The 7 Top Beaches For Surf Fishing In Texas Your Guide To Exciting Angling Adventures

Last updated on February 5th, 2024 at 08:45 pm

Surf fishing in Texas offers some of the most inviting beach destinations around with 367 miles of open Gulf shoreline, most of it typified by rather broad, sandy beaches. Combined with a comparatively mild climate that permits almost year-round use of this recreational resource, Texas is a surf anglers’ paradise. Follow along as we take a closer look at the best beaches for surf fishing in the Lone Star State.


The Top 7 Texas Beaches for Surf Fishing are:

  1. Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) – Just south of Corpus Christi.
  2. Mustang Island State Park: Between Port Aransas and Corpus Christi.
  3. Boca Chica Beach & South Padre Island: North of the town of Port Isabel.
  4. Matagorda Beach: North of Corpus Christi and south of Houston.
  5. Surfside Beach: Southeast of Houston near the town of Freeport
  6. Galveston Island State Park: South of Houston on Galveston Island
  7. Crystal Beach: Across Galveston Bay from Galveston Island on the Bolivar Peninsula


Growing up in Texas I have spent many days surf fishing the beaches from one end of the state to the other. Surf fishing in Texas became one of my favorite types of fishing. The Texas Gulf Coast beaches boast an assortment of environments, attractions, and amenities. There is something for everyone from serene and primitive national seashores to bustling state parks.

Now, what makes a great surf fishing beach? It’s a combination of factors really – the diversity of fish species to catch, the quality of the environment, accessibility, and perhaps the community of fellow anglers. Let’s take a closer look at the top beaches for surf fishing in Texas and help you select the ideal spot for your next fishing trip.

Google Map of the location of the Top 7 Beaches for surf fishing in Texas
Image Credit: Google Maps
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Now, If you’re aiming for a place unspoiled by heavy tourist footprints, and prefer a more primitive and less crowded surf fishing destination, then you’ve got to check out Padre Island National Seashore.

Padre Island National Seashore stands out as a prime location for surf fishing in Texas. The peace you find here is unmatched, mainly due to fewer crowds compared to more commercialized spots. The island stretches for over 60 miles, offering a vast shoreline for anglers and beachcombers alike. Most of the beach is soft sand so a four-wheel drive vehicle is required.

Located just south of Corpus Christi on Park Road 22, PINS is my home waters. I have been fishing on Padre Island for over half a century. In my opinion, what makes this place special is its year-round fishing opportunities.

Depending on when you visit, you might catch redfish, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, whiting, black drum, or various shark species. It’s essential to stay informed about tides, beach conditions, fish migrations, and feeding patterns to make the most of your trip here.

Remember PINS is a national park and you need to follow the rules and regulations for both your safety and the preservation of the island’s natural beauty and wildlife. And, a citation on a national park is very expensive. Always check for any updated rules, restrictions, or guidelines before setting out to fish on the National Seashore.

Now, Mustang Island State Park isn’t just a fishing location; it’s a full-on family getaway. Located between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas Texas, the park is accessible for beginners and families, who’ll find both comfort and adventure along the beach in the park.

Fishing Mustang Island State Park, you’ll be able to catch the same fish found on PINS although it will be more crowded fishing due to the ease of access and proximity to town. It’s common to catch speckled trout, redfish, black drum, and the occasional shark. So, whether you’re trying surf fishing in Texas for the first time or simply looking for a great family vacation destination, Mustang Island State Park has something for you.

And, after all, a beach surf fishing trip isn’t just about fishing; it’s also about sharing time with your loved ones in nature and enjoying the beach. Beyond the surf fishing, there’s an array of recreational activities, from bird watching to hiking trails to beachcombing and more. The Park amenities include well-equipped picnic and camping areas.

Just a Quick tip: Call ahead and make a reservation to secure a camping spot. The park can get crowded during peak tourist seasons. Just imagine waking up to the sound of waves and the potential of the morning’s first catch. Plus, you’re just a stone’s throw away from vibrant Corpus Christi with a variety of sights and attractions for the whole family, should you crave a little city time.

