Date: September 27, 2017

The complete SPI fishing guide

South Padre Island’s mild year-round temperatures make for great fishing any time. If you’re wondering what to expect during your SPI fishing adventure, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you can expect to catch and how to get out on the water.

What you can catch

In years to come, anglers and Eco tourists should notice more fish around South Padre Island thanks to the Friends of the Rio Grande Valley Reef. Friends of RBV is putting efforts forth to create an artificial reef north of the South Padre Island jetties. The reef will grow baby red snapper as well as other small bait fish including longfin porgy. These small fish are critical as a source of food for larger game fish.

There are hundreds of fish species around South Padre Island, but here are a few that are popular catches:

Speckled Trout

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Also known as the spotted seatrout, this fish is commonly found in the bay area during warm weather and deeper waters during fall and winter. They especially like to hide in seagrass, looking for prey. Males and Females grow to about 20 inches, making this fish a sizeable catch.

Southern Flounder

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This fish is perhaps most famous for its eyes, which are both on one side of its head. Flounder spend their lives lying and swimming on their side. They prefer shallow water except for in the fall, when they leave for deeper water to spawn.

Black Drum

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Black Drum are actually usually light gray or silver in color. These are hardy fish that adapt well to a variety of environments. You can find them inshore in clear water near sandy flats or offshore in deep waters. They thrive in warm weather but will also stay around through the coldest months.

Red Drum

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On SPI, these are usually referred to as redfish. These fish come in a variety of colors but reddish-bronze is the most common. This fish prefers shallow water along the edges of bays. Piers, coves and jetties are all great spots to find this fish.


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This large silver fish will put up quite a fight. Tarpon live in both fresh and saltwater and weigh between 60-200 lbs. The adults tend to prefer open water.

Blue Marlin

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This large fish is easily recognizable by its long bill. Blue marlin easily way over 100lbs and the largest recorded catch weighed 1,803 lbs. These large fish live in open water and hunt fish near the surface.


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The sailfish has a long bill like the blue marlin and a large sail-like fin that it raises when it feels threatened. The sailfish isn’t as large as the blue marlin, but it is still a formidable catch. These fish also roam deep open waters, looking for prey.

Where to fish

The easiest way fish is to go out on a fishing charter. Captains with experience of the area and the fish can help people of all skill levels make a catch. Make sure you have your Texas fishing license unless you are under 17 years of age. You can get your fishing license online here. There are a lot of fishing operations around the island. Here are a few tried and true options:

Always a Catch Fishing Trips

According to the website, “Captain Dave specializes in drift, sight and wade fishing from the novice to the seasoned anglers.” Even young children who are beginners are welcome.

Things you should bring: Salt water fishing license (age 17-65), Sunscreen, hat, appropriate clothing, polarized sunglasses, food and beverages.

The 2 most common species that Always a Catch targets are redfish and speckled trout. Flounder, black drum and Snook are also possible depending on the season.


Address: 2000 Gulf Blvd

Phone: 956-524-3002

Captain Murphy’s Isla Tours

Captain Murphy’s offers bay and deep sea fishing year-round. Bay trips last for 3-4 hours, start at $25 per person and target sandtrout, whiting, drum, sheepshead and more depending on the season. Guests can bring small ice chests with drinks and food and fish cleaning services are available. Captain Murphy’s has 3 bay tours a day so set up a reservation early.

The deep-sea fishing trip lasts for 6-8 hours and starts at $65 per person. Possible catches include red snapper, ling, grouper, shark, triggerfish and kingfish. Guests can bring their own food and drinks in a small ice chest.


Address: 33256 State Park Rd 100

Phone: 956-761-2764

Osprey Cruises

According to their website: “We fish year-round in the Gulf of Mexico at different depths and locations depending on the season, the sea conditions, and the location of the schools.” In the warm months, Osprey Cruises drift fishes for: kingfish, shark, dorado, amberjack, tuna and ling. In the cool months, they bottom fish for red snapper, grouper and other bottom species.

Bay fishing: $25 Fisherman $15 Spectator

Deep Sea Fishing:

5 hr. is $65 Fisherman $35 Spectator

8 hr. is $95 Fisherman $50 Spectator


Address: 1 Padre Blvd

Phone: 956-761-6655 or 956-943-6283

Crystal Flats Guide Service

Captain Cliff provides personalized fishing experiences for all levels. The guide service is a private fishing charter customized to meet the experience level and expectations of the group. Crystal Flats will go wherever the fish are biting that day and guide you through the best tips and tricks.

Things you should bring: Texas fishing license and saltwater stamp for each person, sunscreen, towel, sunglasses, food and drinks.

You can book a charter for half-day, 8-hour and 10-hour day trips.

Rates are based on the size of the group and the amount of time on the water. Rates can be viewed here.


Address: 2580 Gulf Blvd

Phone: 956-320-0556

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