Fishing the Texas Gulf Coast

By: Carl Willis

For the freshwater fisherman, places like Lake Corpus Christi canít be beat. Lake Corpus Christi is an 18,256 acre paradise of freshwater fishing. The predominant species of game fish include:
* Largemouth Bass
* Catfish
* Crappie
* White Bass
* Sunfish

A little closer to the coastline is the Upper Laguna Madre. The ULM, as it is known locally, stretches about 40 miles south from Corpus Christi Bay. The ULM is known for its shallow waters and extensive beds of sea grass. This feature of the ULM makes it an ideal habitat for marine life. Shrimp, crabs and smaller fish such as Pin Perch and Mullet use the sea grass beds as their primary habitat. Larger game fish such as Red Drum, Black Drum and Speckled Sea Trout commonly use these areas for cover and feeding. The predominant species of game fish in the ULM include:
* Red Drum
* Black Drum
* Speckled Sea Trout
* Flounder

The ULM is also home to a variety of fishing methods. Wade fishing is a popular method of fishing in the ULM, because the average depth is only around 2-4 feet. Fishermen are able to wade out to the edge of deeper holes and the Intracoastal Waterway, which runs through the ULM and is dredged out for commercial and recreational boat traffic.

Another popular mode of fishing in the ULM is kayak fishing. The use of a kayak allows the angler to cross over deeper holes and to drift fish over the beds of sea grass. Many anglers will kayak to their favorite spot and then disembark to wade fish.

Other anglers utilize shallow draft boats, called flats boats. These boats have a very shallow depth to their hull and can operate in minimal depths of water. The boats often have an elevated platform from which the boat operator can pole push the vessel and drift towards fertile pockets of sea grass and other highly productive areas of activity.

The Texas Gulf Coastline leads to the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico is a relatively warm body of water and offers excellent fishing for the big game fisherman. Fishing the Gulf of Mexico can take on a variety of forms. One of the most common forms of Gulf Coast fishing occurs on the local piers. These structures go 100 yards or so into the surf and provide a fertile ground for fishing. Some fishermen choose to surf fish by wading out waist deep into the surf and casting out past the shallow sand bars. Other fishermen use a variation of this technique by kayaking their bait beyond the sand bars into deeper water. Once their bait is dropped they return to the shoreline and plant their rod and reel into the sand using a rod holder. The true adventurer will take a boat into the Gulf of Mexico in search of the truly big game fish. Depending upon the sought after catch, they may anchor off of one of the many oil drilling platforms, or drift fish near an anchored oil tanker. Some of the predominant game fish in the Gulf of Mexico include:
* Red Snapper
* Kingfish
* Spanish Mackerel
* Amberjack
* Black Tip Shark

The Coastal Bend of the Texas Gulf Coast is a wonderful playground for the avid fisherman. Whether you are fishing saltwater or freshwater, you are guaranteed to have a great time.

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Carl Willis

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