Galveston Fishing Charters Explained: The Damn Good Guide to Galveston Fishing Charters


Booking a Galveston fishing charter can be a time-consuming, headache-inducing mess. With hundreds of guides to choose from and endless tweets, posts, and shady online reviews, it’s easy to go wrong booking a guide that doesn’t “float your boat”.

Captain Experiences makes booking a fishing guide quick, easy, and safe. Instead of calling guides one-by-one, you can search Captain for your ideal trip, read our 100% Verified Reviews, and book on the spot with our licensed and insured guides. Booking with Captain is 100% free and never costs you more than booking direct.

We started Captain Experiences in Houston, TX because of our lackluster experiences booking fishing charters. We’ve published this guide on types of Galveston fishing charters and our guide recommendations to help anglers book the trip of a lifetime every time.

We’ve broken down Galveston fishing charters into Inshore, Nearshore (Jetty), and Offshore trips. Here we go:

Quick Take:
·      The Galveston Bay System is the largest bay system in Texas
·      Inshore fishing trips provide quality options for beginners and experienced anglers
·      Jetty trips are fun for families and groups chasing bull redfish, large black drum, sharks, and more
·      Galveston offers access to a vibrant, year-round offshore ecosystem, from 8-hour day trips to hardcore multi-day excursions

Lay of the Land:

The Galveston Bay System covers ~540 square miles and is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by the Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island. East Bay, West Bay, and Trinity Bay make up the greater Bay System.

The Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers (and a network of bayous including Buffalo Bayou and Chocolate Bayou) feed the Bay System with consistent fresh water which flows into the Gulf of Mexico via Rollover Pass, San Luis Pass, and the mouth of the Houston Ship Channel.

Galveston Fishing Charters
Key geographic attributes of the Galveston Bay System

The constant inflows and outflows of freshwater and saltwater in the Bay provide inshore species with a healthy, nutrient-rich ecosystem and presents anglers with a wealth of quality fishing spots based on tides, salinity, water clarity, and much more.

Standard Inshore Fishing
Target Species: Redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Black Drum, Sheepshead, and more.

Hire an inshore fishing guide for your chance at the Texas Grand Slam (catching a redfish, speckled trout, and flounder). Inshore fishing trips take place on Bay boats fishing areas of mud bottom or oyster shell where schools of inshore target species congregate.

You’ll usually be fishing with live bait (live shrimp or croaker, a small bait fish) or cut bait (pieces of shrimp), under a bobbing cork. When you see the cork take a dive, set the hook and get ready for a fight!

These trips are fantastic for families looking for a nonstop, action-packed day on the water. With fantastic water access points throughout the Bay System, you’re never a long run away from a prime fishing location.

Galveston Fishing Charters
Capt. Jesse put Ben and Jack on the Redfish, Sheepshead, and Black Drum.

Redfish, speckled trout, flounder, and black drum all make for great table fare, but you can never go wrong with CPR (catch, photo, release) either. Your guide will ensure you adhere to Texas saltwater fishing limits, and will clean your fish for you.

Check out these guides on captainexperiences.com for a half-day or full-day of inshore fishing: Capt. Joey (Galveston), Capt. Dean (Baytown), Capt. Mike (Galveston), Capt. LG (Galveston), Capt. Jesse (Baytown) and check out all of our Galveston Inshore Damn Good Guides here.

Inshore Wading Trips
Target Species: Redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Black Drum, Sheepshead, and more.

Inshore wading trips are a great change of pace for the more experienced angler. Instead of fishing from bay boats, anglers wade the Galveston Bay shallows on foot to ambush target species like redfish and speckled trout. Live bait and cut bait get the job done, but many waders prefer the challenge of throwing artificial plastics like Down South Lures and D.O.A Lures on these trips.

Galveston Fishing Charters
A monster West Bay Speckled Trout on one of Capt. Harry's trips.

Many of our captains including Capt. Ryan and Capt. Glenn offer fantastic wading experiences in West Bay and are happy to throw artificial lures all day (and all night!) long.

