Port O’Connor Fishing: A Complete Guide
Nov 10, 2020 | 8 minute read
Reading Time: 8 minutes

If you’re tired of the crowds and are looking to unwind, there’s one thing you should try – fishing in Port O’Connor. This quaint fishing village on the edge of Matagorda Bay is soaked in history, and its resilience is an inspiration to anyone who visits. Combine that with the abundance of natural resources in the area, and you start to see why Port O’Connor is more than worthy of your attention.

View of the fishing jetty in Port O'Connor

Looking back, it’s exciting to see how a small 19th-century fishing settlement kept its ground and kept developing. Known as the “Alligator Head” back then, Port O’Connor has come a long way. Almost destroyed by four hurricanes, it’s a force of nature that stands the test of time. It’s a true testament to the Texan can-do attitude. And all thanks to, you guessed it, fishing.

It’s not hard to see how this little town keeps on surviving. You just have to look at how blessed it is when it comes to nature. With rich waters all around and numerous wild habitats in its surroundings, Port O’Connor keeps coming back, and today it’s stronger than ever. Read on to find out more about how special this fishing haven really is.

Port O’Connor Fish

An infographic showing the top species to fish in Port O'Connor, including Jack Crevalle, Redfish, Speckled Trout, Sheepshead, Flounder, Catfish, and Black Drum

The waters of Matagorda and Espiritu Santo Bay are very nutrient-rich, so it’s no wonder that there’s a whole host of fish species you can go after here. Port O’Connor has great access to some of the best inshore fishing grounds, so let’s take a look at some of the most prized fish you can come across here.


There’s hardly a more beloved fish in the state of Texas than the stunning Redfish. A favorite target of local anglers, this feisty creature is as fun to go after as it is beautiful. The waters out of Port O’Connor are brimming with the species, so you’ll have no issues reeling in some big Bull Reds.

A man holding a Redfish on a boat in Texas

What makes Redfish such a loveable fish? Well, it owes much of its reputation to its delicious meat. If you’ve tried Redfish before, you know what we’re talking about. What’s more, with top-notch game qualities, it’s sure to provide any avid angler with a great time, while rewarding them with a full belly at the end of the day.

Speckled Trout

With Matagorda Island right at your fingertips, Port O’Connor is one of the best places to head out of if Speckled Trout is what you’re after. There’s an abundance of structure in these waters, making it the perfect habitat for big Specks. You’ll find that this mouth-watering fish is easily within your reach, so get ready to have some real Texas fun.

A woman holding a Speckled Trout and smiling on a fishing boat in Texas

Speckled Trout can reach some impressive sizes, with big “Gator” Trout a regular occurrence out of Port O’Connor. You’ll have an easy time finding this beauty, and the battle can be fun for the whole family. If teaching the little ones about fishing is what you’re looking for, this is your guy!


Here comes a true Texan staple! Flounder are revered in the inshore waters throughout the state, and this is especially true in the waters around Port O’Connor. If you’re looking for a real adventure, look no further! This weird-looking creature will provide you with an abundance of fun, as well as a nice dinner once the day is over.

A man holding a Flounder on a boat in Texas

They might not be the most enjoyable to look at, and your photos might not be as stunning, but this is more than made up for once you lay it down on the table. Their taste is what keeps anglers all over Texas heading out for their share of Flounder gigging. This interesting technique is something you should definitely try if you’re after breaking the routine and some excitement.

Black Drum

These inshore beasts tend to fall to the background, thanks to the game qualities of their Redfish cousins. However, Black Drum can prove to be a great target if you’re willing to give them the time of day. They get pretty big in the waters around Port O’Connor, so you’re bound to run into some monsters.

A man holding a Black Drum on a fishing boat

You won’t have a hard time finding schools of Black Drum in Matagorda Bay, as well as the Espiritu Santo Bay. They’re an excellent target for newbies, as they’re fairly easy to pull out of the water, but experienced anglers can also enjoy a more relaxing fishing experience. They’re good to eat as well, so no Black Drum fishing expedition is ever in vain.

And More!

While most people tend to go after the “Inshore Trio,” there’s a variety of other species on offer here. Sheepshead, Catfish, Jack Crevalle, Striped Bass… These are all worthy targets! And if you’re heading out on a charter, the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico are within reach. Your list can include Snapper, Grouper, Amberjack, Mahi Mahi, Tuna… the opportunities are endless!

Three anglers holding Jack Crevalle on a fishing boat in Port O'Connor

How to Fish in Port O’Connor

There are so many fishing opportunities to explore in Port O’Connor, it’s hard to give a definitive answer to what the best way of going about your adventure is. However, we can give you a few pointers to help determine how you should approach your trip to this wonderful town. Read on to find out more about the best ways to cast a line in Port O’Connor.

Charter Fishing

We can’t talk about productive fishing without mentioning the best way to fill your bags. Charter fishing is the recommendation if your goal is to catch as many fish as you can. And if you’re looking to head out onto the deep waters, it’s a must. You’ll find charters at the docks, so heading down to the water will put you in a great position to start your trip on a high note.

