Rockport is situated along the Aransas Bay in Southeast Texas. Behind it lies Copano Bay and to its south, Corpus Christi Bay. San Jose Island separates Rockport from the Gulf of Mexico. With Rockport being surrounded by so much water, it is obvious what the city thrives off of. Although Rockport was established as a cattle slaughtering, packing and shipping port back in 1870, it is now a hot spot for marine recreation surrounding Rockport Beach Park. Activities such as boating, duck hunting, bird watching, swimming and of course fishing can all be had within Rockport. Having the barrier island of San Jose protecting the delicate estuaries from disastrous storms makes the bays and inlets surrounding Rockport a haven for inshore fish species. There’s nothing like stalking redfish within the skinny waters of the Texas coast. As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas, and that holds true with our fish as well!
Targeting Redfish in Rockport
There are many different ways to target redfish in the back waters near Rockport, Texas, but fishing with artificial lures is an exciting and adrenaline pumping good time. Topwater plugs, spoons, or jigs bounced along the bottom or under a popping cork are all excellent ways to entice bites. Most people target these fish from a shallow drafting skiff, like a Hell’s Bay skiff, while pushing the vessel silently through the estuary. Another popular form of stalking shallow water redfish is on foot. That’s right, just wading along the shoreline can be a very effective way in finding redfish successfully. Who needs a boat when you’re in only a couple feet of water—at most. The art of flyfishing for inshore saltwater redfish is beginning to become very popular as well. Gently whipping a small fly in front of an unsuspecting redfish, watching him engulf it and take off is a feeling like none other. Try using a 7 to 9 weight fly rod paired with floating line for best success. The inshore saltwater species list is vast, but none of them compare to the mighty redfish, which let’s face it, is what most people that come fishing here are after. But that doesn’t make them easy! Try these tips when targeting redfish:
Fish the tides
Most of the bays and estuaries are shallow water marshes with shores of spartina, oyster bars and soft mud bottom. Within these bays and estuaries are also several shallow water creeks and cuts. But that’s a good thing. As the tide rises, it floods these areas providing redfish access to this nutrient-rich environment that is otherwise inaccessible, giving these predators a plethora of feeding opportunities. Topwater plugs, weedless spoons and buzzbaits can be effective in these areas. As the tide recedes, work those creek mouths and cuts as the redfish will follow the bait that is being pushed out with the tide.
This tip holds true with all fishing, but never so important than when stalking shallow water redfish. This is when push poling your skiff or even paddling becomes your primary form of propulsion. Move slowly and be quiet. Look and listen. The fish will give themselves away eventually. This also leads us into the next tip…
LOOK for fish
The most exciting part about fishing shallow, back country waters is the chance to see the fish before you make your cast. Redfish like to get skinny, sometimes so much that their entire backs are out of the water as they crawl through the mud. Other times you’ll see them tailing as they root around the bottom looking for food. And sometimes all you will see is a subtle wake as they push along the grass line. Either way, your eyes and ears play an important role when stalking redfish, so keep them open and alert.
Whether you’re a seasoned angler or an inshore fishing novice, hiring a guide that knows the waterways is your best bet at having a successful day out on the water. And when you’re visiting the Rockport, Texas area, Capt. Lloyd Jones of Skinny Water Addiction is that guide. Offering fly fishing, sight casting and instructional fishing for inshore species, Capt. Jones has the experience and expertise you’re looking for when booking with a guide. He takes pride in not only showing you where the fish are, but how to catch them from proper casting techniques to explaining the WHYS of fishing. Be sure to contact Skinny Water Addiction today for a trip of a lifetime.