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Texas Saltwater Fishing

Along the Gulf Coast, blue water offshore adventures appeal to many anglers from around the world. Texans are avid anglers, and saltwater fishing is exciting and fun. Check out the stories below for a glimpse into what Texas has to offer.

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From our pages: Saltwater Fishing Articles

Game Fish for All

Research, partnerships keep Gulf and bays stocked for anglers.

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Reeling It In

Communities like Port O’Connor win big when fishing tournaments come to town.

Anyone who’s even vaguely familiar with the Texas coast knows that Port O’Connor is the epitome of a “sleepy little fishing village.” Anyone who isn’t need only enter the outskirts of town to figure it out.

The signs are everywhere.

After carving an arrow-straight path through miles of mostly featureless prairie and just before dead-ending at Matagorda Bay, Texas Highway 185 makes a final dramatic statement. A curiously divergent gallery of road signs suddenly appears to the left.
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Rebounding Flounder

Comprehensive effort brings the flatfish back from the edge of obscurity.

Former rodeo rider Danny Adams II held securely to the boat’s bucking bow with a taut line wrapped twice around his fist as he barked the names of landmarks to guide his father at the wheel.

The year was 1998, and this was my inaugural adventure as the outdoors columnist for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times newspaper. At the request of my predecessor on the outdoors desk, the Adamses had graciously agreed to help me with a flounder story — a story that poor visibility threatened to derail. 

The fog eventually lifted that morning along with my spirits, allowing us to catch enough flatfish for a newspaper article and photos. I could not have predicted that 13 years would pass before another rod and reel flounder story appeared in the Caller-Times.
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Remarkable, Resilient Redfish

Sporty red drum have run a gauntlet of adversities in order to survive.

Recently, when a fishing buddy asked me what I would include in a list of my most unforgettable catches, I realized three of the memories revolved around the same species: redfish.

The sizes of the three fish were radically different. Ironically, the smallest of the lot was the most sensational. The largest was my first bona fide "big fish," one caught on my last outing with my grandfather. The midsized fish baptized me with a jolt of pure adrenaline into one of saltwater fishing's most explosive styles.
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Catch Me If You Can

Tarpon's a silvery tease for both anglers and conservationists.

Any angler who has stared into the hypnotic eye of a tethered tarpon has begged for a rematch.

For many anglers this quest is a compulsion rather than a choice. It's not important whether the engagement ended in satisfaction or simply ended too soon. The mighty "silver king" is capable of haunting souls for a lifetime after a single meeting. read more

Pier Pressure

Out on the pier, good fishing and interesting characters can be found.

Saltwater fishing piers attract a wide variety of anglers. Many are occasional visitors or tourists trying their luck. Many are truly dedicated, hard-core fishermen who come fully equipped with folding chairs, ice chests, big tackle boxes and various rods and reels, all of it brought out with some form of pushcart. They stay out on the piers for hours or even days, and they are the ones who catch most of the fish. read more

Wild Blue Water

The fish just keep getting bigger — and meaner — as you venture into the deep waters of the gulf.

For all of us who will never have the chance to see outer space, there's an earthly option that's infinitely more available and, at least to the uninitiated, almost as exciting.

Pack some stout fishing tackle, high-powered sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat. Load an oversized ice chest with fresh, waterproofed snacks, as much crushed ice as will fit into that one big cooler and then yet another, along with a case or three of bottled water and a dozen fresh oranges. Just for insurance, stash some motion-sickness meds in your travel bag. Then climb aboard a large, seaworthy boat with a knowledgeable skipper, brace yourself mentally and physically, and head offshore. read more

The Great Saltwater Piñata

Get to know the unsung heroes of nearshore fishing.

Unpredictability is the essence of saltwater fishing.

Any doubts I might have had about this particular concept were erased during a trip I made with a couple of neighborhood kids to a Galveston beachfront fishing pier about 10 years ago.

One of the boys, a precocious and energetic kid with a fanatical affinity for angling, was busy fighting a fish when he asked a simple question.

"What is it?"

I looked at the tip of his erratically thumping spincasting rod. "Could be a croaker," I told him. "Or, it might be a whiting."

The reel drag stuttered and squalled. His dark-brown eyes wide and curious, his white-knuckled right hand squeezing the rod handle tight, the youngster asked again.

"What is it?" read more

Fishing for Dollars

While most fish species are thriving, some segments of the gulf fishing industry are gasping for air.

To survive as a shrimper these days, you have to get creative.

Brownsville shrimp boat captain Carlton Reyes sent one of his six trawlers to Tampico, Mexico, to load up with 30,000 gallons of diesel in January. Even with expenses, the fuel cost about $1 per gallon less than in Texas and made shrimping economically feasible. At the Brownsville Shrimp Basin, Reyes split the fuel between four boats and sent them to trawl deep gulf waters for concentrations of shrimp. "I told them they better not come back until they run out of fuel," Reyes said.

The future of Texas' offshore commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico depends on many factors beyond the professional fisherman's control. Rising fuel costs, cheap foreign imports, bycatch issues and labor shortages have beached many boats and fishermen.

The Texas Legislature established the goal of maintaining a healthy gulf ecosystem that supports recreational fishermen and provides economic viability for commercial fishermen. It has not always been easy reconciling the two. read more

More Saltwater Fishing Articles

Stealth Fishing

Trout Clout

Fly Me to the Sea

Marine Madness

Saltwater on a Shoestring

Black Drum Beats

Gig 'Em

Saltwater Spinnerbaits

Keeping the Seagrass Greener

 


View Texas saltwater fish species

 


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