Duane Te Grotenhuis

Duane Te Grotenhuis, along with his wife, Evelyn, is the owner and operator of T G Canoes and Kayak, the second oldest outfitting business in the state of Texas. Duane has proudly sponsored and hosted the River Bassin’ Tournament Trail last year, and has plans to host more river fishing tournaments in the future. A staunch advocate of protecting our waterways and access, Duane serves on the Texas Rivers Protection Association Board of Directors and San Marcos Chamber of Commerce Natural Resources Advisory Committee. TGCK sponsors, helps with, and donates canoes and kayaks for river cleanups and special events such as the Sunshine Kids Program.

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

Being out on the water as a canoe paddler and fisherman long before fishing kayaks existed, the transition to fishing from a smaller, more manageable, sit-on-top kayak was an easy choice. When was that? 20 years ago.

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

The first fish I caught was a 14 inch Black Bass, caught whilst casting up the mouth of a creek feeding the San Marcos River. I measured it 3 times.

 

 

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

Breakfast tacos are always a great way to fuel up for a river fishing trip. I normally drive without music so I can slip right into the peace of the river environment.

Kayak fishing has grown tremendously in popularity over the last few years; how has this impacted your business?

Kayak fishing has exploded in Texas, and is well over 50% of our sales business.

 

 

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

Right now, Jackson Kayaks is leading the way with serious river, bay, and tandem fishing kayaks. The high/low seating system is the real game changer, along with the ability to stand and fish. They have set the bar way up there. I look forward to seeing what the other heavy hitting kayak manufacturers will answer with.

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

It’s important to have and keep good access and egress to our water and for us to take care of and keep clean our precious water resources. T G Canoes and Kayaks sponsors river cleanups and makes sure all our canoe/kayak renting guests carry their food and gear in containers that are appropriate to make sure nothing gets lost or left in the water. Honestly, I would love to see only non-disposable items brought to our waterways. It would eliminate nearly all the trash left by river users, keeping those waters in good shape for generations to come.

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

Pick an island in the Caribbean and send me there with the local fishing guide.

 

 

What’s in your milk crate?

Spinning reels and 1/2 length, motor oil colored worms, Texas rigged.

In your opinion, what has been the largest factor in the recent growth of kayak fishing?

Kayaks are inexpensive, easily transported, don’t require gas and oil to operate, are stealthy, can navigate skinny or deep water, and are made in many uniquely different models to accommodate all types of water to catch fish on. Also, the fishing kayak manufacturers have built kayak for people of all sizes and ages. Literally, everyone can enjoy kayak fishing.

Tell us about your best day on the water.

Every day I am on the water is my best day.

What is the kayak fishing lifestyle?

If you have a free hour or more, the fish are waiting.

 

 

Tell us a story, any story.

My first paddle craft experience was a canoe, on a lake, when I was 16 years old. My partner and I promptly flipped it, swam it to the shore, got back in and my love affair with paddling began. That was 44 years ago.

Describe the typical kayak angler who comes into your shop?

What’s cool about our shop is that we get all types of fishing people that are fishing everything from BTB, to the bay, to the lake, to the river, and to whitewater. The only thing typical is their excitement for kayak fishing. What’s great fun is we get to work directly with prospective kayak buyers in the process of purchasing the right fishing kayak the very first time. The most important service we offer is free demos every day we are open. That’s where the perfect decision is made by the customer, themselves. It never fails.

What does the future hold for you?

More opportunity to get people outside and in creation. After 28 years of sales, outfitting, and renting canoes and kayaks on the San Marcos River, I’ve seen the culture change from getting out and enjoying the great outdoors as often as possible, to being air-conditioned, indoor folks needing to take the supplement vitamin D, the vitamin the sun freely gives. Joy is fully experienced being most anywhere in nature, but especially on the water on a kayak.

 

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