Hello everyone, I will be relocating the the TX area next year.I want to know how's the fishing on the surf and piers/ most productive places to wet the lines? my travel time to the surf and piers will average 3+ hours from the FT. HOOD area. I already have the gear, just loking for family friendly areas to get the kids out on!
I am in Georgia but originally from Texas. My son lives down near S. Padre Island. I just got back from there a couple of weeks ago and love the area. If you don't mind the a little further drive this is a good area and easy to get to. Miles of beach if you like surf fishing and good jetty fishing at the end of the island. I have 5 kids. Most are grown now but is still a good area for kids. The jetties are in a county park. There is beach access, good jetty fishing, concessions and camping if you wish. The cost is $5.00 a car load and has police security. Have never had any trouble there. If you spend the night, there are several good places to eat back across the bridge in Port Isabel. Fishermans is a good place and there is a cheap hotel there, also Los Cabos right in the square. You can eat a good breakfast there for $5.00.
A little farther North is port Mansfield which is also good but I know little about it. That whole area is fun and laid back. Try finding an issue of Texas Saltwater Fisherman magazine. $25 a year and only about the Texas coast.
If you are interested, let me know when you head down and I will have my son call you and give you some areas. He fishes every weekend, HAHA, till the grand daughter was born a few months ago.
Enjoy Texas, good people, good fishing, good hunting.
Thanks for the information. I will travel to S. Padre Island once i get settled in to a home. Can you provide me with specific places or names of places to fish. I will be sure to contact you once I plan a trip there. Once again , Thanks!
Briggs - Greenbowfish is spot on with the South Padre Island scene, it's a bit of a drive from Ft Hood, probably 7 hours from the Fort to sand - one way. Well worth the haul if you can lock in an extended weekend dedicated to fish. The Brownsville Ship Channel feeds inland and both jetty sides, excellent tarpon, snook and mangrove snapper fisheries...including the usual redfish, flounder and speckled trout offerings. Many will fly fish shrimp and or crab colored streamers casting from the rocks into the ship channel side, outgoing tide, allowing these mid-range streamers to sink and work about a foot below the water surface. I watched a guy catch and release 3 tarpon in roughly 2 hours with each around 50 - 100lbs. I watched as I worked a 7ft baitcast rod casting plugs and jigs to redfish and specks...wishing I had rigged something to target the poons instead LOL!
About 180 miles to the Northeast is Port Aransas and the Padre Island National Seashore (PINS). You can reach the south end of PINS from South Padre Island but the Port Mansfield jetty cuts the beach off about 40-50 miles north of South Padre Island. If you drive in from the North end near Corpus Christi, you have 60 miles of pristine white sand seashore to fish with literally the entire beach to yourself. You need a 4x4 to roll this section and areas like Little Shell, Big Shell and the 40s are names the locals use to reference some of the better features of this barrier island. Nick from Breakaway Tackle lives in Corpus and he's on the beach literally everyday surf fishing...if you frequent this area, you will get to know Nick and another local legend, Billy Sandifer.
Further to the North is Bob Hall fishing pier. Here recently the largest Land based Mako was caught and released from this pier. There's a video up on YouTube that shows the release stage of this catch (2011). A bit North of Bob Hall pier is the Packery Channel jetties and further north of that is the Horace Caldwell Pier and Port Aransas jetties. Each of these locations are full of large redfish, speckled trout, pompano, flounder, spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish, jack crevalle, mangrove snapper and snook...to name a few of the many species here. You will also find casting plugs and lures will entice blacktip shark and juvenile hammerhead sharks that will readily suck down a lure you rigged for one of the more normal species targeted for that particular bait. I've literally hooked up on 3-4 ft sharks casting a rod rigged for speckled trout and there are times the king mackerel will run right up next to the sand chasing bait in ultra clear water conditions...which is very frequent during July - September in South Texas.
Further up the coast you will find the Matagorda Bay complex. This region is between Corpus Christi and Galveston Texas. It's also a very awesome inshore fishery but it sands up easily and ther are more days the water conditions are sandy green at best and brown at worst. I stay well south of this area....I live in San Antonio so PINS and the Port Aransas areas - South Padre are my fishing scenes.
One great thing about PINS...you can roll down and camp for days on end and many will hook-up, setup a base camp and fish days upon days till it's time to go home. We gather abundant drift-wood, coconuts and other items to build bonfires and coyotes, whitetail deer, rattlesnakes, racoons and other mammals frequent the island with many trying to share camp and or any food you accidentally leave out unattended LOL! Some of the coastal coyotes down here know how to flip an ice chest open so make sure you have an ice chest that locks and or place something heavy on the lid so they aren't tempted. One of the other features about PINS that makes it very unique to the US...including Cape Hatteras and OBX....behind PINS is the King Ranch. The King Ranch is literally 1 million acres of undeveloped ranch land surrounded by other bordering ranches that literally are 20,000 - 100,000+ acres big. This area is named Kenedy County and Kenedy County is one of the 5 least populated counties in North America....including Alaska. What does this all mean....it means that once the sun goes down....the stars POP at night! You can literally experience a night sky, unaffected by any nearby cities and their man made lights. The Gulf of Mexico out front and the wild and free King Ranch behind = WOW LOOK AT THE SKY!!!!!!
It's an experience I hope anyone who loves to fish the surf can experience. It's a very unique for the US of A.....65,000 acres of barrier island with NO DEVELOPMENT coupled with private land in the millions of acres that is undeveloped behind and bordering the Laguna Madre.
Speaking of Laguna Madre...some of the best clear water wade fishing in the US is here. It's long, shallow and full of fish.....sight casting to tailing reds and schools of tarpon, speckled trout and snook....hundreds of miles of undeveloped shoreline with shallow bays and flats everywhere. At the south end....mangrove trees...very much like South Florida without the people.
I've lived in South Florida....and I've lived along the Outer Banks - retired US Coast Guard so....I've seen some great fishing scenes. I put PINS right up there with the best of them all!
If you get down here.....drop me a line and I'll help out with the adjustment, places to go and seasonal scenes and species to get you on fish without a lot of trial and error. It's literally year round fishing down here....winter time....you can still get on fish between fronts.
Rob(Oceanmaster) thanks for the reply: I have some 4-day weekends coming up and I'm trying to plan a trip away from base (SEPT). Most of the waters here are over fished and since i don't have a boat, I'm limited. Another limitation will is I have a 2wd truck for the beaches. From this post looks like the Galveston and Port Arnansas areas will be my starting point. The freshwater fishing is ok, but since I started fishing on saltwater there's nothing to compare to it!
If I were starting from Killeen, I would drive the small amount of extra distance, and stay south of Matagorda. I live in the Houston area and fish Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula regularly. They are not bad, either for fishing or for visiting.
But in Texas, because of the shape of the continental shelf, southern locations have deeper water close to the beach.
Overall, it's simply a better choice to head south for a trip.