ProStaffer of the Month: Matt Ball

Meet Matt Ball, Bending Branches ProStaffer of the Month for May, 2018. Matt was raised fishing in his native West Virginia, and entered the national kayak fishing scene with a bang in 2016…

Bending Branches ProStaffer Matt Ball

BB: Tell us how you got started kayak fishing. What do you love about it?

MATT: Fishing has always been part of my life. I grew up with a father who was an avid fisherman and spent a lot of time watching and learning from him. I now have four awesome kids of my own and I strive to instill the same love of the outdoors in them.

Matt Ball fishing with his dad
Matt and his dad, Jerry Ball, still fish together

I started Kayak fishing over 10 years ago when I bought my first sit-in kayak. Before that I spent my time in either a bass boat or canoe.  

I started tournament fishing in 2014 with Mountain State Kayak Anglers and fell in love with the comradery that kayak fishing brought. Getting to know other anglers from all over the country and forming friendships were the highlights of competition.  

BB: Your career took a turn in 2016…

MATT: My fishing career really took off when I became the first ever Kayak Bass Fishing National Champion. From that point my name was known throughout the kayak fishing community.

That gave me a platform to promote the friendships and the fellowship that comes with competition. I try to focus on the people and relationships that I consider the true winnings from this.

Jay Wallen, Chad Hoover, Matt Ball
Matt (right) with Jay Wallen (left) and Chad Hoover (Founder of KBF) with his 2016 award

BB: How do you give back to the community through your fishing?

MATT: I enjoy talking with others and sharing tips and advice on how to be successful in and off the water. I have a strong faith and feel the Lord has given me this opportunity to share my faith with others in this community.

One thing I also enjoy is teaching fishing techniques to kids and new anglers. I have done some seminars at the local elementary school for the end-of-the-year outdoor education program which focuses on getting kids outdoors. And I work with my sponsors and local clubs to help promote the sport in any way I can.  

BB: Are there any local Bending Branches dealers you help out?

MATT: I have formed a great working relationship with many Bending Branches dealers such as Fishing Online, West Virginia Outdoors and Marietta Adventure Gear.

BB: What’s next for you?

MATT: Right now I am focusing on fishing MSKA, WVKA, AND KBF trail events throughout the year. While trying to do well is always an objective, my main focus is truly having fun and getting to know other like-minded anglers.

matt and tricia ball
Matt with his wife, Tricia

One thing I think is important is making everyone feel they’re important at each event, from the top pros to the new guy who may be fishing his first tournament.

The reason I do this is because I truly love fishing and enjoying God's beautiful creation. If I can help someone learn that same appreciation, I consider it a win every time.

You can connect with Matt on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

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