Fly Fishing the Texas Coast

Fly Fishing the Surf: Follets Island

Houston flyfisher Ken Brumbaugh frequently wades the Follets Island surf near San Luis Pass, near a sunken structure called the Car Bodies. Here, at dawn, he has taken Spanish mackerel, spotted seatrout, and sand trout. There are deep drop-offs in this area and it is advisable to wear a life jacket while wadefishing. Access roads to this stretch of beachfront are located just south of the bridge over San Luis Pass, on County Road 257 (the Bluewater Highway). To get to the Car Bodies section of beach, cross the Vacek Bridge to the Follets Island side. Proceed down the road just past Cold Pass Marina where there is an access road to the beach on the left. Turn there and proceed to the beach, then make another left and head up the beach, toward the pass. Travel until you come to a concrete bulkhead where you can see San Luis Pass in the distance. Around the second bar is the group of submerged cars. You can wade out and fish the first and second bars. Flyfishers also have had success taking trout and Spanish mackerel from kayaks on this side of the pass. With calm seas, you can anchor just short of the third gut, in about 7 feet of water.

Matagorda Island/Cedar Bayou Area

Neal Lillard, a former program manager for the Texas Nature Conservancy at the Wynne Ranch on Matagorda Island, is a long time observer of the air and water shows that take place on moving tides in the late summer and fall off the Texas barrier islands."When the huge schools of fry are pushed to the surface by reds and trout, the avocets, cormorants, white and brown pelicans go into a feeding frenzy," he says. "The water is alive with activity." Excellent surf fishing is available at these times around Cedar Bayou, a fish pass that separates Matagorda and San Jose islands. The beachfront here is accessible by boat from the public launch ramp at Goose Island State Park, north of Rockport.

Mustang Island Beach

There are a number of drive-up access points for fly fishing the surf on Mustang Island at Port Aransas. Veteran middle coast flyfisher Jim Dailey says one of the best and the most overlooked places to fly fish the surf in the state starts in front of the condos on the Mustang Island beach. He says he picks days when there is low wave activity and the water is clear. "You can walk down the beach and look into those guts and see those alligator trout," he says, adding that it doesn't matter if there are hundreds of swimmers in the water. Mustang Island State Park, located on Texas 361 between Port Aransas and Corpus Christi, offers 5 1/2 miles of beach front for surf fishing, with picnic tables and shade shelters.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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