Success on the water often hinges on having the right fishing equipment available. From sturdy rods and reels designed for specific fish species to a well-stocked tackle box bursting with lures and bait, the right gear can make all the difference between a memorable catch and a quiet day on the shore. Read on to learn about angling essentials, and discover how the right equipment can turn your fishing adventures into successful experiences. 

Fishing License 

First and foremost, all residents and non-residents of Texas over the age of 17 will need a fishing license. These can be obtained at any Academy Sports and Outdoors or Wal-Mart locations, as well as online at  

Rods and Reels  

A good fishing rod is the foundation of a successful fishing adventure, and choosing the right one can be overwhelming, especially with so many choices available. Spinning rods are good, lightweight choices for beginners and are commonly used for pier and kayak fishing. Fly fishing rods are specific to fly fishing and require specific leaders, lures, and flies. They’re a bit more complex to master, and require ample space when casting. The surf casting rod is available in a variety of sizes and thickness to support large gamefish. These rods are built long to enhance casting distance and are made with durable materials to withstand rough waves and sturdy fish. These are just a few of the options available, so be sure to swing by a bait and tackle stand for professional guidance on selecting the right rod for your adventure.


Bait and Tackle 

We love a good snack and so do the fish. You can’t go wrong with live bait such as shrimp and croaker because nearly every fish species will eat them. If you do opt for live bait, make sure that your bucket is equipped with an aerator to prevent the bait from going bad.

If you choose artificial lures, be sure that you’re selecting the right kind for your targeted fish species. Artificial lures come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and they are used to target specific species. The most common are spoon, soft plastic, and topwater. Spoon lures resemble the concave part of the spoon and resemble injured bait fish, soft plastic lures are small rubber baits that resemble various sea critters for an effective catch, and topwater lures float atop the water, allowing anglers to create a twitching action to resemble walking on water.  

Tackle Boxes 

When you hit the water, it’s not just your fishing skills that matter. You also want to have the right tackle box to keep your fishing arsenal well-organized and ready for action. Each box has a unique size and design that suits its intended purpose, so when choosing, consider durability, water resistance, size, and capacity to ensure that you have all your equipment safe and within reach.  Just like the rods and lures, each tackle box will be a different size and capacity depending on the type of fishing you’re doing and the duration of your trip, and can range from a giant box that holds gear and doubles as a seat, to a small box you can slip in your back pocket.  

Clothing and Accessories 

When fishing, clothing that offers protection, comfort, and camouflage is best. Opt for long-sleeved shirts that offer protection and keep you cool or shirts with a high UPF score that take longer to absorb UV rays. Wear shorts, breathable, non-slip shoes, and if you prefer, a wide-brimmed hat or ball cap. Other accessories to bring along include polarized sunglasses, sun protection, a first aid kit, net, weights, floats, pliers, gloves, and stringer if you plan on keeping the fish. 


Kayak and Canoe Rentals  

Since you’re visiting, you most likely did not bring your kayak or canoe with you. You’re in luck, because there are various locations around town that offer boat rentals – they even offer equipment rentals. These rental locations prep the kayak, offer safety equipment, and demonstrate how to use the kayak, if needed. These rentals go fast, so be sure to book yours early for the best selection.

As always, the pros are available for help. Below, you will find some of the best places around town to find all the equipment you need.