Another Texas beach that offers solitude and the raw undeveloped beauty of nature, is Boca Chica Beach. Nestled at the mouth of the Rio Grande this remote stretch of beach offers a tranquil setting away from the bustling tourist spots. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to hone your surf fishing skills on this uncrowded beach.

When planning your trip to Boca Chica, it’s wise to prepare for a lack of amenities; it truly is an off-the-grid experience. Bring your supplies, including bait, food, water, and a first aid kit. This also means practicing Leave No Trace principles to ensure the area remains pristine for both wildlife and fellow anglers. Please try to leave it cleaner than you found it.

South Padre Island, just a stone’s throw from Boca Chica and north of the resort town of Port Isabel, offers a slightly more accessible surf fishing in Texas experience while still providing 22 miles of beach with that sought-after remote feel. Known for its clear waters and abundant fish, South Padre is ideal for both novice and experienced surf anglers.

What’s more, the island is home to several fishing competitions throughout the year, adding a bit of competitive spirit to the fishing experience if you are into such things. The beach offers primitive camping or you can find plenty of accommodations and amenities in the town of Port Isabel.

The dunes and flats of South Padre Island are home to a variety of wildlife, with some species that are unique to the region like the endangered Kemp Ridley’s Sea Turtles. As anglers, we must help protect the environment and its inhabitants.

That means handling fish properly by practicing safe catch and release, disposing of line, hooks, and trash responsibly, and also being careful to adhere to the rules and regulations designed to sustain healthy fish populations.

Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Matagorda Beach is a fisherman’s paradise that’s often overlooked. Believe me, the mixing of freshwater from the Colorado River into the saltwater gulf creates a thriving estuary ecosystem, and that translates into some of the most exciting surf fishing in Texas.

So what’s the deal with estuaries and why should you care? These unique natural environments where rivers meet the sea are teeming with life. A wide variety of fish species call this beach home, attracted by the rich nutrients and varied habitats. It’s no wonder Matagorda Beach is known for its redfish, speckled trout, flounder, and even shark fishing.

Matagorda Beach has been one of my favorites for years. You have access to both the 22 miles of beach for surf fishing and the bay on the back side of the dunes for inshore fishing. It is one of my go-to destinations for sail line fishing as well.

If you want to maximize your fishing experience at Matagorda beach, timing is everything. I suggest hitting the beach early morning or late afternoon when the fish are most active. It’s also wise to check the local tide tables, as many anglers swear by incoming tides for the best bites.

Rex McMahon casting his surf spinning rod in the surf
Yours truly doing a little wintertime surf fishing at Matagorda Beach Texas

The first few miles of beach can get crowded on weekends but if you have a four-wheel drive vehicle you can venture down the beach and get away from the crowd. And if you’re game for a little adventure, try kayaking to some of the less accessible spots in Matagorda Bay. There is a wealth of unique fishing opportunities if you’re willing to explore.

Now, we’re shifting our focus to a lesser-known destination for surf fishing in Texas called Surfside Beach. Located southeast of Houston on Follet’s Island near the town of Freeport this place is a favorite among locals, and for good reason. It’s known for its fantastic surf fishing.

Here at Surfside Beach, you’ll find a 13-mile stretch of coast that’s a prime destination for surf anglers looking for flounder, redfish, speckled trout, and big sharks. It’s not just the variety of fish that makes Surfside so appealing; it’s also the unhindered and access to prime beach fishing spots available from CR257 aka “The Blue Water Highway”.

Aerial Map of Follet's Island Texas

If you’re planning a visit, one tip to keep in mind is to check the tides; they play a huge role in the surf fishing success here. Aim for fishing during moving tides, as this is when fish are most actively feeding.

And, if you’d rather not get wet wading in the surf, don’t forget to take advantage of the beach’s fishing piers, which give you a decent shot at deeper water without needing to fight the waves.

Surfside Beach offers easy access and primitive camping. Or if you prefer, you can find accommodations in the town of Surfside or just across the San Luis Pass Bridge on West Galveston Island. In the summer months when the green tides push up on the beach the speckled trout fishing can be awesome and nonstop.

