Fishing the Bays of Texas

January 7, 2020

Laguna Madre

Have you ever fished the coast of Texas?! Then you’ll know that there’s just something special about the place. And it’s not just access to the Gulf of Mexico.

From South Padre Island near our country’s border to Galveston and the Louisiana border, the locals and visitors of the Lone Star State enjoy the nearby bays, creeks, rivers, and, of course, the Gulf of Mexico. Anglers enjoy fishing for redfish, snapper, flounder, and more throughout these waters. And some of the best fishing takes place just off the coast in the several bays dotting the coast. These bays can be accessed from piers, shores, or bay boats.

Let’s take a closer look at a handful of bays all along the Texas Gulf Coast…

Laguna Madre Fishing

Laguna Madre is near Padre Island & South Padre Island. This 130-mile bay runs from Corpus Christi to the Rio Grande and was named by Spanish explorers. The name “Laguna Madre” translates to “Mother Lagoon.” The bay is so large that locals typically divide it into two sections: the northern area (called upper Laguna Madre) and the southern (called lower Laguna Madre). The area that divides the two sections is about 20 miles of flat, shallow water known as Saltillo Flats.

Laguna Madre is known for its clear water and massive grass beds. Most of the shorelines are protected from development and have therefore retained much of their natural wonder. The unique habitat created in the bay is one of the most hypersaline in the world (simply meaning there’s a higher concentration of saltwater than freshwater); only five similar bays in the world share this distinction.

Most anglers will either access Laguna Madre by wading into the pristine waters, or fish aboard a shallow bay boat. The acres of seagrass provide unparalleled feeding grounds for predator fish such as redfish, snook, trout, and flounder. Anglers will use light action rods baited with large shrimp to target the many species hiding in the grassbeds. Laguna Madre provides a fantastic fishery for anglers of all experience levels!

Corpus Christi Bay Fishing

Corpus Christi Bay is the largest on the Texas Coast, and is visited by those in Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, and Rockport. Not only is it the largest bay, it also holds the title for the deepest bay in Texas. It’s a no-brainer for anglers to choose this amazing fishery. There are tons of options for your Corpus Christi Bay fishing adventure.

Those who choose to fish Corpus Christi Bay from the shoreline first must decide whether to fish from a pier or by wading into the bay. On the east side of the bay is Mustang Island, a fantastic place to wade from and target redfish, trout, and flounder. On the bay’s west side is a lighted fishing pier: Indian Point Pier, off of US Highway 181. The pier is about 1,000 feet and is one of the best places to fish for black drum during the winter months. If you’re looking for a great trout fishery, be sure to check out Long Reef, located on the north side of the bay near Ingleside Point.

Aransas Bay Fishing

Just around the corner from Corpus Christi Bay is Aransas Bay. Navigate through another great fishery, Aransas Pass, when traveling north. This entire area is a redfish haven. Cast your lines during the fall migration and have a feast planned in no time!

Aransas Bay has a deep middle and is known for the many oyster reefs throughout the bay. This provides great habitat for sheepshead, redfish, and speckled trout that like to feed on hard-shell crustaceans.

Aransas Bay is about 16 miles long and 6 miles wide, bordered by St. Joe Island to the west. This barrier island protects the bay from the Gulf of Mexico winds and tides. The flats near St. Joe Island is another great place to cast for redfish and trout. Wade fishing into the shallow waters is very popular with local Aransas Bay anglers. Kayak fishing is another favorite way for local and visiting anglers to access the shallow waters. No matter where you’re casting in Aransas Bay, you’re sure to have a great day on the water!

San Antonio Bay Fishing

In between Aransas Bay and Matagorda Bay is San Antonio Bay. The city of San Antonio is located about 140 miles northwest of the bay. Just a two-hour drive from the city will get you on the water in no time.

The bay is situated next to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, 114,000+ protected acres that provide a fantastic fishery. Anglers can launch kayaks or canoes from the boat ramp anytime between April and October. Or wade fish during those months for trout and black drum. Year-round fishing is available from the pier; a 40 foot boardwalk that gets anglers close to redfish, black drum, flounder, and more.

To the east of San Antonio Bay is Matagorda Island. Fish the shallows for a variety of inshore species. This barrier island has great fishing on either side: San Antonio Bay to the west, and of course the bountiful Gulf of Mexico to the east.

Matagorda Bay Fishing

If you’re visiting Port O’Connor, you’ll no doubt fish Matagorda Bay. The unique thing about this bay are the neighboring bays, finger lakes, and canals to the north and northwest. There’s no shortage of access points when fishing Matagorda Bay.

To the north of the bay is the mouth of the Colorado River… the Texas Colorado River. This 800 mile long river is one of the longest rivers to start and end in the same state. However, it should not be confused with the other Colorado River that runs through Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and other western states. The Colorado River delta to the north of Matagorda Bay provides a healthy habitat of wetlands and marshes that are perfect for redfish, trout, and flounder.

Matagorda Bay is the third largest estuary in Texas; Laguna Madre and Galveston Bay in the lead. The average depth of the bay is 6 feet deep, and many anglers will access the abundant waters in bay boats. The many oyster bars provide habitats for shrimp, crab, and other crustaceans that redfish and trout enjoy. Anglers will typically drift fish with light tackle to target these highly desired species.

Galveston Bay Fishing

If you’ve visited Galveston, Texas, you know the fantastic fishing available here. This bay is the seventh largest estuary in the U.S., and provides a healthy population of redfish, speckled trout, and flounder. These three are the top-targeted species for anglers fishing Galveston Bay.

Galveston Bay is just a short drive from Houston. Those visiting the city can have the best of both worlds: leave the city and be on the water fishing in no time at all. There are several shoreline access points and piers: such as Ballester Fishing Area and Sylvan Beach Fishing Pier to the north.

Other species available when fishing Galveston Bay include sheepshead, black drum, catfish, and whiting. The muddy-bottom and marsh-filled bay creates oyster bars filled with shrimp, crab, and other crustaceans that these inshore species feed on. Visitors to Galveston Bay also enjoy bird watching. Between the fishing and the birds, Galveston Bay is one of the best places in the country to enjoy the great outdoors.

Fishing In Texas

Of course there are more bays dotted along the Texas Coast. These six are the bigger ones and most often frequented by local and visiting anglers. You can’t go wrong in any of these top Texas fishing destinations.

Whenever you’re ready to cast a few lines in a Texas bay, let FishAnywhere guide you to the best charter in town. There are plenty of nearby professional captains and we can help you find one at the best price. Just start with a search of where you’ll be staying, and your adventure is just a click away.

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