Take it to the Bank

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Gulf Coast Bank Fishing Hotspots

Not all anglers have boats.

That is something Texas Fish & Game has known for a long time, which is why we include “Bank Bite” locations on most of our coastal Hot Spots Focus columns every month.

While there are a fair number of quality bank fishing destinations on the coast, many anglers are not aware of them. We get questions all the time from anglers asking the location of certain spots they might have heard of or where to fish when on vacation.

This is a collection of some of the very best of these destinations ranging from the obvious to the obscure. We realize for landbound anglers, access is key, and this is our way of continuing and upgrading this coverage.

Before we get into these many locations, there are some important things to remember when fishing from the shore in saltwater venues.

Many anglers complain of rarely catching legal-sized game fish from the bank, and I believe a big reason for this is their choice of bait. Dead shrimp is by far the easiest bait to get and it will catch everything, but that is just the problem. It catches hardheads, small croaker, sand trout and lots of undesirables. My advice is to bring one rod rigged with dead shrimp (let the kids use it if they are fishing) and use just the croaker, sand trout and piggy perch you might catch as live or cut bait.

Also, learn to throw a cast net and catch mullet, mud minnows and baby croakers. All of these fished on a Carolina rig will catch reds, specks and flounders, and the beauty of using a cast net is you do not have to pay for your bait. Of course it is a lot of work, but it will save you money.

Something else to consider is using a popping cork. There are lots of snags along shorelines, and when fishing on the bottom you are bound to get snagged. By using corks you can fish just above the bottom and avoid most snags. At the same time you’ll have the advantage of being able to draw attention to your bait by utilizing the popping action of the cork.

There are lots of good ones on the market, but I am a big fan of the Bomber Paradise Popper X-Treme, which has a killer sound and a titanium shaft that survives plenty of punishment and is easy for casting long distance. Another good long distance caster is the Outcast from Midcoast Products.

Little details like these can go a long way when you’re fishing these saltwater walk-up venues.

SABINE LAKE AREA

Causeway Bridge

Location: At Pleasure Island on SH 82 at the causeway bridge.

Species: Flounder.

Lure/Baits: Live mud minnows, finger mullet and jigs tipped with shrimp.

Best Season/Time: Fall and Spring on outgoing and incoming times respectively.

 

McFaddin Beach

Location: Off of Highway 87 past Sabine Pass.

Species: Redfish.

Lure/Baits: Live croaker, mullet or whole crab.

Best Season/Time: On high tides during the summer and fall.

 

Lower Neches WMA (West Side)

Location: Highway 87 between Bridge City and Port Arthur.

Species: Redfish

Lure/Baits: Cut and live mullet, dead shrimp

Best Season/Times: Summer and fall on outgoing tides

 

GALVESTON AREA

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fishing Pier

Location: CR 476 and CR 227 at Bastrop Bayou.

Species: Redfish, trout.

Lure/Baits: Finger mullet, cut bait, crab.

Best Season/Times: First couple of hours of out- and incoming tides year-round.

 

Rollover Pass

Location: Highway 87 between High Island and Port Bolivar.

Species: Flounder.

Lure/Baits: Live mud minnows.

Best times/Season: Fall and Spring (while it lasts).

 

Bolivar Pocket

Location: Off of Highway 87 near the jetties.

Species: Speckled trout.

Lures/Baits: Topwaters and silver spoons.

Best Season/Times: Summer during early morning hours on high tides is good as are late, calm evenings.

 

MIDCOAST

Lighthouse Beach & Bird Sanctuary

Location: 700 Lighthouse Beach Drive, Port

Lavaca.

Species: Redfish.

Lure/Baits: Crab.

Best Season/Times: On the last half of rising tides.

 

Copano Bay Bridge

Location: FM 136, Bayside

Species: Speckled trout, flounder, sheepshead.

Lure/Baits: Soft plastic shrimp, shad imitations and live mud minnows.

Best Season/Times: The fishing tends to be best on outgoing tides. Summer and fall.

 

Mustang Island State Park

Location: SH 361 Port Aransas.

Species: Redfish.

Lure/Baits: Live mullet, croaker, Gulp! Crabs and cracked crabs.

Best Season/Times: High tides during summer and fall.

 

JFK Causeway

Location: At Humble Channel in Corpus Christi.

Species: Black drum.

Lure/Baits: Dead shrimp, sea lice.

Best Season/Times: Spring, Winter.

 

Jetty Park

Location: End of FM 2031, Matagorda.

Species: Speckled trout, redfish.

Lure/Baits: Live shrimp.

Best Season Times: When light winds are blowing and waters are running clear in summer for trout. Fall for redfish.

 

Highway 188

Location: At Port Bay in Rockport.

Species: Redfish.

Lure/Baits: Cracked crab, cut mullet.

Best Times: Look for high tides in summer and fall to provide the best fishing.

 

Foley Reserve Park

Location: East Bayshore/Palacios.

Species: Flounder.

Lure/Baits: Live mud minnows.

Best Times: First hour of falling and last hour of rising tides in spring and fall.

 

Fulton Fishing Pier

Location: 250 Deforest Loop, Rockport.

Species: Speckled trout.

Lure/Baits: Live shrimp.

Best Times: At night and early in the morning in spring, summer and fall.

LOWER COAST

South Padre Island

Location: North end of Park Road 100.

Species: Speckled Trout, Redfish.

Lure/Baits: Live croaker and mullet.

Best Season/Times: Early in the morning and late in the evening in summer and fall.

 

Pirate’s Fishing Pier

Location: 204 North Garcia.

Species: Speckled Trout.

Lure/Baits: Live shrimp.

Best Season/Times: First hour of outgoing, last of incoming tides during spring and summer.

 

CR 1145 South

Location: Kingsville.

Species: Redfish.

Lure/Baits: Crabs, dead shrimp, mullet.

Best Season/Times: Early in the morning in spring, summer and fall.

 

Park Road 100 Bay Access 1

Location: Across from Edwin King Atwood Park, South Padre Island.

Species: Redfish, trout.

Lure/Baits: Soft plastics fished under a popping cork, topwaters.

Best Season/Times: Evenings on strong, moving tides in spring, summer and fall.

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