Fly Fishing the Texas Coast

Lower Coast Flats: South Padre Island Shoreline

The shoreline in this area is marked by a broad sandbar rimmed by a grass flat and includes a series of deep troughs, features that now draw redfish and trout. The site is a short run by boat from South Padre marinas. Wadefishers can drive up the beach and walk onto the flats in the vicinity of the second county building on South Padre Island Beach. Boaters and drive-up waders have easy access to the shoreline in front of the South Padre Island Convention Center. Flyfishers can enter the flats from the walkway and nature trail on the south side of the convention center. There is a deep hole near the shore that draws speckled trout. The best time to fish this flat is the early morning.

Almost in the shadow of the South Padre condominiums, near the end of the bridge on South Padre Island, is a mangrove shoreline. This stretch of shoreline, between the causeway bridge and the Texas Parks and Wildlife-operated public boat launch, offers drive-up, walk-in access and a chance at trout, redfish, and snook. Look for baitfish activity around coves and shell bars, and fish the incoming and outgoing tides early and late.

Laguna Atascosa Refuge Area

The Laguna Atascosa Refuge is located about 6 miles north of Port Isabel and can be reached by road or by water. For boaters, Port Isabel guide Gilbert Vela recommends working the spoil banks and the shorelines along the refuge shorelines."There are no oysters out there so you look for humps, little sandbars, and drop-offs," he says. The refuge is open to visitors, but walk-in wadefishing is not allowed from refuge property. It can be productive, however, especially during the spring months, to go to the refuge and drive down the bayfront road on the evening before a fishing trip, to look for birds working over tailing fish. With a 20-minute drive from Port Isabel, you can locate fish and save on-the-water running time the next day. A good pair of binoculars is a worthwhile accessory on these scouting trips.

The nearby Laguna Vista cove and flats attract considerable walk-in wadefishing during the summer and are also an excellent winter fishery. Another location famous for holding large trout is Holly Beach. Boat traffic is usually light in this area because of its proximity to Port Isabel and its attraction for walk-in wadefishers. There are lightly fished spoil islands accessible by boat on the outside of this shoreline, and nearby, deeper flats that regularly hold trout and redfish.

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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