Guests at Kinpadre beachfront vacation rental on South Padre Island, often ask for information about fishing.
Group charter boats are available for the Laguna Madre bay, as well as deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf can be very rough, so if you get at all queasy, I recommend fishing from the shore, or on the bay.
What about group charters for fishing in South Padre?
Osprey Cruises located at Pier 19 offers day trip bay fishing 8-12 noon, 2-5, 7-11 for $25 fisherman and $15 spectator. If the fish are running, action can be lively with a strikes and fish. But no or few fish is possible anywhere on the island, from surf, jetties, or charters. There are other fishing charter services as well.
What about private charters with a fishing guide?
Private charters can run $450 for 2 people, plus tip.
Will I need a fishing license?
The first answer is yes. Fishing licenses are available from Walmart in Port Isabel, and the Quick Stop bait shop, also in Port Isabel about 1/2 mile from the causeway, on the south side of highway 100. Resident: $40, $17 senior $11 one day. Non-resident $68, 1 day $16.
Will I have to clean the fish? What do I do with them after I catch them?
After fishing, the charter crew will fillet the fish for a small tip, and Pier 19 and other restaurants offer “you hook it, we cook it” service. If you don’t like fish, or don’t want the bother, the crew or other fishermen will be thrilled to take them from you.
Can I fish on the beach? What kind of bait and rig?
If the water is warm, wade into the surf on the beach with hook and line. Ask other fishermen for technique. They fish for whiting, using shrimp or a product called Fishbites, colored strips that look like chewing gum. The Texas Parks and Wildlife warns against using frozen shrimp from Mexico, as it can carry a virus deadly to the native Gulf shrimp and ecosystem. So know the source, frozen boxed bait shrimp are monitored by Texas conservation officers.
Fresh, never frozen shimp are more expensive, but also much more effective as bait. Fresh shrimp (live or dead) are usually available at the Quick Stop bait shop in Post Isabel.
Where is a good place for fishing supplies and expert advice?
The Quick Stop (again) has equipment and advice. Walmart also has a good selection of fishing equipment. The associate in the hunting department may also be able to answer some questions.
Here is a video with it all: South Padre Island surf fishing, a group charter, and how to cook it after!