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. So - if you're ready to go fishing, break out your Hook-N-Line Fishing map and follow me as I explore and enjoy the great fishing each area has to offer.
We have been ranging down into the middle coast for the past several articles and this month I am bringing CCC back up to the Galveston Bays region for this month's report. About thirty minutes south of Houston is Texas City. Texas City is my "base camp" this month and the western shores of Galveston Bay proper are my focus waters. HookNLine map F103 is the best reference for the Texas City area and Galveston Bay in general.
When and Weather
My trip to Texas City was in mid April, still in the middle of the spring transition. However, favorable weather made the day pleasant. Temps at launch time in the AM were near the mid 70s and as the sun peaked in the afternoon the air warmed to the mid 80s. Winds stayed calm in the 5-10mph range, gusts occasionally reaching to around 15mph.
Tackle and Gear
My primary setup was my 7'Castaway Skeleton mated with my Citica 200 loaded with 30lb Power Pro braid and a 6' Suffix 15lb clear monofilament leader. My most productive lure on this adventure was the 4" Berkley Gulp Black Shad on a 1/16oz jighead.
Several bait shops have you covered for ice, drinks, snacks, and of course they also have an assortment of live and dead baits. Boyd's One Stop, TC's Bait Camp, and Lee's Bait Shop are all located in the same vicinity along Texas City Dike Drive.
Hitting the water
Texas City's hot spot for fishing is the Texas City Dike. It is a five-mile-long levee of granite blocks with a paved road stretching into Galveston Bay. The dike was originally constructed in the 1930 for control of bay sediments into the Texas City harbor and as protection from storm surges during tropical storms. Today, TCD is billed as the world's longest fishing pier. Access to the Dike is a measly five dollars for the day. Paved launches, cleaning tables with running water, and piers line the levee, setting you up for a good day of fishing. I feel safe to say that just about any day the weather is nice there will be hundreds of people along the Dike, rods in hand, waiting for the next bite. Don't let that deter you though; there is plenty of room for everybody.
Launching a kayak into the open water felt somewhat strange as most of my adventures are weaving through or around some type of marsh. However, with the right wind, you could actually put in a very effective drift effort along the Dike.
Better for paddle boating is launching at Tide Gate Bank (launch spot K5 on your map) off Skyline drive and fishing Moses Lake/Dollar Bay. On the Galveston Bay side of the levee you will find some shell reefs and deep channels to fish along.
Where to eat and where to sleep
A few months ago when I visited Matagorda I mentioned the welcomed feeling I received from the locals I met at Stanley's. My first impression of the Texas City area was over dinner, being that we drove in the night before our day of fishing. When Amanda and I made plans for dinner, the dice landed on Gringo's Mexican Restaurant. From the very first second the waitress opened her mouth to take our drink order; I had that same welcomed feeling. The optimal service continued throughout the meal; I even called the manager over to compliment the food, drinks, and especially the great service. I benchmark Mexican restaurants on their fajitas. Gringo's is definitely topping my current list.
Other restaurants in the area are The Reef Seafood House (a very attractive location), Rosario's Pizza and Italian, Olive Garden, and Fortune Chinese to name a few.
After dinner it was time for bed to get rested for an early start on the water. A half mile from Gringo's is a nice selection of moderately priced hotels. Holiday Inn Express made a cozy stay for Amanda and I and much like the Gringo's staff, they were very pleasant to deal with.
Looking at a map you will notice Gringo's and the Holliday Inn are on the far western edge of the Texas City area, near the Mall of the Mainland, off Interstate 45. I chose this area partly due to the convenience factor, given we got into town a tad late in the evening. Deeper into the heart of Texas City are other lodging facilities. Crystal Suites, Comfort Inn, Candlewood Suites, and La Quinta are a few other choices along Hwy 146 in Texas City.
You will find virtually no RV access in the immediate Texas City area. If an RV spot is a must, you can opt to go north on Hwy 146 to San Leon and stay at Galveston Bay RV Resort or, head southwest to Hitchcock and get a spot at Sunset RV Park.
The Other Angles
From a kayaker's perspective, fishing from the Dike is not ideal in my opinion. However, a boat (large or small) is better suited to cover more of the open water off the Texas City Dike.
As mentioned earlier, bank fishing is by far the public's first choice along the Texas City Dike.
From a general point of view, Texas City provides a great opportunity to bring the family out for a fishing adventure. Some of my best times in the woods or on the water are helping people new to the outdoors, and sharing in adventures with loved ones. Coincidentally, around the time I began typing this report, a friend of mine mentioned he was taking his father out to the Texas City Dike to spend a day fishing together. I feel that is a perfect example of Texas City's niche.
One could line up the kids along the Dike's banks or on one of the piers and make memories to last a lifetime. You will pass Rainbow Park on your left as you take Texas City Dike Rd onto the Dike itself, a perfect spot for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves if the bite is a little slow. For shopaholics, the Mall of the Mainland could serve a similar purpose.
Given the close proximity to Houston, fishing around Texas City can be accessed fairly quickly and easily, making it quite convenient for a day trip to the water.
If you would like more information on the Texas City area, visit www.texas-city-tx.org
Gringo's - 409-986-6864, www.gringotexmex.com
The Reef Seafood House - 409-945-6151, www.thereefseafoodhouse.com
Holiday Inn Express - 409-986-6700
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.