Max Conner with a TANK of a snook.
The young tournament winner on what it’s like growing up on Galveston and what’s next for the future
Where did you grow up and how did fishing become a big part of your life?
I have grown up with my grandfather; just two of us. As long as I can remember, we’d commute from Houston to Galveston EVERY weekend to go fishing. Often, we’d fish all night on 61st Street or Jimmy’s Pier on the Seawall and travel home again on Sunday night.
In 2012, my grandfather changed careers and accepted a job on the island so we could move here and I could pursue my passion for fishing! Our first Christmas after relocating, he bought me a kayak. I waded, yakked, and surf fished year round. Saltwater is truly in my soul.
Do you have an all-time favorite catch or fishing moment?
I will always remember my first tarpon. I was 14 and had been fishing Bob Hall Pier in Corpus all weekend. We went all night without a bite so I was set to fish the morning. I had a group of kids tell me that they saw a couple of fish roll in the morning, so I was determined. I was on the pier by 6 a.m. and hooked my
first fish by 6:15 a.m. but it jumped the hook. Shortly after, I threw at another one and hooked it good. I fought the fish for 10 minutes or so before netting it. It measured around 42 inches.
What’s your favorite species to catch?
Setting the hook on big trout will always be the best feeling. However, this past summer we fished for snook in Southern Florida for about a week and that definitely sealed the deal. We caught a dozen fish in the 35” to 43” range.
Favorite place you’ve ever fished?
Without a doubt my favorite place I’ve ever fished was Sanibel Island, Florida. The snook bite was incredible and we got to fly fish for tarpon in the mangroves, which has always been on my bucket list.
If you had to have only one lure, what would it be?
I’d say Down South Lures with no hesitation. It’s the most universal bait on the market. You can throw them in any kind of water and in any weather condition.
Tell us about your sponsors.
At age 14, soon after our move to the island, I met Hunter Welch of Fishstix. We just hit it off and he began to build my rods. Louis Thomas, of Black Marlin Rods, has built my shark rods. Jason Paul with Stinky Pants fishing began to support me early on too. Michael Bosse with Down South Lures has been a tremendous friend and sponsor too.
What are you studying in school and what are your plans after graduation?
I will be a Freshman at Texas A&M Galveston beginning in July. My degree is Maritime Administration. I’d like to either have my own business or work on the rigs when I graduate college.
Aside from fishing, what else are you passionate about?
Bird hunting is my second passion. Last year we added a beautiful black lab puppy to our family. She’s now 11 months old, 70 pounds and loves to be on the water and bird hunt.
What else should we know about you?
I am thankful for my grandfather and the opportunities that he has provided for me. He has sacrificed much for me to live near the water and chase my dreams. I’ve been blessed and would like to always pay it forward.