Kayla Nevius has gained quite a bit of attention lately around the freshwater fishing community, especially the social network communities. In Kayla’s case, a picture can truly be worth a thousand words – a thousand words most bass anglers would love to say. The victory pose of Kayla holding onto a beautiful 10.5-pound largemouth pulled from California’s Lake Isabella is truly priceless. When Kayla’s image came across the EZ Angler community boards, we knew immediately we had to hear the fishing tale behind this great catch and the woman behind the story.
The image of you with the victory finger in the air and a 10 pounder at your side is classic and certainly eye catching. Recap for us your first – and we are sure there will be more to come – double digit catch?
The water level in my lake had been rising, and I had a rocky spot in mind that I thought would be good if the water had risen over it enough. That day the water was a little murky, but I had remembered where the line of rocks going out was, and I had a good feeling there would be a bass on them.
Although I hadn’t been using crawdads lately, the guy at the sporting goods shop said he had some in, so I had picked a few up that morning to see if I could catch some big fish with them. I casted out a couple times and was slowly working my way across the rocks, when on the third cast out, I got a bite. I watched my line straighten and start moving to the side. I set the hook hard, and it took off toward the middle of the lake.
So, when did you realize you had a major lunker on the line and what was the feeling?
I immediately knew it was a big one! I tightened my drag a little, and realized that I didn’t have as much line on my reel as I should have, and that I forgot to replace it before I came out. I ended up having to tighten my drag even more than I wanted to just to keep her from spooling me. As I gained some line back and got her in closer, I loosened the drag back to where it should be so she wouldn’t break off. It ended up being a back and forth battle with her taking out line and me gaining it back.
My heart was pounding heard. I finally saw her and she was the biggest bass I’d ever seen! I started shaking, and my heart started pounding even harder. I just kept saying “you better not come off, please don’t come off”. I finally got her close to shore, reached down, and grabbed her giant bottom lip. When I pulled her body out of the water her mouth opened wider than any fish id ever seen.
At that point, I threw my arm in the air and pointed to the sky screaming “oh my God!! Yes!!!!”, and I could stop smiling and laughing. I was shaking like crazy, and I ran over with her in hand to my phone so I could set the camera app on a timer so I could get pictures with the biggest bass of my life. I called my dad and left him a voice message on his phone that he has saved and played over and over with me trying to tell him about my catch. I was so excited, shaking, breathless, and speechless, that only about half of the message was actually understandable. “Dad, I just caught the biggest bass of my whole life time! It’s huge! Oh my gosh! I’m shaking so bad.. It’s so big! You need to call me back.. soon! Please. I can’t believe it. I’m so happy! Okay call me!!”
When did you get into fishing and do you recall when you really caught the fishing bug?
Fishing has always been a big part of my life since my parents got me started when I was very young. Although fishing has always been one of my favorite hobbies, this year has been the most serious for me by far. I’ve been hooked on bass fishing, and have been doing a lot of studying to step up my game to get those big ones.
What do you personally get from fishing?
Fishing gives me so much more than words can say. Between the exhilaration from setting the hook, reeling the line in, and finally getting the fish in my hands, to the relaxation of the nature surrounding me, it is one of my favorite ways to spend my time.
What is your favorite species of fish to catch? In addition, do you have a specific style of fishing?
Although I enjoy catching trout, crappie, and catfish, my favorite species of fish to catch right now is definitely largemouth bass. I wouldn’t say that I have a specific style of fishing. This year I have been exploring many different techniques and strategies, and I’ve been adjusting them to the fishing conditions to figuring out what is most successful. I’ve also spent a lot of time studying the lake’s structure this year, and trying out new areas to fish.
What is your gear of choice and what is your favorite type of bait to use?
I’ve been using Ugly Stik rods since I was a kid. My reel of choice now is a Mitchell spinning reel, with 8-pound Trilene line, and a Mustad hook. I grew up using meat to fish for bass, so I usually use night crawlers, but this year I have been exploring many other styles of fishing. I’m interested in learning more, and fishing tournaments.
Shore or watercraft angler?
I fish out of my float tube, but I do most of my fishing from shore. A week after catching this bass I was lucky enough to fish from a bass boat for my first time, and it was such an awesome experience. I will definitely be getting one in my future, because I would be able to step up my game, get a lot more serious about my fishing, and enter tournaments.
Have you fished any tournaments, and if not is tournament angling in the cards?
I have been going to my local bass tournament weigh-ins to see how they do, and I definitely want to get involved. Since I don’t have a bass boat, I have been thinking about being a co-angler to someone already involved in the tournaments, so I could start getting that experience and learning more.
What is the best advice you can offer an angler?
Hmm… I’d say the things that have helped me the most have been to really study fishing: techniques, strategies, fish behaviors, environmental structures, etc. Another thing that has been huge has been the amount of time I’ve been spending fishing. Time on the water has definitely taught me a lot and made me become a better fisherman.
The outdoors has always been an extremely big part of my life. My parents got me involved in many outdoor activities as soon as I was old enough to do them. Let’s see if I can list the main activities I have been involved in… snow skiing, snowboarding, fishing, hunting, hiking, river rafting, knee boarding, wakeboarding, as well as growing up playing soccer, softball, and tennis. I have been extremely fortunate to grow up in my small town with a river, lake, and mountains surrounding me, as well as having a family who appreciates nature and the outdoors.
What else would you like people to know about you?
Something else that I am extremely passionate about is helping others. My college degree is in Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies, and my minor is in Psychology. Right out of college, I was lucky enough to find a job that I absolutely fell in love with working with youth who need help with behavioral concerns and are at risk of being removed from their homes. Working with these kids has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I have been so grateful to be able to play a part in bettering the lives of them and their families.
You can follow Kayla on Facebook
And on Instagram at kayla_nevius