Fishing South Padre Island

South Padre Island Fishing

Fishing in South Padre Island provides a great number of options for new and old fishermen.  Its beautiful landscape and exotic list of fish provide a tempting environment for even the most seasoned fisherman.  Currently, there are well over 500 different species that can include redfish, trout, flounder, drum, kingfish, wahoo, tuna, and many others.  This wide assortment of fish lends itself to two types of fishing (1) Bay fishing and (2) Deep Sea Fishing.

Deep Sea Fishing South Padre Island style is a great experience. If you have never gone deep-sea fishing before, you will be experiencing fishing at a whole new level.

Fishing South Padre

Deep-sea fishing requires a larger tackle than regular still-water fishing. The rods tend to be of a much stronger quality and come in either fiberglass or graphite. The reason for this is the rods must stand up to the waves and battle with the larger fish to real them in. In South Padre, you really will have two types of fishing methods (1) trolling for fish and (2) bottom fishing. Trolling is where you have the fishing lure just below the water and drive along at a slow speed. The idea is for the fish to be enticed by the lure and jump on it. Bottom fishing is where the boat is stationary and you drop the lure all the way to the bottom of the Gulf or just above it. Naturally, this will require a very long line so expect to see larger reels than standard still water fishing.

There are also essentially two kinds of deep-sea fishing in South Padre Island (a) regular deep-sea fishing and (b) canyon deep-sea fishing. The main difference is canyon fishing is much farther from the shore as it is usually at least 40 to 50 miles from the coast. This farther distance allows fishermen to go after even larger fish.

Fish of South Padre

All fishermen are interested in what they might find in South Padre Island. Whether you go bayside fishing or deep-sea fishing, you have a ton of different fish to go after. Here, is a list of kinds of fish of South Padre you can find in both bodies of water:

Speckled Trout

A favorite among anglers, these silver-scaled fish can be found in abundance near the shoreline and around reef formations. With subtle camouflaging patterns, speckled trout blend into their environment, making them a challenge to catch. But those who manage to hook one will have plenty of thrill as they battle for a potential prize catch.

Red Fish

A member of the drum family, redfish are known for their bright coloration and voracious appetite. These hard-fighting fish strike with tenacity and will test even experienced anglers’ skills. When it comes to catching redfish, patience and persistence are key factors – and if you manage to land one, it’s sure to make your day.


Found in shallower waters, flounder are well-camouflaged ambush predators that like to lie in wait for unsuspecting prey. As a popular game fish, they give quite a fight when hooked and will often put up quite a show before surrendering. With plenty of pools dotting the coastline, flounder provides ample opportunity for would-be anglers.

Southern Flounder
Southern Flounder by Georgia DNR — Wildlife Resources is licensed under <a href=”https://creativecommons. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Known for their distinctive sound, drum are found near the surface of the water and are favored by beginners due to their relative ease of capture. Yet, despite their reputation for being easy prey, drum can still give experienced anglers a run for their money. Those who manage to hook one should enjoy the unique experience of reeling in this loud and proud creature.

Red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus)
Red drum (fishing by FWC Research is licensed under <a href=” CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Bayside Fishing

Bay Fishing is a popular form of fishing that lets you fish with rod and tackle in the wonderful Laguna Madre Bay.  Here, you will be able to enjoy fishing at a discounted rate as there are a large number of charter services that provide Bay Fishing options.  The two main options are (1) fishing on a party boat or (2) private charter trips.  The main difference deals with the number of people and individualized attention.  Fishing party boats can have well over 10 people whereas a private charter trip is reduced to your party.  Fishing on a party boat is cheaper in comparison with a cost of roughly $20 to $30 per fisherman.  Private charter trips tend to begin at $350 for 2 people.  Again, the main benefit of private charter trips is their privacy and individualized attention.  Most bay fishing trips are done in 3 to 5-hour intervals and go throughout the day.

