Saugus head soccer coach Kevin Miner has been an athlete all his life, but only one sport has forced him to compete against something that’s not human.
“I feel like fishing is a sport and it’s me against the fish,” Miner said. “I gotta try and figure out how to catch them. They’re trying to avoid getting caught and I gotta try and fool them into eating what I throw at them.”
When he’s not coaching soccer, Miner’s sport of choice is bass fishing. As a kid, he and his brother went fishing with their great grandfather. He continued fishing throughout his life just for fun, but he realized he could get a little more serious about it when he found an ad online for a fishing competition at Castaic Lake.
He and a friend took to the water for the one-day competition and came in third place, a finish that came with a check.
“When you get paid, you get more excited about it,” he said. “It’s not really that easy because I think it was a while before we got another check.”
Although their winnings varied, Miner continued to fish in competitions, sometimes with his friend and sometimes with a random partner. Most recently, he came in 37th out of 250 boats in the U.S. Open, which was held at Lake Mead.
The U.S. Open consisted of three eight-hour fishing days, but there was plenty of preparation done before the event began. Miner and his teammate, if he has one, will do their best to figure out where the fish will be and what they want to eat ahead of time.
“Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” Miner said. “You can go out and think you’ve got it all figured out and weather changes or you get rain and the water rises, so you have to change your tactics and try and figure things out as you go throughout the day.”
Miner said that fishing shares a few similarities with soccer, the sport he coaches.
“We try and prepare to win and there’s a little bit of luck involved. There’s also strategy,” Miner said. “We’re going to start in this spot and hit another spot in the lake on a certain time. We’re making sure we follow our game plan and sometimes it pans out, like when you’re coaching a plan, and sometimes it doesn’t.”
His next competition will be the 2020 U.S. Open in October at Lake Mead. Aside from casting his line competitively for himself, he’d love to see a Foothill League bass competition or get the Bass Club started up again.
“I do it for fun. Anything that I get out of it monetarily is a bonus, but I mainly do it for fun,” Miner said. “I enjoy the competition and it’s something that if kids are out there and are interested, they can feel free to contact me and I’d love to get something going out in this valley for sure.”
Those interested in fishing competitively, or going up against fish, as Miner called it, can reach out to him at [email protected].