Kayak Fishing The Lone Star State | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
A man paddling a kayak in texas. Photo by Chris Castro

Texas is blue water barrier island paradise.

Think of Texas and you picture 10-gallon hats and dinner-plate belt buckles, but the south Texas coastal city of Corpus Christi is a tropical paradise calling for flip-flops and grass skirts. Load the 4x4 with kayaks and camping gear in town, then drive 70 miles of open beach in search of blue water and big fish. Mustang and Padre Islands are on the same latitude as Tampa Bay, Florida, and share many of the same species.

Corpus Christi’s fishiest quality literally stands out—hundreds of near-shore oil and gas rigs dot the coast. The combination of warm, clear water and abundant structure calls in king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, snapper, grouper, tarpon, sailfish and big sharks.

Each year, local anglers report what they call UFOs. That stands for Unidentified Fishy Object; a fish so big that it empties the reel and breaks the line before anyone sees it. When you visit Corpus Christi, bring the big tackle and a big-water kayak, but you can leave the big hat and belt buckle behind.


Fin Factory Charters

361-657-0217 / www.finfactorycharters.com


Roy's Bait and Tackle

361-992-2960 / www.roysbaitandtackle.com

Cowtown Kayaks

817-944-6576 / www.cowtownkayaks.com


Fisherman's Place



Holiday Inn Express & Suites

North Padre Island



Walk into Scuttlebutt’s Seafood Bar and Grill and you’re greeted by a huge shark, mahi, wahoo, marlin and other local species hanging from the walls and ceiling. Hit the sushi bar or head to the arcade. 

Choose something from the extensive menu or have the chef cook your catch. Scuttlebutt’s Seafood Bar and Grill




King mackerel and cobia are the big draw with Spanish mackerel and jack crevalle as a welcome by-catch. Probe the rig legs for grouper and snapper. Lucky anglers get a shot at sailfish, tarpon and mako sharks.


For king mackerel, the magic water temperature is 70 degrees. Choppy seas and a stiff onshore wind are icing on the cake. Barring an extremely cold winter, cobia will hang around the rigs all year. Early spring to early summer are the hottest times of year for trophy fish.


The bread and butter for many species is a dead ribbonfish rigged on a three-hook king rig. To keep the ribbonfish from spinning, start the rig with a J-hook then add treble hook stingers. For cobia, rig a mullet or eel with a circle hook and a treble-hook stinger. A two-speed, leverdrag reel on a seven-foot, heavy-action rod with 30-pound test line is best for trolling. Vertical jigging is another fantastic method to catch fish, although it does require a different setup. For vertical jigging, use a fast-action spinner on a six-foot, graphite-composite rod with 40- to 60-pound braid to tame sea beasts.


Look for a kayak that will stay dry and handle the surf and big water. Expect to cover up to five miles to reach the best rigs. You’ll need plenty of storage for gear, tackle and big fish. A 13- to 15-foot waterline improves speed and tracking.


Bring your A-game to the Gulf Coast. It pays to prepare with physical conditioning before arriving. Bring plenty of snacks and water and expect to be on the move all day. Pick up a dozen ribbonfish at the nearest bait and tackle. Drive the beach and look for rigs within paddling distance. Troll the ribbonfish out to the rig. Watch for working birds to find feeding fish. Probe the rigs with the live bait for cobia. Drop cut bait to the bottom in search of grouper and snapper.

Related items

Popular Articles


Join 47 000+ fellow anglers! Get the latest fishing news and special offers delivered straight to your inbox.  




1 (613) 706-0677