Galveston is Texas’s very own fishing Mecca. The town is surrounded by more types of waterways than you can shake a stick at. The Gulf of Mexico, inshore inlets, piers, reefs, pristine shorelines, and protected bays, it's got them all. And guess what? With such a wide array of habitats comes a litany of marine life. From big game fish – including none other than sharks – to plenty of species fit for dockside dining or a local fish fry, there's something out there for every angler. In fact, Galveston has most types of fishing known to man. What are you waiting for?
If such an abundance of fishing options seems daunting, fear not. These are the main types of fishing in Galveston, and you can't go wrong with any.
The open ocean, wind running through your hair, and the potential of a giant sea monster – what more could you want. An offshore fishing charter in Galveston is something to behold. One can start only a stone’s throw from the coastline, as there are still plenty of fish in the shallower waters. However, depending on your charter length and captain, it's better to get yourself approximately 30 miles out to sea. This is where offshore fishing really begins. These waters are home to angler favorites: King and Spanish Mackerel, Cobia, Sharks, and more. Dare to travel out even further and you might find yourself facing big Snapper, Wahoo, and Marlin.Browse Galveston fishing charters
Like fish but can't stomach the high seas? No problem. Inshore fishing is a blast. In fact, Galveston was rated by Saltwater Sportsman Magazine as number three on its list of Top 10 Saltwater fishing locations in the United States. With such a long coastline, there are plenty of great inshore spots to bag your catch of the day. Your best bets when the seas are rough may be a range of sheltered bays accessible from Galveston Island State Park, Pelican Island, and Seawolf Park. For pier fishing, there is also the 61st and Galveston Fishing Pier to consider. Plus old-timers are always on hand to teach you a trick or two should you wish.Browse Galveston fishing charters
Unlike many other states, fishing charters in Texas do not typically cover your fishing licenses. What this means is that, if you are over 17 years old, you will need to purchase a Texas fishing permit before you get out on the water. This applies to state residents and non-residents alike. If you only wish to fish for a single day, there is a One-Day All-Water License that lets you fish fresh and saltwater on a day of your choice. You can also buy longer-term or annual licenses if planning to fish multiple days or on a longer expedition. Fishing licenses are available at approximately 1,700 locations throughout the state. This includes, but is by no means limited to, sporting goods stores, gun shops, department stores, discount stores, bait and tackle shops, and grocery stores.Purchase a Texas Fishing License
With such a fantastic array of fishing spots, it's hard to choose, right? Don’t worry, we've got you covered. Check out these top fishing spots below. We promise they'll leave you with plenty of fishy tales.
Of course, the Gulf of Mexico. This sublime body of water is a treasure trove for anglers. Southeasterly breezes pull fish towards the shore, while jetties, piers, and submerged structures, plus over thirty miles of beach mean it is easy to reel in a fish – that is, if you decide to stay close to the shore. Further offshore, some real whoppers are to be had. Anglers in this stretch of water regularly reel in Cobia, Wahoo, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Red Snapper, Kingfish, Marlin, and Shark. Be on the lookout for artificial reefs, shipwrecks, and oil rigs, these waters are dotted with thousands of them.View Fishing Boats
If you're willing to make the journey – the Banks are 100 miles from Galveston – this place is the Garden of Eden. Recently expanded from 56 square miles to 160, this wildlife sanctuary is made up of 17 different reefs and banks. Conventional hook and line fishing is the only form of fishing allowed in the sanctuary. However, you will see a plethora of species. There’s Barracuda, Bluehead and yellowhead Wrasses, Butterflyfish Groups, plus a whole host of other species. This truly is a fantastic place to lay down a line.View Fishing Boats
Galveston Island State Park provides a range of great opportunities for anglers. On the beachside, it's possible to wade into the surf and fish at your leisure. What you will catch depends a lot on the time, tide, wind direction, and, of course, how tasty your bait is. Nevertheless, Speckled Trout, Redfish, and Flounder can all be caught from the beach over the course of a year. Seasonal visitors include Mackerel, Ladyfish, and Trophy-sized Drum.View Fishing Boats
Here are three recommendations for preparing for a fishing trip out of Galveston.
Charters in Galveston range mostly from $199 to $2,500. Many are captained for 3, 4, 6, or up to 12 passengers.
If booking a charter, your captain will have exactly what’s needed for the fish you want to target. Going on your own? You can get more information from local bait and tackle shops, or look for other help online.
When booking a fishing charter, remember to come prepared with cash since gratuity is expected for most captains and/or their first mates helping on the trip.
Mackerel, Marlin, and Sailfish – they're all here. In fact, Galveston hosts an immense diversity of fish, which tag each other out in terms of the fishing season across the year. See the main targets below.
Snappy by name, snapper by nature. Red Snapper promise an exciting battle. And if you manage to land one, they're tasty too.
The most common Sharks in Galveston are Blacktips, Tiger Sharks, and Hammerheads. For the best chances to catch one, time your visit between late May and September.
Flounder are an angler's favorite. Not much of a looker, what Flounder lacks in beauty, it more than makes up for it in their cunning and flavor.
Although it might be the Lone Star State, Texas gets five stars when it comes to fishing.
Love archery and fishing? Bowfishing involves – you guessed it – firing a bow and arrow at fish from the boat. If this sounds simple to you, then think again. Bowfishing is a special challenge that requires skill and precision. Although less popular than more orthodox techniques, such as casting and gigging, bowfishing for Flounder is guaranteed to satisfy your adrenaline fix of the year.
Spearfishing is not for the faint-hearted. In the world-famous Gulf of Mexico to shallower waters, spearfishing in Texas is a sure way to get your blood pumping. You'll come face to face with some big fish. And by that, we mean REALLY big fish. Most notable of which are Tuna and Mahi Mahi. However, if you fancy something smaller, but no less thrilling, why not dive into shallower waters and hunt some Redfish, Snappers, and Speckled Trout.
Since the dawn of recreational saltwater fishing, Sharks have occupied the minds of anglers the world over. And there is nothing like trying to bag yourself a Shark in Galveston. In fact, local anglers have transformed Shark fishing into a sport of its own – worthy of the Olympics. Yet its definition is hotly contested. For many anglers, Shark fishing is about hooking a monster far out at sea. While for others it is more about using your craftiness and strength on the shore. Where do you stand?
Unsurprisingly, the climate in Texas provides opportunity to fish year-round. Many species such as sharks can be caught throughout the year. That said, there are certain limitations imposed on some fish species and water activities at given times of the year. Red Snapper, for instance, opens in June and closes in August. Flounder have a limited rest period between November and December.
The low season for Sharks.
Best time for KingFish.
Spanish Mackerel come to town.
The low season for sharks comes to an end.
Sailfish and Marlin are at their peak.
Start of the Red Snapper season.
Best time for most fish species in Texas.
Dolphinfish and Amberjack are at their best.
Shark taper off.
Spanish Mackerel begin to dwindle. Good time for Wahoo.
Flounder are off-limits.
Flounder are still out of bounds.