Filip Spencer

Captain Fil Spencer is a Corpus Christi-based fishing guide and Ocean Kayak Pro Staff member.  A truly pioneering spirit, Fil has to his name nearly three decades of kayak angling experience.  As is the case with the collective Team Ocean kayak, Fil is a champion angler many times over, and holds numerous titles, including Texas Kayak Angler of the Year, National Kayak Angler of the Year, and Third Coast Kayak Angler of the Year.  When he is not adding to his trophy case, Fil can be found at demo days and workshops, bettering and promoting the sport through inspiring talks and lessons.

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

Growing up on the water.  I was ten or so years old when I started surfing, and I used to sit on the surfboard and do the same type of angling in the surf.  So, I use to use my surf board to get across channels and fish.

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

The first fish I ever caught from a kayak was a speckled trout.  That was the start of a fishing fiasco.

You have always seemed to have an innate urge to fish from small human powered vehicles, and have worked your way up a chain of simple angling means born of necessity.  From inner tube raft to surfboard to windsurfer, you have found ways to extend your reach into the fishing grounds.  Over two decades ago, however, the progression stopped with you settling upon a sit on top kayak.  Given the air of permanence stemming from 20+ years of use, it can be said that you have found your penultimate fishing platform.  Is there any truth to this notion?

I would have to say, with everything from sail, to pedal, and paddle, as well as motorized, I think I have found that the kayak is, in fact, my ultimate platform.



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

I would have to say junk food and classic rock and roll.

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

I do not think that there is just one angler that I could name.  There are many different anglers from across the country who, over the years, helped shape the changes in kayaking.  I personally have helped several companies improve on various kayak products.

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

I would have to say the amount of trash I see on a consistent basis at kayak launch spots everywhere I go, from Texas to Florida.  What can be done is, if more individuals pick up after themselves.  Clubs could have more outings in which they clean up these areas (lots of clubs do).

As one of the earliest, and therefore most experienced, practitioners of the sport, you have been witness to a vast and impressive cycle of growth.  Can you tell us a bit about the changes you’ve seen within the kayak angling world?

Being a part of those changes via boat shows, demos, and seminars, the changes I have witnessed are more people are buying kayaks not only to drift and play in the rivers and lakes, but more fisherman are turning to this method of fishing.

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

I would love to be somewhere in the jungles of Costa Rica, chasing peacock bass on a fly-rod.



What’s in your milk crate?

A dry bag with a first-aid kit, a dip net, a stringer, a small ice chest, and some light tackle.

Tell us about your best day on the water.

I think every day is one of the best days out on the water, because you’re learning new areas and are able to take things in and see mother nature for what she is worth.

What is the kayak fishing lifestyle?

I would have to say that most kayakers are easy-going, and take things a little easier-paced.

Tell us a story, any story.

Being able to be on the water as much as I am has allowed me to test equipment and add input to benefit other kayakers.



You are known as a most welcoming individual, and are seen as someone eager to give advice and guidance to new and would-be kayak anglers.  You have even attested to the fact that you strive to be an ambassador for the sport.  Given the decades of experience, the accolades received, and the tonnage of fish caught, you could easily paint yourself into a label of “unapproachable elite.”  Tell us why it is that you have remained so joyfully tangible and helpful.

Maybe it is just my personality, but I look at the glass as half full.  I think that there is more joy in showing and passing on to others a love of something that you enjoy, such as fishing.  Because one day, someday, someone that you have helped may pass it on.

What does the future hold for you?

I plan on continuing to guide others and spread the word about this great sport, as well as continuing to have fun and compete in fishing tournaments (I have met many friends, through tournaments, from across the country).

One Response to “Filip Spencer”

  1. jan sapp says:

    I just wanted to say “Great Job Filip”. Your Dad would be so proud of you, I can see him all puffed up saying “Thats my boy” Keep up the good work!! Jan

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