With the number of fishermen becoming interested in saltwater growing, access to the bay by foot is becoming more important. Development and private ownership of adjacent land has cut into this access, but there are still areas where fishermen without a boat can walk-in and expect to catch fish. West Bay is probably the best known and most productive of the Galveston Bay complex. It is especially suited for fishermen who are boatless and want a place where they can walk-in and be reasonably sure they’ll catch fish. Starting on the far east end of West Bay, you have 8 Mile Road/Anderson Way/Sportsman’s Road; depending on who you talk to this area is known by all these names. Sportsmen’s Road is a prime location for wadefishermen. It has all the ingredients for catching speckled trout, redfish, and flounder. The grass lined channel coming out of the marsh is excellent for redfish on a high tide, and the reef, which runs north to south before switching to east to west, is prime for speckled trout and flounder during an incoming or outgoing tide. Heading west we find another excellent location for waders to try their hand. Although it is adjacent to private property, the flats at Sea Isle are great for reds and flounder. Work the grass shoreline along the cove with live shrimp or plastic shadtails rigged on a 1/4 ounce jig head. Just outside the mouth of the cove, try using live shrimp, shadtails, or topwater plugs for speckled trout. Especially during the cooler months, trophy trout will cruise this area looking for a place to spawn. At the far west end of the island is the largest natural pass on the gulf coast. San Luis Pass is the highway from the gulf to the bays for all manner of fish. The deep channel running through the middle supplies gamefish with a place to hide during cold winter months and find relief from the hot temperatures of summer. When the shallow water temperatures move closer to their comfort zone, the fish will move onto the adjoining flats to feed. This is where the angler should wait with live bait or lures. A word of caution about the great pass. There are swift currents moving through the pass at all times, but especially during the changing of the tides. If you are unfamiliar with the area, wear a life vest. Back along the coast to the east, we find the Texas City Dike. At the base of the Dike is what is commonly known as Dollar Flats. This is a large flat that runs the length of the levy and provides anglers with easy access to some of the best wadefishing in Galveston Bay. Watching the weather and tides is mandatory for this area. A calm flat wind and incoming tide will usually spell success for anglers there at the right time. Back over to the west end of Galveston Island, on the other side of San Luis Pass, is Christmas Bay. Christmas is probably the best chance for anglers to see what the Galveston Bay System might have been like at some time in the past. The south shoreline is covered with grass, much like the lower Texas coast, and is home to many small saltwater lifeforms, all of which redfish and speckled trout love to eat. Knowing where to go is only half the battle. Wadefishing in unfamiliar areas can result in some nasty results if you don’t take the proper precautions. One of the worst things on this earth that can happen to a waderfisherman is the stingray. These creatures lay on the same type bottom as do flounder and in much the same manner. The difference is that if you step on a flounder the worst thing that will happen is that he will swim away. If it’s a ray, you could end up in the hospital in serious trouble. There are two ways to avoid this nightmare. The first and least effective is the Stingray Shuffle. To perform this interesting dance, slide your feet along the bottom, remembering to never allow them to leave the bottom. DO NOT WALK HEEL TO TOE. The second and best method is to use a set of stingray leggings. Fish-N-Hunt, Inc. manufactures leggings that will stop all but the biggest rays and protects your legs from the top of your feet to just below the knee. Another danger waders have to face, in certain areas, are the undertow or strong currents. Wading an unfamiliar area requires the use of a life jacket or some other type of floating life preserver. Many fishermen use ski vests or the new in flatable life vests because they are light in weight and not as hot as other models. Whichever you choose, it is important that you wear one or the other when wading new territory. No matter where you decide to try your luck, taking the proper precautions will help make your trip more fun and more productive.
– Texas Saltwater Fishing Guide