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South Texas?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Mar 13, 2002

Unfortunately I have to live in South Texas for a few years. I'm also not very experienced with depth. I have been freediving all of my life with my friends, but never knew that people did it as a sport. I'm very interested in spearfishing and seeing how other people dive. If you are in the area let me know. I can also travel.:)
Hey Octopusman!
I came to south Texas for a few years and here I am 22 years later! I'm in the Houston area. Send me an E-mail, let me know where you're located, maybe we can do some dives.
I am in Corpus Christi, TX and go out of Port Aransas. Great spearfishing here. Where you at?

I free dive off of Port Mansfield in the summers. Too bad the near-in rigs were torn down. The nearest now is around 30 miles from the jetties. It has been great when I was able to get out there though! What port are you out of?

I go to a lot of Rigs closer to Port Mansfield than Port Aransas. The water is usually better, plus they are fished less. I’m not looking forward to the Packary Channel opening, as it will put a lot more fishing pressure in this area.

I have heard a lot of stories about those rigs that were close to Port Mansfield, before they removed them. Didn’t they make some of them into reefs by cutting the legs about 20 feet from the bottom and falling the top?

Are you in Port Mansfield the whole summer? What do you do there?

The only rig that is reachable for me from PM is about 30 miles from the jetties. So I usually end up hitching a ride with a friend who has a bigger boat than mine. But the water is sooo nice! My best shots are weed mats and any floating structure.

My 18' Predator just doesn't have the gas or the hull. I need flat days... :-(

When the close-in rigs were still up, we would hit them in a bay boat with no problem. We chummed up limits of snapper to the surface back in the day. My first dives were out there when I was in school.

When those rigs where torn down they were sunk down south in an artiicial reef program. I don't know the gps points though. It is down there with the liberty ships.. so still a good run against current.
We hit the old well heads, but it is not even a good bump on the bottom anymore, and does not hold fish well.

My folks keep a place in PM and I hit every weekend I can during the summer, and burn my vacation during July.

Are you freediving rigs while spearfishing, or using scuba? What kind of gun are you using?

I mostly freedive. I’m scuba certified, but don’t own the gear. I have a MT-5. Just started freediving last summer as a way too cool off and add some fun to fishing. The only two edible type of fish I have speared are barracuda and grey snapper. I have a 20’ powercat with two outboards. It’s a little small, but is seaworthy.

We generally go to a rig called A-22 which is about ½ way between PA and PM, and then work our way further south. You were mentioning floating objects, I went to the weather bouy 42020 and caught some big dorado two years ago. Never had an opportunity to spear one yet, but the big ones sure put up an exciting fight on-line. Tail walking, etc.!

In November we went 83 miles out to a SPAR and caught a 70lb yellow fin. I meant to get in the water and spearfish, but I was exhausted and out of time, by the time we got that crazy fish in the boat.

There is a State of Texas artificial reef page that has all the artificial reefs on it.

Lets talk by e-mail since the talk is area specific. Mine is donmoore@yahoo.com. Maybe we can get together.
donmoore- the weed mats intrigue me. Most of my experience on the Gulf has been on seismagraph or supply boats, and near shore shrimping. I've seen weed piled up fairly near shore in clear water.I'm just learning to spearfish. Have you hunted these mats before?

No I have never dived on a weed mat, but I would like too. I have trolled along many weed lines, which is almost too frustrating to be worth it, due to pieces of weeds getting in the hooks and lures. I have seen a few really thick weed mats that might be good. I am little hesitant for two reasons though. First most of the fish I have caught by weeds have been small ones and wasting much time on areas that might contain fish, usually leads to less time on the structures that are more certain to contain fish. Second I have caught a few sharks there and I’m a little freaked by diving in an area with no structure. Can’t see all directions at once! A good competent dive partner would make me feel a little safer.

For good beginning fun, you can’t beat the rigs in the blue water. You need to get out 25 plus miles to get into the blue water, depending on several other factors. They are so many things to shoot in the first 40’ its unreal. Grey snapper run 10 to 40’ down and they are excellent tasting, just like red snapper. The barracuda are there to give you some experience with bigger fish. You have to be careful with their teeth, but it’s not bad. They can taste pretty good fried with a flour crust and eaten with ketchup. There are also rainbow runners that taste good, and if your lucky, amberjack. I haven’t seen any yet spear fishing.

There is a huge supply of fish that don’t taste great as well. I think barracuda have multiplied too much off Texas. I have seen several with growth and other deformities. There are latterly hundreds of them on some rigs. They don’t bite bait very often and with abundant food they just keep multiplying. Before I started shooting them they would surround me and get quite close. Now after I shoot a few they back off and give me some room.
weed and rigs

It's been years since I serviced the rigs, but we saw baracuda on the surface quite often. Never coaxed one onto a hook, but they were quite adept at cleaning the bait off the hook.
We're just starting to get some weed in Galveston. I swam out about 300 yards on Sunday, about 4 feet of viz on the surface. Nothing but jellyfish (target practice), aand no viz at all around the rock groins. Once in the water I couldn't find the weed that was so visible from the roof.
I'll let you know if it ever clears up near shore here. Good luck!

Im out west of houston. It would be cool to start a freediving/spearfishing group. I dont spear fish, but I wouldnt mind trying.
Don, If you want to talk to me on YIM, my screenname is ghosthunter14.
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