–By Danno Wise
For generations, Port Isabel has been a launching pad for anglers fishing the Lower Laguna Madre and nearshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Today, fishermen continue to flock here, knowing the angling experience offered by Port Isabel is unrivaled by other destinations along the Texas coast.
Legendary for its production of trophy speckled trout (spotted seatrout), the Lower Laguna Madre yielded the current Texas state record trout in 2002. Redfish, one of the most popular gamefish along the Gulf Coast, are also found in abundance on the Lower Laguna shallow, clear flats.
In addition to the traditional Texas inshore fare of speckled trout, redfish and flounder, the waters fronting Port Isabel are also home to a variety of \’more tropical species\’ than is typically found elsewhere in the Lone Star State. The only fishable population of snook in the United States outside of South Florida resides in the Lower Laguna, as do healthy populations of mangrove snapper, lookdowns, gag grouper, Spanish mackerel and more.
Tarpon also draw a good number of anglers to Port Isabel each year. A resident population of juvenile tarpon is available to anglers year around. Mature fish are typically found in fishable numbers from April through October – by far the longest \’tarpon season\’ on the Texas coast.
Anglers looking to head into the Brazos Santiago Pass and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico beyond will have an opportunity to catch not only tarpon, but also kingfish (king mackerel), bonito, blackfin and yellowfin tuna, red snapper, wahoo, ling, and a variety of billfish.
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Fishing South Padre Island, Lower Laguna Madre, Port Isabel & South Bay