What you need to know about offshore fishing:
Red Snapper season in Texas is usually open from June to August. Check the Texas Parks and Wildlife site for up to the minute information. They have been known to close the charter boats prior to recreational and shorten the season at the drop of a hat if the fishery looks compromised from their catch data. State waters cover the first 9 miles and you are allowed 4 snapper (15″ min)/person, year round. You are allowed 2 snapper (16″ min)/person in Federal waters beyond 9 miles.
Red Snapper is not the only target fish, by far! Ling (Cobia), Dorado (Mahi-mahi), Vermillion Snapper, Lane Snapper, Wahoo, Triple-Tail, King Mackerel, Jacks, and even Grouper.
First, there are several ways to accomplish the feat of getting you on the fish. The most economic is to join a party boat, where you and about 50 other anglers hook up and one of about 5 deckhands assist you in the land and tag your fish for pickup at the docks.
The next step up is to charter a boat of your own through one of several uber-experienced local Captains. Your limit for fish is 6 (2 fish per person up to 6 people) and the Captain and Deckhand can’t account for limit. Give me a call, tell me about the kind of trip you are looking for and I will help match you with a Captain and boat that suits your needs. This is my preferred method.
What to expect:
Cost: Approximately $350-$400/person depending on generosity of your gratuity. Includes: Fuel (per gallon price will fluctuate), rods, reels, bait and ice. You bring your own food and drinks. I recommend bringing a cooler for the safe return of your catch, but oftentimes, unneeded on-board.
What to bring: Plenty of hydration, sunscreen, non-slip white soled water shoes, a towel, a change of clothes, long-sleeve lightweight shirt, hat, shades and anything else you may find comforting for a full day in the elements.
Where and When: We know captains based from Freeport to Pelican Rest, and the Galveston Yacht Basin. Most trips meet at 6am, and return between 4-6pm. Your crew will gladly clean your fish to your specifications: I recommend some on the half-shell (skin-on) and some clean filets. Don’t forget to keep the snapper throats.
Or you could buy your own boat! If you have, and are possibly struggling with finding the fish, I know several Captains that would be happy to co-pilot a run offshore.