Fishing Team Spotlight: Chad Foster
Chad Foster is coming off the 2019 season hot, as he was crowned the Angler of the Year for his local kayak fishing club, Kayak Anglers of Western PA. He has a great love for kayak fishing, and since he works for the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, he can share his passion with many different people. He truly loves hosting 'Intro to Kayak Fishing' events all around the area! Read on to check out some of his goals for the 2020 season, and learn some of the techniques that crowned him AOY!
1) What is your favorite fishery, and why?
It's a tie! Presque Isle Bay in May & Susquehanna River in October! Both are great Smallmouth Bass fisheries in PA!
2) When it comes to weather, do you prefer warmer days or cooler days, and why?
Cooler overcast days with some rain are my favorite days to fish because I’ve had my best days of catching bass during those conditions!
3) What is your all-time favorite setup (rod, reel, line, bait)?
St. Croix Legend Glass Casting Rod, 13 fishing Concept Z, 12 pound Gamma Edge fluorocarbon Line, Z-Man Jackhammer Chatterbait - 3/8 ounce in Bhite Delight with a Z-Man razor shad trailer.
4) Are you more of a river angler or a lake angler?
Lake, but my 2nd place finish on the KAWPA 2 day classic shows I can fish both!
5) What does preparing for a tournament look like for you? From scouting locations to watching the weather to the baits you’re choosing, etc….let us know!
Being the Tournament Director for KAWPA, I have a lot of responsibilities leading up to a tourney. I watch the weather, water temp, wind, etc. to make sure the tourney safely happens. As far as a tourney angler, I like to pre-fish the area a few weeks before a tourney. Leading up to a few days before the tourney, I’ll scout the waterway with my Torqeedo powered Bonafide SS127. Even though I’m not allowed to use the Torqeedo during KA tourneys, I love to use it to pre-fish waters fast and efficiently. Most tourneys I will have these three setups ready: a Z-Man Jackhammer, a Ned Rig, and a topwater setup.
6) Even though it may depend on the time of year, and what the water looks like, do you have a favorite color to throw no matter what?
For dirty water, I like to use coppertreuse, green pumpkin, or anything dark. For moving baits, I like to use anything flashy, so sometimes I’ll throw a spinnerbait, and a lot of the time, the Z-Man Jackhammer is my go-to. For clear water, anything white works for me.
7) What is one suggestion you have for anyone that is looking just to start getting with kayak fishing?
When you are looking to buy a new fishing kayak, demo demo demo! Kayak Fishing is the fastest-growing segment of outdoor recreational sports. Start small by just getting a good starter fishing kayak, a couple of rod combos, PFD, a few lures, a paddle, and a launch permit. Grab some friends and hit the water! If you like it, you will find yourself upgrading in no time!
8) Besides the obvious (paddle, PFD, rods & reels, baits), what is one thing that you always have on your kayak with you?
If I’m fishing a lake tournament, I don’t leave the shore without the Raymarine Element 9 fish finder! The side vision and down vision helped me win the 2019 KAWPA AOY!
9) Do you have a favorite accessory, and is there any particular reason that is your favorite?
My Torqeedo Ultralight 403AC. It allows me to cover water while fishing in tournaments that allow motors. It also allows me to locate fish while pre-fishing for a KA or nonmotorized event. Lastly, the Torqeedo enables me to spend quality time with my son Aspen while we enjoy time spent fishing from a kayak, no matter how long or short of time that may be!
10) If you are struggling on tournament day, what is something that you do to try and change that?
I call my son! It allows me to focus on the positives with a clear mind. In 2019, I learned just how important mental health is during tournament fishing! It can be the highest of highs and the lowest of lows!
11) What made you want to get into kayak fishing in the first place?
I spent a lot of time kayaking from 2010-2014. I saw a post online in a forum about a local tournament series that was coming to my favorite section on the Allegheny River in September 2014. I had just got an Old Town Predator 13 and invited a friend of mine to fish it with me. My friend took second place, and I took third. Needless to say, I was hooked! I had no idea how much it would save my life over the next five years!
12) What is one of your goals for the 2020 season?
To compete against the best of the best at the Hobie Bass Open Lake Erie in May 2020! My goal is to win the event, but if that doesn’t happen, a top 10 finish is second on my list!
13) Where is your dream fishing spot?
To fish Lake Guntersville for a 10 pound Largemouth Bass!
14) If you could spend a day fishing with anyone, who would it be? (this can be someone you know, a professional angler, anyone!)
From kayaks, it would be my dad! He got me into fishing from a young age! He taught me that you would never have to work a day in your life if you are doing what you love to do! I teach fishing and boating programs for the state of PA, so I know dad was right about that. He just retired in January 2020, so I plan on taking him to Presque Isle Bay, this May, to experience the best Smallmouth Bass fishery in the country!
15) Do you have a favorite technique to use, or are you comfortable with many different ones and switch it up depending on the day/location?
My three favorite techniques are using a Jackhammer chatterbait, using a Ned rig/drop shot, and a Whopper Plopper.
16) You’re coming off the 2019 season as the AOY for KAWPA. Do you feel pressured to come out in the 2020 season and produce the same results, or do you have a completely different mentality going into this upcoming season?
The past five years, I chased the KAWPA AOY trophy! Each year I got a top 10 finish, but couldn’t get over the hump! In 2019, I was blessed to win it after being chased by some great anglers over the last few events. For 2020, my goal is two-fold. I hope to win one of the 5 AOY events for KAWPA as I have finished in the 2nd and 3rd slots several times. My real passion is to teach others about kayak fishing, though! I want others to experience the camaraderie that I have experienced over the past five years! I had no idea how much this sport would change my life in such a short time!
- Brienne Harley