Surf Fishin’ in Port Aransas
Wading out into the surf and casting into the waves is big sport in Port Aransas.
Port Aransas is the only established town on Mustang Island. It is located north of Padre Island and is one of the longest barrier islands along the Texas coast. Corpus Christi Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, the Lydia Ann Ship Channel and the Corpus Christi Ship Channel make up the surrounding waters.
Probably the easiest is simply wading or surf fishing, and this is an ideal way to catch speckled trout. Usually the best time is going to be after sunrise yet before noon. The fisherman should take some precautions when wading through the water as stingrays have been known to frequent shallow water. Most people will wear leg guards as they wade for protection.
The main difference between wade fishing and surf fishing is that instead of actually being in the water, the fisherman is on the beach. As a general rule a long rod is used for long-range casting using heavy bait. However, some prefer to use a shorter rod and carry the bait out while in a kayak.
To be a successful surf fisher requires the angler to assume the traits of a predator, much like a shark.
Speaking of sharks, many shore fishermen seek to catch the ocean predator on their surf fishing adventure. But it takes more than luck to land one.
“Watch for calm water where there’s a break in the sand bar; where there’s a solid line of surf, and then you see a 50-yard gap, that’s where water is exiting that first gut and entering the Gulf. That’s where the predator fish are waiting,” said former guide and surf-fishing legend Billy Sandifer.
Sandifer also suggests that if you don’t have any luck within two hours, would be anglers need to move spots.
A variety of baits and gear are available for surf fishing.
Although many fishermen shy away from fly fishing the surf, the activity can be a sport on its on. Learning how to fish the surf is a lesson in patience and learning to read the water.
“I had fly-fishermen come down who swore you could never sight-cast to jack crevalle. So, I traded a casting outfit for an 8-weight rod, and on the second attempt landed a 25-pound jack. They go straight out. You’ve just got to pay attention, learn to catch big fish,” Sandifer said.
Bull reds, trout, shark and some black drum can be found in the surf, as well as Pompano and whiting.
Surf fishermen need to be very careful of waves and undertows: these can be extremely dangerous, causing injury and even death. If you’re going to be using waders when surf fishing then make sure to always wear a wader belt to prevent water from filling up your waders in case you slip underwater.