  • Redfish (red drum)– has a unique black mark near its upper tail.  These fish grow quickly and the Texas record is 59 ½ pounds.
  • Speckled Trout – its colored body gives it its name and special look.
  • Flounder – makes for very good eating and likes to live near the bottom.  For this reason, you can have great success catching them on moonless nights or when the tide is high.
  • Snook – can be found near the piers or other underwater pilings.  Its color tends to have silver on the sides.
Speckled Trout in the Laguna Madre
Speckled Trout in the Laguna Madre

Popular bait for these fish are crabs, shrimp, and mullet. Most of these fish prefer live bait to dead or artificial ones. Areas that have been found to be good spots include the flats, channel, and along the bottoms.

Inshore South Padre Fishing Guide

Private charters are available for various areas in South Padre including the near shore waters, the Lower Laguna Madre Bay, Ports Brownsville, Port Mansfield, and other locations with prime fishing. Whether your group is interested in a sightseeing trip or serious fishing, Captain Austin knows the prime spots in the area.

South Padre Fishing Guide Services proudly offers private inshore fishing charters to some of the finest spots in South Texas. Whether you are looking for a full day of fishing or just a few hours of sightseeing on the water, Captain Lou Austin will ensure that you have a trip to remember. Experienced anglers, those new to fishing, vacationers, families, and even kids will have a great time exploring the beautiful waters off of South Padre Island. At South Padre Fishing Guide Services, we provide your group with an experienced and knowledgeable captain, rods and reels, bait and tackle, and ice – everything you need for a great day of fishing. All you need to bring is your Texas fishing license and saltwater stamp for each person, sunscreen, towel, sunglasses, food, and drinks.

Inshore South Padre Fishing Charters

Private fishing charters are available to explore the crystal clear flats, lower Laguna Madre Bay, Port Mansfield, Port Brownsville, and other nearshore waters with excellent fishing. Anglers are drawn to the area for the prime fishing spots that are suitable for fishermen of all skill levels. Captain Austin will ensure that everyone in your party has a great trip no matter their fishing skill or experience.

The shallow crystal clear waters in the area offer a fishing experience like no other. The waters in the area are considered to be some of the best spots for speckled trout, flounder, redfish, and drum fishing in the country.
Inshore Fishing Experts

Captain Austin has lived and fished in the South Padre Island area for years and has an intimate knowledge of the very best fishing spots. His decades of experience fishing the waters of South Texas allow him to give his guests a personal fishing experience catered just to their desires and the most memorable day on the water.

We offer premier South Padre Island fishing guides and charters with the most personalized service and the best fishing trips in South Texas. Contact us today to make reservations for your own personal fishing adventure.

Deep-Sea Fishing Catches

  • Tarpon – is big game fish that are more for show than eating.  Trolling is a great way to catch them and there are many guides in South Padre Island that focus on it.
  • King Mackerel – has a slightly compressed body and is a slim fish.  It is a popular game fish that is usually caught with trolling techniques.
  • Marlin – are popular game fish that are not normally eaten.  They have a beautiful lengthy body with a distinctive dorsal fin.  They are a great catch because of their size and speed.
  • Tuna – are also fast fish and can be snagged with good trolling.  Obviously, these make for pretty good eating.
  • Wahoo – has a lengthy body and a darker blue color.  It is also thought of as a higher quality food for eating.
  • Snapper – has a rose-like color around the edges.  One of the best foods for eating in the Gulf.
  • Sailfish – its sail fin makes it a sought-after fish for sport fishermen.  It is known for making great leaps adding to its appeal.
  • Dorado – can be caught mostly by trolling and it offers a strong blue streak along its topside with shades of green or a golden color.
  • Ling – are a member of the cod family and go after a wide variety of baits and lures.

Popular methods for catching these fish consist of trolling or bottom fishing.  Common live baits include shrimp, tuna, squid, and sardines.

As you can see there is a wide variety of fish in South Padre Island.  Make some time to try out both Bay Fishing and Deep Sea Fishing.  You will be glad you did.  In addition, if you want to really turn things up, try out Canyon Fishing.

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