Going sewer fishing in Katy, Texas

You may not be able to find alligators in the New York City sewers but one teenager has caught numerous fish in the storm sewer in Katy, Texas:

A teenager in Katy, Texas, has one of the most unique—and oddest—fishing holes you’ll ever see and it’s located just off the sidewalk near his house. Kyle Naegeli, 16, goes sewer fishing through the holes of the storm drain manhole cover. Certainly it’s the craziest-type fishing we’ve ever encountered.

Naegeli baits a hook, puts it through a hole in the manhole cover, and drops it down into the water of the storm sewer below. A cork attacked to the line above prevents losing the line. Then he waits…

“In the past four years I’ve caught hundreds of fish in the sewer with the biggest being a 3-pound bullhead. Only three bass have been caught because I’m using hotdogs and not live bait (which I will do sometime).”

So, where do fish come from? The storm drain empties into a nearby pond and the fish swim up the sewer system, providing one very unusual fishing hole.

A reasonable explanation for this oddity. Some of the American suburban sprawl of recent decades likely includes large storm sewers, especially in areas that get heavy rains. Yet, I would guess this could be done in other places as well though it requires someone to try to go fishing in the sewer before we would find out. Not too surprising a teenager figured this out…

Who knows what lurks in sewer and storm sewers? I’ve always been intrigued by such settings, particularly in large cities. TV shows and films regularly make use of large sewer tunnels as scenes for chases and shootouts. But, there are older roots than that. Victor Hugo devotes a long section toward the end of Les Miserables discussing the Paris sewers and then describing the action of the main characters under the streets. Alas, Snopes did find stories of alligators in the New York City region over the decades but only one involving an alligator in the sewer.

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