Kyle Naegeli, a 15-year-old high school student from the city of Katy, in Texas, loves fishing with a twist. Instead of going to a lake far away from the city, he prefers fishing right beside his home – in a sewer. That’s right, sewer fishing is a real sport and Kyle is an expert at it.
The storm drain where Kyle goes fishing is located merely 40 feet from his home. He calls it an untapped fishing paradise. So far, he has managed to catch catfish and bluegills, species that you would hardly expect to find swimming around in a drain. Yet, he’s filmed himself getting a hold of these fish and posted the footage on YouTube. In the videos, Kyle drops a 10-foot line tied to a worm or a piece of hot-dog into the drain and returns later to pull out slippery, large fish. “I have a line out constantly, I set it and check it every night,” he said.
Many people have doubted his credibility, though, because of the time lag between putting in the bait and retrieving the fish. But some videos don’t have any cuts, because he catches the fish almost immediately. Kyle doesn’t think it’s hard to believe that he’s finding so many fish in the storm drain. “The pond is like 100, 150 yards away,” he said. “I think it connects somewhere and that’s how they’re getting in.”
He wrote in the description of one of the videos: “Multiple species of fish swim from the pond into the storm drain. I have caught bass, catfish and bluegill in that sewer. In the first video I caught a bluegill on rod and reel but most people didn’t believe us. We brought out this minnow trap in the sewer since a lot of y’all didn’t believe there were fish in there and we caught some bluegill.”
Kyle’s unique hobby started about four years ago, when he bet his dad that he could catch fish down in the sewer. “I caught a little bluegill and won the bet. It was like five bucks,” he said. Kyle has been ‘hooked’ to sewer fishing ever since, and has a small group of fans who admire his work each time. “People walk down the sidewalk and look at me crazy, and ask me if I caught anything. Last time I said, ‘Yeah, I caught a catfish.’ And they said, ‘NO!’”
I watched his videos, and honestly, sewer fishing isn’t as gross as it sounds. The storm sewer Kyle uses is meant for rain water, not toilet water. Of course, the drain would still contain debris off the streets (like dog feces, dust and things like that), but Kyle doesn’t really eat the fish he catches. “It’s catch and release,” he said. “I don’t eat anything out of there. Most of the fish are just mudcats and stuff you’re not really supposed to eat, anyways.”