If you're looking to wet a line in the near future, Galveston Bay is the place to be. With four distinct fishing seasons, there's always something biting whether you prefer wintertime trout and redfish action or the summertime largemouth bass and catfish bonanza. It’s important to know when the fish are biting, as well as the legal seasons and regulations.
As the weather starts to warm up, many anglers grab their tackle boxes and head out to the calm waters of Galveston Bay. The inshore waters are often the most productive during the spring, so anglers flock to piers in search of Redfish and Speckled Trout. Luckily, there is no defined season for reds in Texas, so they are always readily available. The West Bay is also a great spot to do battle with Black Drum and Sheepshead, which spawn in March and April. Sheepshead are super popular amongst anglers because their unique mouth structure presents a challenge when setting the hook, and they taste amazing. Black Drum can’t be eaten when they get too big, but the thrill of the battle and an epic picture makes them a prized trophy fish.
Summer in Texas is ridiculously hot, and Galveston Bay is often packed with boats during these months. Fortunately, the bay is filled with enough fish to satisfy all the charters. Offshore fishing picks up as well, so Sharks, Cobia, Kingfish, and Mahi Mahi can all be found in the area. Of course, Red Snapper season starts June 1 and is open for most of the summer. Snapper are a favorite for anglers all over the Gulf, so June 1 is almost like a holiday. Many guides run specialized trips in search of Snapper and are often very successful on these ventures. In August, you start to see Amberjack around Galveston Bay. These massive fish put up an incredible fight on the line, and are fun to catch.
Many people don’t know that fall is the ideal time for fishing in Galveston Bay. Trips may not yield the biggest gamefish, but species like Trout, Sharks, and Mangrove Snapper stream into waters close to shore. Like spring, most of the fishing is done near docks, piers, and closer to shore. Redfish are plentiful during this time of year, as are massive Red Drum. The best part about fall in Galveston Bay is easily fishing for Flounder. You can cast a line anywhere in the bay during fall, and you’re likely to pull up a flounder. While they may not be the most exciting fish to catch, flounder taste exquisite and can be hauled in with incredible efficiency.
During the winter everything cools down, both in terms of weather and fish caught. October through early February can be shockingly cold, so be sure to bundle up when heading out. Flounder, Redfish, and Speckled Trout are still available as the water cools. The trick to fishing Galveston Bay in the winter is timing. Shifting cold fronts and wavering temperatures make fishing unpredictable, but when the weather lines up the fishing can be spectacular. Keep an eye on the reports and keep your rods ready.
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Updated on January 24, 2023
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