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Find A Guide

Laguna Atascosa

Cameron County, Texas.

Laguna Atascosa ends in Rio Hondo, Texas.

8.88 miles (14.29 sq kilometers)

About The Laguna Atascosa

About Laguna Atascosa, TX

Laguna Atascosa is a large freshwater lake hugging the southwesterly region of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, the largest protected natural habitat area left in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and is the world-famous birding destination. The lake is three miles westward from Laguna Madre and five miles northward from Bayview in northwest Cameron County, Texas. At the center of Laguna Atascosa is the Needle Island (looking like the shape of a needle) and branching from the lake is Cayo Atascoso that serves as an outlet into another lake called Laguna Madre.

The name Laguna Atascosa translates to “muddy lagoon”, which also pertains to the lake’s often chocolate soda color. The lake’s depth only measures 4 to 5 feet but has a large area of 3,530 acres. The waterfowl and other migratory birds rely on Laguna Atascosa’s shallow waters that are abundant in warm water fish species for food.

A big portion of the land around was used for agricultural and urban development purposes, which had a great impact on the native vegetation here. For the last three decades, the South Texas Refuge Complex has made restorations to preserve the wildlife. At present, a wide range of recreational activities in the area including fishing, hunting, birdwatching, trailing, nature photography, and many others are still popular.

Laguna Atascosa Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Laguna Atascosa, TX

The great expanse of clear, shallow, and grassy flats of Laguna Atascosa provide an ideal setting for fishing. The most popular species found in this area are the southern flounder. Other bottom-dwelling species such as speckled trout, redfish, and largemouth bass, who love to stay on the thick seagrass, are out here too.

Southern flounder prefer to bury themselves and camouflage on the muddy bottom of the lake to ambush their favorite snacks (shrimp and mullet). When it comes to catching these fish, casting off into the shallows will be the conventional way. You may get your hands on the mud and mimic their prey or you can use scented soft plastic jig heads. If you want to move away from the conventional method, gigging with a spear and bowfishing can be more exciting. However, take note that the latter methods are not allowed in November when female flounder are spawning.

Redfish and speckled trout feed majorly on small shrimp and crabs on the sandy bottom of the flats. As their tails stick out of the water while feeding, you can get the most exciting way to catch a red--casting to so-called tailing fish. While many anglers normally take a boat and drift the grassy flats, others prefer immersing in a knee to waist-deep water because wading allows them to approach the fish stealthily. Slowly walking up on schools of feeding fish avoids commotion unlike running up in a large boat.

Laguna Atascosa Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

Cameron County’s subtropical and moderately humid climate offers vast fishing opportunities throughout the year. Southern flounder, speckled trout, and redfish are year-round fish in Texas. 

During fall and the beginning of winter (between October and December), adult flounder migrate from the bays to the Gulf to spawn. Studies say that adult flounder typically travel only a short distance during spawn migrations so spotting them in passes and channels is highly probable. Young flounder, on the other hand, do not migrate and bury themselves in potholes on the bottom of the water so they are most likely what you will catch when waters are colder.

Throughout spring until June, redfish roam in big packs and aggressively eat every baitfish in the path so it is during this period where sight-fishing is at prime. Since water is warmer during this season, the metabolism of the fish is generally quicker so they feed heavily. This is the same for speckled trout. In April they move to grass beds where their baitfish migrate to and feed heavily on them.

Laguna Atascosa Fishing Charters & Fishing Guides

address

Port Mansfield, TX

25ft - 5 guests

Starting as low as

$400

address

Port Isabel, TX

21ft - 6 guests

Starting as low as

$375

address

South Padre Island, TX

18ft - 3 guests

Starting as low as

$500

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality

Cameron County’s subtropical and moderately humid climate offers vast fishing opportunities throughout the year. Southern flounder, speckled trout, and redfish are year-round fish in Texas. 

During fall and the beginning of winter (between October and December), adult flounder migrate from the bays to the Gulf to spawn. Studies say that adult flounder typically travel only a short distance during spawn migrations so spotting them in passes and channels is highly probable. Young flounder, on the other hand, do not migrate and bury themselves in potholes on the bottom of the water so they are most likely what you will catch when waters are colder.

Throughout spring until June, redfish roam in big packs and aggressively eat every baitfish in the path so it is during this period where sight-fishing is at prime. Since water is warmer during this season, the metabolism of the fish is generally quicker so they feed heavily. This is the same for speckled trout. In April they move to grass beds where their baitfish migrate to and feed heavily on them.

Laguna Atascosa Weather Forecast

Fri

88°F

Clouds

Highs