Galveston Pier Fishing: Where, What, and When to Fish
Jun 5, 2020 | 5 minute read Comments
46
Reading Time: 5 minutes

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 serious sportfishing and family fishing trips. Some of the most 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

Galveston fishing pier and the waters below it

What many people actually have in mind when they talk about the Galveston fishing pier is the one that lies at 9001 Seawall Blvd. 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, with rental rods, tackle, and everything else you need to fish. Beginner and expert anglers fish side by side, sharing tips on catching the biggest fish. Here you can also meet fishers who come from anywhere from Illinois and Michigan to California, North Carolina, and even abroad.

Working hours and tickets

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. You will also find a pier cam where you can follow the action and see the weather and tides 24/7.

Galveston 61 Pier

View of the Galveston fishing pier on 61 Street.

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.

This is 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.

What can you catch from Galveston fishing piers?

Galveston pier fishing is diverse. There are a lot of species in the water here, ranging from Catfish to really big Sharks. The time of year, the day, weather conditions, winds, and tides will all determine your success.

Angler holding a big Redfish he caught in Galveston.

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.

When is the best time to fish from Galveston piers?

Galveston’s 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 and windy, make sure to dress up well for your visit.

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.

an aerial view of Seawall Boulevard in Galveston

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. 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, 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!

Rather be fishing?

Get great fishing tips, travel inspiration, and fun facts straight to your inbox, once a week, every week.
Invalid email address This email address is already subscribed

Something went wrong!

Unfortunately we can't subscribe you at this moment due to a system error. Please try again later.
Comments (46)
  • Sergio

    Nov 20, 2018

    So do they sell bait at the pier

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Dec 10, 2018

      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!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      AKmal

      Sep 4, 2019

      Sean- First of all you are a very handsome man. Is there any free fishing peer or bank fishing spot?

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Sep 5, 2019

      Hi AKmal,

      Thanks!

      There are a number of free fishing spots on the Seawall. The area between the Pleasure Pier and 59th Street is dotted with paved rock pilings that fishermen often use to cast from.

      Hope that helps.

      Tight lines!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Jack

      Sep 11, 2019

      Where is a good place to cast net 9”12” mullets?

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Sep 11, 2019

      Hey Jack,

      You can find mullets in good numbers in the marshes right next to Bayou Vista. Alternatively, you can take the ferry to Bolivar and use your cast net at the North Jetty.

      I hope you’ll find this helpful.

      Have a good one!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Jack

      Feb 28, 2020

      Im driving down there now and Where would be at good place to cast net some mullets at this time of the year?

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Feb 28, 2020

      Hi Jack,

      Thanks for reading.

      You could try Mac McGaffey Highland Bayou Park, that’s usually a good spot. Alternatively, you can try the marshes next to the freeway, just before Bayou Vista.

      Hope that helps.

      Have a good one!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Thomas

    Jul 7, 2019

    Would you recommend 61st pier or 91st pier?

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Jul 10, 2019

      Hey Thomas,

      Thanks for reading.

      Both piers are great, it just depends on what works better for you. If you’re arriving from out of town, 61st has daily updates on what’s biting. On the other hand, 91st has a nice restaurant where you can relax after all the reeling.

      Fishing-wise, both options are great.

      I hope that helps.

      Tight lines!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Les

      Jul 17, 2019

      I like the one at 91st street a lot better!! 61st Street gets very crowded since it’s a considerably smaller pier.

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Ky Vu

    Jul 11, 2019

    my wife and i planning to fish in Galveston for the 1st time in mid Aug.
    what kind of set up should i bring such as rods, reels, line, lures …etc and how to land fish?
    thank you in advence!

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Jul 12, 2019

      Hello Ky,

      Thanks for reading.

      The fishing gear you’ll want to use depends on the species you’ll want to catch. You’ll be using different gear for catching Redfish as opposed to catching Sharks.

      There are a few general rules you might want to consider. Using J hooks works better if you’re fishing from a pier. As far as lines are concerned, a 30 lb mono will work for most smaller fish. A mono line will come handy when fishing from a pier because it will allow some stretching when the fish tries to break free, or when the line catches the underwater structure.

      If you want to catch Redfish, we’d recommend soft plastics or squid. You can always ask what’s been biting and what rigs have been working best when you get to the pier.

      I hope you’ll find this helpful.

