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Saltwater fishing from Houston

Old 11-02-2020, 02:55 PM
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Default Saltwater fishing from Houston

Hi all,

I am fairly new to Houston (2 years) and have been getting the bug to go fishing but logistically it seems a bit tricky. I have some questions, thank you for your advice in advance.

I lived in downtown Boston before and had the boat docked in the harbor across the street from my condo, and have spent a lot of time at my family’s house on the east coast of Florida where they have a boat on a lift in the back. Both situations I was able to be in the ocean within 15 minutes and have lines in the water. Now living in Houston it seems like I was spoiled time-wise.

I’d like to fish the gulf, prefer offshore for pelagic species but open to fishing inshore as well. I work during the day mon-fri so that leaves me weekends and the occasional day off to get out on the water. Ideally it would be nice to have a ~32’ cc stored indoors in someplace like Freeport but have been monitoring the marine forecasts over the last 6 months or so and it seems like there aren’t a whole lot of windows for a weekend warrior such as myself to get out in reasonable seas (under 4ft otherwise my first mate (wife) won’t come out). Is that a fair to assume that in that situation the boat would just end up sitting most of the year?

If that is the case, then a thought I have is to buy a smaller boat and trailer and store it close to home in Houston. Something like a 25’ Pathfinder Hybrid that would allow me to fish inshore for redfish and speckled trout and occasionally get it offshore for king fish and the occasional mahi when the conditions are perfect. The 25’ Pathfinder Hybrid has a 13” draft, is that too deep for some good inshore fishing, do you need more of a skiff? Problem is that will a skiff I’d only want to run that inshore. Is there a good way to have the best of both worlds, or am I totally nuts?

I don’t want to spend a bunch of money to have a boat just sit there and I will admit that I have zero experience fishing in Texas so I plan on going out with some guides/charters to learn more but I just figured I’d as you all in case anyone has done what I’m looking to do.

Thanks again for all your advice, and please if my thoughts are crazy let me know, I can handle criticism!

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Old 11-02-2020, 03:06 PM
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go online to 2coolfishing-much more Texas focused-lots of opportunities in the Galveston / Freeport area- visit the marinas -galveston yacht basin, surfside marina and talk to other boat owners
Old 11-02-2020, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by marlinlane View Post
go online to 2coolfishing-much more Texas focused-lots of opportunities in the Galveston / Freeport area- visit the marinas -galveston yacht basin, surfside marina and talk to other boat owners
Thank you marlinlane , will check out 2coolfishing right now!
Old 11-02-2020, 03:47 PM
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Offshore in a 32' boat fishing only the weekends, I think you could reasonably expect to fish up to 10-20 weekends per year. This is from my personal experience fishing offshore out of freeport/Galveston for 20 years. Fishing is year round, but the seas typically lay during the summer with random windows during the fall, winter, and spring.

The style of boat will play a big role in your ability to fihs. Many of the best CC's for the TX gulf are deep v stepped hulls with twin or more outboard motors. The runs can be long (up to 120 miles one way) so fuel capacity and economy are critical components. The TX Gulf's seas are also very different from everywhere else. Typically our seas are very short and choppy (like a confused washing machine). You need to focus a lot on the wave periods. 2-4 footers at 3 seconds can be very rough and tough sledding for a long offshore run. 4 foot seas in the Texas gulf and most smaller CC boats are stuck at the dock.

Fishing inshore will present you significantly more weekends to fish year-round. Just depends on your preference. I have lots of friends that will stay inshore and fish for trout and reds when its rough offshore but will head deep anytime its relatively calm. I personally do not fish inshore or nearshore, so I cannot tell you what is a good boat for the area for those uses.
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Old 11-02-2020, 05:10 PM
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Contact Adam here - https://www.justfishsabine.com/about-me/

Great fishery east of Houston on TX / LA line, Worth a look. Easy day trip from Houston.
Old 11-02-2020, 05:47 PM
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OP your concerns of the boat sitting when it blows are absolutely our reality here. March thru June can really be frustrating.

I have gone back and forth on hull size and type several times and currently in a '23 which most days is plenty fine snapper/kingfish boat in the 20 - 40 mile range. I do have the luxury of flexibility to fish week days which means a lot - nice weather on the weekends will mean every spot inside of 50 will be a parking lot. A big bay boat with some freeboard or mediumish sized cat could be a good compromise for you.

What part of town are you in? Tx City/Galveston might be easier for you.



Old 11-02-2020, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Southern_Fish View Post
Offshore in a 32' boat fishing only the weekends, I think you could reasonably expect to fish up to 10-20 weekends per year. This is from my personal experience fishing offshore out of freeport/Galveston for 20 years. Fishing is year round, but the seas typically lay during the summer with random windows during the fall, winter, and spring.

The style of boat will play a big role in your ability to fihs. Many of the best CC's for the TX gulf are deep v stepped hulls with twin or more outboard motors. The runs can be long (up to 120 miles one way) so fuel capacity and economy are critical components. The TX Gulf's seas are also very different from everywhere else. Typically our seas are very short and choppy (like a confused washing machine). You need to focus a lot on the wave periods. 2-4 footers at 3 seconds can be very rough and tough sledding for a long offshore run. 4 foot seas in the Texas gulf and most smaller CC boats are stuck at the dock.

