Kayak fishing photos with pro Keith Combs

kayak fishing with Bassmaster Elite Series pro Keith Combs

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Keith Combs battles a 4-pound bass during a photo shoot for Bassmaster.com. The angler uses this Old Town kayak when he’s not out on the national fishing tour.

Photo gallery shows Texas Elite Series angler Keith Combs kayak fishing

I’m always up for a road trip, so I loaded up the truck and headed to Texas when Bassmaster senior editor Thomas Allen called and asked me to shoot a photo gallery of Elite Series pro Keith Combs. The assignment was to build a kayak fishing photo gallery showing how Combs uses his Old Town kayak to catch bass when he’s not out touring the national bass-fishing circuit.

My wife Yvette and I met Combs and his buddy Clifford Wiedman at a secret lake in East Texas in early August. Combs promised the waters of the private, stocked lake were full of fish, so it was quickly decided we would do the normal boat tour gallery for Bassmaster.com, and then show Combs catching fish.

While Yvette relaxed under a gazebo, I began snapping away as the pro angler unloaded the kayak from a small Yakima trailer. It didn’t take long for the little craft to be in the water; Combs clambered aboard and locked down Old Town’s PDL Drive system, which allows anglers to turn a propellor with pedals — just like riding a bike.

Wiedman and I hoped aboard a small bateau, and I continued taking detail shots of how the kayak is steered, pedaled and packed with gear.

As soon as I said I was done with that part of the shoot, Combs began pedaling and left a wake as he hurried across the lake to work the shaded shallows. Before Wiedman and I could get ourselves together to join him, Combs already was wrestling a 4-pounder to the boat.

For the next hour or so, I used my Nikon 300mm f/2.8 lens to get shots of the angler casting, working the kayak and landing bass. Wiedman also was fishing — and catching. But I stubbornly stuck to the job at hand.

Until the other two men began nagging at me to pick up a rod. I mean, what else could I do?

Two casts later, I fought a 4 1/2- to 5-pounder to the side of the boat, where Wiedman lipped it. I continued alternating between the camera and rod as we worked our way around the bass-filled lake.

All in a day’s work for a traveling fishing photographer.

We finished out the day after Combs caught another 4-pounder. I had him come alongside the bateau, and I switched to a Tokina 16-24mm lens to get some nice, tight trophy shots of Combs with his catch. I simply positioned the kayak with on hand while composing and shooting images with the other. The wide angle provided a great perspective to end the gallery.

Be sure to jump over to Bassmaster.com to check out the entire photo gallery.

Click here to discover more about my fishing photography.

About Andy Crawford

Andy Crawford has been a photographer and writer for more than 20 years, with thousands of images and articles published in magazines and newspapers around the country. He now focuses on Louisiana photography, landscapes, HDR photography, urban prints and other fine art photography. He also is a portrait photographer.