Galveston is a Texas city located on Galveston Island that is surrounded by the West Bay, Galveston Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico, making it an ideal location for fishing enthusiasts. The city is thus home to more than 150 species of fish, ranging from redfish to specks to flounder to sharks to sand trout to gulf whiting to cobia, and Up Above Adventures provides Galveston fishing yacht charters that allow you to take advantage of private fishing trips.
Galveston offers a number of pristine fishing spots, whether you are on the north or south side of the island. If you look at the SaltWater Sportsman list of the top 10 saltwater fishing cities in the United States, Galveston ranks third.
Some of the best fishing spots in Galveston include:
- Rollover Pass — The Texas Game and Fish Commission opened Rollover Pass in 1955 to help improve local fishing conditions, and seawater was introduced into East Bay to promote vegetation growth and provide access for marine fish to spawn and feed. The Commission widened Rollover Pass the year it opened after being granted an easement by the property owners. Rollover Pass had a constantly changing water flow that brought a wide variety of marine life through the area, with incoming tides bringing in salt water and organisms, while outgoing tides carried them out again but also had other species. From September 17 through September 19, 2019, Tropical Storm Imelda created 43 inches of water in southeast Texas, and the residents of the Gilchrist area voiced concerns to the Galveston County commissioners on September 23 that closing Rollover Pass could divert significant quantities of flood waters. On April 19, 2013, the Gulf Coast Rod, Reel, and Gun Club, Inc. and the Gilchrist Community Association filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas Galveston Division against the Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and other parties. The residents reminded the county that the property takeover and eminent domain issues were still being litigated in the appeals court. On September 30, 2019, chain link fencing was erected by a contractor at the direction of the Texas General Land Office and Galveston County on the properties surrounding Rollover Pass, and it prohibited access to the land area by the public. Rollover Pass has since been closed by filling it in with dirt, and you can see the actual view of the site by webcam. The Texas General Land Office states on its website that Rollover Pass had to be closed because it threatened to make serious storms even more dangerous because the pass had the capacity to trap Bolivar residents in a rising flood and also caused significant erosion that increased the possibility that the walls and surrounding sidewalks might collapse at any time.
- Galveston Fishing Pier — The Galveston Fishing Pier charges $15 for adults 11 years of age or older, $10 for senior citizens 65 years of age or older, $6 for children 6 to 10 years of age, and children 5 years of age and under are free. The official website includes a live Galveston Fishing Pier cam for you to review current conditions. The pier’s Facebook page boasts that the pier is the longest fishing pier established in 1971. Located at 9001 Seawall Boulevard, the pier provides gear rentals and guided pier fishing tours. Passes will be valid from the time of purchase until 5 a.m. the following morning. While the pier has gone by a number of names, including the 90th St Pier, the 91st St Pier, the Gulf Coast Fishing Pier, the name that stuck the most is simply the Galveston Fishing Pier. Take a short trip on Seawall Boulevard to get to the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, a complex offering 15 rides, a roller coaster, and a ferris wheel. The pier sells adult day passes for $15, seniors and military passes for $10, and child day passes for $6.
- East Bay — East Bay is also known as East Galveston Bay and is the eastern extension of Galveston Bay found in Chambers County. It is approximately five miles wide and 20 miles in length, covering the area north of the entire Bolivar Peninsula. Bolivar Peninsula offers 27 miles of beaches and pristine waters. East Bay is desirable because of several oyster beds in the system and a thriving habitat for redfish (or red drum) and speckled trout (or specks). Redfish can be quite large in East Bay. When you offer a plump shrimp, crab, or mullet as bait, you will be reeling in a red in no time. Other species found throughout East Bay include black drum and flounder, as well as others. East Galveston Bay has several ideal places to fish, including West Bolivar Flats, Fat Rat Flats, Elmgrove Flats, Robinson Flats, Pepper Grove Reef, Smith Point, Cow Shed Reef, and Northwest Flats.