      Tight lines!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Tom

      Jul 24, 2019

      Sean,

      Greetings from NC. I’m used to throwing lightweight tackle at fish ike Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, and False Albacore. Typical outfit is 10-12 lb test at about a 200 yard capacity. How would this work in Galveston? I’m all about the fight, and not overpowering.

      -Tom

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Jul 25, 2019

      Hi Tom,

      That’s a great question.

      While a 10-12 lb line will truly test your skills on a Galveston fishing pier, I’d still recommend going with something like a 15 to 20 lb line. Fishing around a pier can make the line snag, and you don’t want that to be the reason why your fish got away. The Redfish in this area can really surprise you with their size, so a slightly stronger line will probably prove useful.

      I hope you’ll find this helpful.

      Tight lines!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Jason

    Aug 4, 2019

    So children do not have to have a license. Obviously I would go to watch my kids, but would I need to purchase a license just to do that, if I never fished with them?

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Aug 5, 2019

      Hi Jason,

      That’s a good question.

      You won’t need a fishing license to watch your kids fish. However, if you’ll be the one helping your kids set up their rods, tackle and bait, there’s obviously a little gray area there. In that case, it would be up to the TPWD warden to determine whether you were actually fishing yourself.

      My recommendation is to either get a fishing license (and cast a few times yourself, why not) or to make sure your kids can set up all the gear themselves. I would also recommend contacting the pier you’re planning on visiting to check how TPWD wardens usually look at these things.

      I hope you’ll find this helpful.

      Have a good one!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Naomi

    Aug 4, 2019

    hows parking work around there? new to everything Galveston and I want to fish

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Aug 5, 2019

      Hi Naomi,

      Thanks for reading.

      There are a few options for parking, depending on the pier you choose.

      Almost all the piers are right across Seawall Boulevard. There’s ample parking space on the Boulevard. Parking is usually $1 per hour. There are seafood restaurants which offer parking space of their own for around $10, or for free if you’re a paying customer.

      I hope you’ll find this helpful.

      Have a great day!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Brandon

    Sep 15, 2019

    Thanks for your excellent post! I am new to fishing and would like to know more. Posts like yours really helps me to understand what I need to get started. Thanks again and please keep posting.

    Do you have any more posts you recommend?

    Regards,
    Brandon

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Albert

      Sep 16, 2019

      Hi Brandon,

      Thanks for the comment, I’m really glad you liked the post!

      We’ve got plenty more articles on all kinds of topics. Some are more charter focused, like what to know before your first fishing charter.

      Others are more technical, covering different types of lures or everything you need to know about fishing hooks.

      We’ve also got guides to specific techniques or how to release fish after you’ve caught them.

      What kind of fishing are you into? What would you like to know more about? We should have something that can help, and if we don’t, we’re always looking for new topics to write about!

      Thanks again for the kind words and congratulations on picking up a great new hobby.

      Tight lines!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Gary p

    Sep 21, 2019

    Hello, does Galveston offer free parking along the seawall to disabled veterans with a disabled license plate?
    Thank you, Gary

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Sep 23, 2019

      Hi Gary,

      That’s a good question.

      Galveston does offer free parking for owners of vehicles displaying handicap tags, placards as well as for Disabled Veterans.

      For more information, check out the town’s official website.

      Have a great day!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Tobie

    Nov 3, 2019

    Nice blog bro. I’ve been taking trips to Galveston to fish for years and never had any luck with shrimp, squid, or any of the other baits sold at the piers. Should I switch to lures and plastics?

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Albert

      Nov 4, 2019

      Hi Tobie,

      Sounds like you just got unlucky. Cut and live baits normally produce the best results. That being said, it’s fishing – if the fish aren’t biting, switching things up is never a bad idea.

      You could also give the pier a call before you go to ask what’s been working well that day.

      How’s everyone else getting on? Any luck with lures or are the natural baits working best?

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Leah Mahaffey

    Nov 3, 2019

    Thank you for all the great info. Saved us So much time thanks to you we have everything planned out, with gear, and where to eat park. Looking forward to a no stress relaxing day.
    Leah

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Albert

      Nov 4, 2019

      Hi Leah,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I’m so glad we could help!

      I hope you have a great day and catch a ton of fish!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • john

    Nov 4, 2019

    I just came across your website here while looking for information. I have never fished in or near an ocean and am planning a trip to Galveston for some fun. Thank you

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Albert

      Nov 4, 2019

      Hi John,

      Galveston’s about as good a place to start as you could ask for. You’re in for a treat!

