Wow! One of our guests caught this monster drum while wade fishing along Sail Boat Cut.
If you’re a fishing enthusiast, the Coastal Bend is the place for you. The variety of options around Rockport are nearly unlimited, with flats and bays, open water and, beyond the uninhabited barrier islands of San Jose and Matagorda, offshore fishing in the warm Gulf waters. These are just four of the best fishing areas, but the entire Coastal Bend ecosystem is heaven for anglers, so come on down and find your spot. Redfish is first among equals here because of its tasty meat and fighting spirit when hooked.
Aransas the largest and closest to Rockport. 16 miles long by six miles wide, boasting a wide diversity of fishing, from open water for speckled trout to flats fishing for redfish. Oyster reefs abound in the southern part of Aransas Bay, and the eastern shoreline of the bay offers grass flats and tidal lakes. Loaded with redfish, flounder, sheepshead, drum, trout and more.
Launch from the Rockport Beach Park ramp into the fat part of Aransas Bay – with easy access to Copano Bay – or launch from Bay Shore Drive.
Copano Bay, tucked behind the Rockport-Fulton peninsula, is pocked with shallow oyster reefs and teeming with marine life. It’s another popular place for redfish and trout. More inland than Aransas Bay, Copano Bay provides fish with a sanctuary from the winds off the Gulf.
It’s tricky to navigate Copano Bay, especially if you don’t know the location of the reefs. Even experienced fishermen must exercise caution, and less-experienced anglers should consider hiring a guide to take them out.
St. Charles Bay
St. Charles Bay is an inlet of Aransas Bay in Aransas County, Texas. It is flanked by Lamar peninsula on the west and Blackjack peninsula on the east. Goose Island State Park and the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge are located along the bay’s shores. It features long grass and sand shorelines broken up up by slews, cuts and creeks that are excellent habitat for redfish looking to ambush small prey.
St. Charles bay is serviced directly by boat ramps in Lamar and in the Pelican Island State Park. Some small boats and kayaks also launch in Cavasso’s Creek where it crosses Texas Highway 35 north of Lamar.
Redfish Bay is a triangular shaped area between Aransas Pass, Texas and Port Aransas, Texas. It is bordered on the north by Aransas Bay and on the south by the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. Rather than being a large open water area, Redfish Bay is actually a complex of islands, grass flats and channels with the only deep water being on its southern edge next to the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. The 14,000 acres of fragile grass flats are a rich generator of nutrients for all of the area bay systems and has been designated by the Texas Parks & Wildlife as a State Scientific Area. It is the northern most extensive stands of seagrass on the Texas Coast and its protection is vital to our local fishery.
On May 1, 2006, the area was designated as a no prop zone which makes it illegal to run a boat through the stands of seagrass in a way that would cause them to be uprooted. The 14,000 acres of fragile grass flats are a rich generator of nutrients for all of the area bay systems and has been designated by the Texas Parks & Wildlife as a State Scientific Area. It is the northern most extensive stands of seagrass on the Texas Coast and its protection is vital to our local fishery.
Mesquite Bay is south of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and west of the barrier islands. Flanked by tidal lakes and marshes, it’s another popular place for redfish, trout and flounder. Very early in the morning and mid-to-late afternoon are the best times to get a bite.
Permits to fish in Mesquite Bay are coveted because access is limited to keep the area pristine and the fish thriving.
Estes Flats is a deep water shoreline in Redfish Bay south of Rockport. The waters of Estes Flats feature drop offs, grass beds, mud and sand pot holes. They’re great places for shy but aggressive fish, such as redfish, to hide. Kayakers love Estes Flats, and boaters can start there and head into Redfish Bay to drift or push pole in the grass flats.