. Brooks Trap Mill of Thomaston and JnJ Lobster located in Rockland, Maine. Everything thing else has been out of pocket, but it all helps. As you all know tournament fishing is very costly especially away from home and your job.

Thank you Shane. Will be following on Instagram @jillcayden_fishing.