      Let us know how you get on!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Patrick Smith

    Nov 6, 2019

    Can you have fishing chairs on the piers

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Albert

      Nov 7, 2019

      Hi Patrick,

      You can definitely set up chairs on Galveston Fishing Pier. I’m not sure about 61st Street Pier. I would imagine you can, but there are benches all the way down, anyway.

      Tight lines!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Jose

    Feb 11, 2020

    Hello,

    My friends and I are planning a fishing trip to the pier. Do they allow for us to bring live bait ( bucket with shrimp)?

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Albert

      Feb 11, 2020

      Hi Jose,

      I’ve never heard of that being a problem, and they don’t say anything about it in their rules, so I’m sure it will be fine!

      I hope you have a great time. Be sure to let us know what you catch.

      Tight lines!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Gary p

    Feb 11, 2020

    Hello, can you rent tackle at 9000 pier?
    Thanks and a great blog….thank you,
    Gary p

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Albert

      Feb 12, 2020

      Hi Gary,

      Yes, both Galveston Fishing Pier and 61st Street Pier offer rental rods and bait.

      I’m glad you like the blog. Be sure to let us know how you get on in Galveston!

      Tight lines!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • John Leslie

    Mar 22, 2020

    The Galveston Fishing Pier is nowhere near the toll bridge-that bridge is about 19 miles away.

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Mar 23, 2020

      Hey, John,

      You’re totally right, thanks for pointing that out!

      We’ve corrected the text now. Sorry for the confusion.

      Thanks again, and stay safe!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Gary W Hughes

    Apr 1, 2020

    Headed down the second week of July to spend a week on the canals near Jamaica Beach and fish. I have chartered a trip thru Fishing Booker as well, but want to do some surf fishing.

    My question is do you know of someone that does surf fishing as a guide?

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Albert

      Apr 1, 2020

      Hi Gary,

      The nearest surf fishing guide I can think of off the top of my head is Padre Island Expeditions over in Corpus Christi.

      However, I’d recommend contacting our Customer Support Team and asking them. They know the local captains best and should be able to hook you up with someone in the Galveston area.

      I hope that helps! If you have any more questions, feel free to get in touch.

      Tight lines!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • James Isgay

    Apr 14, 2020

    What’s the largest species you can catch in Galveston, and what type of line would you recommend to catch that species?

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Albert

      Apr 15, 2020

      Hi James,

      The largest species you can catch from land is probably a big Hammerhead Shark. They can weigh several hundred pounds easy!

      I’d recommend 80-100 lb braid for your main line, with a 300 lb mono shock leader and a wire bite leader.

      Obviously, you also need a heavy duty rod and a quality reel to bear the strain.

      You can learn about the advantages of different types of line here if you’re interested.

      I hope that helps!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Phil allred

    Jul 13, 2020

    is there any place to launch a boat near Galveston to fish out in the bay

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Sean

      Jul 15, 2020

      Hi Phil,

      Thanks for reading.

      There are a number of bayside boat launches in and around Galveston. Two of the most popular ones are Galveston Bait & Tackle at 9301 Broadway St, Galveston, and Sportsman Road boat ramp at 12099 Sportsman Rd.

      I hope this helps.

      Tight lines!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

  • Clayton

    Aug 16, 2020

    Does anybody on here know about clothespin rig for kings ? And can you do it on any of the piers in Texas?

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

  • Dylan Middleton

    Sep 8, 2020

    What type of fishing rod should be used and hooks?

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *

    • Reply icon

      Albert

      Sep 8, 2020

      Hi Dylan,

      That really depends on what you want to catch!

      You really don’t need anything fancy for pier fishing. In fact, the basic rental rods that most piers supply will do just fine. However, I’m not sure if they’ll be available at the moment due to COVID.

      A few general rules are that J hooks are the most effective for fish you want to eat, while circle hooks are better for fish you’ll release, such as Sharks. In terms of rods, some piers don’t allow anything longer than 10 feet, so I’d go for an 8 or 9′ medium to medium-light combo with 20 lb braid and a fluoro leader for abrasion resistance.

      I hope that helps!

      Leave a reply
      NameRequired *
      Your comment Required *

    Leave a reply
    NameRequired *
    Your comment Required *