Matagorda Bay

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Fishing in Matagorda Bay

Matagorda Bay fishing is as diverse as it is plentiful due to its nutrient-rich estuary and 422 square mile coverage. Only Galveston Bay and Laguna Madre can beat it for size! Known as “Matty” to the locals, there are lots of things to do here for the whole family. Miles of unblemished beach await, with 35 miles of the shoreline accessible by boat only. Come and enjoy the wildlife, and even camp amongst it! 

Known For

Matagorda Bay is made of two large bays: West and East. East Matagorda is split into 5 terrain types, giving you a range of fishing opportunities. Famous for big Trout, reefs in the middle of the bay, and productive oyster beds, East Matty offers hours of fun for any angler. For great fishing, head to Boiler Bay on the south Shoreline, Chinquapin reef adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway, and the mid-bay reef Three Beacon. When on the West Bay, fish the south shoreline for best results.

Wading is a great method in the West Bay for producing results. Another popular technique is drift fishing – the water is rarely deeper than 7 feet and as low as 3 feet in the winter. Where you launch from will determine what you catch. Matagorda Bay fishing guides take their customers out from various harbours, such as Port O’Connor and Port Lavaca. These both give you access to some of the bay’s prime fishing grounds.

Inshore Fishing

With over 50 miles of coastline and a collection of rivers, bayous, and creeks, there are many options to choose from when it comes down to what you’ll fish. Depending on the time of year, you’ll find Redfish, Flounder, Spotted Seatrout, Gafftopsail Catfish, Ladyfish, and plenty more. From Port O’Connor you’ll be able to catch the motherload of Trout, due to its underwater structures (both manmade and natural.)  

Reef and Wreck Fishing

East Matagorda has plenty of reefs in the bay, such as Three Beacon Reef, Long Reef, and Drull’s Lump. These are great for Trout, but you’ll need to jump into the water and start wading for best results.

There is also a wreck 15 miles from the lighthouse off of Matagorda Island. The Darlington wreck will have you reeling in fish in no time.

Fishing Tips

  • If going after Flounder, use live bait like marsh minnows. Use a short leader of 6 inches with a barrel swivel attaching it to the line.

  • Artificial lures are best for Redfish, accompanied with baitcasting tackle if you’re feeling ambitious.

  • At the Darlington wreck, you should use lures, silver spoons, and topwaters in 5 to 15 feet of water.

  • Over man-made reefs and in the shallows, use popping corks for best results.

Need to Know

Eastern Texas receives more rainfall than the remainder of the state, so dress appropriately for the weather.

Rules and Regulations

Please buy a Texas state fishing license with a saltwater stamp before the day of your fishing trip. You can opt for a single-day license, or a multi-day one, depending on your needs.

You’ll need a $10 permit to drive on the beach, but this is only advised if you have a 4x4 as the sand is very fine.

Trout is limited to 10 fish of a minimum length of 15 inches. You can take one Trout that is larger than 25”.


Matagorda Bay charters vary in price depending on whether you book a private or shared trip. Be prepared to spend between $375–$550 for groups of three on a half day. Full day charters range between $450–$600.

Getting There

Matagorda Bay is a short 90 minute drive from Houston, which also has the nearest airport. Simply travel down State Highway 288. It’s also two and a half hours from Corpus Christi,  where you’ll find another airport, along the TX-35 N.

Matagorda Bay fishing is great for everyone, no matter your skill level or previous experience. There’s no better time to book a vacation down to Matty than today!

Matagorda Bay
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Matagorda Bay Fishing Seasons

Sheepshead is great now, with Speckled Trout and Redfish still biting well. Other species have quieted down this month as temperatures reach highs of 64°F.

In February and March you can participate in the Matagorda County Fair and Livestock Competition. Everything from barrel racing to bull riding to a pageant competition awaits.

Join in the Matagorda Seafood Festival and test yourself in the oyster eating competition! Great month for Redfish and Trout.

Black Drum and Spanish Mackerel are biting best now. Redfish and Flounder are still going strong.

Tarpon starts to heat up while Spanish Mackerel continues to be excellent. Sheepshead start to bite less now.

It’s time for the Texas Trio Classic fishing tournament. Catch the biggest Redfish, Flounder, and Trout to win big!

Women can fish in the Matagorda Mermaid Competition, and everyone can fish in the Texas Oilman’s Charity Invitational tournament. Something for everyone this month!

Tarpon, Redfish, Shark, and Speckled Trout are excellent now. This is the warmest month, reaching 90°F on average.

Head out for Redfish and Tarpon and you won’t be disappointed! Speckled Trout and Shark are still biting great.


Flounder really heats up now. Wait up to 10 seconds after they strike before setting the hook – these are tentative fish!

Watch the Lighted Christmas Boat Parade and Gumbo Cook-off at Matagorda Harbour. Taste the best gumbo and end the night with a fireworks display.

Buy some handcrafted presents at the Christmas Market Day in the center of town. Temperatures drop to 64°F, perfect for Sheepshead.


Matagorda Bay Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in Matagorda Bay





Black Drum

Black Drum

Speckled Trout

Speckled Trout





Shark (Blacktip)

Shark (Blacktip)

Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel