Updated on August 18, 2022
If you are looking to book a trip to one of the major coastal fishing destinations in Texas, then two locations that should be at the top of your list include Galveston and Port Aransas. Both Port Aransas, or “Port A” as it is known to regular visitors, and Galveston have a lot in common.
Fishing opportunities are excellent, and you can catch all the major Gulf Coast saltwater species in both Port A and Galveston. This includes inshore species such as speckled trout, redfish, flounder, black drum, and more. Offshore species including red snapper, kingfish, ling, shark, and mahi mahi can be caught within ten to twenty miles from the beach, and further offshore you can catch tuna, wahoo, sailfish and more. Anglers in both Port Aransas and Galveston are also known to catch the occasional tarpon during the heat of summer and early fall.
Galveston is close to Houston, and there is all the infrastructure you could possibly need for your next fishing trip within driving distance. Port Aransas is close to Corpus Christi, which is much smaller than Houston but still offers all the big city conveniences including an airport. Both of these areas also offer all the fishing equipment, tackle and clothing that you can ever want. The drive between Galveston and Houston will take you past the Gulf Freeway location of Fishing Tackle Unlimited, and the drive between Port Aransas and Corpus Christi, can take you near Roy’s Bait and Tackle. Fishing Tackle Unlimited and Roy’s Bait and Tackle are two world class coastal tackle shops with many specialty lures and other gear that can be hard to find at the big box chain stores that also sell fishing merchandise. Of course, there are plenty of fishing tackle businesses, bait stands, and t-shirt sellers in both Galveston and Port Aransas if you want to buy your gear right around the corner.
Outstanding lodging options including beach houses, bay houses, hotels, motels and more can be rented in both Port Aransas and Galveston. For non-fishing entertainment, beaches and beach bars are available in both of these coastal towns. Many restaurants serving fresh seafood or anything else that you are craving cater to the anglers and other tourists in both Galveston and Port Aransas.
Galveston and Port Aransas can both draw a crowd on busy holiday weekends, and yet you can still find your own fishing spots away from the crowds because the amount of fishable water is extensive. From Galveston, you can easily access four major bay areas for inshore fishing including: East Galveston Bay (East Bay); Trinity Bay; Galveston Bay; and West Galveston Bay (West Bay). From Port Aransas, you have access to major inshore fishing areas including: Aransas Bay; Corpus Christi Bay; Redfish Bay; and the Upper Laguna Madre. With offshore fishing, multiple reefs, rigs, tankers and shrimp boats can be found out of both Galveston and Port A.
As two of the more popular destinations along the Gulf Coast, Port A and Galveston both have a large number of fishing guides available for charter for your next trip. You can book a trip with both inshore and offshore guides at either location through Captain Experiences:
If you are not relying on a fishing guide to get you near the fish, both Galveston and Port A offer plenty of opportunities for fishing from shore or launching your own boat.
With so much in common, how do you choose between Port Aransas and Galveston? There are a few differences between these locations that might impact your choice for your next adventure. If you live near the upper Texas coast, then the proximity of Galveston makes this your first choice. If you are more centrally located, then Port Aransas along the middle Texas coast could be your best bet.
Other differences besides location can also be a factor. When it comes to inshore bay fishing, Galveston offers more opportunities for drifting or anchoring near oyster reefs and other structures that can hold the fish. Port Aransas has more shallow flats and larger expanses for both drifting and wade fishing. If you visit both locations, you will notice a subtle change in the shape of the boats that most fishing guides are running for their charters. Galveston, which is in the Upper Texas Coast, has more boats with deep V hulls that can take on the waves of the more open, often deeper fishing hot spots. Port Aransas, which is in the Middle Texas Coast, has more shallow flats style boats that are designed to get you into skinny water. With the greater shallow water availability, Port Aransas is almost certainly more popular with the sight-fishing and fly-fishing crowds.
Most anglers who regularly fish both Port Aransas and Galveston would probably consider Galveston inshore fishing to be focused more on speckled trout. Port A inshore fishing may tilt a little bit more towards redfish. Flounder can usually be caught more frequently on a rod and reel in Galveston, but Port Aransas has more flounder gigging opportunities with its greater access to shallow water. Of course, both destinations are excellent for all three of these popular game species.
The Upper Laguna Madre certainly has some whopper speckled trout, but the average sized speckled trout that you catch in Galveston just seems a bit larger and a little fatter. You can still catch a legitimate trophy-sized fish in both Galveston and Port Aransas. For offshore fishing, the nearshore waters around Port Aransas are generally deeper than those around Galveston. Therefore, your boat ride could be a little shorter if your next offshore adventure leaves from Port A.
At Captain Experiences, we know that both Galveston and Port Aransas are fantastic destinations for both inshore and offshore fishing. Do you have a preference? Let us know which location you prefer and why it’s your favorite by emailing us at [email protected] For help booking a fishing guide in Port Aransas, Galveston, and many other Gulf Coast destinations, visit us here.