More anglers are traveling light in pursuit of fish
Tony Keill glided out on top of the water without a sound and with his fishing gear ready on his kayak.
Keill, who lives in San Leon, discovered kayak fishing about seven years ago, he said.
“I think it’s one of the No. 1 growing sports,” he said.
Kayaks are more environmentally friendly than motorized boats, and they’re much less expensive. A basic kayak can cost as little as $200.
Keill takes his kayak into bayous and out in the bay and slightly offshore.
“You can get in extremely shallow water,” Keill said. “You can go where boats can’t.”
His favorite catch is redfish and he often finds them near Freeport, Galveston and Kemah, he said. He also fishes for flounder, mackerel and trout.
In June, he almost caught a 24-inch flounder, but the fish made a surprise last-minute effort and got away.
“He was crafty,” Keill said. “He let go of the hook.”
He once caught a 5-foot shark, but released it.
On some days, he finds clear areas where he can get a close-up view of the fish and marine life swimming near him.
“It’s like paddling in an aquarium,” Keill said.
Because a kayak is low, he can sit on the water level, giving him a closer perspective than if he were higher in a boat, he said.
Some anglers venture out on kayaks as far as some oil rigs several miles offshore, Keill said. He encourages other kayakers who fish to go with a buddy and keep an eye on the weather forecasts.
Lance Zahorski fishes across the United States in kayaks as part of his business. The Angleton resident owns Line Cutterz, a business that makes and sells an adjustable ring that cuts fishing lines. It also fits nicely on a kayak framed seat.
Zahorski also trains people how to paddle a kayak and how to fish in a kayak.
“Going on a pond or lake is easiest,” he said. That’s because the water isn’t moving as it would be in a river or ocean current.
But Zahorski loves to go beyond the breakers, that point in the Gulf where he can take a kayak beyond the cresting waves to smooth water, he said.
He catches and releases fish, unless he’s seeking just enough fish for dinner, Zahorski said. Most kayak anglers do the same.
And sometimes Zahorski encounters intelligent life.
“It’s pretty awesome when you see a dolphin,” he said.