Galveston Fishing Report – Wintertime Fun on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast

Written by Captain Greg Verm


Current Water Temperatures:

Eagle Point:  64.4F

Galveston Causeway:  65.3F

Galveston North Jetty:  65.1F

San Luis Pass:  65.7F


The Upper Texas Gulf Coast has always been a place of refuge for many types of wildlife during the winter months.  For hundreds of years Geese, Red Heads, Pintails, Teal, Gadwall, Shovelers, Wigeon, Sandhill Crane and more make the flight for the mild winters we experience on the Texas Gulf Coast.  Just as the Native American Indians would make their journey from the northern mountains fleeing the harsh cold weather – people, today take a break from the cold winters of the north and enjoy the mild weather on the Texas Gulf Coast.  There are many things that make our Texas Coast Line a great place to visit during the winter, but the view of a winter sun rise or sunset along the bay is enough reason in itself to visit.

The diverse, winding coastline of Texas has so much to offer during the winter.   Water temperatures rise and fall very rapidly with each passing cool front.  Throughout the year, we virtually offer every type of fishing charter available through the 12 month stretch.  The winter months are our favorite time to fish the shallow back lakes and bays of both Galveston and Freeport.  Our primary target during December and January are the Big Three which most refer to as the Texas Slam.

Here on the Texas Gulf Coast – Speckled Trout, Red Fish and Flounder are the most sought-after game fish throughout the entire year, and during the winter months are our favorite time to target these fish.  With each passing front the water temperatures will fall.  For the most part once they fall… temperatures immediately begin to rise.  It has always amazed me how fish will know when a cool front is headed their way.  Speckled Trout and Red Fish will feed like crazy a day or two approaching a cool air shift.  This is a great time to capitalize on a great day of fishing as the fish will “feed up” so they can hunker down for a day or two as water temperatures fall.  As this can be some excellent, prime fishing time… my favorite and most successful seems to be the days after the front passes and water temperatures begin to climb.  The bright sun immediately increases surface temperatures and the first areas to warm are the mud flats and bottoms that line our bayous and back lakes.  As the warming trend begins, we will begin seeing baitfish scurrying in the shallows as they find refuge along the shoreline cover.  Not far behind these active baitfish will be the Big Three following and hunting for a meal to fill their stomachs.  Fish are cold-blooded creatures.  This means three things.  Their body temperatures rise and fall with their surroundings.  When it falls – fish slow down and conserve their energy.  When it rises – they move and eat.

There are a few ways we target fish during this time.  Fishing from a boat with live natural bait, artificial baits, wade fishing with artificial, and night time flounder gigging.  All methods are successful.  Angler experience is how we determine which will be the most productive.

For less experienced families and kids – live natural bait is golden.  We use live shrimp, live mullet or live mud fish.  Most likely, 80% of our trips are live natural bait trips.  This is the best way for those that are new to the sport or just simply don’t want to work as hard presenting artificial baits.  With being known as the Best Kid Friendly Fishing Charter in Galveston, Texas – live baits have become the method we most often use.  Our Kid Friendly Galveston Fishing Guides love introducing the sport of saltwater fishing to our youth.  The winter months is such a great time to get the kids out on the water.  With the Christmas Holidays and the school break – a Galveston Fishing Charter should be on the “To Do” list.

More experienced anglers will enjoy a day of wade fishing (with a good pair of waders of course).  Walking the shallow flats and oyster beds of Galveston Bay, casting a plastic jig or topwater plug is a great way to spend a mild winter day on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast.  My son, Captain Greg Jr and I have had many great trophy fishing trips during the winter months.  The excitement of a bronze redfish blowing up a topwater plug or the “tap” of a speckled trout closing it’s jaws on our plastic jig is second to none.  Winter-time fishing at it’s finest.

Now, if you are looking to experience a hunting/fishing trip combined… we can definitely do that, and this is the absolute best time of year for it.  From first time anglers, to expert anglers – Night time flounder gigging has been a longtime Texas Tradition for decades.  We have custom rigged flounder boat made for slowly cruising the shallows as you hunt the elusive flounder hiding on the bay floor.  Also, if you would like to roll an afternoon fishing trip into the mix – our Galveston Fish-Gig Combos may be the absolute hit.  We will target red fish and speckled trout until dusk, then fire up the lights, turn on the fan motor and hunt the bay floor.  Flounder, Blue Crab, Sheepshead, and black drum are all on the hit list as we guide along the shorelines lighting up the bay floor.

If you are looking to take some refuge along our beautiful Texas Shoreline, give us a call.  We can get you out on the water for a great day of fishing, amazing scenery, and great times.  We also can provide waterfront lodging at Bay’s Landing where our boats will pick you from the dock.  Contact us through our website, email at, or simply call 409-739-8526 for more information.  We would love to get you out on the water and show you why so many folks make their way to the Upper Texas Gulf Coast in the winter.  Merry Christmas from all of us at Fishing Galveston TX.

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