Fishing inshore will present you significantly more weekends to fish year-round. Just depends on your preference. I have lots of friends that will stay inshore and fish for trout and reds when its rough offshore but will head deep anytime its relatively calm. I personally do not fish inshore or nearshore, so I cannot tell you what is a good boat for the area for those uses.

Thank you for the advice! Based off of 10-20 weekends per year offshore I think if there is a boat that works well inshore but can survive a calm day 30 miles or so off shore that would be huge. Not sure if I’d be searching for a unicorn though. I haven’t seen any SeaVee’s for sale in Texas but I wonder if their 270Z would be that unicorn? Only has 116 gallons of fuel capacity, would that be enough to safely get on kings and mahi and make it home with safety fuel to spare?
Old 11-02-2020, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by skeeter77346 View Post
Contact Adam here -

Great fishery east of Houston on TX / LA line, Worth a look. Easy day trip from Houston.
Thank you! Looks awesome, will reach out to Adam and will let THT know how it goes!
Old 11-02-2020, 06:47 PM
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270 Seavee or Bluewave Makaira would both be great Texas boats.
Old 11-02-2020, 06:47 PM
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You’re Crazy but the majority of us fishermen are.
Unless you are weather flexible, have a crew who are same, blue water isn’t going to be in the cards. My buds are all of the above and still don’t fish enough to justify their Freeman’s imo but they love
it. Inshore is your best option for H town, Sabine, Big Lake, Matagorda, Trinity, LLM are all terrific trout/red fisheries although ours (big lake) has a more liberal limit for the time being. My Texas clients tell me they can be across the border quicker than they can get to Freeport/Galveston/Matagorda.
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Old 11-02-2020, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by HTJ View Post
OP your concerns of the boat sitting when it blows are absolutely our reality here. March thru June can really be frustrating.

I have gone back and forth on hull size and type several times and currently in a '23 which most days is plenty fine snapper/kingfish boat in the 20 - 40 mile range. I do have the luxury of flexibility to fish week days which means a lot - nice weather on the weekends will mean every spot inside of 50 will be a parking lot. A big bay boat with some freeboard or mediumish sized cat could be a good compromise for you.

What part of town are you in? Tx City/Galveston might be easier for you.
Thank you! I live right near the Galleria just inside 610. So not super quick access to the water unfortunately. I have a Ford Raptor so decent towing capacity so debating whether it makes sense to get a slip at a marina or just trailer a hybrid bay/offshore boat (store it indoors close to home) giving the option to drop it in the water wherever I’d like. surfside marina looks awesome, but does keeping a hybrid there take away some optionality or does that area have everything you need inshore and offshore?
Old 11-02-2020, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mellow yelloww View Post
Thank you! I live right near the Galleria just inside 610. So not super quick access to the water unfortunately. I have a Ford Raptor so decent towing capacity so debating whether it makes sense to get a slip at a marina or just trailer a hybrid bay/offshore boat (store it indoors close to home) giving the option to drop it in the water wherever I’d like. surfside marina looks awesome, but does keeping a hybrid there take away some optionality or does that area have everything you need inshore and offshore?
I live not far away and the hour drive to Freeport/Lake Jackson/Surfside is quick and easy. Once it opens, it should be smooth sailing on the toll road being added to 288. I would say that access to the water within 1 hour is plenty easy. Most of my friends who are dedicated inshore fisherman fish parts of galveston bay and/or matagorda. Surfside puts you in the middle of the two, but is a bit of a boat ride. Also, the bays around Freeport are supposed to be decent inshore fishing. Like i said, I am not an inshore guy, so I can't tell you the ins or outs of either area or what style boat will serve you best. If cost is not a factor, I'd look into the yellowfin 26 hybrid or the seahunter floridian 28. These two boats would be more than capable of taking advantage of those days when the the GOM turns into a lake. Be sure to have all of your safety gear squared away if venturing out deep (EPIRB, VHF, Inreach, etc.)

Surfside Marina is a great operation and they have a great team there. Highly recommend.

One idea is to get a bay specific boat and start making friends with offshore boats. Your friends can take you out so that you can start learning offshore fishing. When not fishing deep, you can fish the bays to get out on the water more regularly.

I also think everyone who owns an offshore boat in texas is slightly crazy and by no means is it a cost effective way of fishing.
Old 11-02-2020, 08:06 PM
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offshore fishing is an expensive hobby/pursuit- crew typically share expenses-surfside marina is a great place to keep a boat-an hour drive from the galleria is easy-better restaurants in Galveston - if you want to purchase a boat, do your research and, if you prefer to offshore fish, you should consider purchasing the largest and highest quality boat you can afford-towing, no matter how short a haul, gets old fast
Old 11-03-2020, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mellow yelloww View Post
I’d like to fish the gulf, prefer offshore for pelagic species but open to fishing inshore as well. I work during the day mon-fri so that leaves me weekends and the occasional day off to get out on the water. Ideally it would be nice to have a ~32’ cc stored indoors in someplace like Freeport but have been monitoring the marine forecasts over the last 6 months or so and it seems like there aren’t a whole lot of windows for a weekend warrior such as myself to get out in reasonable seas (under 4ft otherwise my first mate (wife) won’t come out). Is that a fair to assume that in that situation the boat would just end up sitting most of the year?
I am also an expat from the north and have been here for 5 years now. Forgive me in advance for my Sinicism while I spam these posts. Please feel free to PM me and share phone numbers to discuss any of this in depth and detail and perhaps even got for a ride.


