For Texan, Reggie Chapa, kayak fishing and photography are a natural mix of two of his passions. Already a kayak angler, Reggie connected with Bending Branches through his photography.
Kayak angler and photographer, Reggie Chapa
Reggie is on the fishing team for ACK (Austin Canoe and Kayak). One day he shot some photos on one of their fishing trips. Since everyone was using Bending Branches paddles, he decided to tag us when he posted them. Our partnership sprang from there.
Reggie’s Kayak Fishing Background
Reggie said, “I’ve been kayak fishing avidly for about three years…a lot. Like more than my wife would like! I’ve been mainly doing what we call down here, marsh fishing. It’s in really shallow water, looking for red fish, flounder and speckled trout.”
After teaching himself photography via YouTube, Reggie figured he could learn about kayak fishing the same way. He shared, “I gave myself a year just studying YouTube. I didn’t think I was going to get hooked! But I really got into it and it’s stuck with me ever since.”
Because he’s an outdoors person, Reggie loves that he can get out on the water near his home often:
“What Mother Nature has to offer is really what I enjoy. From a kayak you can just get up and go. You don’t have to worry about the motor or all the extra things that come into play. And also, specifically down here in Texas, you can get away from people. With this marsh fishing it’s kind of like you’re in the woods, but you’re in the marsh. The marsh has all these winding trails that were created by Mother Nature itself. You can just enjoy being out there.”
He loves that with his kayak he can get into places where the fishing is great and bigger boats can’t go. “It’s almost like you can get away from the world for a little bit and just enjoy yourself out there.”
One of Reggie’s shots for our new Angler Pro Fiberglass in Copperhead
With a family, a full-time job and his photography business, having that time alone on the water gives Reggie a chance to unwind and relax.
In the three years since he’s been kayak fishing, Reggie has met many other anglers from his own Houston area all the way down to South Padre. Kayak fishing along the Gulf coast is very popular. One of his goals is to do some off-shore fishing, too.
When asked how beginners can get introduced to kayak fishing, Reggie suggested taking advantage of social media. There are many Facebook groups dedicated to both kayaking and kayak fishing. “You’ll find that a lot of new people go on these groups to learn from others, and hopefully team up to go with somebody else out on the water.”
Kayak Fishing + Photography
Unlike his other outdoor activities, kayaking enables Reggie to bring his camera along. So he’s been bringing it with him for his past three years of fishing to capture his surroundings and experiences.
From Reggie’s Copperhead photo shoot in his local marshes
“I love taking portraits of people in areas where they love to be. So it just evolved into me taking pictures of people enjoying the outdoors. That’s how I got involved with Austin Kayak. They saw some of my photos on a big travel website here in Texas and reached out to me.”
Reggie’s advice for wanna-be photographers? “The best camera is the camera in your hand. If you want to get into it, whatever’s in your hand—your phone—is a good opportunity to capture the outdoors. The more you do it, the more you’ll recognize whether you like it or not. Start off with your phone to see if you really like it, and go from there.”
He currently uses a Canon R6, replacing a previous Canon 5D mark 4 he lost to the water! So his first word of advice for photographers: Get insurance on your equipment! He says his Pelican camera case is also an essential. It’s more durable than a dry bag and is fully waterproof.
Using Bending Branches Kayak Fishing Paddles
Reggie relies on Branches’ extra-durable paddles in his fishing environment because he often uses them as a push pole in the shallow waters where he fishes. He’s used the Angler Classic for many years and has since graduated to the Angler Pro.
Reggie’s advice for you: “Get on the water! When I take people out with me, everybody’s so amazed. They want to get out there again. The thing about getting on a kayak is you can go to places a lot of people haven’t seen or will never see in their whole lifetime.”
Reggie Chapa at work
Let us help you find your next kayak fishing paddle! Get in touch with our friendly Customer Service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]
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