Fishing enthusiasts from all over the US make the Coastal Bend their spot of choice. The variety of options around Rockport are so plentiful, with flats and bays and open water. Beyond the uninhabited barrier islands of San Jose and Matagorda you can also enjoy offshore and deep sea fishing in the warm Gulf waters.
From first time fishers to pro-anglers, this is the place for you.
(See our FAQ page for fishing license information.)
Some notable spots are:
Rockport is surrounded by bays, with Aransas the largest and closest. It is 16 miles long by six miles wide with open water, grass flats, tidal lakes and oyster reefs, and is home to speckled trout, redfish, flounder, sheepshead, drum, and more.
Launch from the Rockport Beach Park ramp into the fat part of Aransas Bay – with easy access to Copano Bay – or launch from Bay Shore Drive and watch pelicans dive right in front of you.
Copano Bay, tucked behind the Rockport-Fulton peninsula, is pocked with shallow oyster reefs and teeming with marine life. As the closer inland bay, Copano Bay provides fish with a sanctuary from the winds off the Gulf. It can be tricky to navigate this area, particularly if you are not familiar with the reef locations. It is a good idea to have a guide take you out until you are fully comfortable with the location.
Just south of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and west of the barrier islands is the special spot - Mesquite Bay. It spreads out from tidal lakes and marshes, and is filled with redfish, trout and flounder.
Estes Flats is a deep water shoreline in Redfish Bay south of Rockport. It is a favorite spot for many Rockport and Fulton residents and visitors. There are a variety of bottom surfaces, such as drop offs, grass beds, mud and sand pot holes. Redfish love to hide and wait for a meal in these areas. This spot is also great for kayakers and those who want to drift in small crafts or pole along in the grass flats.
A great place to explore the local terrain and wildlife. Birders flock from all over the world to watch the many migratory birds that can be found here. You can also spend the day fishing from shore, boat, or the 1,620-foot long fishing pier. There is a regular boat launch and a kayak/canoe launch (bring your own boat). They even have a fish cleaning station and fishing tackle rental.
One of the perks of visiting the park, is that you do not need a fishing license to fish from shore or pier in a Texas state park.
Be sure to stop by for a photo in front of "The Big Tree".
This remote protected landscape is best known for its historic place in the American wildlife conservation movement. In 1941, when only 15 whooping cranes survived in the wild, the iconic bird became an emblem of alarm and concern for all endangered and threatened species. Aransas became a focal point of the national and worldwide effort to rescue the species from extinction.
In the 2019-2020 winter survey, there were just over 500 Whooping Cranes identified in the Refuge!