Rockport is a well-kept secret in the larger world of fishing but Texas Anglers know this area of the coast and its incredible fishing well. Rockport hosts a diverse fishery with a number of resident gamefish and some surprising migratory species that cruise through the local waters. Big Speckled Trout, Flounder and did i mention Redfish! They can grow to 40-60 inches in length, are waiting to get hooked.
Several communities offer great access to fishing the Texas coast but Rockport is especially nice because it lacks the larger crowds found in more popular launches and great fishing is available without the need to travel far.
One of the more exciting events in saltwater fishing is sight fishing. When you can see the fish eating and moving, the anticipation builds quickly as you make a cast and prepare to set the hook. Sight fishing for resident redfish is the major attraction in this area but speckled trout and black drum are also abundant.
Anglers can either cast gear or flies as they prefer. The environment is built for just about any type of tackle, just bring a gentle touch as redfish on the flats are weary and require an excellent presentation.
When sight fishing the flats, you look for the wake of a fish and in many cases you will see their fins tailing through the shallows as they forage and feed. Casting to these tailfish requires that you determine their direction and lead the cast to prevent spooking the fish. Let your lure or fly drop and add a twitch followed by a pause until the fish sees and turns towards your bait.
When the fish has spotted your hook, get ready to not only set the hook but to fight a big, powerful species in shallow water with grass, vegetation and other obstacles. The entire experience is a complete blast and something that is not soon forgotten. Sight fishing is the holy grail of saltwater fishing experiences and Rockport is right in the middle of some incredible redfish specific coastal habitat.
Fishing endless miles of flats is a rare opportunity and anglers travel the world to find places where big fish funnel into shallow grassy flats to feed. Head on the high tide and Rockport has world class grass flats where you can pole along and sight fish.
Learning the back channels and sneaky ways to access these areas will put you ahead of the game and open some serious ground without much for competition outside of the birds. Flats are fished from shallow draft boats, kayaks and even on foot.
The ecosystem of grass flats is a rare wonder and the wildlife watching alone is worth the visit. Throw in the big fish swimming through shallow water and you can have some serious fun.
It’s the thing we all end up discussing as anglers. “How big was that fish?” In Rockport, the redfish get big. Like really big.
Redfish have long been undervalued as a gamefish by outside anglers but Texas fisherman know they are smart, athletic and an incredible sportfish. Inland anglers are beginning to travel more and more for redfish opportunities. Fly fisherman are also catching on to the opportunities.
Rockport sits right in the middle the best redfish habitat on the Texas coast. It’s hard to beat the location. Throw in the speckled trout and black drum populations and anglers can pursue a very achievable Rockport grand slam.
Wildcard Tarpon and Jacks
The resident species are enough to keep most fisherman busy for years but Rockport also sees the occasional migration of Tarpon and Jacks coming through the bays. You might head out one day looking for a big redfish when a school of tarpon slides by your boat.
You never know what will migrate through these waters so be prepared to encounter some incredible action at random. The wildcard makes for a truly exciting fishery.
Some of the best fishing guides on the Texas Coast base out of Rockport. The combination of small town charm and productive bays to fish makes it a winner. No need to go searching the big port cities for a guide, Rockport has some of the best around for fly fishing and conventional gear.
Take your own boat
Would you rather run a boat yourself? Rent a kayak or boat and head into Arkansas, Matagora or San Antonio bays and get busy fishing. Or better yet, tow your own boat down and use the public launch to hit the water. Rockport is set-up perfectly for visiting anglers and boaters.
Or Fish from Shore
If you’d rather setup a chair on the coastline with a line in the water, there are plenty of public access points for fisherman. Get yourself rigged and cast right from the shore knowing you have good chances of catching fish while relaxing and enjoying your day on the water. Bring along the whole family and picnic supplies to really enjoy your time in Rockport.
When should you go fishing in Rockport?
The best thing about fishing in Rockport is the year-round season. Redfish especially are present and available to catch for 12 solid months. Many anglers will focus on the winter months while escaping the cold climates up north but you can visit and fish Rockport any month of the year and enjoy productive fishing. Very few fisheries offer the consistency throughout the entire year and this makes the Texas Coast a highly desired fishing destination. It’s also nice for locals who don’t want the inconvenience of an off-season.
Convenience and Access
Rockport is a nice, quiet beachfront town with plenty of things to keep you busy outside of the fishing. It also has easy access to Corpus Christi when you want a big city experience. Corpus Christi has an airport, making it extremely easy to visit Rockport with a flight and rental car or airport shuttle from your lodging. It also makes visits easy for family and friends wanting to spend some time visiting permanent and seasonal residents in the area.