Inshore Fly Fishing:
Target Species: Redfish, Black Drum, Sheepshead, and more.

If you’re really in search of a challenge, look no further than fly casting to tailing redfish with Capt. Richard. These trips for one or two people aboard Capt. Richard’s skinny water skiff are the ultimate sight casting experience. Catching a redfish on a shrimp or crab imitation fly is a true accomplishment, and Capt. Richard is proud to grow the sport amongst experienced and first time fly anglers alike.

Galveston fishing charters
Capt. Richard with a beautiful West Bay Redfish caught on the fly.

Nearshore (Jetty) Trips:
Target Species: Redfish, Speckled Trout, Black Drum, Sharks, Sheepshead, Tarpon, Kingfish, Jack Crevalle, Grouper, Spanish Mackerel, and more.

The two longest jetties in the world protect the mouth of the Galveston Bay System. Built in 1874 and completed in 1898 by the Army Corps of Engineers, these 6+ mile long manmade granite structures interrupt the unpredictable and unruly swells of the nearshore Gulf of Mexico. The manufactured calm between the jetties allows for cargo ships to safely pass in and out of the Galveston Bay System via the deeply dredged Houston Ship Channel.

The jetties block the flow of sediment along the shoreline, ensuring that the dredged ship channel remains deep enough for massive tankers to pass without worrying about running aground.

All of the blocked sediment builds up at the bases of the jetties, creating a dense and rich environment for baitfish. Little fish eat nutrient-rich sediment, big fish eat little fish, and people like catching big fish- if you’re looking to join this food chain, then a jetty trip is for you!

Hire one of our Damn Good Guides like Meghan and Capt. Derek to throw live shrimp, croaker, piggy perch, and cut bait at the base of these jetties- you never know what’ll hit so hang on!

Bay Boats are the norm for these trips and are usually able to hold up to groups of 6. If you’re looking for a jetty trip with a little more personal space, check out Capt. Lee and his 46’ Ocean Super Sport.

Galveston Fishing Charters
The Rolands on a fantastic jetty trip with Capt. Lee.


Offshore Trips:
Target Species: Red Snapper, Kingfish, Cobia, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Blackfin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Grouper, Spanish Mackerel, Ling, and more.

Leave land behind on these offshore fishing safaris. While some shorter trips are available, 8+ hour trips are surely the norm and are definitely recommended given the time it takes to run out to the offshore grounds (25-50 miles out) with time to tackle a few different spots.

The offshore scene out of Galveston largely consists of fishing manmade reefs like offshore drilling rigs and shipwrecks. Like the jetties, these structures buffer nutrients and offer baitfish protection from larger, faster predators.

Most summer day trips target red snapper, mahi mahi, kingfish, grouper and others. Check out our offshore full-day trips with Capt. Mike, Capt. Jason, and Capt. Matt.

In order to give your group the best chance at hooking up with a wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna, Blackfin Tuna, Sailfish, Swordfish, and the elusive Marlin, a 24+ hour trip is almost a must. These trips run 80-120 miles offshore to natural reef structures like Stetson Bank and the Flower Gardens, as well as further offshore rigs.

Galveston offshore fishing charters
Image sourced here.

These offshore environments boast some of the best wahoo fishing in the world, and the tuna fishing is top-notch as well. Check out Capt. Lee and Capt. Mike to go deep.

Galveston offshore fishing charters
Capt. Lee and mate Chris with a Flower Gardens Wahoo.

Galveston Fishing Charters
Mark and Joe having a blast with Capt. Lee 100+ miles offshore.

And that’s that! We hope this article helps you book your next trip, and please reach out with questions/comments.

Be sure to reach out to book with our Damn Good Guides and Tight Lines!

Captainexperiences.com makes booking a fishing guide quick, easy, and safe. Instead of calling guides one-by-one, search Captain for your ideal trip, read our 100% verified reviews, and book with our licensed and insured guides. Booking with Captain is 100% free and never costs you more than booking direct!

Comments

  1. I'm glad that you're making it safe by vetting all of the operations for the end user. This is a very valuable service.

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