Summer visitors hit the coast every year in hopes of experiencing the thrill of catching that big fish, or a string of large fish. This summer may prove to be an exceptional fishing season for coastal vistors, that's according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).
Last summer's heavy rainfalls and a mild and dry winter created the perfect `nursery'environment for Texas bays and estuaries to produce large amounts of fish. In fact, according to Larry Mckinney, TPWD coastal fisheries director, "It was such an extraordinary event that I'm sure it will sustain productivity for sometime and the end result will be some very strong year classes of fish."
Of course, catching them is another thing. Along with fishing skills and wisdom, fishing requires one more thing - luck!
The Texas Coast is filled with plenty of fishing guides and charter companies who always seem to have luck on their side and know just where to go to find the big fish. And if you ask, you'll get plenty of free advice on where and how to fish. For instance, you must decide whether you want to fish the bay or try your hand offshore. In the summer, with the warmer water, fish generally head to deeper water. Your best bay fishing will be in the cooler hours - early morning or evening. And remember, the bay is a great place to fish, especially at sunrise and sunset and even into the bright starry night.
Offshore fishing takes more time, so if you have limited time on the coast, you might want to plan a deep sea excursion first and then plan everything else you do around it. It's well worth your effort to head offshore, but some of the best summer fishing will be found in the bay.
There are a few things you'll want to make sure you have with you regardless where and when you go fishing. Make sure you have plenty of sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses, hats, even a long sleeve cotton shirt for more protection, drinking water, an ice chest and, if you're headed offshore, seasickness protection. Local pharmacies can help with an over-the-counter medication.
Because trips can differ so widely,study the price and services being offered. Research the individual service providers by visiting their web sites, or stop by their place of business for a brochure and information. Compare your need to their offerings. Charters usually provide bait and tackle and many will clean and filet your catch for a nominal fee. The two most popular options are charter boats with experienced local guides. Party boats are generally less expensive, leave at regular intervals, but carry many anglers. Both are fine experiences, it just depends on your time, budget, and desire to catch fish. If you opt for an offshore experience you may need to purchase a Texas license with a saltwater stamp, but one-day permits are easily obtained.
So what are you waiting for? Make a summer vacation memory and get ready to fish!