A fishing boat on the water

Even if you’re staying in the bays, the help you get from a professional local captain is invaluable. They know the best spots and techniques to maximize your chances of reeling in some prized specimens. You’ll get to cover a lot of ground and explore the area in an action-packed way.

Fishing on Foot

Of course, one of the most popular ways of spending the day in nature is heading out with a rod and reel and just casting from shore. In Port O’Connor, there’s a whole host of ways you can do this. Wading is especially popular, as Matagorda Bay is characterized by shallow water. You can head out to one of the beaches in the area to get a taste of surf fishing.

A man fishing from shore

Of course, an unmissable spot for pier lovers is the pier on King Fisher Beach, and the Port O’Connor Jetty is a must-see landmark. One thing’s for sure, whichever way you decide to go fishing, you’ll be rewarded with an abundance of fish. What better way to catch some dinner than relaxing by the water, enjoying the nature around you?

Kayak Fishing

Now, if fishing on foot is popular in Port O’Connor, wait ‘til you see the kayak fishing scene! It’s a special thing in this area, with the Port O’Connor Paddling Trail attracting nature enthusiasts from all over. Embark on this kind of adventure, and you’ll get to see playful dolphins, wading birds, sea turtles, and stingrays up close.

A man kayak fishing at sunrise

This trail comprises six interconnected trails, giving you 40 miles of pure action along the shores of Espiritu Santo and Matagorda Bays. You can spend hours paddling and, since it’s still not as popular as some of the other trails in Texas, it hasn’t been as heavily fished. This is where you come in! Redfish and Speckled Trout congregate along the trail in large numbers, and some of them are sure to take your bait.

Port O’Connor Fishing Spots

Port O’Connor lives and breathes fishing, we know that by now. Given its relatively small size, it’s very easy to get around, so you’ll be able to find a great spot for your line with no hassle. Although it’s small, depending on how far out you want to venture, there’s a variety of spots worthy of your attention. Read on to find the best one for you.

The terrain in the Matagorda Bay area
  • King Fisher Beach: One of the best spots in town, this stretch of sand is a great place to come and unwind. You can do some surf fishing, and there’s a pier from which you can target Redfish, Speckled Trout, Black Drum, and Sheepshead.
  • Port O’Connor Jetty: This iconic rock structure stretching into the waters of Matagorda Bay will have you reeling in some prized fish in no time. The locals love it, and so will you! Trout, Redfish, Flounder, Black Drum, Sheepshead – they’re all in the cards.
  • Boggy Nature Park: This natural area in the heart of the town is a must-visit on a weekend. Take your family on a relaxing day, and fish the Boggy Bayou for some nice Redfish and Speckled Trout.
  • Port O’Connor Paddling Trail: If you’re a kayak fishing enthusiast, or you’re up for trying out something different, this is an unmissable adventure. Soak in some of the most beautiful views on this 40-mile-long trail, and catch some record Trout.
  • Indianola: If you’re really looking for an interesting adventure, how about visiting this ghost town just outside of Port O’Connor? You can sink a line right where Powderhorn Bayou meets Matagorda Bay, and reel in some Redfish, Trout, and Flounder.

Seasons and Regulations

So, you know how and where to go fishing, but now you’re probably wondering when the best time to fish in Port O’Connor is. You can relax, because whenever you decide to visit, you’re bound to catch something. Really, this is a year-round fishery, but some species are more abundant at certain times of the year. For example, the “Flounder Run” is from October to December, so if Flounder’s what you’re after, there’s no better time!

And when it comes to regulations, Texas state fishing regulations apply here, which means you’ll need to get a Texas fishing license. This is relatively easy to do, and you’ll find all the information in the video above. You can also read our comprehensive guide for more information. Everything you need to know is there, so you can just relax and fish in peace.

Tournaments in Port O’Connor

Fishing in Port O’Connor is so good that the town hosts several fishing tournaments. Most of them are invitation-only, but that doesn’t make them any less exciting! One of the most well-known tournaments in the area is definitely the Cula Roja Tournament, attracting anglers from all over to compete for great rewards.

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

And one of the most exciting tournaments in Port O’Connor is the Lone Star Shootout. This invitational Billfish tournament is a fun action-packed event that’s sure to have you wishing to compete. The rewards are high, but so is the skill level, so come see some of the best anglers battle it out on the water!

Why Port O’Connor? It’s Fishing Paradise!

And it’s still not as popular as it should be! With such fishing opportunities right on the doorstep of this quaint fishing village, word is bound to get out. Why not use this time while it’s still a low-key fishing haven, and visit for a day of pure hedonism? Port O’Connor will provide fun, relaxation, and enjoyment, all the while giving you a taste of what Texas fishing is all about. Don’t take our word for it, check it out for yourself!

View of the sunset over Port O'Connor in Texas

Have you ever been to Port O’Connor? Did you try fishing there? What was it like? Tell us all about your experience, or ask anything you’d like in the comments below. We love to hear from you!

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