Fishing in Baffin Bay: All You Need to Know
Nov 17, 2020 | 8 minute read
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Looking to spend a quiet day enjoying the nature of Texas’s Gulf Coast? Get away from the crowds in Corpus Christi and enjoy a day of fishing in Baffin Bay. The southernmost bay on the Texas coastline is one of the richest and most underrated fisheries in the state. It won’t stay that way forever, so consider visiting while it’s wild and unexplored.

The Laguna Madre coastal water ways

Baffin Bay is an inlet of the larger Laguna Madre, comprising three branches – Alazan Bay, Cayo del Grullo, and Laguna Salada. Due to a lack of freshwater, it has unusual levels of salinity, making it a nutrient-rich habitat for a variety of fish species. And the old beach rocks that used to be the Gulf of Mexico shoreline provide structure where a lot of fish tend to congregate. 

Another unique aspect of Baffin Bay is the old serpulid reefs, that provide habitat for big Trout and Redfish, but can give anglers a headache trying to maneuver the waters. The bay will recharge your batteries, fill your belly, and provide you with some bragworthy trophies. It’s world-famous for breaking some records after all. Read on to find out which ones, and plan your new adventure!

What to Catch

An infographic showing the top fish species to target in Baffin Bay, including Redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Black Drum, Snook, Tarpon, Jack Crevalle, and Sheepshead

Baffin Bay is a big inlet, making it a great home to a variety of fish species. Thanks to its remoteness, it hasn’t been heavily fished, so you’ll find that its waters are filled with prized fish. We’ve compiled a list of the top fish you can target in these waters.

Redfish

We have to start the list with the Texas favorite – Redfish. What makes them so beloved? Game qualities? Or food qualities? Actually, both! Redfish are a joy to target, as the dance they do while getting off the hook is a real performance. Add to that their tender, delicious meat, and you’ve got yourself a real treat.

A man holding a Redfish on a boat in Texas

The biggest of the three branches, Alazan Bay, is especially rich with trophy Redfish. However, Baffin Bay is truly a year-round Redfish fishery, so you’ll find them anywhere you go. To maximize your chances, you might want to go to the mouth where Baffin Bay meets Laguna Madre.

Speckled Trout

Another species you shouldn’t miss out on when fishing in Baffin Bay is the iconic Speckled Trout. What’s special about this spotted beauty? It’s one of the best inshore fish for novice anglers to target, thanks to it being relatively easy to reel in. If you’re taking your family out on a nice fishing trip, Trout is the perfect fish to target.

A gild holding a Speckled Trout on a boat in Texas smiling

Baffin Bay is famous for huge Trout, and most record specimens in Texas were caught just here. You’ll find them everywhere you go, as the rocky structure of the bay is the perfect habitat for them. You’ll break some of your personal records, and maybe even the state record! Nevertheless, you’ll get a reward either way – they taste delicious!

Flounder

The last member of the “Texas Inshore Trio,” but certainly not the least, Flounder is a true staple of the Lone Star State. They’re one of the most interesting creatures that inhabit these waters, thanks to their (interesting?) looks. While they’re not really a sight for sore eyes, they are a joy at the dinner table.

A woman holding a Flounder on a boat in Texas

If a mouth-watering meal is what you’re after, look no further! Flounder are beloved for their tender meat, but did you know how fun they are to target? If you decide to go after them, try out Flounder gigging – a popular technique in the Lone Star State. You’ll have an action-packed adventure and a real taste of Texas fishing. The area around the Twin Palm islands holds great numbers of Flounder.

Black Drum

Going after Redfish is both fun and rewarding, but their black cousins are not to be underestimated. Black Drum aren’t at the top of many angling lists, but they certainly have their own thing. Baffin Bay is known to be home to great numbers of this inshore beast, and if you’re looking to fill the bags, there’s hardly a better species to go after.

A family smiling holding a big Black Drum

Black Drum are the perfect introduction to inshore fishing, so if you’re up for a family adventure, this is a great target. They can be fun for experienced anglers as well, as they can reach sizes of up to 90 pounds! And the northwestern part of Baffin Bay, in the back of Cayo del Grullo, is named Drum Point. It’s a Black Drum haven, and you’ll find them in great numbers here.

And More!

A man and a boy holding a Jack Crevalle on a boat

If you’re heading out to Baffin Bay for a day of fishing, chances are you have your sights on Redfish and Speckled Trout. However, these calm waters are home to many more species, and some of them just might end up taking your bait. Sheepshead, Jack Crevalle, Mangrove Snapper, even Snook and Tarpon – they’re all possible catches with some skill and a bit of luck.

How to Fish

While Baffin Bay might be on the shallow side, the area it encompasses is by no means small. There’s a variety of habitats here, and you’ll find that most of them are not easy to explore. This is a pretty remote inlet, and all of its branches have something to offer. Read on to find out more about the best ways to enjoy a day of fishing in Baffin Bay.

