Fly Fishing the Texas Coast

Aransas Bay: Corpus Christi Ship Channel

The Corpus Christi ship channel can be accessed on foot via the spoil island at the south end of the Brown and Root flats. It offers a good, hard bottom that allows wading to the edge of the channel drop-off, for casting to trout in the deeper water. Flyfishers who make the run down the Corpus Christi channel by boat can fish either side of the channel edges or access the Brown and Root flats by walking across the spoil island on the north shoreline.

The narrow strip of spoil islands directly across the Intracoastal Waterway from Conn Brown Harbor in Aransas Pass is an excellent site to prospect for trout and redfish. Redfish hold on the flats side, and schools of seatrout cruise and feed along the channel side near the drop-off. Flyfishers can wade to the edge of the channel and use Clouser Deep Minnow patterns to locate schools of trout in the deeper water. These spoil islands are accessible by boat from nearby marinas at Aransas Pass and on the causeway road (Texas 361), along the Aransas Shrimp Boat Channel.

Nearby is the Morris and Cummings Cut, a small boat channel that connects the Aransas Shrimp Boat Channel with Redfish Bay. Morris and Cummings attracts good numbers of redfish during the winter months. It can also fill up with fish in the summer during strong low-tide phases. Flyfishers should wade the edges or drift through it, casting uniform-density lines along the drop-off. The cut is accessible by boat from marinas on the causeway road at Aransas Pass (Texas 361).

Just southeast of Stedman Island, near the causeway road and accessible by skiff from several area marinas, is a very large grass flat that lies between Pelican Island and the end of Mustang Island. During periods of strong water movement, large trout will move up on it and face into the current to ambush baitfish, making this an ideal area to driftfish from a boat.

The nearby East Flats, an expansive, shallow estuary, is an excellent wadefishing and driftfishing area. Water depth on the flats varies from about 10 inches to 4 feet at a drop-off on the edge of Corpus Christi Bay. Sloughs, shorelines, and flats are marked with thick grass bottoms, potholes, and occasional scattered shell. The East Flats draw good numbers of redfish as well as big trout. Look for single redfish cruising and feeding with backs out of the water on shallower flats, and for groups of tailing fish feeding together in compact pods or"piles." This area of flats can be reached by boat from marinas and launch ramps at Port Aransas and Aransas Pass. It lies just south of the Corpus Christi channel, near the Mustang Island shoreline.

Catfish Flat, a wide stretch of light sand bottom marked by several duck blinds on the eastern edge of Redfish Bay, offers excellent sightcasting on an outgoing tide. With the sun at your back, you can see pods of redfish from a distance as they move across the flat into the current. When they are feeding across this flat, they will sweep up anything in their path, including poppers and mud minnow and shrimp patterns.

Lydia Ann Channel Shorelines

The Lydia Ann Channel begins at Port Aransas, at the convergence of the Corpus Christi ship channel and Aransas Channel, and runs northeast between Harbor and San Jose islands. Jack crevalle, ladyfish, and Spanish mackerel often school along the points at the entrance to the Lydia Ann. Schools of redfish frequently can be found feeding near the shorelines, and the channel edges attract gangs of school trout.


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