Port Aransas  is a fishing mecca. Some claim the area is overfished, but it’s clear to see why so many anglers are angling to get here—easy access to the bay and deep-sea gulf fishing provide species aplenty throughout the year. Those looking to keep their feet on solid ground or wooden dock can take advantage of the free fishing from beaches, jetties, or one of the three lighted piers (Charlie’s Harbor Pier, Ancel Brundrett Pier, and J. P. Luby Pier) extending into the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.
You’ll have to pony up a dollar to use the popular and well-lit Horace Caldwell Pier, offering access to the gulf via Magee Beach Park. The pier is more than 1,200 feet long and open 24 hours day with bait, tackle, rental equipment, and munchies available at a nearby concession stand.
Many fishermen prefer the challenge of the larger deep-sea species, including kingfish, mackerel, red snapper, tuna, shark, and even mahimahi. Group boats offer bay and deep-sea fishing, and popular fishing tournaments take place throughout the summer. The Deep Sea Roundup, held each July, is the oldest fishing tournament on the Gulf Coast .
As a testament to the overwhelming allure of fishing in Port A, the town has several hundred fishing guides. Inquire about group fishing at Fisherman’s Wharf (900 N. Tarpon St., 361/749-5760), or to arrange a private rental contact Woody’s Sports Center (136 W. Cotter Ave., 361/749-5252, www.gulfcoastfishing.com ).