Port Mansfield Fishing: The Complete Guide

Oct 26, 2022 | 8 minute read
Reading Time: 8 minutes

When it comes to fishing secrets, there’s no better-kept one in all of Texas than Port Mansfield fishing. This tiny fishing town is home to some of the biggest fish in the Lone Star State. It’s so secluded and underfished that you’ll have to return the fish to the water because you won’t be able to bring all of them home!

Aerial view of Port Mansfield, Texas

With access to the clear waters of Laguna Madre, you’ll have a unique opportunity to explore the more secluded parts of Texas’s coast. The water is rich and beautiful – everything an angling enthusiast could want. And if you’re seeking deeper water, the Gulf of Mexico sits right behind Padre Island, just a short boat ride away from Port Mansfield.

Whatever you’re looking for from your fishing trip, you’ll find it here. Whether it’s peace and serenity, or action and adrenaline, Port Mansfield will deliver. Read on to find out more and start planning your next adventure.

What to Catch

There are so many fishing opportunities out of Port Mansfield, so this is a question with many answers. You can stay in the shallow waters of Laguna Madre, or venture out into the depths of the Gulf. Here, we’ll give you the lowdown on which fish you’ll be able to target in each of these bodies of water.

Speckled Trout

Starting off with the inshore fishery, this creature is famous in Port Mansfield. With many record-breaking specimens coming from the area, Speckled Trout has a special place in the hearts of local anglers. Test the waters yourself, and see how big they actually grow here. You’ll get a reward in the form of a delicious meal, as well as nice bragging rights.

A happy kid holding a Speckled Trout on a boat

The lower Laguna Madre is known to produce great numbers of trophy Specks. With underwater forests of seagrass, it’s the perfect habitat for large Trout. Just throw some shrimp at the end of your line and watch it disappear. You’ll get a nice workout, a great photo op, and something to bring home to the table.

Redfish

There’s no Texas fishing without Redfish on the menu! These beloved fish are targeted by anglers all along the coastline, and Port Mansfield is no exception. With Laguna Madre at your fingertips, prime Redfish fishing grounds are well within your reach, and you’ll be happy when you see how big they get here.

A smiling fisherman in a cap and sunglasses, standing on a boat, holding a Redfish

The crystal clear shallow waters will pull you in, and you’ll get to let down your hair while casting for trophy Redfish. Calm waters, fresh air, an abundance of fish – what else could you ask for? If this isn’t Redfish paradise, it certainly gets close to it.

Flounder

And the last member of the “Texas Inshore Trio,” Flounder is certainly not the least. This is a staple fish that’s very sought after in the Lone Star State. And there’s a very good reason for it! While they’re not the most photogenic fish and they won’t win any beauty contests, Flounder are a mouth-watering delicacy.

A man holding a Flounder

You’ll find them in abundance in the waters of Laguna Madre, as they tend to congregate in these shallow waters. Test out your Flounder gigging skills, and see why this fishing technique is so popular in all of Texas. Hunting at night for prized Flounder is sure to get your blood going.

Red Snapper

If you’re looking for some more action, a 15-minute boat ride will take you to the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This is where the fishing starts to heat up, and one of the most targeted species here is the famous Red Snapper. This is one of the tastiest fish in the world and, when the season is open, anglers rush out into the Gulf for their slice of the pie.

A man holding a Red Snapper

The reefs in the nearshore and offshore waters are brimming with this red beauty, and you shouldn’t miss out on the fun that is catching Red Snapper. After a fierce battle they put up, you’ll get to take a delicious meal back home. It makes those sore arms feel a lot better!

Marlin

Are you looking for a real challenge? Want to head out to the really deep waters where true monsters lie in wait? Then going after Marlin is exactly what you need. These powerful fish can be found in the deep waters of the Gulf, and a short boat ride from Port Mansfield is all that separates you from a big adrenaline rush.

A man holding a big Marlin on a boat in Texas

These stunning creatures are known for their tenacity, which makes them a joy to target. If a good battle at sea is what you’re all about, then there’s hardly a better fish to go after. Black, White, Blue – no matter which Marlin variety you come across, you’ll have your hands full!

And More

A smiling middle-aged angler standing on a boat, holding a Blackfin Tuna

While these are some of the most sought-after species in the area, there’s a lot more to target in Port Mansfield. Inshore, you’ll run into Black Drum, Sheepshead, Jack Crevalle, and Snook. The Gulf is the playground of many prized species like Sailfish, Tuna, Grouper, Amberjack, and Barracuda. Keep your options open, and fish on!

How to Fish in Port Mansfield

Now that you’ve set your sights on your target species, it’s time to decide on how you want to go after it. The way you fish depends largely on what it is you want to reel in. We’ve outlined the pros of different fishing adventures you can have, so read on to learn more.

