Fishing in Port Aransas Gulf of Texas: Species, Seasons & Culinary Details

Fish Species in State Waters

Fish SpeciesDesirability for EatingFlavor & TextureCooking MethodsBest Time to CatchKey Fishing Tips
Redfish (Red Drum)HighMild, firmGrilling, baking, fryingYear-round, best in September and October– Look for shallow flats, grass beds, and oyster reefs when targeting redfish. Use live or cut bait.
Black DrumModerateMild, firmGrilling, baking, fish stewsJune through August– Fish around structures like jetties and piers using fresh dead shrimp or crabs as bait.
SheepsheadHighSweet, firmBaking, grilling, fryingYear-round, best during the Summer months– Use fiddler crabs or live shrimp near pilings, rocks, or bridge structures to attract sheepshead.
Speckled TroutHighMild, flaky & moistGrilling, broiling, pan-searingYear-round, best in Spring and Fall– Look for seagrass beds, oyster reefs, and drop-offs. Use artificial lures or live bait like shrimp.
Spanish MackerelHighRich, firmGrilling, smoking, cevicheYear-round, best in Spring and Summer– Troll or cast near schools of baitfish using shiny spoons, jigs, or live bait for Spanish mackerel.
PompanoHighMild, tender & delicateGrilling, baking, sautéingYear-round, best in Fall and Winter– Fish near the surf zone using sand fleas, shrimp, or small jigs. Look for troughs or sandbars.
WhitingHighMild, sweet & tenderFrying, baking, grillingYear-round, best in Winter and Spring– Fish in the surf with shrimp, sand fleas, or cut bait. Pay attention to changing tides for better luck.

Fish Species in Federal Waters

Fish SpeciesDesirability for EatingFlavor & TextureCooking MethodsBest Time to CatchFishing Tips
AmberjackModerateStrong, dense & firmGrilling, broiling, fish tacos, cevicheYear-round, best in Summer– Use live bait like jacks, pinfish, or blue runners to target near offshore wrecks, reefs, or oil platforms.
CobiaHighSweet, firm & tenderGrilling, searing, baking, sushi, sashimiMay and June– Look for cobia around buoys, floating debris, or structures. Use live eels, pinfish, or jigs as bait.
King MackerelModerateDistinctive, firm & oilySmoking, grilling, fish cakes, curriesYear-round, best in Summer– Troll or drift near reefs, wrecks, or ledges using live bait, spoons, or diving plugs for king mackerel.
Mahi MahiHighMild, lean & tenderGrilling, baking, fish tacos, fish burgersYear-round, best in Summer– Look for floating debris, weed lines, or offshore structures. Troll or cast with lures or live bait for Mahi Mahi.
SailfishLow (primarily catch-and-release)Mild, white & moderately firmGrilling, bakingYear-round, best in Spring and Fall– Use live baitfish or rigged ballyhoo near weed lines, temperature breaks, or current edges to target sailfish.
WahooHighMild, delicate & firmGrilling, pan-searing, ceviche, sushiYear-round, best in Summer– Troll with high-speed lures, diving plugs, or rigged ballyhoo in areas with temperature changes or weed lines for wahoo.
Yellowfin TunaHighRich, firm & denseRaw (sushi, sashimi), grilling, searing, poke bowlsYear-round, best in Summer– Target offshore structures, floating debris, or seamounts. Troll, chunk, or cast with baitfish imitations for tuna.