When the fish are biting. Go out any time and if they bite, stay, if not try again later. The fish aren't on any schedule sometimes they're here, sometimes they're somewhere else. Don't forget you must have a fishing license.
If you prefer live bait, the bait shops in Rockport and Fulton have fresh live shrimp most of the time. Finger mullet, pin fish, and crabs are seasonal. If you have a cast net, you can catch live bait from the bay. Small crabs are great for big reds and the other bait will catch everything.
Don't buy squid, it doesn't work in the bays (except for hard heads that eat anything). Dead shrimp work for everything and can be purchased at the bait stands. You can catch large reds using full size crabs cracked in half (no claws, no top shell). Dead mullet, pin fish, and cut bait catch hard heads and some times red fish.
How to Fish Live and Dead Bait
For bobber fishing, use a 12-18" leader from the bottom of the bobber to your hook. Place weight in between the bobber and the hook if using one. When fishing on the bottom, use half ounce sliding weight, swivel, and 18" leader to hook.
Any freshwater bass lure will catch trout. Salt Water Assassins, gold and silver spoons and topwaters. Assassins in clear with gold speckle and light colors with chartreuse tails and blacks and darkreds during the day. At night, the #1 Assassins is pure white and black back, light belly, no sparkle Saltwater Assassin. We have caught "thousands" of trout with these at night; rig them weed less with worm shank hooks, we like to use Owner Hooks, they make a worm shank hook with an adjustable weight on the shank . Other good colors at night are dark red and motor oil. These Saltwater Assassins can be purchases locally at Tackle Town on Business 35 North of the Wal-Mart and Between Miss Kitty's Fishing Getaways office and Cafe Vallarta. (Mention that Miss Kitty sent you.) Speck rigs work well for reds and trout. Small jigs and Bass Assassins bounced off the bottom have caught many flounder. Spoons and crank baits also caught reds and trout and for a real rush you can't beat a top water plug.
No need to use anything larger than 15 lb test monofilament line for bait fishing. use 8 & 10 lb test monofilament line for lure fishing as well as bait fishing. If using braded line use no larger than 6 lb diameter, 30lb test.
The quieter you are, the more fish you will catch, however, how do you keep your 6 year old from jumping up and down and clapping every time they catch a 4 inch yellow tail?
Please take pictures of whatever you catch and email to us to include in our photo albums, our websites and photo contest.
Sting rays are very dangerous and painful. Please just cut your line if you catch one. Hard heads (they look like cat fish) have a poison in their fins, so use hook outs when removing from the hook. Make sure to wash and use antiseptic on all cuts. If the cut is deep and caused by oyster shell please go to a doctor for antibiotics and stitches.
Wading boots and sting ray guards are strongly suggested. There are lots of locations in the area to wade from shore as well as from your boat. It's a great way to explore the back lakes and shallow reefs that cover the area. It's also really cool catching 25 in reds in 8 in of water.
Safety first, make sure your boat meets all coast guard requirements. There is a very good chance u will get stopped by parks and wildlife so, NO UNDER SIZE FISH!!!!! I suggest at least a top-o-map of the bays you will be fishing and a cell phone. These bays are very shallow and a GPS is extremely helpful in avoiding sandbars and oyster reefs. Kayaks are a great way to explore the shallows with out getting wet and there are lots of businesses in the area that rent kayaks and do guided trips. Sailing is also a great activity in Rockport because of the great prevailing SE wind. Here are some helpful links for boating in the area:
Rockport offers some of the finest fishing on the Texas gulf coast. The many bays, lakes, and saltwater marshes provide an excellent habitat for a large number of game fish and water fowl. You will find many knowledgeable guides who specialize in wade fishing, fly, lure or bait fishing, kayak fishing, bay and offshore fishing, and hunting. We have chosen some of the top guides in Rockport and the Coastal Bend area that are highly experienced and Coast Guard Certified so that you and your guests can have a fun and successful fishing or hunting experience! We can also set up multiple guide trips for large groups.