The late summer and fall months are prime for fishing in the Rockport-Fulton region. Redfish are the big ticket for many anglers but the local waters are loaded with opportunities. Residents and visitors wait all year for the hot fall bite and it should be a good one in 2020.
Where to Go
Aransas Bay is the primary hotspot and it offers a ton of water to explore. The bay is protected by a barrier island and that means less wind and ocean currents complicating things for anglers. Fly anglers are especially attracted to the bay as it offers ample opportunity for sight casting to redfish but there are also speckled trout and a number of other species to pursue with gear or fly tackle. Regardless, the water remains relatively shallow throughout the bay, making it possible to target and catch a variety of species. Grass Flats, mud bottoms zones and weed beds all hold fish and targeting them from foot, a kayak or motorized craft is effective.
While Aransas Bay is the most popular, anglers can also find solitude and excellent fishing while tackling Copano Bay and St. Charles Bays. Push a little farther and fishing through Mesquite Bay and Redfish Bay becomes possible. You could spend years exploring these bays while discovering new and secret spots that hold fish. The other option is fishing the open ocean beyond the bays. Open ocean fishing requires a larger boat with powerful motors but the rewards are often big. Tarpon and Jacks can migrate through in the fall and a variety of deep sea species are also caught. Offshore fishing requires knowledge of ocean currents and navigation practices to safely pursue fish in the bigger waters.
Redfish in Rockport
It’s all about the redfish in Rockport, Texas and fall is the best time to target these fine fish. Shrimp are abundant in the fall with late September and October being the perfect time to fish the grass flats and shallow zones. The shrimp are reaching maturity and the fish school up, herding them through the grass zones. While other months might reveal a single fish or a small group, October really brings them together over the concentrated food sources.
As the shrimp reach maturity and October progresses, they prepare for the journey to the ocean, leaving the marshy bays behind. They will no longer be on the grass but anglers can still locate pods of redfish as they work over shrimp in the mud flats. Look for tailing fish and mud clouds indicating activity. This will continue through November until the shrimp have migrated out of the bays. As storm fronts push water out of the bay, the remaining shrimp and redfish will concentrate in the areas with enough water to hold them and locating hundreds of fish in schools is possible.
Hit the Trout Bite
Fall also brings along the trout bite and it can be flat out phenomenal. The shrimp are also a key factor for trout fishing. The later fall is especially productive as shrimp migrate out of the bay. Trout will position themselves against the migration and school up in key areas. Anglers can locate heavy bird activity to pinpoint the shrimp and subsequently the trout. Obviously, fishing a shrimp fly or a live shrimp will hook plenty of fish. If you love trout fishing, this is the absolute best opportunity of the year to target the bigger trout in the area.
The flounder run in Aransas bay is a big event in September and into October. The fish are abundant and although there is plenty of pressure surrounding this well known event, it still has plenty of fish and opportunity to catch these delicious specimens. Pay close attention to the regulations because they do have limits and size restrictions that are evolving based on pressure and annual angler harvest. Flounders are ambush feeders and while they are difficult to spot with the naked eye, focusing fishing efforts on the ledges, drains and drop offs will often reveal fish. The piers and jetties are also hot spots but you better show up early to get a prime spot. These areas quickly become crowded when the fishing is red hot in the fall. The bigger flounder feed heavily on shrimp but they are opportunistic feeders and also eat worms and other fish. Rigging a worm or live shrimp is a good way to catch flounder in the bay.