Officials in Brazoria County said another fisherman spotted the body of Jacob Szydlowski Saturday evening just before sunset in the West Galveston Bay Complex.
The search for Szydlowski was called off Saturday morning.
Officials said Szydlowski and a friend were fishing in chest-deep water when they were pulled under by strong currents.
"Both of them became the victim of an undertow which pulled both of them down. The 17-year-old young man was able to get on his back and float, however when he was able to regain his composure he was never able to find his friend," said Brazoria County Sheriff's Office Lt. Varon Snelgrove.
Authorities said the area by the San Luis Pass is dangerous, even for the most experienced swimmers and fisherman.
"Unfortunately that tidal flow is what leads to these incidents. The water, on the surface looks very calm, but it's what lurks below the water's surface (that) is very treacherous," said Snelgrove.
The National Weather Service has issued a "Beach Hazards Statement" warning of strong rip currents and potentially life threatening conditions off the coast into Saturday.
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