Inshore Fishing in Texas
The beauty of Texas inshore fishing lies in the vast network of bays, jetties, and bayous filled with exquisite fish. No matter where you launch/set sail, the fishing grounds are never far away. The year-long fishing season featuring big juicy Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder, coupled with spring and fall runs of other inshore critters make inshore fishing in Texas something to come back to year after year.
What species to catch
Though some will overlook seemingly endless fishing opportunities around the bays, flats, and back marshes by heading straight into the Gulf, staying inshore means you’ll get a real treat. The species you can catch in these shallow waters may seem like easy prey, but don’t let that fool you – they are super feisty and will put up a fight to
tear your biceps apart.
Redfish are pounds of fine flesh and pure brute force. Most anglers like fishing for them and they are the symbol of inshore fishing in the Lone Star State. Trout fishing in Texas is another thing to put on your bucket list. These fellas are fun to catch either on live bait or artificial lures and are a popular choice among families with kids. If you want to search around grass flats, you will have a healthy stock of Flounder. They might not be the most exciting fish to catch, but they are tasty and interesting, especially if you like staying closer to dry land. But there’s so much more.
You can also catch Snook, Tarpon, Black Drum, Sheepshead, Mangrove Snapper, and Pompano. Hit the shallow waters and jetties along the coast and you won’t be disappointed.
Where to go fishing
The coastline of Texas has a consistent stock of inshore species, all the way from Galveston in the north to South Padre Island in the south. Galveston looks out on the Galveston Bay complex, jetties, and beaches. You will be spoiled for choice here, with so many species you can hook into, ranging from trophy Redfish to Bull Sharks.
Move further south, and explore the fisheries around Freeport, Matagorda, Rockport, Aransas Pass, Port Aransas, Laguna Madre, and Riviera. No matter where you cast lines, rest assured the fishing won't let you down. If you want to join the spring break crowd and unwind on the beach or grab your wading boots and head around the flats, this part of the coastline will show you endless opportunities.
At the very southern tip, South Padre Island offers incredible fly fishing opportunities, a good stock of Reds, Black Drum, Trout, and Flounder, and a fleet of guides and charters to help you out.
When to come fishing
One of the best features of Texas inshore fishing is a long fishing season. Though the weather and tides may largely determine your chances even in the middle of the peak season, as a rule of thumb, fishing is superb from spring until late fall and slows down just a bit during the winter months. That still doesn’t mean you won’t be able to snatch Redfish or Trout even in the dead of winter.
Early months of the year see a good stock of Trout, Redfish, and Black Drum, and they stay in the water until the summer heat sets in. Come fall and Tarpon, Black Drum, and Red Drum will be on fire, followed by Flounder and Trout. Mangrove Snapper are available throughout the year.
How to get the fish
Exploring Texas inshore fisheries means you will get to perfect light tackle, wading, jigging, sight casting, and drift fishing. There is plenty of opportunity for fly fishing or more niche techniques such as Flounder gigging.
Using live bait can be super productive, especially in summer months when the fish tend to move to deeper waters. Shrimp, Pinfish, and Mud Minnows work well for Reds, Black Drum, and Trout, but these fish won’t say no to artificial lures. Cast soft plastic lures and you will see wonders.
For a real challenge, find more secluded waters, or choose a day with little wind – that’s when fly fishing is at its best and you can go home with bragging rights.
What’s great about Texas inshore fisheries is that anglers of all skill levels can get plenty of bang for their buck. There are no choppy seas to worry about when exploring the flats and backwaters down the coastline and there are schools of fish to chase whether you’re a family with kids or an avid fly fisherman.
What you need to know
Before you head out, remember to buy a Texas saltwater fishing license. Fishing regulations are regularly updated, so check out the Texas Parks and Wildlife website before your trip for up-to-date info on the limits and bag size.
Top Targeted Inshore Fishing Species in Texas
- Size 3 to 12lbs
- Food Value Good
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, Flats, Backcountry
- Size 1 to 5lbs
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Average
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, Flats, Backcountry
What People Are Saying About Inshore Fishing in Texas
"Awesome Day with Captain Matt"
Booked 1/2 day inshore fishing trip for my husband’s birthday. We had a great time, and would certainly do it again. The only other thing I can say is, “we’re going to need a bigger boat!!”...
I took my Pops on a inshore trip the fis weren’t biting for the most part but the boat captain was very experienced & refused to let us leave empty handed. We left with 7 trout & a great experience; next time we’re definitely going deep sea & using this charter & captain! I give the hole experience ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️