Fly Fishing the Texas Coast

Fly Fishing the Surf: Pirates Beach to Jamaica Beach: West Galveston Beachfront

During the summer months on those days when winds moderate and green water moves in tight to the beach, the Galveston beachfront offers miles of explosive surf action. Flycasters wading the first and second guts have an opportunity to take trout, redfish, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, sand trout, black drum, and other species up and down the beachfront.

There are a number of public beach access roads along Galveston's Texas 3003 and Termini-San Luis Pass Road that open to miles of excellent beachfront surf fishing.

Start checking Gulfside beach conditions at Pirates Beach. Other public beach access points that lead to prime surf fishing include Galveston Island State Park, Jamaica Beach, Sea Isle, and Terramar Beach. On prime summer mornings, when the surf is laid down and green water has moved inshore, look for gulls and terns diving on baitfish or schools of mullet, bay anchovies, and menhaden that will attract predator species.

Galveston angler Layton Hobbs likes to wade the surf in the area around the Rusty Hook No. 1, a bait and tackle store on San Luis Pass Road at the Bay Harbor Subdivision. He looks for carved-out depressions and cuts along the surfline that could hold trout and other gamefish."If you are standing on the deck of the Hook, looking up the coast, look to your right about 200 yards and you will see where the sandbar is cut in close to the beach," Hobbs says. "There is a natural cut through there, and on a decent surf with some good water, you can get the fish moving in close on those bars. On a northerly wind or a moderate southerly wind when you have just a little roll to the surf, or when the surf is flat, you will catch fish there in the mornings."

Fishing during the summer months, during periods when the surf is calm and clear, we have found that Clousers tied on #2 or smaller hooks frequently outperform larger Deceiver patterns. One summer morning, using a 6-weight rod and casting a white Clouser Deep Minnow pattern tied on a #2 hook, we took trout, black drum, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel, and small jacks in the surf near Jamaica Beach. Most of the action was along the first and second guts, within easy wading distance from shore. A feisty, 18-inch surf-run trout taking to the air in the early morning light leaves a lasting memory.

When the action cools in the surf, try different size fly patterns. One morning after casting a 2/0 Deceiver pattern and hitting a dry spell, a switch to a Clouser tied on a smaller, #2 hook drew action immediately, including a 22-inch trout that was shadowing a mullet school but preferred a relatively small glass minnow

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 8 Nov 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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