Clint Barghi

 

Coming to us by way of Friendswood, Texas, Clint Barghi is an accomplished angler known for his determination, humility, and sheer talent.  A fisherman since his early days, Clint has parlayed his experience into numerous victories, including being named as the Texas Kayak Series Angler of the Year, and crowned as champion of the Redfish Road HouseAn advocate for involving youth in the sport, Clint can be found sharing his passion with his young son.

What first drew you to this style of angling? When was that?

I first got into kayak fishing right after college (2004).  I have been fishing hard for as long as I can remember.  Kayaking was my attempt at that time to “take fishing to the next level”.

Do you remember the first fish that you caught from a kayak?

Of course.  That day still ranks as one of the windiest days I have ever kayaked.  We bought our boats and had planned on fishing 3 straight days…ended up being so sore after day one that we spent the weekend just rigging the boats.

 

 

With regard to angling, your earliest days were spent with your father, wading, and sometimes boating, a maximum of fifty yards from the car. Was this restriction of boundary something that influenced your desire to seek the freedom associated with travel by kayak?

We stayed close to the launch due to my fear of the unknown.  You see, we had a big DEEP V boat trying to fish the flats in Port Aransas.  A few lost trips stuck in the mud was all it took.  You could not convince this young man to risk that when fish could be landed in sight of the truck.  Today the tables have turned.  If I’m not on “the edge of the earth,” then I’m pushing farther.

What food and/or music fuels your drive to the put-in?

Nothing.  The drive to the launch and the drive home are silent.  That is my time for thought/reflection.

Who, specifically, is shaping the future of kayak angling?

I feel like the industry drives itself.  Almost everyone I have paddled with has loved the sport.

 

 

You have to your name a myriad of titles and trophies, but, upon viewing your resume, one could deduce that 2008 was a special year for you. Named the Texas Kayak Series Angler of the Year, the associated team of the year, and crowned as champion of the Redfish Road House, you solidified yourself among the upper echelon of the sport. Tell us a bit about this time in your life.

2008 was the year where all the investment came together.  Kayak angling was at a peak in Texas, and I was at my peak for seeking knowledge.  Years of fishing logs, hours in front of maps and Google earth, exploration of new water, and homework paid off.  There have been years with more tournaments and more winnings…but none held the accomplishments that 2008 did.

With regard to kayak angling, what issues are important to you? What, if anything, can be done about them?

I think the competition between kayak and powerboat still ranks as the #1 issue.  There are people on both sides who are in the right and wrong.  As long as everyone has respect for the water, I feel like everything is fair.  Anyone trying to control another’s opportunities to enjoy the outdoors is in the wrong.

Barring money or logistics, what is your dream kayak angling trip?

For me, it would be taking my dad into the marshes of south Louisiana for him to experience the best that kayak fishing can offer.  The time we spent fishing, before I really knew what fishing was, contains the best memories of my life.  Since then we have not been able to share moments like those in the beginning.  He has never viewed fishing under the same light I do.  It would be nice to watch the ole dog learn some new tricks.

 

 

What’s in your milk crate?

Experience and Patience.  The 2 most important things to angling.

Tell us about your best day on the water.

For me, my best day on the water was the first time I took my family out in our tandem kayak.  My son was only 2 years old and only had about 5 words in his vocabulary.  My wife only had a handful of trips under her belt.

It was a short trip but I, along with some of my best friends in the world, watched my wife and son share a keeper redfish…our only fish of the day.  This memory beats all my tournament victories…all the 100 fish days…all the trophy trout.  Moments like that last forever.

What is the kayak fishing lifestyle?

I find that there are 2 classifications of kayakers.  You have your “grinders” and your “relaxed anglers.”  Some people are both. 

 

 

Tell us a story, any story.

When I was 10, my father and I both caught our first keeper redfish.  Typical…not exactly.  He cast first…I cast second…crossing his line and tangling our floats.  Before we could do anything, his float went down.  Then mine.  The redfish had risen and eaten both our shrimp.  When we landed it there was one hook in the right side of his mouth and one in the left.  That’s what I call “sharing the moment.”

In what may be viewed as atypical within the sport, you also enjoy recreational paddling sans rod. This often serves as a time of bonding for your family, and serves to remind us all of the benefits of kayaking outside of the specificities of angling. What advice would you give to anglers hoping to bring their families into the world of paddlesports?

My only advice is don’t waste time.  Kayaking is a great way to introduce children to the outdoors.  It is also an excellent way to stay healthy.  A great friend of mine credits kayak fishing to saving his life.  In his first year of paddling he lost 100 lbs.  Today he looks healthy as can be.

What does the future hold for you?

For me, teaching my son (and daughter expected in October) to fish is my next step.  I plan on continuing the “tournament lifestyle,” but its going to take a back seat for the next few years.

 


 

 

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