Explore the diverse marine life of the Gulf Coast capital with our guide to popular fish species. Discover the vibrant underwater world teeming with Redfish, Flounder, Speckled Trout, and more. Plan your fishing adventure and reel in unforgettable memories along the picturesque Gulf Coast shores.
Please note that fish appearances are unpredictable due to weather and water conditions, so finding a specific type of fish is never guaranteed.
1. Red Drum (Redfish)
Also known as Redfish or Reds, the Red Drum is one of the most common fish species, often found in shallow waters and grassy flats where anglers are treated to a bird’s eye view of schools of fish 'tailing' the surface. To maximize your chances of catching this prized fish, head to piers, jetties, and the surf, and be prepared to use live baits like mullet and croakers.
Because of its delicious taste, Flounder is one of the top fish targeted by anglers, and the best time to target them is during their fall migration to the Gulf, from October to December. However, to protect spawning flounder during their migration, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission closed Flounder season between November 1 – December 14. Caught by rod and reel, flounder takes all types of natural and artificial baits.
3. Spotted Sea Trout
Spotted Sea Trout, also known as Speckled Trout, prefer shallow habitats like oyster reefs and marshes, and anglers can catch them from wading in shallow areas or piers, using live shrimp as bait. These fish are popular for surf fishermen and their high season is between February-April and June-August, while low season is during the month of December.
4. Black Drum
Popular in the summer months, the Black Drum is generally found in the warm, shallow flats of the Laguna Madre. However, they can adapt to a wide range of habitats, including shallow bay waters to deeper Gulf waters. This species is best caught with live shrimp and squid.
The vivid black and white stripes make this species easy to spot, and they like to swim near underwater structures like oyster beds, pier pilings, jetties, docks, and bulkheads. They’re stunning to the eye, but handle with caution as this species is lined with spines along each fin. These omnivores will seek out and eat shrimp, so be sure to have some readily available.
There are a variety of other popular fish in the Gulf waters, including Red Snapper, which is the most iconic offshore fish. It is heavily regulated by the state, so there are limited seasons for fishing.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife handbook lists rules and regulations about catching this and other regulated species. The King Mackerel is a popular offshore gamefish, and schools migrate from early summer until October. Often caught with ribbonfish or mullet as bait, the King Mackerel will also bite with artificial lures. Sharks are also plentiful year-round, from the shallow flats to the offshore waters, and this region has a variety of species including blacktip, bull, hammerhead, and tiger sharks.
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