Fishing from a kayak or boat opens up a ton of water but dock and pier fishing around Rockport remains one of the better approaches to tackling the local waters. The structures provide critical habitat and even savvy boat fisherman will focus on the water immediately adjacent to a dock or pier. Fishing from the shoreline is also simple and affordable. Bring your rod, a tackle box and lunch and you are set for a few hours or the entire day. No dock fees, gas for the boat or anything other expenses are required unless you fish a park that charges a small entry fee.
Dock Fishing Basics
Drive down the gulf coast and you will see docks, piers and jetties that are perfect for shore fishing. Before rigging up your rod, check the location for signs and safe access points. Some areas are off limits for safety and other may have restricted access from private property. You can always ask the landowner for permission if desired but plenty of great public access points are also available.
Fishing from a dock, pier or jetty is fairly simple. In the Rockport area, you can cast lures or focus on bait fishing. Lures like big spoons and spinners are fished in a cast and retrieve sequence and they work well for the speckled trout, drum and redfish. They are generalized and can catch just about anything willing to strike.
On day where the fish are fussy and difficult, fishing a jig setup is also a good approach. Basic marabou jig patterns fished a few feet off the bottom are effective. Work the areas close to pylons, rocks and structure where the fish hide.
Lastly, a bait setup with shrimp, crabs mullet or pinfish can really produce. The natural baits are known to catch some bigger redfish and they can pull just about any species found within casting range of the dock. Baits can work while suspended below a bobber. Alternatively, using a weight to hit bottom with the bait floating just above the bottom is a deadly strategy. Look for piers with sand or grass bottoms so the bait is visible to the fish. Live shrimp are about as good as it gets for bait fishing this area.
Where to Go Near Rockport
The amount of shoreline available is overwhelming around Rockport but certain public access points are better than others because they have deeper waters and great habitat. Finding shore or dock access with
Head down to the famous Rockport public beach and you will find the big pier. Walk out and find yourself a nice spot to setup and fish. The pier is easy to access and you have the advantage of public restrooms and picnic spots on the beach as well. The pier is long and the distance it reaches off the shoreline makes it a popular fishing spot. Trout, drum and redfish will work the waters right around the pier and anglers can catch some nice fish on the right days at this location.
Copano Bay State Fishing Pier
Located just outside of Rockport, this 5+ acre park has a great fishing pier. You can also walk the rocky shoreline and do some bird and wildlife viewing from this park. The pier has great space availability and low surrounding boat traffic which makes it a good spot for fisherman.
Cove Harbor Marina
The marina has three different boat ramps that are good for fishing. The boat ramps create structure and you can wait for the morning rush to clear before hitting the water. Alternatively, show up before folks start launching and get the first hour bite before the boats start loading. Marinas have boat ramps, docks and a ton of structure. Many even have artificial light at night that incidentally draws baitfish and predatory fish.
While the Cove Harbor Marina has a few good spots, there are quite a few boat ramps and marina points up and down the gulf coast. A little bit of investigating can reveal soe great fishing spots that are hidden in plain sight.
Stop at the Fulton Harbor Bait and Seafood shop for fishing reports, advice and fresh baits before walking out on the pier. After a day of fishing, you can always head back for a meal of fresh seafood. The Fulton Pier has a ton of space and will hold numerous anglers. On many days, you can have it to yourself or only share with a few other dedicated folks however.