Port Arthur Fishing: An Anglers Guide

man holding up a redfish on sabine lake in port arthur, texas

Welcome to Fishing in Port Arthur

Here in the great state of Texas, we are fortunate to have 367 miles of coastline that borders the Gulf of Mexico, creating one of the most diverse places in the country. Port Arthur is on the upper coast near the Louisiana border, alongside Sabine Lake. This lake is formed to the north where the Neches and Sabine Rivers converge. It’s a unique ecosystem and makes it an ideal place for anglers and anyone who enjoys the outdoors. The Big Three in Port Arthur are Redfish, Flounder and Trout.

Our fishing community is strong. Anglers travel from all around the US for access to some of the best saltwater fishing anywhere along the Gulf Coast. Here are a few reasons why you should book your next fishing trip in Port Arthur, Texas.

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Sabine Lake

anglers at boat launch at sunrise

man holding redfish in a boat

Port Arthur’s 70,000 acre Sabine Lake is an impressive 14 miles long, 7 miles wide and is formed where the Sabine and Neches Rivers meet.

Sabine Lake, and the ship channel connecting this body of water with the Gulf of Mexico, are bustling hubs for area angling and boating activities. The lake is actually a bay serving as estuaries – transitional points between fresh and salt water for the Neches and Sabine Rivers. Waters are best known for flounder, redfish and speckled trout. Bring your own boat or book an inshore guided fishing trip. You can also kayak the region’s multiple paddling trails or venture into the Gulf of Mexico, where off-shore charter trips reign.

Pleasure Island

overview of pleasure island

Boy pier fishing in Pleasure Island, Port Arthur

Pleasure Island is an 18-mile long island created from deposits dredged to form the Intracoastal Waterway in 1908. Fish from several piers, state and public parks, one of the largest jetty systems in the state and various levees. Launch and even stow your boat in the Island’s state of the art, 300-slip marina.

Sabine Pass

Boy showing off trout in port Arthur texas

Sabine Pass is perhaps the start of where fishing began in all of Southeast Texas. Sabine offers access to Keith Lake, the marsh, Sabine Lake and the Gulf of Mexico. It’s home to the Sabine Pass Port Authority’s 87-slip Marina. That’s chock full of inshore and offshore charter opportunities and first-class amenities.

Sea Rim State Park

Man in red kayak fishing at the beach

Man enjoying Gulf

Shore fishing the nutrient rich surf of Sea Rim State Park attracts a plethora of game fish and prey. To the  angler, this can be a fishing dream. Sea Rim State Park participates in the Free Loaner Tackle Program. Park users will just need to provide their own bait. You can RV, tent camp or rent the park’s 6-person Cabin.

A note on Shore Fishing: A fishing license is not required to fish from the shore of any Texas State Park upon receipt of a park entry permit. Be aware that in order to retain a “bull red” over 28” in length you will need to use a properly completed Red Drum Tag furnished on a Texas Saltwater Fishing License. A bonus Red Drum Tag is also available to licensed anglers.

Kayak Fishing

man holding redfish in kayak

Here on the Upper Coast, there are several options for kayak fishing. Whether on the north or south end, you are sure to catch a few fish. Look for other animals as you make your way
through the marsh. Check out more details on kayak fishing in and around Port Arthur here.

Other Refuges to Consider:

  • Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge: Extends along the Gulf of Mexico Shoreline with tidal flats, shallow freshwater lakes and marsh. Daily tides influence these areas. The 8,972 acres of coastal marsh are open to the public at no charge. Fishing, crabbing and other wildlife related activities are available. For more info on your visit, rules and regulations, go here.
  • McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge: more than 58,000 acres include the largest remaining freshwater marsh on the Texas Coast, along with brackish marsh. Red drum, flounder, alligator gar, blue catfish
    and blue crab are a few of the species in the refuge. For more info on your visit, rules and regulations, go here.
  • J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area (WMA): made up of 24,498 acres including fresh, intermediate and brackish water and coastal marshes. Fishing and wildlife viewing are popular public uses. Public access for fishing is mostly restricted to boats. Seasonal access and times available for freshwater and coastal fishing in the various parts of the WMA do change. Check for updates and rules/regulations here.

Not convinced? Check out what wildlife journalist, Editor and Chief of Texas Fish & Game and host of “Moore Outdoors” radio program, Chester Moore, has to say about fishing our area here.

If you’re looking to road trip for a weekend stay or day trip for a fishing excursion, Port Arthur is the perfect place for your next big fishing getaway. Download a digital copy or request our Fishing Guide by mail below.

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Written by our Marketing Director and outdoor enthusiast, Callie Summerlin.

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