Fly Fishing the Texas Coast

Upper Laguna Madre (East Shoreline)

Night Hawk Bay is a shallow estuary located near a residential development between the north end of Padre Island and the Intracoastal Waterway. The Night Hawk flats offer excellent wadefishing and sightcasting prospects over hard sand bottoms, grass beds, and potholes. Some parts of this flat are inaccessible except for walk-in wading and sea kayaks. The small, narrow bay is located between the east shore of the Laguna Madre and a spoil island that runs along the Intracoastal Waterway. It runs for .8 miles from the Padre Isles subdivision to Bird Island Basin.

The launch ramp at Bird Island Basin, near Corpus Christi, provides a jumping-off point to prime upper Laguna Madre flats and shorelines from Baffin Bay to the Kennedy Land Cut and the Graveyard (see Chapter 6). Excellent wadefishing also is available just a short walk from the boat launch. Take the path along the cordgrass to get around the small basin on the north side of the launch ramp. After walking a short distance on the island, anglers can reenter the water and work the shoreline and flats to the north. By walking north, flyfishers can avoid the boat traffic and windsurfing activities that usually take place to the south. Flyfishers can work the shore for tailing redfish early and late in the day or wade the hard sand bottoms and grass flats around the nearby spoil islands for speckled trout and flounder. There is a lot of surface baitfish activity on these flats, and small poppers and finger-mullet patterns are good choices to work on or near the top. Bird Island Basin is located inside the Padre Island National Seashore, an 80-mile-long, virtually undeveloped segment of the barrier island that begins just below Corpus Christi. The Padre Island National Seashore is 12 miles south of the JFK Bridge in Corpus Christi. Take Park Road 22 to the Seashore entrance. A $10 entry fee per vehicle is good for seven days' admittance to the Seashore, and an annual pass is $20. Parking at the Bird Island Basin launch ramp area is $5 per day per vehicle or $10 for an annual pass.


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