Name: Sonny Mills
Hometown: Pearland, TX
Education: Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology from Lamar University
Occupation: Outdoor Education Teacher at Pasadena Memorial High School
Kayak: Viking Profish Reload (Sandstorm)
Favorite Species: Redfish, Trout, and Flounder
Like a lot of people, my love for fishing began at an early age. I grew up in a really small town in south east Texas where most everyone had a pond that was used for watering livestock. In these ponds were bass, catfish, and perch that we fished for during the summer, spring, and fall. Sometimes we would soak worms (that we dug up ourselves) in the deeper areas for catfish and on other days we would sling out the smallest hook we could find with a little piece of hotdog on it into the shallow areas and catch small perch (perch jerking). But most days were spent chasing after bass on artificial lures.
As I grew older, I started spending a lot of time on Lake Livingston with my uncle at the lake house his family owned. We spent a lot of time trolling for white bass but would also stop and jig for them, set trot lines for catfish, or search for crappie.
Once I moved off to college, the time I spent fishing went on hold for a while. It stayed that way until my wife and I moved back to the Houston area which put me less than an hour from Galveston, TX. Two of my best friends from high school lived in the area also, so we started making trips to Galveston, wading the areas around Christmas Bay and Galveston’s south shoreline. While wade fishing, we would always see people fishing from kayaks. We quickly realized that they were able to cover more water and do so more quickly then we would ever be able to on foot. We started looking into kayaks and made our purchases shortly after that.
I started off with a Bass Pro Ascend FS12 that cost around $500. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money at the time because I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy the sport. Had I known back then what I know now, I would have gone all out from the start. I was immediately addicted to the sport of kayak fishing and started reading every forum and article I could find, along with watching hundreds of YouTube videos, trying to take a little knowledge from each. My first dozen or so trips were spent fishing the areas that I had waded in the past. I knew where I could park, launch, and the area in general, so I figured that would be a good place to start. I would catch fish here and there each trip but never had what most would consider a good day. One afternoon, I decided to try a spot around Christmas bay that I had waded once with a friend. On our previous trip here, we had spent the day standing in calf deep mud unable to move to far from where we walked in, but had caught a few small redfish. I figured the kayak would be perfect for this spot and it turned out I was right. It was on this trip that I had my first good day of kayak fishing. I caught 5 slot reds in about an hour of fishing just a few yards off a grassline in a marsh near the launch. From that trip I learned two things. I love catching redfish and the ability to sight cast to them made things even better.
Over the next year, I spent most of my time looking on Google earth for marshy areas, finding a launch nearby, and exploring it half a dozen times before checking out a new one. Whether my trips were successful or not, I tried to learn something new during each one and normally did. Over time, the little bits of information I had taken from each trip started to come together and I understood more and more. If I had a question, I could post a thread on TKF or PM one of the more knowledgeable members for a direct response and always received great feedback.
Since that time, I have competed in several tournaments placing in the top ten more than a dozen times, including a few 1st place finishes. I am currently writing for Saltwater Angler Magazine and have contributed articles to The Fisherman’s Journal, Kayak Fish Magazine, and Kayak Angler Magazine, along with participating as a guest speaker for a few local fishing clubs.