Top 10 Texas Coastal Fishing Towns – Part 2

Updated on June 27, 2022

Last time, we looked at four of the best places to stay while on your next fishing vacation to the Texas Coast. The first four towns in our list included Port Arthur, Freeport/Surfside Beach, Corpus Christi, and Matagorda. In this article, we reveal the other top Texas coastal fishing towns. Although fishing is excellent all along the Texas Coast, these towns are the best of the best.

As a recap, the criteria used for selecting our Top 10 Texas coastal fishing towns include:

  1. Does it feel like a fishing town?
  2. Does it have a lot of fishable water?
  3. How are the tackle shops, boat ramps, etc.?
  4. Does it have enough good restaurants?
  5. How is the lodging?
  6. Is it a scenic area?
  7. Are there better options nearby?

With these criteria in mind, here is a look at the remaining six of the best 10 Texas coastal fishing towns.

#6 Galveston

Galveston is a big city for the Texas Coast. It has a small downtown with office buildings, medical centers, a courthouse, and more. Galveston sees a fair number of large commercial ships that pass by on their way to Houston. Luckily, most fisherman and other tourists manage to avoid all the city-like hubbub by staying along the extensive stretch of both beachfront and bayfront property that Galveston has to offer. Galveston has plenty of fishing opportunities with three major bays (East Galveston Bay, West Galveston Bay, and Trinity Bay), long jetties, and easy access to offshore water. Only an hour south of Houston, Galveston has everything you would need for an ideal fishing vacation including one of the largest selections of fishing guides in Texas.

#5 Rockport

Rockport is one of best places to stay when fishing along the Texas Coast. Rockport is the closest major town from which to access the remote Cedar Bayou area, and it also has bay fishing available in almost any direction you head from town. There are many excellent fishing guides ready to take you and your party out fishing wherever you would like to go. The local tackle shop is one of the best for specialty fishing lures, and many stores and restaurants cater to anglers and other tourists. Although possible, it is a longer boat ride to access offshore fishing from Rockport than it is from many other fishing towns. Overall, Rockport has a great fishing town feel to it with plenty of entertainment within a block of the waterfront.

rockport tackle town

Rockport sports one of the best tackle shops in Texas

#4 South Padre Island / Port Isabel

South Padre Island and Port Isabel are as far south as you can get when it comes to fishing towns along the Texas Coast. Most out-of-town vacationers will stay on the island because that has the largest selection of lodging, but fishing guides are located on both South Padre Island and across the bridge in nearby Port Isabel. Although the majority of visitors to South Padre Island are there to enjoy the best beach in Texas, South Padre has some unique fishing opportunities. For offshore fishing enthusiasts, the boat ride needed to reach deep water is shorter than the ride required along the upper and middle Texas Coast. South Padre is the only reliable location to target snook in Texas, and there are miles and miles of the Lower Laguna Madre that are best accessed from the South Padre Island / Port Isabel area. Restaurant and nightlife options are plentiful because South Padre Island hosts many beachgoing tourists every year.

south padre island

South Padre Island is a popular, picturesque vacation spot

#3 Port Mansfield

Port Mansfield is a true fishing village. This is not the place to take your friends who are dreaming of a day under the Texas sun on a white sand beach. If you are visiting Port Mansfield, then you are most likely there to fish. Port Mansfield is the only location that offers fishing access to large stretches of the lower Laguna Madre, so it is an ideal location for anglers seeking their personal best speckled trout or redfish. Most fishing guides target these inshore species, but there are also great opportunities for offshore fishing without much fishing pressure because Port Mansfield is fairly remote. Because this coastal town is both remote and small, the lodging, restaurant, and entertainment options are limited. But, there are a couple of great cook-your-catch seafood restaurants, and the fishing is so good that it is all the entertainment that you will need.

#2 - Port Aransas

If you only have a chance to go to one location that both the family and the fishermen will enjoy, then Port Aransas is your spot. Everyone has a good time in Port Aransas, and the town gets plenty crowded during the busy times of Summer and Spring Break. Neither too big nor too small, Port Aransas (or “Port A”) is just the right size coastal town for anyone’s ideal fishing adventure. The boat launch and fish cleaning areas are second to none, and there are excellent restaurants and lodging options throughout the town. Fishing guides target both inshore and offshore saltwater species, and there are even popular jetties that hold a variety of fish. Much of the town is open to golf cart driving, which instantly provides a fun-loving, vacation town vibe. With a solid mix of beach and bay activities, Port A is a terrific town for any fishing or family trip to the coast.

#1 - Port O’Connor

When you arrive in Port O’Connor, you know that you are in a serious fishing town. Located at the end of the road and without a major tourist beach or industrial facility in sight, you immediately feel like the entire town of Port O’Connor (or simply “POC”) exists to support the sport of fishing. Just the right distance for a weekend trip from Houston, San Antonio, or Austin, Port O’Connor is popular with the serious fishing crowd. There are only a handful of restaurants, but the eating establishments that do exist are accustomed to hosting visiting anglers. Lodging includes a couple of motels plus many affordable rental options. Fishing options include deep water bays, shallow back lakes, jetties and offshore. Of course, there are plenty of fishing guides willing to take you fishing if you book a fishing trip in advance. If you want to visit a Texas Coastal town that is dedicated to fishing above all else, then Port O’Connor should be on your short list.

port oconnor

People go to Port O'Connor with one goal: catch fish

Going in order, our top 10 list of Texas coastal fishing towns includes:

  1. Port O’Connor
  2. Port Aransas
  3. Port Mansfield
  4. South Padre Island/Port Isabel
  5. Rockport
  6. Galveston
  7. Matagorda
  8. Corpus Christi
  9. Freeport/Surfside Beach, and
  10. Port Arthur

At Captain Experiences, we know that there are plenty of other worthy towns because the entire Texas coast is an ideal place for fishing. Did we leave off your favorite location? Leave us a comment to let us know how you would rank your favorite Texas coastal fishing towns. For help booking a fishing guide at these and many other Gulf Coast destinations, head on over to this page.

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