Kim Hurt (@kimhurtay on Instagram) was born and raised in the great state of Texas, where she has been fishing since she was a little girl.
“I’m from South Texas, but I live in Boerne now,” she says. “But I was living on the coast, out of Corpus Christi, on North Padre Island, where I got to fish all the time! But I was raised on a ranch just south of San Antonio.”
She started on freshwater, and it was her parents who sparked Kim’s interest in fishing.
“I started fishing with my daddy,” she says. “I grew up going to Colorado for several weeks every summer, and we’d fish up there in the mountains. We’d catch rainbow trout and fish like that.”
“Obviously, we’d fish the rivers and lakes around where we lived, too,” she says. “I have a river that goes through my ranch, and we’d go, like, noodling for catfish and all sorts of stuff.”
Saltwater came later for Kim.
“I’ve been fishing my whole life,” she says. “But it wasn’t until I moved down to Corpus that I got into the saltwater fishing — and it was a game changer! Once you go salt, you can’t go back.”
Kim didn’t really think about fishing when she made the move.
“I lived on the water, when I was on North Padre,” she says. “I moved there in 2015, and my backyard was literally the water. I started fishing when my friends would go out. They would come by in their boats, and I’d just hop on with them and go! ”
Kim was immediately taken with reeling on the Gulf.
“Once I started doing saltwater fishing — the adrenaline I’d get was just a whole other level,” she says.
“We’d do lots and lots of bay fishing, we’d get monster trout and big schools of reds,” she says. “But I started going offshore, too, out of Port Aransas.”
Offshore fishing was just as big a rush for Kim.
“That was so much fun!” she says. “The biggest fish I ever caught in my life was offshore out of Port A. It was a giant mahi — 42 inches. I guess it wasn’t huge, but it was huge for me — I’m pretty little!”
Redfish are still Kim’s favorite, though.
“It’s just so fun!” she says. “They’re not always easy to catch, and they put up a big fight. It’s fun to chase them, standing up on top of the boat and trying to find them. There’s no better feeling than that — it’s so much fun. It’s just addicting.”
The challenges posed by saltwater fishing are what differentiates it from freshawater reeling for Kim.
“The fights — and the size of the fish. I’ve seen this whole ‘River Monsters’ thing, but I’ve never caught a monster unless it was a big ol’ catfish,” she says. “But in saltwater, you can catch a monster everytime.”
Kim relies on Waterloo Rods to ensure that whatever she hooks makes it to the boat.
“Saltwater fish are a lot harder to catch. You can’t always see through the water, unless you’re in Florida,” she says. “When you’re saltwater fishing, it’s just an adrenaline rush like no other, something you don’t get when you’re just sitting on the side of a riverbank. On saltwater, you’r in their territory!”
Besides the fish, Kim sees other benefits to being out on the water.
“There’s something about just being out on saltwater, whether you’re catching them or not,” she says. “That’s my kind of church. It’s just the most wonderful thing for your soul, as cheesy as that sounds.”
It’s important to Kim that the opportunities that she’s had are there for future generations.
“Coastal conservation and doing our part to keep beaches and water clean is so important,” she says. “Keep taking your kids fishing. It was a big part of my childhood, and I just think that it’s so important that kids get out there and do that, whether it’s with grandparents, parents, or whoever. It’s one of life’s most basic joys, and I want the younger generations to be part of that, too.”