The small town of Port Mansfield in the southern part of the Lonestar State offers a relaxing and quiet place for anglers. This town has access to both the Laguna Madre, a 130-mile-long bay that stretches from Corpus Christi to the mouth of the Rio Grande, and the Gulf of Mexico, which is just a boat ride away. This makes angling a prevalent activity in this area, with several fish species to choose from.
Port Mansfield may not be a bustling area, but it has great spots that tourists enjoy visiting. It has beaches, notably the Retillon Beach, frequented by families who like to sit back and enjoy a quiet time admiring the beautiful seaside. Because of its proximity to other popular spots like Corpus Christi and South Padre, Port Mansfield is the perfect jump-off spot for day trips to these other charming places. Tourists can also go kayaking in the largest seagrass habitat in Texas found in Laguna Madre. Those who enjoy trekking can spend a day at the Port Mansfield Nature Park to witness the delightful sight of nesting plovers, especially during summer.
A good place to start your fishing experience in Port Mansfield is probably the Laguna Madre for anglers. These vast meadows is a prime fishing spot as it is both a nursery for younger and smaller fish and hunting ground for larger fish.
If you want to do inshore fishing, Port Mansfield has redfish, speckled trout, flounder, black drum, and sheepshead biting. For offshore fishing, big marlin, tuna, sailfish, amberjack, snapper, grouper, and mahi mahi await you in the Gulf’s deep waters.
There are several methods of fishing in these waters. Charter Fishing is very popular among anglers in this area, and many charters offer their services. For those who prefer a more solitary fishing experience, kayak fishing is another option. Speckled trout and redfish are a popular target for this. Wade fishing is also a preferred method for many anglers.
Inshore anglers are often rewarded with large speckled trout. You need to head down towards the lower part of the Laguna Madre to catch them, where the seagrass makes it the perfect habitat for large trout. Its high season is from May to September and its low season is in January. The area has no close season.
Laguna Madre flows from Corpus Christi to Port Mansfield and then into the Rio Grande and the Gulf of Mexico. With its shallow waters, the Laguna Madre is perfect for kayak fishing and charter fishing. You can also try fishing on the docks close to the Laguna Madre if you want to sit back and relax. Since the area is so big, you will have plenty of opportunities to try out various fishing techniques here.
Another fish that you won’t want to miss in this area if you're an inshore fisher or a nearshore angler would be the redfish. The Laguna Madre is a prime fishing spot for this fish and is a prime target for anglers in this country. Your efforts in catching these fish in Port Mansfield will be rewarded greatly with the sheer size that these fish could reach in this area. Its high season would be September to October, and its low season would be from March to April and December. It, too, has no closed season in the area.
The last of the “Texas Inshore Trio” would be the flounder. This fish is sought by anglers due to its delicious meat and not because it’s something that looks good in a picture. Again, this fish is prevalent in the Laguna Madre, where they gather in large groups in its shallow waters. Here, you can test your Flounder gigging skills and experience the thrill of fishing for them at night there. Its high season is in October, while its low season is in January.
You won’t be disappointed in fishing off the coast of Port Mansfield in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore anglers. The Padre Island National Seashore, which represents the last undeveloped stretch of a barrier island in the world, separates Laguna Madre from the Gulf, and a boat ride from Port Mansfield to the Gulf takes around 15 minutes. Here, one can catch red snapper, one of the greatest commercial and recreational assets on the Gulf coast. It is highly prized for its delicious meat, and anglers from all over will rush into areas where they can be caught during its peak season. It is commonly found in the reefs in the nearshore and offshore waters of Port Mansfield, and catching them is quite a tough fight. But your reward would be a delicious meal and one of the most prized fish in the area. Its high season is from July to October, and its low season is from January to March.
For offshore anglers, some of the methods used when fishing in Port Mansfield are fly fishing, casting, drifting, jigging, and trolling. Since you will be hunting mostly large fish such as marlin and red snapper, you will require a powerful rod and reels, as well as your strength. Most of the fish caught here will put up a great fight before being caught. So it would be best if you prepared yourself and your equipment before you can even hope to catch any of these impressive fish.
Speaking of marlin, one of Port Mansfield’s main attractions is a large amount of marlin that appear here. This fish is located in the deeper parts of the Gulf and is a challenge to catch. Because of this, it is prized by anglers both as a trophy and as a testament to their angling skills. This species offers a great challenge to those looking for it and is a good source of adrenaline rush for all kinds of anglers. Port Mansfield is home to the blue, black, and white marlin, so there are plenty to choose from. Its high season is from January to March, while its low season is from June to October.
For the more competitive anglers, Port Mansfield also offers a way to show off your skills. There is an annual Port Mansfield Fishing Tournament. It is now in its 47th year and is for all ages. There are several different divisions for men, women, young, and adults. It even has a kayaking division for anglers who prefer to catch fish in that manner. It’s held from July 28 to July 31 in Port Mansfield and offers not just angling but also entertainment of various forms and is, in general, a good family bonding activity.
Fishing is an all-year-round activity here in Port Mansfield. With the large variety of fish to be caught, you can visit the area anytime you want and be sure that you’ll be able to catch a prize fish when you cast your line. Though if you’re aiming to catch the most fish, the best months to go to Port Mansfield are from May to October, as these are the months that fish like the blue marlin, blackfin, and yellowfin tuna, and red snapper are most common. Of course, there are still other fish that you can catch when visiting in different months in Port Mansfield, such as the black drum and mangrove snapper from February to March.
There are 72 fishing charters available in Port Mansfield, and they cater to all kinds of fishing types. A thing to note is that fishing in the area is subject to the Texas state laws, meaning anglers above the age of 17 are required to present a Texas fishing license, regardless of whether they are fishing alone or on a charter.
If you get tired of angling or want to take a break for a while, consider spending some time in Port Mansfield’s Retillon Beach. The beach is perfect for shell collecting and simply laying a blanket and lounging in the sun with your family. The beach’s waters are also a good place for a swim as well if you are inclined to do so.
For the more historically inclined, there is also the USS Lexington Museum, a preserved Essex Class Aircraft carrier located at Corpus Christi. It served during world war 2 at the Pacific Theater as one of the 24 Essex Classes built and is now a museum ship. There, visitors can discover more about her story, what actions she saw and what were some of the capabilities and armaments she carried during her time of service.