Charter Fishing

Fishing is a way of life here, and a lot of people have dedicated their lives to angling. You’ll find that there’s a variety of captains all over Port Mansfield ready to take you out on a fishing trip and offer their expertise and knowledge. And while you might be confident in your fishing skills, there are some things that you’ll only get by heading out on a fishing charter.

Charter boat on the waters of Galveston Bay in Texas

One of these things is definitely the help of a local captain who’ll be able to put you on fish in a matter of minutes. Another thing to have in mind is that Laguna Madre is big, not to mention the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re looking to cover a lot of ground, or go after some of the offshore beasts, booking a trip on a fishing charter is the only way to do this.

Kayak Fishing

If you want to be on the water, but you’re not up for a boat ride, consider paddling out in a kayak. This is one of the most popular ways of exploring this vast area, as the water is shallow and calm, making it the perfect place to do some kayak fishing. Speckled Trout and Redfish are the prime targets of kayak fishing enthusiasts.

A man fishing from a kayak

The waters out of Port Mansfield are so rich you’ll have your work cut out for you. You’ll get to explore its stunning nature up close and personal, and you’ll be able to reach some of the honey holes you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. And with a variety of parks you can launch from dotted along the shore, everything here seems just made for prolific kayak angling.

Fishing on Foot

While all of these can be fun and exciting, sometimes you just want a simple fishing experience – feet in sand and rod in hand. You’re in luck! Port Mansfield is one of the rare places on Texas’s Gulf Coast that’s not crowded and full of anglers. It’s a true hidden gem where you’ll get to fish in peace and relax on your day off.

A wooden fishing pier in Port Mansfield, Texas

Wading is probably the most popular way of fishing on foot here. Long stretches of uninhabited land, clear shallow waters, and calm weather all make Laguna Madre a prime wading spot. And if pier fishing is more your speed, don’t worry. The New Fishing Pier is a simple and productive starting point for you.

Where to Go

The vast Laguna Madre is right at your fingertips in Port Mansfield which means one thing – variety. There are numerous spots you can visit here, and all of them have something special to offer. We’ve outlined some places we think are worthy of your attention.

South Padre Island beach at sunrise
  • New Fishing Pier: This is an unmissable spot for anyone coming to town, as it’s the place where the locals gather to spend time and relax. You’ll get a nice view of Laguna Madre, as well as a good chance of reeling in Redfish, Trout, and Black Drum.
  • Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge: One of the most beautiful places in this part of the country, this wildlife refuge is a joy to visit. Surround yourself with stunning nature a bit further out of town, and you’ll get to fish for Speckled Trout, Flounder, and Redfish.
  • Fred Stone Park: Located at the edge of the town, this beautiful park is a great spot to visit with your family for a relaxing day by the water. There’s a pier in the park that you can cast a line from and reel in some Trout and Redfish.
  • South Padre Island: Separating Laguna Madre from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, this barrier island is one of the most productive spots in the area. Hop on a boat and do some surf fishing on whichever side you’d like to.
  • Gulf of Mexico: This might seem vague, but hear us out! The deep Gulf waters are very close to Port Mansfield, so if you’re looking for an action-packed adventure, you’ll find it here. Snapper, Grouper, Marlin, Tuna, Mahi Mahi…the list goes on and on!

Seasons and Regulations

One thing that’s left for you to find out is “when.” When it comes to fishing in Port Mansfield, that’s not really a question, as you can find something to target whenever you come. This is a year-round fishery, thank’s to the great weather and calm waters of Laguna Madre.

When you head out on your Port Mansfield fishing trip, make sure you follow Texas state rules and regulations. Everyone age 17 or older is required to have a fishing license. Take a look at the video above for more information on how to get one, or have a read through our comprehensive Texas license guide.

Tournaments

Are you more of a competitive person? If angling brings out that side in you, you’ll be happy to hear about the Annual Port Mansfield Fishing Tournament. It’s been going on for quite some time now, and it’s developed into a big deal in this fishing town. You’ll see an astonishing amount of fish, along with festivities and entertainment.

Many fishing boats on the water participating in a fishing tournament at sunset

Everyone’s welcome to join in on the fun, with free entry and a variety of activities. It’s a family-friendly event, so if you’re visiting Port Mansfield on a family trip in the summer, be sure to join. In addition to regular fishing, there’s a kayak division for those of you who enjoy fishing this way. Everyone has a chance to win a valuable prize!

Visit Before Word Gets Out!

One thing’s for sure – with everything that Port Mansfield has to offer, it can’t stay a secret forever. Right now, it’s still a quaint fishing village overshadowed by larger fishing towns. This is the perfect time to head out and explore the area, as the crowds will eventually trickle down to this rich fishery. But for now, the fish here remain abundant, and they’re eagerly awaiting some action…

Photo of a pier in Port Mansfield

Have you ever been to Port Mansfield? Did you cast a line in Laguna Madre? How was your trip? Tell us everything about it in the comments below, or ask anything you’d like to know. We love to hear from you!

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