Offshore Fishing

The boat that trolls along the South Texas jetties will find a hit. Usually big game fish such as a tarpon, mackerel, selfish or marlin. an increasing number of offshore fishing enthusiasts will discover the lure of trophy fish in the waters of the Texas Gulf Coast (see Texas Gulf Coast Fishing).

Offshore Fishing - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

If you have big dreams of catching big fish, then the Gulf of Mexico is your dream come true. In the port cities along the Texas Gulf Coast, offshore fishing charters lure you with highly experienced guides to catch the biggest trophies including amberjack, red snapper, sailfish, Wahoo, mackerel, grouper, shark, blue Marlin and more. (see Fishing Guides and Charters)

Over 1 million fishing licenses are sold each year in Texas so head to a popular coastal spot Port Aransas, just south of Corpus Christi. A free ferry ride will take you from the mainland to a laid-back beach town with lots of shops and restaurants. We chose Capt. Doug Stanford who had requisite expertise and the right attitude. His charter company is called Pirates of the Bay and has a motto of "freshwater is for sissies".

The charter provided all the rods and reels as well as the bait. On this beautiful day we slathered on sunscreen hats and sunglasses and settled in for the three-hour journey out to sea. We reached the sweet spot and after a bit of coaching in the tackle and proper casting the fishing began. A man from Dallas got the first hit and reeled in a long silvery macro. Soon after a 10-year-old angler landed a red snapper that was bigger than she was. Throughout the day the hits kept coming in at final count we caught 32 fish with the biggest being a 65-pound grouper. The biggest grouper ever caught in the Gulf was 126 pounds.

Enormous Grouper - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

To secure the "over the mantle piece" catch we were led to South Padre Island, a two-mile slip of land at the tip of Texas near Mexico. It is known for its white sand and Blue water and it is an angler's dream with great deep-sea fishing as well as excellent coastline catches of redfish and trout. We met our guide Capt. Mike Walker of Salt Walker Charters. We bordered the 45 foot 670 hp engine boat and cruised along at 18 kn. The captain noted it might take as long as four hours to get our trophy fish and into that trophy fish territory. My line went out and not long after I felt a considerable yank. Thankfully I was strapped into the rigging and the sea monster took off. 10 minutes later the blue Marlin crested for the first time, wrangling side to side before diving back into the water. We finally landed it, and an hour later we found the blue was 8 feet long and weighed 250 pounds. I've been bragging about it ever since.

There is a wide range of off sport fishing charters who operate in the port cities along the Texas Gulf Coast. They all vary in cost, length of trips and type of catch. From a large city like Houston, you can drive about 90 minutes east of Port Arthur, or 45 minutes south to Galveston Island both of which offer plenty to do when you're not fishing. Rockport, about 45 minutes from Corpus Christi, has some great charters as well as the worlds largest Blue Crab measuring 27 feet from back fin to front claw.
To get to Port Isabel and South Padre, the airport in Harlingen is the closest way at 45 miles. The scenic route down Highway 77 is the other which includes a seafood feast at the historic Kings Inn.