Texas Coast Fishing: 10 Spots to Fish This Fall

Aug 2, 2021 | 7 minute read Comments
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Reading Time: 7 minutes

As fall approaches, an excellent inshore bite comes along with it. Across the Gulf of Mexico, anglers are looking forward to what the new season will bring. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Lone Star State, and its bountiful coastal waters. As we prepare for the fall fishing season, let’s take a look at some of the best Texas coast fishing spots you can explore.

a view of Galveston Bay from a boat with a Texas flag

The Texan coast is hailed as one of the best inshore fishing destinations in the country, and it’s all thanks to the many bays, jetties, and bayous the state has to offer. These waters are brimming with fish pretty much year-round, but when autumn comes, angling takes off to a whole new level. 

What makes fall fishing in Texas so good?

As the temperatures drop and waters start to cool down, a number of fish species start schooling along the Texas coast. 

Around mid-September, Pompano and Tarpon come swooping in from deeper waters. In October and November, critters like Redfish and Flounder start their spawning migration by swarming the coastal bays and estuaries. As November rolls on, big Speckled Trout and Snook make their appearance, too. 

a smiling angler holding a big Redfish he just caught on a fishing boat in Texas
The Texas coast boasts some of the biggest Redfish in the Gulf.

No matter when you decide to wet your line, something’s biting in Texas. Now, let’s get to the “where.” These are the best Texas coast fishing spots.

1. Trinity Bay and East Bay

A short boat ride to the north from Galveston, East Bay and Trinity Bay offer amazing inshore fishing, particularly during the fall. The two neighboring fisheries are mostly made up of flats and oyster beds, where Speckled Trout and Redfish feed throughout the year. 

Angler holding a big Redfish he caught in Galveston.

During late September and early October, the waters are still warm, but the summer crowds are mostly gone. In Trinity Bay, the middle section of the inlet is just around 5 feet deep. The mouth of the Trinity River is too shallow for boats, but offers great opportunities for wading.

If you’re staying in Galveston, East Bay might be a slightly closer option. Pushing through these shallows will bring you to the pristine Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. This serene fishery is a perfect choice if you want to introduce your kids to fishing. If that’s the case, mark October 27 on your calendar, because this is when the park hosts a free Family Fishing Day.

2. Baffin Bay

Just 70 miles south of Corpus Christi, Baffin Bay is a remote, yet an easily reachable fishery. The bay isn’t as well known as some of the other Texan fisheries, at least to out of state anglers. But no matter where you’re from, this place has all the ingredients for an unforgettable day on the water.

a smiling angler holding a Flounder he just caught on a fishing boat near Galveston

The protected honey-holes hold all the species Texas fishing is known for. Reds, Specks, Flounder, they’re all in the mix during the fall. Whether it’s from the shore, a kayak, or on a charter, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the bite. Check out our in depth article on the best Baffin Bay fishing has to offer.

3. South Padre Island

South Padre Island is the prime example of Texas coast fishing. Fly fishing for Reds around the bay waters of Laguna Madre is some of the most rewarding in the entire Gulf of Mexico. Come fall, these waters get swarmed by Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder. And you don’t always need a boat to land an impressive catch. 

An aerial view of South Padre island with sea to the left and right of the island

Surf anglers will love these waterways – with a bit of preparation, you can avoid the crowds and reach the sheltered fishing spots where big game fish feed. Go around grass flats for Trout and Reds, or wet your line around the jetties and you could easily get yourself a Tarpon.

4. West Bay

Sitting between Galveston Island, Tiki Island, and Jamaica Beach, West Bay is a productive fishery, with a maze of canals, bayous, isles, and man-made structures. Fish love these waterways, as they can hide and feed around canals, bridge pylons, and passes. You’re likely to find Flounder, Speckled Trout, Jack Crevalle, Black Drum, and Redfish around here. 

sunrise on Tiki Island, Texas
Sunrise on Tiki Island.

The fall bite is traditionally great in West Bay, with anglers reeling in these aggressive critters on a regular basis. The middle part of the bay is the deepest and produces fish bigger than elsewhere. Still, you shouldn’t miss fishing around the nearby canals. There are deep cuts where really big fish seek shelter.

5. North Padre Island

Though less popular compared to its Southern counterpart, North Padre Island is a fishery you don’t want to overlook. Schools of Red and Black Drum often visit these waters, as do Sharks, Spanish Mackerel, Jack Crevalle, and Speckled Trout. 

a look out into the Gulf of Mexico from North Padre Island, Texas

The island is not urbanized, so when you’re packing for your trip, make sure to bring all necessities, from tackle, line, and lures to food and drinks. There are numerous beaches where good ole’ surf fishing can result in big Sharks or other game fish that feed around oyster and shell beds.

6. Chocolate Bay

Around 15 miles south of Galveston Island and West Bay, you’ll find a secluded cove named Chocolate Bay. Tucked away from the city noise, this fishery boasts a number of productive fishing spots. This place holds some of the biggest Redfish and Trout on this side of Galveston. 

a young smiling angler holding a Spotted Seatrout he caught fishing the Texas coast

Reds and Trout are particularly hungry during the fall. In addition to these fish, you could also reel in Flounder and Black Drum. There is a number of flats just below the Chocolate Bayou public boat ramp where you’ll find a good Trout bite. 

Travel further south and you’ll reach the San Luis Pass, where there’s a lot of bait fish coming in from the Gulf of Mexico. There’s also a public fishing pier within easy reach of the Bluewater Highway.

