As Many a Texas Angler knows, There's no need for a passport or island hopping when you can level up your fishing game right on our state's only barrier island. Known as a Spring Break mecca for high school and college kids, South Padre Island also happens to be one of the best places to spend time outdoors with a rod and reel in hand.
Located on the southern tip of Texas, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and the Laguna Madre Bay, the island's 34 miles of pristine beach, beautiful blue waters, and temperate climate—nearly 300 sunny days per year!—make the island an ideal fishing spot year-round. Seafood lovers and anglers alike, check out this list of the best ways to fish on South Padre Island. Just make sure to change your out of office message to Gone Fishin’.
Deep Sea Fishing
Several charter companies can take you out for a day of deep sea fishing with experienced, helpful guides that know the best spots given the weather and water conditions. Pier 19 (1 Padre Island Blvd.) is home to Osprey Fishing Trips and several other popular charters. One of the benefits of booking them? All of the gear is provided, which makes it easier to sit back and enjoy the experience without having to worry about traveling with or purchasing bait and tackle. Deckhands can also help you with bait, casting, and even cleaning your catch—folks fish for shark, dorado, amberjack, kingfish, and ling during warm months, and snapper, grouper, and other bottom species in cooler months.
Pro Tip: If you're prone to motion sickness, do take Dramamine, even on a calm water day—the winds in the Gulf can pick up and have your boat rocking in two seconds flat.
Surf fishing or surf casting is one of the easiest ways to enjoy fishing on the island. There are no restrictions on where you can cast your line, but you'll want to be aware of crowds and surf conditions. You'll most likely reel in redfish, speckled trout, and flounder when you're surf casting, but hooking a small shark is not unheard of during the warmer months.
Fish can be found just about everywhere in South Padre Island, but if you don’t want to head out to deep waters or get wet, jetty and pier fishing may be what you're after. The South Padre Island jetties on the south end of the island at Isla Blanca Park are a favorite fishing location for many, and there's even a bait stand at the entrance to the jetties.
Pirate’s Landing Fishing Pier is the longest fishing pier in Texas. Right next to the Queen Isabella Causeway (the 2.4 mile-bridge linking the island to the mainland), the pier is a great fishing spot with a bait and tackle stand, as well as a snack bar and restrooms. At either of these locations you're likely to catch trout, croaker, flounder, and redfish.
Pro Tip: Both locations are great for tarpon which pass through island waters during the summer months.
Cooking up your fresh catch
Fresh-caught seafood is an island staple and having your daily catch prepared is also standard practice—would you expect anything less from this great fishing location? There are a number of restaurants that will happily prepare your catch any way you want it, so much so that South Padre Island has its own yearly Cook Your Catch Day on Jan 23.