Texas Fishing Forum

Bay Boat in the Gulf…Advice & Feedback

Posted By: JMT

Bay Boat in the Gulf…Advice & Feedback - 06/29/21 04:19 AM

I have a NauticStar 224XTS with 200hp Yamaha and fish freshwater mostly due to my location in north Texas. I have spent a lot of time down at Surfside Beach over the years and have previously taken smaller boats fishing inshore there, but have not taken my own boat outside the jetty’s. My question for more experienced guys on here is what advice you would have for me if I am considering the possibilities that are safely attainable in my current boat. I am planning to be in Surfside for a couple of weeks coming up at the end of July and first week of August. Outside the obvious of “choose your days based on waves and wind action”, what suggestions would you guys have for me? Would love to have a buddy boat type situation, but I don’t know anybody who lives down there. I have even considered the notion of trying to pay a local guide to take me out in my own boat and let them do a little teaching. I am smart enough to know what I don’t know and even though I have spent a lot of trips offshore in boats captained by others, I have never taken my own out. Thanks for any feedback and suggestions you guys might offer. [Linked Image]
Posted By: tunatamer

Re: Bay Boat in the Gulf…Advice & Feedback - 06/29/21 12:13 PM

A bay boat can do alright in late July and early August when the summer seas are lower. Have a plan and all of the safety equipment necessary. You don't need to run 50 - 60 miles offshore to catch fish and have fun. Rule number one is "Use Common Sense". Buddy boating is always a good idea. It might be a good idea to go to 2cool fishing and post what you posted here. You might have a chance to find someone to buddy boat with you.

As a kid (too many years ago to mention) I used to take my 16' semi-V hull boat out a lot. If it was calm enough I'd put it in the surf, otherwise I'd go out through the jetties at Port A.

I can't tell you much about how far you need t run out of Surfside but I can tell you out of Port A and Packery deeper water is a lot closer. You didn't mention what fish you were wanting to target. But i'd recommend Kings, Ling and Snappers. Have some numbers to go to if you shoot for snappers. I'll thumb through some books I have here and look for some numbers for you. These won't be numbers I've fished and proven to be good though.

Good luck and most of all have fun.
Posted By: Mo

Re: Bay Boat in the Gulf…Advice & Feedback - 06/30/21 06:55 PM

I and see the video now , Livescoping snapper at the rigs, smile

be careful
I have a 22 bluewave , I have not been in salt water for years , but 15 miles was about my longest run, I tend to be on the cautious side,
I had a buddy that would run 30 miles out of surfside / freeport on a regular basis in a 17 ft mako.

Posted By: COFF

Re: Bay Boat in the Gulf…Advice & Feedback - 06/30/21 08:03 PM

Fuel, radio, life vests. Hopefully that is very obvious to you.
Posted By: JMT

Re: Bay Boat in the Gulf…Advice & Feedback - 07/01/21 11:42 PM

Thank you sir! And I am open to species…I enjoy it all. Most interested in catching some fish, safely exploring and getting some hours in offshore, even if close by. You can’t buy experience and I know that part for sure so I just have to get out there and get some in doses. I have spent a ton of hours offshore on charter boats and party boats over the years, but just haven’t had the wheel. I appreciate the willingness for folks to give tips, pointers and suggestions.
Posted By: Po Boy

Re: Bay Boat in the Gulf…Advice & Feedback - 07/02/21 12:06 AM

Just keep in mind the mouth of the channel at the end of the Port Aransas jetties can be very wicked even with fairly calm seas.
Posted By: Osbornfishing

Re: Bay Boat in the Gulf…Advice & Feedback - 07/03/21 08:52 AM

You are starting the right way by asking questions. I have spent hundreds of hours on the ocean in boats under 22 feet. I took this boat over 60 miles offshore on several occasions and logged thousands of miles in the ocean on it. I added 2 bilge pumps and modified it to carry 80 gallons of gas. Always use the 1/3 gas out, 1/3 gas back, and 1/3 gas in reserve rule.

[Linked Image]

The main issue is safety. Weather can change quickly. When rigs were all over the gulf close to shore cellphone service was good. Now it is unpredictable a few miles offshore. You need a good marine radio. I would recommend a kicker motor and an EPIRB if you go very far.

As for locations, here is the Location of the Texas Parks and Wildlife reef Map.


The real fishing in the gulf starts at 25 miles out, but you can have a lot of fun in 50’ deep water. Federal regulations apply past 9 miles.

Stay away from the surf. It can get you in trouble quickly. Do not go out in seas bigger than 3 feet. It is safer to go out into the wind so you will have the wind blowing you back if there is a problem. Sometimes there is really good fishing around the jetty so that is a good place to start, then work your way offshore as you get comfortable.

Be safe and let us know how you do.

Re: Bay Boat in the Gulf…Advice & Feedback - 07/21/21 12:48 AM

Towing insurance from USTow Boats.
15 mile tow requires special equipment.
Insurance is less than 200 per year. Tow is 1000-4000 and they will ask for your card in advance before the tow

Inreach from Garmin when can afford it.

Personal ACR epirb


Float Plan with someone at home

Buddy boat

Ric Jacobsons books or better yet one of hos cards for your chart plotter.

Back up gps or an Enreach

A ditch bag and an oh [censored] plan.
Posted By: reel thing

Re: Bay Boat in the Gulf…Advice & Feedback - 01/30/22 12:02 PM

The main thing is SAFETY FIRST. I have fished offshore for 30 years was also a part time offshore guide for ten years and fished SKA tournaments for 7 years. Different boats perform better than others. I had a 23' seapro which was terrible. I got a 29' fountain and it was like night and day. Three foot waves in seapro would beat you to death but not much in the fountain. I also sell an offshore book of numbers for Freeport and Galveston. It has over 300 numbers and I also give advice for free on all the spots in the book. You can give me a call at 979-921-5029 Thanks Capt Joe
Posted By: BTP

Re: Bay Boat in the Gulf…Advice & Feedback - 02/01/22 03:02 AM

Out of Matagorda you'd be well in range of the closer state rigs. Tons of fish and I regularly see the jet ski guys stacking up kingfish and cobia.
© 2022 Texas Fishing Forum