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Old 11-03-2020, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by mellow yelloww View Post
Thank you marlinlane , will check out 2coolfishing right now!
You can sign up, but honestly, there is not much resource there. It's really just a "bragging" site... No one will really offer any kind of tips or help, they just post what they catch. Still, you are in Houston, so....
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Old 11-03-2020, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Southern_Fish View Post
Offshore in a 32' boat fishing only the weekends, I think you could reasonably expect to fish up to 10-20 weekends per year. This is from my personal experience fishing offshore out of freeport/Galveston for 20 years. Fishing is year round, but the seas typically lay during the summer with random windows during the fall, winter, and spring.
I have heard this exact same thing since I moved here and I have NEVER seen it really lay down with any predictability in 5 years. Sure, maybe there are a few MORE windows in the summer, but it's not a daily event.
Old 11-03-2020, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by HTJ View Post
OP your concerns of the boat sitting when it blows are absolutely our reality here. March thru June can really be frustrating.

I have gone back and forth on hull size and type several times and currently in a '23 which most days is plenty fine snapper/kingfish boat in the 20 - 40 mile range. I do have the luxury of flexibility to fish week days which means a lot - nice weather on the weekends will mean every spot inside of 50 will be a parking lot. A big bay boat with some freeboard or mediumish sized cat could be a good compromise for you.

What part of town are you in? Tx City/Galveston might be easier for you.
^All true^
Old 11-03-2020, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by mellow yelloww View Post
Thank you for the advice! Based off of 10-20 weekends per year offshore I think if there is a boat that works well inshore but can survive a calm day 30 miles or so off shore that would be huge. Not sure if I’d be searching for a unicorn though. I haven’t seen any SeaVee’s for sale in Texas but I wonder if their 270Z would be that unicorn? Only has 116 gallons of fuel capacity, would that be enough to safely get on kings and mahi and make it home with safety fuel to spare?
This describes about 80% of the rigs in the TX costal area. Keep in mind that any spot inside of 50 miles will have a boat on it if the seas are 2' or less. Keep in mind that there is NOTHING to catch outside of June-August other than snappers and kind fish inside of 50 miles and even them will be picked over by the first couple of weekends. From October to March, the gulf is void of anything but trash fish unless you REALLY stretch it out on 100+ mile runs for wahoo and tuna. Don't get your hopes up on Mahi.... Unless you run into a pallet floating around on your way to the floaters and pick up a few that can barley fit in your pan, they ae virtually non existent.
Old 11-03-2020, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mellow yelloww View Post
Thank you! I live right near the Galleria just inside 610. So not super quick access to the water unfortunately. I have a Ford Raptor so decent towing capacity so debating whether it makes sense to get a slip at a marina or just trailer a hybrid bay/offshore boat (store it indoors close to home) giving the option to drop it in the water wherever I’d like. surfside marina looks awesome, but does keeping a hybrid there take away some optionality or does that area have everything you need inshore and offshore?
You probably want to dry stack it. It's the best compromise between towing and slipping. Pros are it's easy access and does not stay in the water.... Cons are it's kind of stuck in one spot, but you could always have them drop it on a trailer, but be prepared for the ramp nonsense on a nice summer weekend... You could be waiting for hours.

Honestly, unless you want to dedicate yourself to off shore, stay clear of Freepost or Surfside. There are virtually no inshore fishing opportunities there. For inshore you want the Bay or Matagorda, but then you have extremely long runs to off shore fishing.

Old 11-03-2020, 08:04 AM
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Perfect Texas boat can fish 120 miles out or chase birds working in the bay plus everything in between. 25'-35' deep-V, most fuel you can get into it and flat deck tends to work best. Use a large yeti as casting platform on the inshore and nearshore days if no coffin box to stand on. This set up gives you year around fishing even with wind blowing and also allows you to run deep to scratch the blue water itch.

The SeaVee 270z would work, but if you really like to offshore fish the gunnel height will be a problem. As with most all oversized bay boats, they are a better fit for someone who likes to bay fish as much as offshore but with the limitations that they are not good overnight fishing platforms. You can overcome high gunnel height to bay fish, but impossible to overcome low gunnel height offshore. It is hard to run 100 miles out and fish in only one day, so overnight trips are common to Texas offshore fishermen targeting wahoo, yellowfin, grouper, etc...

FYI 2cool is a wealth of knowledge, just have to ask.

Last edited by Jeepman; 11-03-2020 at 08:30 AM.
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