Fly Fishing the Texas Coast
Mark Klotzman and his son, Spencer, offer bluewater fly fishing during the summer months for dolphin, king mackerel, blue runner, Spanish mackerel, bonito, and wahoo out of Port O'Connor. Klotzman fishes from a 26-foot Robalo, targeting a variety of gamefish around gas wells, production platforms, anchored shrimp boats and freighters, and weedlines between 20 and 40 miles off the Port O'Connor shore.
Rockport fly-fishing guide Brad Smythe targets offshore platforms, gas wells, and anchorage buoys during his fly-fishing trips out of Port Aransas. He says July through mid-September is an ideal period for offshore fly fishing.
An excellent bluewater strategy out of Port Aransas is to head out toward the South Baker location, Smythe says, stopping along the way to fish production platforms. Weedlines that attract dolphin, tripletail, and other species often can be found in the vicinity of the South Baker feature, where there is often a rip current that attracts offshore gamefish. "If you find a rip, go down it and look for schooling fish like Spanish mackerel, blue runners, and bonito," Smythe says.
He says flyfishers also have the option of pulling up and fishing around anchored shrimp boats and oil platforms, which attract a wide variety of species. "Don't overlook the bite of a trigger fish," Smythe says. "They are aggressive, and a blast on fly."
Smythe prefers simple fly patterns with heavy lead eyes. "Bright chenille bodies with white bucktail wings and flash material are ideal around the platforms," he says, adding that he uses sinking lines, lets the fly fall, and then strips it back up.
Smythe says he has had the best luck with ling (cobia) from late summer into mid-September, when they are migrating through Texas waters and are aggressive in taking a fly. He says ling seem to prefer long streamer flies with hackle that swim and flow like Florida Keys-style tarpon flies.
In the summer months, when winds moderate and green water moves in close to the beach, anglers in center-console bay boats often can find ling, king mackerel, and jack crevalle holding around nearshore production platforms and floating sargassum grass. Small amberjack and blue runners will readily take flies around the production platforms. For king mackerel, use rods in the 10-weight range with reels with smooth drags that hold 200 yards or more of backing. When members of the mackerel family are about, add 5 or 6 inches of wire between tippet and fly.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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