Located on Galveston Island, about 45 miles south of Houston, Galveston Island State Park is a prime spot for surf fishing and family vacations. This stretch of shoreline is not only bountiful with diverse marine life, but the conditions for surf fishing are top-notch all year round. Plus there are activities and attractions for the whole family.

Galveston Island State Park boasts facilities that cater to every angler’s needs. The park has convenient fishing spots, ample parking, and even places to rinse off your gear and clean your catch. For those planning an extended stay, there are campgrounds available, making it easy to wake up at the crack of dawn and cast your line with the sunrise. At the far west end of the island is San Luis Pass known for awesome surf and bay fishing.

The Park is just a few short miles from the City of Galveston with all of its amenities and attractions. There is fun for the whole family both in the park and up the road in Galveston. Be aware that this park is not only a place for fishing but an area rich in wildlife that relies on us to maintain its pristine condition. This includes ensuring that the beaches and waters stay clean for generations of fishers to come.

Please do your part by respecting the rules and regulations and try to leave the park cleaner than you found it by picking up not only your trash but any other trash that may have washed up on the beach.

Across the bay from Galveston Island is the Bolivar Peninsula and another great beach for surf fishing in Texas. The Peninsula offers a variety of iconic spots that have their own unique fishing experiences.

Crystal Beach is a small community on the Bolivar Peninsula, about 25 miles east of Galveston. It is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and abundant fishing opportunities. Also, known as Patton, Crystal Beach stretches 7 miles along Texas State Highway 87 in the middle of Bolivar Peninsula.

Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner looking for an exciting adventure, Crystal Beach provides a wide variety of fishing possibilities. Surf fishing in Crystal Beach Texas is a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the natural beauty and bounty of the upper Texas Gulf Coast. You can catch fish such as redfish, speckled trout, flounder, pompano, whiting, croaker, and more.

To make the most of your surf fishing adventure in Crystal Beach, you need to understand the best times to fish on the beach. Your fishing experiences can vary throughout the year due to seasonal changes and weather patterns.

Surf Fishing Crystal Beach Texas - Aerial view of Crystal Beach Texas
Crystal Beach Texas

Generally, the months of spring and fall offer excellent fishing opportunities, with milder temperatures, plentiful bait in the surf, and favorable fishing conditions. As a bonus, it’s just a short ferry ride across the bay from Crystal Beach to all the attractions and amenities of the tourist destination of Galveston.

As we wrap up our journey through the top beaches for surf fishing in Texas. Each spot we’ve explored offers a unique experience that caters to anglers of all skill levels.

Everything from the untamed beauty of Padre Island to the family-friendly Mustang Island State Park, and the remote, pristine Boca Chica Beach, among others. Don’t worry too much about selecting the ‘perfect’ spot on your first attempt.

Surf fishing is as much about the experience and connection with nature as it is about the catch. You can always try a different Texas beach down the road. Your first attempt doesn’t need to be your last—so I encourage you to keep exploring, learning, and growing as a surf angler. Be adventurous and visit all seven of the Top Beaches for surf fishing in Texas, you won’t regret it!

Now, I hope that my insights have armed you with the knowledge to make your next surf fishing excursion in Texas a successful and memorable one. Remember, preserving the beauty and sustainability of these coastal ecosystems is our collective responsibility as anglers and outdoorsmen.

Thanks for taking the time to explore the Texas coast with me. I’d love to hear about your experiences and your catches surf fishing in Texas, or anywhere else for that matter. In the comment section below, you can share your stories, lend your insights, and help us keep the surf fishing culture in Texas thriving for generations to come.

A bikini-clad lady angler holding a pair of slot black drum while she stands on the shore with the water behind her

As always, stay safe, enjoy the journey and please try to leave it cleaner than you found it. If you have any comments, questions, ideas, or suggestions please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you ASAP. You can follow us on Facebook: Rex The Beach Angler, Instagram: thebeachangler7, Twitter: @AnglerBeach, and YouTube: Man Art Creations.

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