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Aransas River

Aransas County, Texas.

Aransas River midpoint in Woodsboro, Texas.

Aransas River ends in Bayside, Texas.

62.70 miles long (100.90 kilometers)

About The Aransas River

All about Aransas River, TX

Aransas River is a short river located in south Texas. Bearing the same name as the county where it outflows, as well as the bay to its southeast, all three were named after a Native American group, the Aransas, who were the original inhabitants of the area. At some point, the Aransas left and were replaced by the Copane Native Americans, whom Copano Bay is now named after. When a portion of Texas was part of a Spanish-owned Mexico, the Aransas river was used as a boundary that separated it from the Mexican state of Coahulia. 

The river rises at the confluence of the connecting creeks Olmos, Poesta, and Aransas. It then flows southeast for about 40 miles, dividing the San Patricio and the Refugio counties, where it finally ends up at Aransas county, before draining into Copano Bay and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico. Both the river and the nearby Copano Bay are considered great fishing spots as the confluence of the river and the Gulf of Mexico make for a diverse marine ecosystem. 

European immigrants first settled nearby as Diego Ortiz Parilla discovered the surrounding area of Copano Bay and the Aransas river. Both played an important part in the American Civil War as a strategically important logistics port. Over the decades, settlements in the area have been found and deserted for numerous reasons like failing as port due to hidden reefs causing shipwrecks and constant Native American attacks in the settlements near the mouth of the Aransas River, 

Aransas River Fishing Description

All about Fishing in Aransas River, TX

As a site of a nearby former port and as a tributary to the Copano Bay, the river is a great place for recreational fishing. The area is a known fishing spot and when visiting the river, anglers have to catch fishing including but not limited to redfish, southern flounder, black drum, and the biggest prize of the area, the alligator gar. 

When attempting to catch the southern flounder, both drift and fly fishing techniques can be used. Anglers should be prepared to use a sliphead, single-hooked, or free-line rig with heads ranging from ¼”-⅜”. Light to medium lines that can spool up to 150 yards per 10lbs are recommended. Other anglers also plug these fish with jigs. Live bait like minnows, mullets, and shrimp are also useful. Anglers should try looking for flounders in sandy or rocky parts of the bottom of the river. 

Red fish, like the southern flounder, can also be found in shallower parts of the water. Anglers prefer catching redfish as they’re easier to spot than other fish. Fly fishermen tend to use shrimp as live bait when attempting to catch redfish. When spinning for redfish, it is advised to use a 15 to 20lbs tackle and a 7 ft. rod that can cast jigs and topwater precisely. 

Anglers preparing equipment to catch black drum should try bringing a 7 to 9-weight rod, with the 9-weight leaning more on to heavier drum, especially those that weigh up to 20 lbs. Live bait like soft crabs, mollusks, and peeler crabs are preferred by anglers. Otherwise, slow-moving jigs like bucktail jigs can also be used. When fly fishing weighted black flies like the red worm and merkin are useful as they can get to the bottom of the waters quickly.

Finally, for anglers up for a challenge, look no further than the alligator gar. They weigh from about 100-160 lbs and are also known as gemfish. There are multiple ways to go about attempting to catch these fish such as bow-fishing, rod and reel, and using gear such as juglines, limblines, and trotlines. Keep in mind that most states allow bow-fishing but regulations state that once a gar has been shot by an arrow, they cannot get released. For bait, it’s best to use live ones such as carp, gizzard shad, mullet. 

Aransas River Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality in Aransas River, TX

Anglers trying their hand at catching an alligator gar should attempt to do so in late June to August when it’s hot and dry. For catching black drum, their spawning season during spring is the most recommended time as they tend to school up, making them easier targets. These months are also the best time to catch southern flounder as well as redfish.

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality in Aransas River, TX

Anglers trying their hand at catching an alligator gar should attempt to do so in late June to August when it’s hot and dry. For catching black drum, their spawning season during spring is the most recommended time as they tend to school up, making them easier targets. These months are also the best time to catch southern flounder as well as redfish.

Aransas River Fish Species

All about Fishing in Aransas River, TX

As a site of a nearby former port and as a tributary to the Copano Bay, the river is a great place for recreational fishing. The area is a known fishing spot and when visiting the river, anglers have to catch fishing including but not limited to redfish, southern flounder, black drum, and the biggest prize of the area, the alligator gar. 

When attempting to catch the southern flounder, both drift and fly fishing techniques can be used. Anglers should be prepared to use a sliphead, single-hooked, or free-line rig with heads ranging from ¼”-⅜”. Light to medium lines that can spool up to 150 yards per 10lbs are recommended. Other anglers also plug these fish with jigs. Live bait like minnows, mullets, and shrimp are also useful. Anglers should try looking for flounders in sandy or rocky parts of the bottom of the river. 

Red fish, like the southern flounder, can also be found in shallower parts of the water. Anglers prefer catching redfish as they’re easier to spot than other fish. Fly fishermen tend to use shrimp as live bait when attempting to catch redfish. When spinning for redfish, it is advised to use a 15 to 20lbs tackle and a 7 ft. rod that can cast jigs and topwater precisely. 

Anglers preparing equipment to catch black drum should try bringing a 7 to 9-weight rod, with the 9-weight leaning more on to heavier drum, especially those that weigh up to 20 lbs. Live bait like soft crabs, mollusks, and peeler crabs are preferred by anglers. Otherwise, slow-moving jigs like bucktail jigs can also be used. When fly fishing weighted black flies like the red worm and merkin are useful as they can get to the bottom of the waters quickly.

Finally, for anglers up for a challenge, look no further than the alligator gar. They weigh from about 100-160 lbs and are also known as gemfish. There are multiple ways to go about attempting to catch these fish such as bow-fishing, rod and reel, and using gear such as juglines, limblines, and trotlines. Keep in mind that most states allow bow-fishing but regulations state that once a gar has been shot by an arrow, they cannot get released. For bait, it’s best to use live ones such as carp, gizzard shad, mullet. 

Black Drum

Habitat: Brackish Waters, Onshore

Weight: 15 - 90 Pounds

Length: 0" - "

Alligator Gar

Habitat: Inland, Nearshore

Weight: 100 - 160 Pounds

Length: 48" - 120"

Southern Flounder

Habitat: Onshore, Inshore, Channels, Rivers

Weight: 1 - 4 Pounds

Length: 12" - 33"

Redfish

Habitat: Onshore, Flats, Backcountry, Nearshore

Weight: 10 - 45 Pounds

Length: 30" - 61"