Galveston Pier Fishing: Where, What, and When to Fish

We’re here today to answer all your questions about Galveston pier fishing. You will learn about fish species, when they are in season, what bait to use, how to prepare before the trip, working hours of the piers, and much more. Be ready to take notes and let’s dive straight in!

Row of oceanfront houses in Galveston with fishing piers.

How many fishing piers are there in Galveston?

Galveston fishing is famous throughout the nation, both for dedicated sport anglers and family fishing trips. One of the iconic places to fish for both of these are Galveston’s fishing piers. When you start planning your trip, you might come across several piers that people refer to as ‘Galveston pier’. So, let’s just debunk some misunderstandings first.

Galveston has several piers that jut out into the Gulf of Mexico. The most famous one is the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, which is a popular amusement park. So, no fishing to be had here. You might want to visit it after your fishing trip, or if you’re on vacation with the kids. Just check which parts of the park are open before purchasing the ticket.

But, now let’s look at the piers that will let you wet the line.

Galveston Fishing Pier 9001 Seawall Blvd

What many people actually have in mind when they talk about the Galveston fishing pier is the one that lies at 9001 Seawall Blvd, near the Galveston toll bridge. That’s the pier you have most likely seen online, with happy fishermen screaming and reeling in Blacktip Sharks, as fellow anglers cheer in the background. The pier is open to the public, so you don’t have to be a hardcore angler to come for a stroll here with your kids.

The pier opened its doors back in 1971, and it has naturally become part of the local anglers’ folklore. People have called it a lot of names – 90th St Pier, 91st St Pier, Gulf Coast Fishing Pier, but the original name stuck the most. These days, it’s simply the ‘Galveston Fishing Pier’. After Hurricane Ike damaged it back in 2008, the local angling community rebuilt it. These days, the pier is a hub for anyone who likes fishing. Beginner and expert anglers fish side by side, sharing tips on catching the big fish. Here you can also meet fishers who come anywhere from Illinois, Michigan, California, North Carolina, and elsewhere.

Galveston fishing pier and the waters below it

Working hours, tickets, and fishing licenses

The pier works from 7am until 11pm throughout the week, but on Friday and Saturday, you can also fish during the night, which is a real treat. Night time fishing in this part of Texas can be highly rewarding. The opening hours and ticket prices can change, so you best check the pier’s website for updated info. There, you will also find a pier cam where you can follow the action and see the weather and tides 24/7. You might also get to see a fellow angler pull in some Redfish or Speckled Trout.

Galveston 61 Pier

The pier on 61st Street is another fishing spot where you can drop your bait and get excellent results. From March to December, the pier works 24/7 and you can get anything from Redfish, Trout, Rays, Flounder, and Black Drum to 6′ Sharks. It’s a family-friendly pier where you can rent all the rods, rigged with all the bait you need. It’s busiest on Friday and throughout the weekend, so make sure to come on time to take a good spot. The pier website has all the info on catches of the day, current tides, temperature, and a pier cam where you can see some live action.

View of the Galveston fishing pier on 61 Street.

What kind of fish can you catch from Galveston piers?

Galveston pier fishing is diverse. There are a lot of species in the waters around these piers, ranging from Catfish to really big Sharks. The time of year, the day, weather conditions, winds, and tides will all determine your success, but on an average day you can expect to get Speckled Trout (also called Specks), Redfish, Black Drum, Gafftop Catfish, Bull Shark, Hammerhead Shark, Blacktip Shark, Sand Trout, Spadefish, Flounder, Cobia (aka Ling), Pompano, Jack Crevalle, Spanish Mackerel, and Rays.

Night fishing at Galveston piers can be rewarding too – you will have good chances of landing bull Redfish, Flounder, and Specks.

Lady angler holding a big Redfish she caught in Galveston.

When is the best time to fish from Galveston piers?

Galveston fishing is excellent year-round. In the early months of the year, you can get some Reds and Specks off the pier. Since it can get pretty cold, make sure to dress up well for your visit to the pier, as it can be windy.

As spring months approach and the water heats up, you’ll start to come across some more Reds and Specks which are now joined by Cobia, Pompano, Jack Crevalle, Flounder, and Mackerel.

From the first days of summer until late into fall, you will be able to battle Sharks, Speckled Trout, Red and Black Drum, Cobia, Mackerel, and many other critters that swim around the pier pylons. It’s your safest bet for an excellent day of fishing.

This is the time when a lot of anglers come to the pier, so you can talk to the locals, trade some tricks on bait, tackle, and other good fishing spots in Galveston County. If you want to find a good spot and avoid the crowds, best come here early in the morning or late in the evening.

What is the best bait to use when fishing Galveston?

The local piers sell frozen bait, including shrimp, squid, mullet, shad, and some cut bait, and you should always ask at the counter in case they have something else at the time. This should be just the right bait for the local fish, especially for first-time anglers: you won’t lose time catching bait and can hook into good fish.

With these types of bait at your side, you can catch Redfish, Speckled Trout, Sharks, Mackerel, and other tasty species that swim below.

What should you know before you come to the pier?

  • If you’re older than 17, you need to purchase a fishing license. Make sure to have it with you at all times, as the TPWD wardens regularly monitor the pier.
  • When you hit the pier, start fishing around pylons. Fish love feeding near these and will seek shelter there. Once you warm up, cast your bait further out for some bigger fish.
  • There is a limit on the number of rods you can bring: three on the Seawall Blvd Pier (with two of them being surf rods), and two rods on the 61 Street Pier. You can’t bring rods longer than 10 ft. And kids can have only one rod.
  • These piers are family-friendly spots. It’s about having a pleasant time by the water and not purely about hardcore fishing. Be considerate about other people’s spots and look out for your line — no one likes getting their line tangled. Also, if you do get a bite from a big fish and need to move around the pier to avoid losing it, make sure you don’t hit someone with the rod or the line.
  • For your own safety, wear close-toed shoes, don’t run around the place, and don’t stand on the railings. Also, check before the trip what you shouldn’t bring along. Some items, such as glass, casting nets, gaffs, sleeping bags, or tents aren’t allowed.

Have you fished from one of Galveston’s piers before? What fish did you catch? Let us know in the comments below!

2 Responses to “Galveston Pier Fishing: Where, What, and When to Fish”

  1. Sergio

    So do they sell bait at the pier

    Reply
    • Sean

      Hey Sergio,

      Thank you for reading the blog.

      Sure, there are a number of local bait and tackle shops near the piers. Your best bet is to search along 61st Street or Seawall Boulevard.

      Have a good one!

      Reply

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