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. For anglers of all types, this place is paradise.
Of course, even in paradise some neighborhoods are better than others. When it comes to finding the perfect fishing spot, remember to follow the most important lesson in real estate – it’s all about location, location, location.
Robert Crumpler, a veteran Coastal Bend fisherman, and proprietor of Texas Slam Guide Service, gives the inside scoop on 4 of the best places to lay your line in the waterways around Rockport.
1. Aransas Bay
Rockport is surrounded by bays, with Aransas the largest and closest. At 16 miles long by six miles wide, it boasts a wide diversity of fishing opportunities, from open water fishing 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 that will delight your eyes even if you don’t catch a thing. Of course, there’s no chance of that: they’re 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 and watch pelicans dive right in front of you.
2. Copano Bay
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, and the fisherman who love to catch and eat them.
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.
3. Mesquite Bay
Just south of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and west of the barrier islands sits Mesquite Bay. Flanked by tidal lakes and marshes, Mesquite Bay anglers will find another redfish-trout-flounder extravaganza. Very early in the morning and mid-to-late afternoon are the best times to get a bite.
In addition, estuarine species that need access to the Gulf – such as blue crab, native shrimp and larval red drum– spawn in the Gulf and return to live in the bay through Cedar Bayou. Permits to fish in Mesquite Bay are coveted because access is limited to keep the area pristine and the fish thriving.
4. Estes Flats
Estes Flats is a deep water shoreline in Redfish Bay south of Rockport where many Rockport and Fulton residents can be found putting in. A cornucopia of bottom surfaces, the waters of Estes Flats features 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.
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.
Want to find even more of the best secret spots? The folks at Rockport Properties, who have been serving the Aransas Bay area for 25+ years, can help you find all the best places to drop a line. With two offices, it’s part of the heartbeat of Rockport. No one knows the real estate market – or top spots to fish – better than they do. Give them a call at 361-729-6500.