Fly Fishing the Texas Coast

Nueces Bay Area: Portland Area

Corpus Christi Bay offers excellent wadefishing in front of the Portland community, in the area around Indian Point. The site is accessible by car or on foot. Flyfishers can also launch a kayak at the Indian Point Pier to fish the point and a nearby oyster reef.

Toward the middle of Nueces Bay, the bottom gets boggy in about 2 to 4 feet of water. Fish-holding features here include oyster reefs, mud bottoms, and cordgrass shorelines. Redfish and trout hold along the reefs, and it is possible to find tailing fish near the grass along the shorelines.

Not many people wade the Portland shoreline, but 8- and 9-pound trout have been caught in that area over the years, says Portland native Mark Lucas. He recommends fishing the edge of the spoil island as well as sandbars and guts just off the 40-foot-deep Reynolds Channel. In this area, tailing reds often get back on the mud bottom flats around Whites Point. The area is not heavily fished because it is hard to reach and has soft bottoms in places. You can access it on the north shoreline from Odem via Farm Roads 893 and 1074.

Odem Bay, behind Whites Point off Nueces Bay, includes a large marsh with a number of tidal creeks. It is shallow and hard to reach by boat but ideal for a sea kayak. Odem Bay is a prolific shrimp nursery benefitting from the fresh water released upstream from Lake Corpus Christi and the Nueces River (see map on page 93). Redfish, trout, black drum, and flounder are found in these bays. Look for birds working over trout in the spring. Reef fishing in the area also is productive. A steady southeast wind over 10 mph will muddy up the water in Odem Bay, but the estuary is productive during the winter months and can be fished effectively in a north wind.

The shallow waters around the Portland—Corpus Christi causeway, where the Corpus Christi and Nueces bays meet are known to hold good numbers of trout and redfish. The area has many features attractive to fish, including a big oyster field, guts, and smaller oyster bars. When the tide comes in, it flushes over these bars, and fish hold behind the reefs. A peak fishing period here is in the spring, when the shrimp start migrating and you can find trout and redfish feeding actively. The bay also provides good fishing in late fall and winter. Periods of heavy freshwater runoff or upstream releases on Nueces and Odem bays can adversely affect fishing until these systems balance out. Local anglers say wadefishing can be good along Corpus Christi's scenic Ocean Drive.

Nearby Oso Bay also offers productive wadefishing and is a good area for fishing out of a kayak. Oso Bay receives a warm-water discharge that is from the CP&L power plant, and redfish stack up there in the winter months.

The Humble Channel and the Boat Hole on the north end of the Laguna Madre hold trout and redfish in water 2 to 3 feet deep. There are a number of wadable flats in the area. Large schools of redfish stage in this area during the summer and fall months.

Another productive fly-fishing destination in the Corpus Christi area is Packery Channel and Park. The channel offers drive-up, walk-in wadefishing. Flyfishers can launch a kayak here to fish the far shoreline. At dawn, redfish move up into the channel shallows to chase baitfish. The park is located on Texas 22 (South Padre Island Drive), east of the JFK Causeway Bridge near the Texas 361 turnoff to Port Aransas.


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