Fly Fishing the Texas Coast

Aransas Bay: Northeast Shoreline

Spalding Bight, a cove that offers productive wadefishing for redfish and trout, is located on the San Jose Island shoreline of Aransas Bay. Access Spalding Bight by boat from launch ramps at the Cove Harbor, Bahia Bay, and City by the Sea marinas, between Rockport and Aransas Pass. Next door to Spalding Bight is Spalding Lake. The best fishing here comes with high tides. A tipoff to redfish activity in Spalding Lake is the presence of stingrays. Often when the rays are moving across this lake, so are the redfish. Flyfishers who transport kayaks via shallow-draft flats boats can put out from the tidal creek near the entrance and paddle into the lake.

Located just south of Long Reef Point is a duck blind on a narrow gut that leads to a shallow tidal estuary known locally as Sand Lake. The lake is accessible only by airboat or by a shallow-draft flats boat with a skilled captain who knows the area. Boats can travel only part of the way up the narrow guts, and flyfishers must wade several hundred yards along the channel's soft bottoms to reach the lake. However, Sand Lake itself offers excellent wadefishing over firm bottoms, and draws good numbers of redfish and black drum from late summer into the fall.

Paul's Mott Lake, another of the many tidal lakes behind San Jose Island, often serves as a highway for redfish moving into Fence Lake. Located southwest of Jay Bird Point, Fence Lake is a broad tidal lake that frequently holds good numbers of redfish. It gets its name from the fence posts stretching across the middle of the flat. It has firm sand bottoms and grass beds, and the back end of the lake has a deeper channel that should always be checked out for redfish.

Also located on the San Jose Island shoreline along Aransas Bay is Allyn's Bight, another good area for redfish. Like all of the tidal lakes on the back side of San Jose Island, it can be accessed by boat from Rockport marinas. Nearby Allyn's Lake is the choice for flyfishers on high tides, when water levels in the estuary reach about 1 1/2 feet.

Mud Island, a dominant feature on the Lydia Ann Channel near the west shoreline of San Jose Island, offers flyfishers the opportunity to wade along channel drop-offs, blindcasting for trout along the deeper end and sightcasting to redfish on the flats side. The island is a straight shot down the Lydia Ann Channel from marinas and launch ramps at Port Aransas. North Pass, a shallow inlet carved into the back side of San Jose Island southeast of Mud Island, is surrounded on either side by a long stretch of firm, light sand bottom. The slight drop-off holds redfish and trout and the expansive flat offers firm footing, a light sand bottom, and good visibility for sightcasting to cruising fish.


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