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Meet the Sewer Fishing King of Katy, Texas

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Kyle Nagley estimates he's caught about 500 fish in his sewer drain.

There's a grand tradition in Texas of going down to the old fishing hole, but sometimes the fishing hole isn't the pastoral setting that comes to mind.

Kyle Nagley, 16, has pioneered – and some might say created – the art of sewer fishing.

Nagley tells Texas Standard host David Brown that his unique hobby started about four years ago when he was just 12.

Nagley estimates he's caught over 500 fish in the last four years, and he doesn't have to go further than his driveway to do it. Nagley's largest catch, so far, has been a three-pound catfish. The system he uses is simple, but effective: He threads a fishing line through a openings in a manhole cover, then attaches a hook and a cork.

"It’s pretty crazy," Nagley says."The drain connects to a pond about a hundred yards away, and I think they swim in the pipe and get in there somehow."

When fish bite, they pull the cork so that it stands upright on the cover. Technically, Nagley doesn't even have to be present when the fish set on the hook: oftentimes he leaves a line out overnight, finding a fish on the end in the morning.

For Nagley, the overnight method is helpful, as he stays busy catching massive alligator gar and catching catfish with his bare hands (noodling, as some call it). You can watch it all on his YouTube page

David entered radio journalism thanks to a love of storytelling, an obsession with news, and a desire to keep his hair long and play in rock bands. An inveterate political junkie with a passion for pop culture and the romance of radio, David has reported from bases in Washington, London, Los Angeles, and Boston for Monitor Radio and for NPR, and has anchored in-depth public radio documentaries from India, Brazil, and points across the United States and Europe. He is, perhaps, known most widely for his work as host of public radio's Marketplace. Fulfilling a lifelong dream of moving to Texas full-time in 2005, Brown joined the staff of KUT, launching the award-winning cultural journalism unit "Texas Music Matters."
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