Headin' Down to Palacios
Hi, I'm Cade. Like lots of folks that read this magazine, I'm one of your everyday do-it-yourself fishermen with a great passion for the outdoors and I love the adventure of learning new areas along the Texas coast. Like many of you, I have often found myself a little lost when planning a fishing trip to a new area. Break out your Hook-N-Line Fishing map and follow me as I explore and enjoy the great fishing each area has to offer.
Palacios, Texas is a coastal town of a few thousand people, nestled against Tres Palacios Bay, which is a small bay system stemming off the northeast corner of major Matagorda Bay. I found that easiest access to Palacios from Houston is exiting Hwy 71 South from Hwy 59 until you hit Hwy 35. Follow Hwy 35 south to downtown Palacios. I referenced Hook-N-Line Fishing Map F108 for my fishing trip to Palacios.
When and Weather
Summer time is here. Day time temps are breaching 100 degrees making just about any outdoor activity a little sweaty. At the same time however, the fish are getting active making trips to the water more than worth the battle with the heat. From what I've heard "on the street" the bite can be hit or miss in the Palacios area. Perhaps it was just coincidence but we had a great trip, finding a number of redfish. At the cleaning station located at the city's bayfront park, we encountered a group of smiling anglers with limits of trout and a few flounder in the mix.
Tackle and Gear
As most anglers do, I like new gear and trying new tactics now and then. My most recent addition to the bag has been using scent attractants, mostly on my hard baits. I put a little KicknBass Fish Attractant(saltwater scent) on my topwater lures as well as spoons and RatLTraps. I let it dry onto the lure before casting it. As a big fan of Gulp baits and their dominance, I figured that adding a little taste to my lures is worth a shot. I will be honest, I don't buy into the fact that fish just come swarming to a scented bait. However, I do believe a fish will hold a lure in its mouth a little longer, giving you a little wider window to set the hook, when the lure is scented. I used my trusty Castaway Skeleton rods with a Mann's Waker crankbait and Gulps under a popping cork as my focused presentations.
For quick tackle and snack/grocery needs, stop in at The Point, it is right on Hwy 35 and is a well put together little store. Grassy Point Marina and Bait as well as the Shrimp Shack, are other options for bait and tackle.
Hitting the water
I like shallow water and always try to find some marsh or flats in the new areas I will be fishing. After looking at my map the upper portion of Palacios Bay appeared to offer the best access to skinny water fishing. The best access to this area is north of the town off of side roads. As is often the strategy, we worked the grass lines starting the day throwing topwaters, namely Wakers. A fairly slow retrieve with an occasional pause proved very effective, yielding a number of hookups. Always be conscious of fishing around marsh grass lines. Redfish will blow up on your lure then run for the cover of the grass. This can lead to missed fish, as your lure gets snagged on the grass and releases from the fish's mouth.
Where to eat and where to sleep
My buddy Cory and I had a good meal at the Outrigger Grill. I ate a platter of fried fish, Cory a cheeseburger. We both agreed the food was tasty and the service very good. The atmosphere is neat, with antique fishing and boating equipment lining the walls. Outrigger Grill also offers the "you catch it, we cook it" option. I have yet to take one of these coastal restaurants up on the offer, but I intend on trying one of these days.
For some shut eye, there are some really neat bed and breakfast establishments. I took note of The Peaceful Pelican on the bayfront and Main Inn Bed and Breakfast located in the downtown area. There are also some attractive RV parks in the Palacios area.
The Other Angles
I was pleased with the marsh available in the Palacios area. It served my kayaking needs well.
Launching from town into the main bay opens up the doors to wade fishing the shorelines on the east and west sides of the bay. Drift fishing is also not a bad choice.
The Palacios Channel extends from the ICW way down in Matagorda Bay all the way up to the harbor in Palacios. Work this area from your boat or kayak. Always be on the look out for working birds.
If you paddle the western shoreline of Tres Palacios Bay in a southwest direction you will come upon Turtle Bay. Turtle Bay offers more shallow water fishing and another area with decent marsh habitat.
Palacios is not dissimilar to many other coastal towns, but from my viewpoint it offers one of the best bank fishing facilities that I have seen. Even rivaling the Dike in Texas City. Where Palacios differs from the Dike is it has covered table areas, playground for kids, restrooms, and grassy areas for picnicking. Numerous piers are spaced out along the parks bay side, all of which are well lit.
As always, be careful on the water, bring a friend, and have fun.
Palacios Area Businesses of Interest to Fishermen
Outrigger Grill - 361-972-1479
Peaceful Pelican Bed and Breakfast - 361-972-0317
Main Inn Bed and Breakfast - 361-972-3408
The Point - 361-972-3152
REMAX Coastal Properties (vacation rentals and sales) - 361-972-5900
Gulf Bay Marine Supply - 361-972-0409
Porter's Ace Hardware - 361-972-5222
Palacios Chamber of Commerce - 361-972-2615
For questions regarding this article, I can be reached at 936-776-7028, by email to [email protected], or find me on Facebook to follow along in my outdoor adventures.