- Eagle Point Marina — The Eagle Point Marina website states that it has been a full-service marina since 1958. The marina is located in San Leon, Texas, only about 15 minutes north of Galveston. Eagle Point Fishing Camp was established in 1929 and is one of the only fishing marinas in the country that allows anglers to store their boats, launch their boats, purchase fishing amenities, stay overnight at an RV park, and even become educated by staff about fishing on Galveston Bay. Eagle Point features numerous events sponsored by the Dallas Yacht Club, dining options at Sneaky Pete’s, and people can buy boats, yachts, fishing boats, powerboats, recreational boats, pleasure boats, deck boats, ski boats, jet boats, wakeboard boats, runabouts, surf boats, and more at Slalom Shop Boats and Yachts. Lake Escape Boat Rentals also offers boats to rent.
- 61st Street Fishing Pier — The 61st Street Fishing Pier provides a 24-hour fishing experience and an observation deck and bar. Your pier fishing experience can include rod rentals, fishing tackle and bait, and a variety of snacks, soft drinks, beer and wine, margaritas, pizza, and hot dogs. A fishing license is required to fish on the 61st Street Fishing Pier. You can purchase a temporary license at Academy Sports, Wal-Mart, or online from Texas Parks and Wildlife. You can buy frozen bait and rent equipment but alcohol must be purchased at the pier and no pets or glass containers are allowed. Daily fishing rates are $12 for adults, $6 for children 12 years of age and under, $1 for toddlers, $5 for seniors 65 years of age and older, and $8 for people with military IDs. Late night fishing rates are half-price for fishing after 2 a.m., $2 after 4 a.m., and $1 after 5 a.m.
- Pelican Island — Pelican Island is located north of Galveston and is linked to the city by a bridge. It is home to such attractions as Seawolf Park, Galveston Naval Museum and Texas A&M Galveston. Fishing at Seawolf Park on Pelican Island is $6 for resident adults and $9 for non-residents 12 to 64 years of age, $3 for residents and $4 for non-residents 65 years of age or older, $3 for child residents and $4 for child non-residents 5 to 11 years of age, and free for all children 0 to 4 years of age. You can also buy a fishing season pass that runs form January 1 through September 30 for $250 for adults or $150 for seniors and children. There are also historic WWII vessels at the Galveston Naval Museum at Seawolf Park, including the USS Cavalla Submarine and USS Stewart Destroyer Escort.
- Galveston Island State Park — At Galveston Island State Park, you can fish for sand trout, flounder, croaker, redfish, black drum, or other species in the bay area or beachside. A fishing license is not required for state parks, meaning anyone can come fish, but you should be aware of applicable state fishing regulations. There is also a fish cleaning station at the end of the bayside road (the branch that passes by the bayside camping area). The park also offers camping with 95 campsites, bird-viewing with clapper rails, egrets, hawks, red-winged blackbirds, and blue heron. The Park has four miles of trails for hiking and biking, paddling possibilities on the Dana Cove Trail, Jenkins Bayou Trail, or Oak Bayou Trail.
- San Luis Pass — San Luis Pass is a 15-acre bay park at the southwestern end of Galveston Island off the Texas Gulf Coast connecting the sheltered waters of West Bay to the open Gulf of Mexico. San Luis Pass offers full service RV camping, cabins, a climate-controlled meeting room, interpretive center, pavilion, restrooms, a playground, fish cleaning stations, paved parking, and a boat launch. Some of the attractions include bay fishing, boating, bird watching, nature viewing, and beach combing as well as shelling. It is a Class C TPWD misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $500 for swimming, wading, or otherwise entering water in the restricted area of San Luis Pass, but the court order does not outlaw nor prohibit bank fishing or fishing from a boat in this region although it does prohibit entry into the water via on foot. A Brazoria County order stipulates that under Texas Parks and Wildlife Code § 31.092, no person can enter, from the beach, the waters of the San Luis Pass in any area marked on an attached map for any activity, including bathing, wade fishing, and/or swimming.
- Hanna Reef — Hanna Reef is a physical feature (bar) in Galveston County in which the popular species of fish caught here include spotted seatrout, red drum, and black drum. The early morning often appears to be the best time for fishing in this area.