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Texas Family Fishing Fun
Texas is a state that's bursting at the seams with fabulous vacation opportunities for the whole outdoor family. We submit a few for your consideration.
Family vacations are always the most fun when everybody has something to do. Combining fishing with a family vacation is one sure way for Dad to enjoy his time away from work, while Mom and the kids maybe do a little fishing, and maybe do something like building sand castles, kayaking or even spending time on a water slide.
The possible combinations of fishing and family vacation fun are endless in Texas. Read on and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Vacationing along the Gulf Coast is an option that hundreds of families go for each summer. And one of the favorite destinations is Padre Island, on the southern end of the coast. Here, the famed Laguna Madre can be found on one side of the island, and the Gulf of Mexico on the other.
Fun for the kids is limitless. One of the big thrills here is the water slide. It's a heck of a plunge down the slide, and the kids -- and plenty of grown folks, too -- love it.
Another very well-liked deal for the entire family is an afternoon boat tour along the jetties. Dolphin tours are the most popular: The boats run up the jetty channel and a couple of miles offshore to find schools of dolphin playing on the surface. It's a rare day when you don't see a dolphin or two here.
And there's always the option of spending time on the beach. The wife can soak up the rays, while the kids ride the waves and frolic in the surf, which more often than not is a beautiful blue-green.
The fishing around the Padre Island area is outstanding. Anglers have the option of working the Laguna Madre flats, the jetties, the surf, offshore or even a lighted pier. The sprawling flats are the Laguna's main fishing attraction. Fly-fishing is a big thing here, and conventional angling is scarcely uncommon. On the flats you can fish for tailing reds; in the deeper guts you can ply soft-plastic jigs or even live shrimp for trout and flounder.
There's no shortage of fishing guides on the Laguna, and going with a guide is often a smart decision. Since much of the Laguna Madre is 1 to 2 feet deep, you'll need a flats boat to access some of the most profitable fishing. But if you bring your own boat, you can run the deep-water channels and fish the adjacent flats.
Fishing at the jetties is an awesome experience. Here, a lot of anglers troll for king mackerel. Feather jigs, spoons and even live baits will catch big kings.
Live shrimp or mullet fished up close to the rocks will likely put a variety of fish in your cooler. These are deep-water jetties that attract a wide variety of fish such as trout, redfish, mangrove snappers, tarpon, jacks, ling, sheepshead and Spanish mackerel. It's not at all unusual to hook up with a tarpon along the Port Isabel jetties, which is on the south end of Padre Island.
The offshore fishing past the end of the jetties can be fantastic. Since the depth drops off in a hurry, you can begin trolling live, dead or artificial baits within a mile or so of the jetties. What can you catch? How about a sailfish, giant sharks, ling, kings and even blackfin and yellowfin tuna!
Finding a place to stay on the island is just a matter of contacting a travel agent or checking the Internet.
At the opposite end of the Texas Gulf Coast is Galveston Island. Millions of vacationers have traveled to Galveston, 45 miles south of Houston, and there's no better time to bring the family to this island retreat than early summer. It's still cool, there are all sorts of activities for the family, and, of course, the fishing on the surrounding bays, jetties and in the Gulf is perennially impressive.
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