Offshore fishing from Port Aransas is extremely rewarding, thanks to the great diversity of species that live in the Gulf of Mexico. Feeling the wind on your face as the sea spray cools you off under a hot sun is fantastic, even better when you’re hauling a massive Yellowfin Tuna that you’ve just wrestled out of the water. There isn’t much that can compare to a good fight in offshore waters, where the fish don’t pull their punches. Luckily, the captains down at Port Aransas know all the tricks you might need to reel in a keeper!

 

Where to fish

As you leave the port, you can go after offshore fish practically on your doorstep, roughly 10 miles off the coast. Amberjacks, Groupers, and Snappers frequent reefs and wrecks that dot the coastline, with the bigger specimens residing in deeper water. These fish offer a proper fight (the Amberjack isn’t known as the “donkey of the sea” for no reason!) and a tasty treat as well. Bottom fishing and drift fishing are the way to go for these species.

As you head further offshore, you’ll keep your rod in the rod holder more often than not – trolling is prevalent in deeper waters. You can start trolling for King Mackerel first, roughly after crossing 5-10 miles. As you head further into the sea, the fish get bigger - after some 15 miles you’ll likely start to see Mahi Mahi – tasty and gorgeous fish. After about 50 miles you can start dragging the trolling lines while targeting Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna.

For the biggest fish and the hardest battles, you’ll have to go out further than 100 miles off the coast. The sea floor gets progressively deeper (around 2,000 feet), with the continental shelf edge being around 170 miles from Port Aransas. Over here you’ll be going after monster Marlin, huge Tuna, voracious Sharks, and a Sailfish or two. You can still get your fill of Snappers, Groupers, and bait fish this far out, the oil rigs that are spread across the sea offer great fishing grounds for them.

 

How to fish

Trolling is one of the most effective methods for catching pelagic predators: Wahoo, Tuna, and Marlin love to chase their prey. A wide range of plugs, lures, and bait are available – each captain has his own preference and no species goes for “just one” solution.

Bottom fishing works great for Amberjacks, Red Snappers, or Groupers. There’s a number of wrecks strewn across the waters you can hit up on your way to the “big boys” fishing grounds. The coastal bottom-feeding fish can be found at depths between 50 and 100 feet. You can do deep-sea bottom fishing without electric reels, since the oil rigs provide great waters for bottom-feeders to thrive in.

 

What to bring

Don’t forget tough lines! An 80-100 lb test line is required to reel in  big Marlin or Amberjack – known to give you a proper fight. Blue Runners are a favorite food of Amberjacks, so remember to keep a few around if you’re going after the “reef donkey”.

Wire leaders and braided lines are a must for offshore fishing. Wreck-dwelling species are partial to dragging your line under sharp edges, while speedy pelagics have an impressive set of chompers on them. Losing a fish to equipment failure is not enjoyable at all and investing some time in preparing ahead of time is better than heartache.

Live bait is very popular with quite a few species that live offshore. For Wahoo trolling, bring deep diving plugs or rig some Ballyhoo or live Blue Runners and start trolling. Blue Runners and Bonito are great for attracting Yellowfin Tuna and Marlin.


When to go

Offshore fishing south of Port Aransas really picks up around spring and lasts through summer. As temperatures drop the fish migrate away, with the peak season lasting until November. Certain local regulations apply, as particular species in federal waters can’t be kept throughout the year – a notable example is the Red Snapper (not kept January 1st through May 31st). Check local regulations before booking a trip.
 

Port Aransas

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Top Targeted Offshore Fishing Species in Port Aransas

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Snapper (Red)

Cobia

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

What People Are Saying About Offshore Fishing in Port Aransas

"8hr trip with Captain Sharpee"

Travis Carpenter fished with Coastal Charters on August 3, 2018

Our first time going offshore and we had a great time. The captain and deckhand are both young guys who absolutely love to fish. Weather conditions were perfect so we were able to chase down shrimpers 60miles out. These guys have no quit when it comes time to find the fish. We will use these guys again for our next offshore trip !

"8 Hour Trip with Captain Jake"

Bret Slocum fished with Coastal Charters on August 5, 2018

We took an 8 hour offshore fishing trip with Coastal Charters. Captain Dorman had the day off, but we went out with Captain Jake and had a blast. We caught a ton of Kingfish and Blackfin Tuna. Jake and Andrew were incredibly knowledgeable and got us on the fish right away. We had several hours of nonstop action before it slowed down. We will definitely be coming back.

"Full Day with Captain Art"

Jim Ellis fished with Hot Spot Fishing Charters Inc on June 5, 2018

The trip offshore was amazing. Can’t say enough good about Captain Art. He was amazing! I knew we were with the right guy when he said a prayer before we left the dock. Great captain and awesome boat!

Top Offshore Fishing Charters in Port Aransas