Kyle Naegeli is just a regular teen boy who likes doing regular teen boy things. Like hanging out with friends in his suburban neighborhood, wearing Crocs as footwear, and, when the mood strikes him, dropping a fishing line in the manhole in front of his house and seeing what kinds of fish he can pull from the sewer.
Over the past five years, the Katy-area high schooler—who refers to himself as the Fish Whisperer—has perfected the art of sewer fishing. Naegeli’s YouTube channel, which serves as a testament to his relative fame, documents some of his greatest catches and shows interested parties how to successfully fish from their own neighborhood sewers.
Using little pieces of hot dog as bait, Naegeli lowers the line into the open sewer and threads it through the manhole cover up top. When he’s got something on the line, he reaches his arms into the sewer and pulls out, with his bare hands, a wriggling fish.
Fishing, even when it’s in the manhole in front of your house, is a waiting game. “Sometimes it takes a few hours to catch something,” Naegeli admits to the Houston Chronicle. But there is something convenient about being able to save a trip to the local pond and just step out the front door to your favorite happy fishing hole.
Naegeli told the Chronicle that he uses two GoPro cameras to document his exploits. In some videos, his friends can be seen cheering Naegeli on as he plunges his arms into the concrete sewer he’s come to know well over the five years he’s been frequenting this fishing hole.
In the name of sportsmanship, and out of respect for the art of fishing, Naegeli practices catch-and-release. These fish don’t make it home to the dinner table. Eating something that was pulled from the literal sewer might also be a bit questionable, although Naegeli alleges that the water in this particular area comes from a nearby pond and isn’t that unsanitary.
It’s unclear whether or not Naegeli’s parents are concerned that their teenage son is playing in sewage, but, hey, boys will be boys! To each his own manhole.
(Photo courtesy of Kyle Naegeli’s YouTube channel.)