Charter Fishing

Have we mentioned how big Baffin Bay is? Well, it’s a vast area. So what better way to explore it than by booking a trip on a fishing charter and cruising the waters on a nice boat? You’ll get to cover a lot of ground, and you’ll be able to go to the fish instead of waiting for them to come to you.

White fishing yacht boat sails on the calm blue water on a sunny day.

Not to mention how valuable the help of a local captain would be! Since this is a pretty remote area, if you’ve never visited before, heading out with an angler who’s familiar with the bay will prove very useful. Baffin Bay is also pretty rocky beneath the surface, so a knowledgeable captain will make sure your trip is smooth sailing.

Kayak Fishing

While charter fishing might be the most productive way of exploring the bay, there’s one that’s even more fun. Kayak fishing is a big deal in the area, and kayak enthusiasts love spending the day on the calm waters of Baffin Bay. Since there’s so much nature and untouched beauty, it’s a wonderful way to relax.

A man kayak fishing at sunrise

However, it’s not all about relaxing – the real fun is in the action! The shoreline along Loyola Beach is one of the best places to launch from. You’ll be peddling in serenity along the stunning shores of Cayo Del Grullo in search of some tasty Black Drum and Speckled Trout. Get ready for some tight legs and sore arms!

Fishing on Foot

There’s one thing that never goes out of style – good old shore fishing. Grabbing a rod and reel and heading out on a fishing expedition on your own is a great way to unwind and forget the world. If you’re looking to slow down and enjoy your day in peace, consider just heading down to the water and casting your line.

Waves and sand on a remote beach on Padre Island

There are some excellent fishing opportunities in Baffin Bay if you’re fishing on foot. Wade fishing along Loyola Beach and Pie De Gallo is one of the most popular adventures. If pier fishing is more your speed, Riviera Fishing Pier is one of the most prolific spots in the whole Baffin Bay area.

Where to Go

Now that we’ve helped you with your target species, as well as the type of adventure you’re looking for, here comes the hard part. There’s a variety of prolific fishing spots in Baffin Bay, and it’s just so big! But we’ve tried to narrow it down to some of the most famous ones:

Padre Island National Seashore, Texas
  • Loyola Beach: If you’re up for great fishing but want to stay close to civilization, this is your spot. Loyola beach has a beautiful shoreline, and you can try out wade fishing or launch your kayak from here in search of some big Speckled Trout and Flounder.
  • Drum Point: One of the best Black Drum spots in Baffin Bay – they’re known to frequent the shallow waters of Cayo del Grillo. If you’re up for Speckled Trout, just head further out to the drop-offs, and you’re in for a treat.
  • Riviera Fishing Pier: This is a great spot to visit with your family and just unwind. It’s a beautiful place to view the sunset from. Combine that with some great Redfish and Speckled Trout action, and you start to see why it’s so popular.
  • Kaufer-Hubert Memorial Park: This stunning park in Riviera Beach will provide you with everything you need. It’s a great spot for a family barbeque, and there’s a variety of fishing opportunities. Wade, surf, or pier fishing – whatever you choose, Redfish and Trout will bite. 
  • La Parra Landing: One of the best Speckled Trout fishing spots in Baffin Bay, this remote area is known to produce some record-breaking specimens. If you’re looking for a real adventure in untouched nature, this is the place for you.

Seasons and Regulations

Baffin Bay is blessed with good weather conditions throughout the year, so you can expect to have a great time whenever you visit. That being said, the best action is in the summer when Redfish and Speckled Trout come out to play, and some visitors like Snook and Tarpon come through. If you’re looking for some nice Flounder though, your best bet is to come in the fall.

The only thing left for you to figure out now is what you can and can’t do. This is pretty straightforward, you just need to follow Texas state regulations. That means you’ll need to get a fishing license if you’re 17 or older – watch the video above for more information. You can find more information on the process in our comprehensive guide. Once you’ve gotten your license, you’re all set!

Tournaments

Did we mention that Baffin Bay is a world-famous spot when it comes to record-breaking Speckled Trout? Yes, they grow big in this shallow inlet thanks to the specific salinity of the water. Baffin Bay has consistently been producing the biggest Trout in the state at the CCA Texas STAR tournament

Fishing boats lined in a marine, ready for a fishing tournament

Join in the Baffin Bay Shoot-out Fishing Tournament at Kaufer-Hubert Park for your chance at breaking Trout records! One of the other great things about Baffin Bay is that they have a long-running women’s fishing tournament. Babes on Baffin is a big deal now, with over 300 lady anglers competing annually.

Baffin Bay – Texas with a Twist

There aren’t many places like Baffin Bay. We’ll even go so far as to say there’s no other place like it! It’s a huge shallow inlet in the southernmost area of Texas, with some unique features you won’t find elsewhere. Widely unexplored, it’ll give you a taste of true nature. Its calm waters will take you in, but the old beach rocks and serpulid reefs will remind you that you’re just a guest – Baffin Bay won’t be easily tamed.

A great blue heron (Ardea herodias) flying above Baffin Bay

Have you ever been to Baffin Bay? Did you try fishing in the area? How was your trip? Tell us all about it in the comments below, or ask away. We love to hear from you!

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