Fly Fishing South Padre Island for Redfish and Sea Trout

The knee jerk reaction would be to start laughing at the thought of  traveling to South Padre Island, Texas to fly fish; famous mostly for the hordes of college students during spring break, and a bazillion T-shirt shops.  What you might not realize is that this area has the very best wadeable flats for redfish and sea trout in the United States. We were looking for a good location and facility to offer shorter, more affordable trips, and this location has it. Raquel and I love to walk those flats, and Raquel has a peculiar affinity for redfish. She is practicing “fish whispering” to improve her catch rates. I take clients out in my Chittum skiff, and am able to get to the most remote areas of the lagoon system.  Casting to tailing reds is nothing but fun, and you can be doing this the same day you fly into Harlingen, Brownsville, or McAllen, Texas.

The Laguna Madre is an extensive Texas bay system protected from the gulf by a barrier island. Most of the Island itself is designated as a National Seashore. The “Laguna” is filled with flats that redfish, spotted sea trout, flounder, tarpon, and snook call home. By far the most beautiful of these are located just north of South Padre Island, Texas.   One of these is even named “little Bahamas”, because of the crystal clear water and mangrove lined lagoons.  These “east side” hard bottom flats cover literally thousands of acres. The softer “west side” flats are enhanced by a series of spoil islands that create excellent redfish and trout habitat. Boat runs to the most productive flats are generally 20 to 30 minutes. There are a few locations that take 45 minutes or more to reach.


For the 2021 fall fishing season Pescador Solitario has leased a house right on the bay. This well appointed two story, three bedroom, two bath affair is an excellent facility. It is the best location on the bay and comes with boat slips, should fly fishers want to self guide and use their own boat. We will accommodate 2 to 4 people in our leased “lodge”. As a bonus you can use the swimming pool on the adjoining property and fish under the dock lights at night. All of our trips are hosted and breakfast and lunch are provided. Dinners (not included in the package) are the client’s choice from the extensive restaurant selection and Padre Island is famous for excellent seafood. Sunsets looking across the Laguna Madre from the upper level balcony are spectacular. The gulf-side beach is within easy walking distance. This is an excellent venue for couples.  For guided fishing packages you will be greeted by your guide and his flats skiff 50 feet from your back door.

Other Activities:

One of the attractions of South Padre is the fact that it is a great place to bring a non-fishing spouse. The beach is nationally famous and in this location it extends for over 30 miles. Horseback riding tours, ATV tours, windsurfing, kite-boarding, and wildlife-bird watching excursions are all available. Specialty shopping opportunities are present everywhere …watch the limit on your credit card!

Next: The Fish