The Laguna Madre is a rarity: one of perhaps six hypersaline (i.e. saltier than the ocean) lagoons in the world. It is perhaps one of the most overlooked natural wonders in North America. If one stands on its shore and simply gazes at it, the Laguna might not have any obvious physical attributes to distinguish from any other body of water in the world. To be appreciated, the Laguna’s unseen side, the life hidden under its surface, must be studied and revealed. The Laguna Madre is also an incredible area in which to recreate- one of the world’s best windsurfing sites and ample opportunities for fishing, boating, birding, and more await you. Check out the links below for more information on this majestic and important place!
Fishing has been one of the biggest attractions to Padre Island, long before its designation as a national seashore. Visitors may fish along the entire length of the Gulf of Mexico beach, in the Laguna Madre, and at Yarborough Pass and Bird Island Basin. To fish anywhere within the park requires a valid Texas fishing license and a saltwater stamp, which are only sold outside of the park at any local gas station or tackle shop.
Wade and drift fishing adventures on the pristine waters of the Lower Laguna Madre. For those that like to get out of the boat and stalk the flats, guides will put you in the perfect position to wade stretches of salt teaming with gamefish. If fishing from the boat is your thing, guides will make sure to put you within casting distance of a variety of hungry specimens. Depending on the conditions and what you’re comfortable with, guides may recommend doing one over the other, in regards to what they feel will produce the most success.
The gin clear waters of the Lower Laguna Madre provide fly anglers with an abundance of sight casting opportunities over beautiful sand and seagrass flats. Catching fish on the fly is a sporting adventure, and guides will stealthily pole you into position to enjoy some breathtaking, light tackle action.
In the Lower Laguna Madre, it’s more likely to run into Speckled trout and redfish. South Bay(below the LLM right next to Mexico) is known for snook. The Texas State Record Speckled Trout any tackle went 37.25” and 15.6 pounds and came from the Lower Laguna that was sight casted to using a fly rod by Bud Rowland. This was about 13 years ago and his fish came in May.
April is usually a good time for big sow trout. Redfish ought to be abundant. The only real issue with the 6 weight I can see is the wind. You might get into the drag in a serious way on fish once they start getting around 5 pounds. Bigger Redfish will run off some line, potentially into the backing, in shallow water, but they aren’t known for burning up drags, just solid, powerful runs. After a few of those, they will start to tire. Trout are tricky fighters with head shaking, tail walking and other stunts and have delicate mouths so it’s best not to try and horse them in. I keep a light drag on Speckled trout to try and not rip the hook out.