LOCATED at the southern end of Texas’ famed Lower Laguna Madre Bay, scant miles above the U.S./Mexico border, Port Isabel has beckoned to generations of saltwater fishermen. Anglers fishing these clear, shallow waters today can easily see why fishermen have flocked here for nearly a century. The diversity of game fish species swimming in the waters surrounding Port Isabel is unlike that found anywhere else along the Texas Gulf Coast. And, with miles of shallow grass flats teeming with fish, anglers have plenty of room to roam and can easily find a secluded spot to fish – a luxury not often afforded on other crowded coastal waters. The combination of moderate year-around weather, dozens of available species and the clearest water on the Texas Gulf Coast make Port Isabel the perfect destination for an angling vacation.
AS IS THE CASE ALONG THE ENTIRE Gulf Coast, redfish are a top draw for anglers in the Lower Laguna Madre. With miles of shallow, clear grass flats, the Lower Laguna is an ideal playground for anyone hoping to tangle with big redfish.
PERHAPS THE MOST OVERLOOKED TARPON fishery in the entire country lies just a few miles from Port Isabel Small Boat Channel. The Brazos Santiago Pass, which connects the Lower Laguna Madre to the Gulf of Mexico is the seasonal home to Silver Kings from April through November. Fish ranging from 20 to 200 pounds can be encountered during the prime tarpon months, which run July through October.
BOASTING THE ONLY fishable snook population in the continental United States outside south Florida, the Lower Laguna Madre is home to lunker linesiders throughout the year. During the summer and fall, snook can consistently be found over the shallow flats of the Lower Laguna. During the winter and spring, they are typically found in the port areas.
THE LOWER LAGUNA MADRE has long been famous for producing high quantities of quality speckled trout. In fact, the current Texas state record and numerous IGFA line class world records have come from these waters.
MORE THAN ANYTHING, anglers can expect a diverse catch when they visit the Lower Laguna Madre. In addition to species such as redfish, speckled trout, snook and tarpon, fishermen routinely encounter flounder, Spanish mackerel, kingfish, mangrove snapper, barracudas, jack crevalle, black drum, sheepshead, shark, ladyfish, lookdowns, grouper and many other types of saltwater fish – many of which aren’t found elsewhere on the Texas coast.
Photos & text credit: Danno Wise.
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Fishing South Padre Island, Lower Laguna Madre, Port Isabel & South Bay