Fishing in the Playground of the South - Galveston, Texas Image

Fishing in the Playground of the South - Galveston, Texas

Dream Sporting Trips

Updated: April 19th 2016 @ 12:00pm

Texas has some of the best fishing in the United States. In fact, with over 80,000 miles of rivers and streams, Texas ranks second only to Alaska in the volume of its inland water. With over 400 miles of great saltwater fishing off the southern coast, it's easy to see why anglers flock to the Lone Star State. [1]


Many would argue that Galveston, "Playground of the South", has the best saltwater fishing in Texas. The area beaches, jetties, piers, reefs, and flats provide anglers with easy access to a wide variety of game species, including speckled trout, redfish, mackerel, black drum, flounder, cobia, and sharks.

In fact, SaltWater Sportsman magazine lists Galveston as number three on its list of the top ten Saltwater fishing cities in the United States, citing it for the redfish, speckled trout, black drum, and flounder in Galveston Bay, as well as cobia, wahoo, tuna, mahi mahi, red snapper, kingfish and marlin found off the Gulf side of the island. More than 100 species of fish are regularly caught in the waters around the island. [2]

Only 50 miles from Houston, Galveston will charm you with its small southern town atmosphere, numerous attractions, and outdoor adventures.

Here are several great fishing guides from the Galveston area we recommend (in random order). Most guides provide everything you need except your fishing license. Contact the guide, or visit their website, for details and contact information:

Wave-Dancer-logo.jpegCaptain Greg Ball, Wave Dancer Charters, Galveston, TX
Family friend; Winner 2015 "Best of the Island"

GETHOOKEDlogofinal.jpg.w300h271.jpgCaptain Mike Short, Get Hooked Charters, Galveston, TX
Offering high adrenaline shark fishing excursions to spear fishing trips to overnight tuna trips

Rod-bending-charters-logo.jpgCaptain Jason Woods, Rod Bending Charters, Galveston, TX
Several boats, groups welcome, family friendly

Kevin-Roberts-Guide.jpgCaptain Kevin Roberts, Captain Kevin Roberts Guide Service, Galveston, TX
Corporate and large party trips can be accommodated

Treble-J-logo.jpgA little further southwest, but still on the Texas coast:

Captain Jack McPartland, Treble J Charters, Rockport, TX
10% discount on full-day trips for active military



Texas Fishing License Information 

  • A valid fishing license with a freshwater or saltwater endorsement is required to take fish, mussels, clams, crayfish, or other aquatic life in the public waters of Texas. A hunting license is required to take turtles and frogs.
  • The first Saturday in June of each year is the annual Free Fishing Day and no person is required to have a fishing license while fishing on that day.
  • A fishing license is not required if fishing from the bank in a state park or in waters completely enclosed by a state park. All other fishing regulations, such as length and bag limits, remain in effect.
  • Recreational anglers must have a Texas fishing license and saltwater endorsement to bring any fish taken in federal waters ashore in Texas (see Fishing in Federal Waters) or possess fish on a vessel in the tidal waters of Texas. 

Resident Licenses

Required of any resident who fishes in the public waters of Texas.

You do not need a fishing license/package if you:

  • are under 17 years of age.
  • were born before January 1, 1931.
  • are a mentally disabled person who is engaging in recreational fishing as part of a medically approved therapy, and who is fishing under the immediate supervision of personnel approved or employed by a hospital, residence or school for mentally disabled persons. The mentally disabled person must carry an authorization identifying the entity supplying the service. This authorization may be in the form of an I.D. card that contains the name of the sponsoring entity.
  • are a mentally disabled person who is recreational fishing under the direct supervision of a licensed angler who is a family member or has permission from the family to take the mentally disabled person fishing. While fishing, the mentally disabled person needs a note from a doctor stating the person has been diagnosed as mentally disabled.

A resident fishing license is included in all Super Combo and Combination packages (including Texas Resident Active Duty Military), the Lifetime Resident Combination and Lifetime Resident Fishing licenses and the various resident fishing packages offered by the Department. A resident who holds one of these licenses/packages is not required to purchase a separate resident fishing license.

License Packages 

A variety of fishing packages are offered from which the public may select based on the type of fishing (freshwater, saltwater or both) and duration of license desired.

  • License Year Fishing Packages include a resident, senior resident, special resident or non-resident fishing license valid from the date of sale to Aug. 31, 2016 and either a freshwater endorsement, a saltwater endorsement with a red drum tag or both endorsements valid for the same time period.
  • Senior Resident Fishing Packages are available to any Texas resident who is at least 65 years of age and was born on or after January 1, 1931. The packages include a seenior resident fishing license and either a freshwater endorsement, a saltwater endorsement with a red drum tag, or both, depending on the package selected.
  • Special Resident All-Water Fishing License is available to any Texas resident who is legally blind. Endorsements are not required for this license. One red drum tag shall be available at no additional charge.
  • One-Day All-Water Fishing License includes resident or non-resident fishing license valid for the selected day or days purchased. Endorsements are not required for this license. Consecutive days may be bought at the time of purchase. One red drum tag shall be available at no additional charge with the purchase of the first one-day license only.
  • Year-from-Purchase All-Water Fishing Package (Texas residents only) includes a residnt fishing license, a freshwater endorsement and a saltwater endorsement with a red drum tag, all valid from the date of purchase through the end of the purchase month of the next license year.

NOTE: For a complete list of fees, rules, regulations, and other related information, please visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife website. [3]

Water Body Records for Galveston Bay 


[1] Texas Outside

[2] Rob Lucey, Island Guide. "Where to Fish on Galveston Island"

[3] Texas Parks & Wildlife. Fishing Licenses, Packages and Tags

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