7. Matagorda Island

With the Gulf of Mexico on one side and San Antonio Bay on the other, Matagorda Island is a fine launching point for anglers on a boat. These inshore waters are shallow and rich in fish. Here, you can catch everything that Texas coastal fisheries have to offer: Speckled Trout, Red and Black Drum, and Flounder are all for the taking.

An aerial view of Matagorda Beach in Texas, one of 2019's most up-and-coming fishing towns

Turn to the Gulf, and you’ll have no shortage of options either. Spanish Mackerel and Tarpon are biting right off the island, with Mahi and Blackfin Tuna just a little further out.  If you want to try a local speciality, then join the crowds of “giggers” who go after Flounder each fall. 

Matagorda Island lies close to Pass Cavallo and through it, you can quickly reach the fisheries of the Matagorda Bay. If you’d like to stock up on supplies or even stay for the weekend, you’ll find everything you need in the nearby village of Port O’Connor.

8. Freeport Jetty Park

The jetties around Freeport Harbor Channel were once sitting on the old Brazos River mouth. The river mouth was relocated several miles to the south, but the jetties still remain a good fishing spot. The Jetty Park boasts several great spots to wet your line, and you can expect some good-sized Speckled Trout, Red and Black Drum, and Flounder.

The jetties attract scores of bait fish for the biggest part of the year, too. If you’re fishing from a boat, you’ll find Bull Sharks and Jacks not too far from the coastline.

9. Mustang Island

Mustang Island offers lots of opportunities to coastal fishing enthusiasts. You can spend the day working the surf, go wading, or jump on a boat and head out into the Gulf of Mexico, or explore the waters of the Corpus Christi Bay

If you, however, choose to stay on Mustang Island, you can expect a fine autumn bite. Speckled Trout are present here throughout the year, with massive Redfish swarming the waters come fall. 

Texas coast fishing: an angler holding a Redfish with the Gulf of Mexico in the background
Mustang Island is one of the best fall fishing spots for Redfish.

Flounder, Jack Crevalle, and Black Drum are also biting during the warm September days. Explore the jetties on the northern tip of the island and you’re in for a Shark fishing treat. The island is not great for fishing only: if you want to take some postcard-worthy landscape photos, this barrier island is an excellent spot to do so.

10. Follets Island

Follets Island looks out on the Christmas Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and offers a good number of sheltered fishing spots. If you want to escape the crowds, but still land some big fish, this place is the ideal choice. Bull Redfish swarm the waters as of October and are often found near sandbars, followed by Jack Crevalle, Black Drum, Sharks, Flounder, bait fish, and blue crabs. 

two anglers holding a Bull Shark they caught fishing the Texas coast

The special appeal of Follet’s Island is that these waters are filled with man-made structures. The best-known example is a steamship that dates back to the Civil War. It is a hub for game and bait fish, which also hide around the grass and sandy bottoms.

A Lot More Where That Came From

Texas coast fishing is as action-packed as it gets, especially during the fall. If you’re looking for pleasant weather, big fish, and a bite that rivals any other fishery in the Gulf, you won’t go wrong with any of the places we just mentioned.

sunset over Galveston Bay, Texas, picture taken from a boat with a Texan flag

The coast of Texas is dotted with countless other fishing locales, each more productive than the next. Heck, you could spend the entire autumn jumping from one spot to the other. 

Have you fished in any of the places from our list? Any other fishing spots you would recommend to anglers coming to fish the Texas coast for the first time? Let us know in the comments. Otherwise, jump on a local charter and start fishing!

Comments (8)
  • Charlie

    Jul 31, 2021

    Rollover pass has been filled up and no longer exist for a couple of years now!

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      Sean

      Aug 2, 2021

      Hi Charlie,

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

      Rollover Pass used to be an angler’s favorite, so it’s a bummer that it had to be closed. Thankfully, the Texan coast has plenty of other places to wet the line.

      We’ve updated the article now.

      Thanks again, and have a great day!

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  • Kia Badenoch

    Jul 21, 2021

    keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

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      Katie

      Jul 22, 2021

      Hi Kia,

      Thanks for your comment. We’re really glad you enjoyed the post. We definitely plan on keeping our readers up to date on the best fishing spots in Texas and beyond!

      Tight lines,

      Katie

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  • stephen p. martin

    Aug 30, 2020

    really need some locales for camping in the locations just mentioned (not a resort/or mom and pop camp park).a public “pull the @#$K over” and set up place that are camper and family friendly.
    these can be the best kind.

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      Sean

      Aug 31, 2020

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for reading.

      You can check out the beautiful Fort Anahuac Park. The park features a free family-friendly campsite with loads of amenities.

      If you don’t mind paying a few bucks for a nice place to camp, check out these Galveston Island State Park campsites.

      I hope you’ll find this helpful.

      Have a great day!

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  • Jim Calvert

    Jul 5, 2019

    You may consider an update to the Brazos river description.The river no longer empties into the gulf at the jetties. The river was moved in 1929 several miles to the south where there are no jetties. The jetties are at the old river mouth where the Freeport harbor connects to the Gulf. You are right that there are at times good fishing at the jetties.

    Also Follet’s Island was settled by a Follett family in the 1840s. Somehow the second “t” has been lost. Old timers still know it as Follett’s Island. I know of no sheltered fishing spots on the Island and the ONLY man made structure is the steamship wreck.

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      Sean

      Jul 10, 2019

      Hey Jim,

      Thanks for the feedback.

      We’ll double check the facts and update the article.

      Thanks again, and tight lines!

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