Port Lavaca is a hidden gem for wildlife on the Texas coast

Annually, hundreds of vacationers head to one of many dozens of seaside cities that dot Texas‘s 350 miles of shoreline. Surfers gravitate towards Galveston, spring breakers head to South Padre Island, and households with babies love Corpus Christi. The coastal city of Port Lavaca, nevertheless, hides underneath the radar.

 © Jacob Rhoades / Lonely Planet

Nestled midway between Galveston and Corpus Christi, Port Lavaca offers the quintessential laid-back Texas gulf coast expertise with out crowds. It has the sandy seashores and surfable waves of different seaside cities, however what units it aside is its world-class fishing and birding scenes. Anglers from close to and much journey to Port Lavaca for an opportunity to catch speckled trout, snapper, reddish and flounder. Birders with binoculars in hand journey right here in droves in hopes to identify as many as 400 species of birds that migrate by way of the realm every year.

Each actions are beginner-friendly, so guests don’t need to be knowledgeable angler or birder to participate within the native pastimes. As soon as all of the fish are caught and birds are seen, Port Lavaca additionally affords a wealth of historical past that begs to be explored.

From shore fishing to shallow-water boating to chartering deep sea boats, Port Lavaca and Calhoun County have loads of alternatives © lunamarina / Shutterstock


The deep-sea waters stretching into the Gulf of Mexico are calling, with a bounty of tarpon, mackerel, sailfish and marlin. However it’s not all about wrestling 50-pound fish in Port Lavaca. The big bay system surrounding the port offers a few of the best inshore saltwater fishing anyplace within the nation. From shore fishing to shallow-water boating to chartering deep sea boats, Port Lavaca and Calhoun County have loads of alternatives to grab a redfish, speckled trout, flounder, snook, sheepshead, black drum, pompano, and mangrove snapper.

Port Lavaca’s limitless bays produce good shallow water circumstances for fishing © Courtesy of Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce

Shallow Water Fishing

Port Lavaca’s limitless bays produce shallow water circumstances the place you possibly can fish from a small boat, a kayak, or by merely wading into the water. If you happen to belief your self to fish with one hand and paddle with the opposite, kayak fishing is a good way to discover the realm. The eco-friendly model of fishing affords a definite mobility benefit with the power to cruise by way of marshes, hug the banks, or skirt round tree trunks and different obstacles.

If you happen to’re trying to take pleasure in a day of fishing take a look at Port Lavaca’s piers © Courtesy of Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce

Pier Fishing

If you happen to’re trying to take pleasure in a day of fishing take a look at Port Lavaca’s latest D-Head pier, full with shade construction, at Lighthouse Seashore Park. Simply down the street is the pier at Bayfront Peninsula Park, the place you can find pier fishing in addition to nice locations across the financial institution to arrange a garden chair and forged your line. A little bit Texas warmth doesn’t decelerate the fishing right here – each piers are lighted for evening fishing.

If you happen to’re searching for bait, you received’t need to go far – Big Bear Shrimp and Seafood Market, Miller’s Seafood, Poor Boy Bait, and Capt. John’s Wild Reef Seafood are all close by.

On the outskirts of city, arrange a pole on the Indianola Fishing Marina. The marina offers all the things you want for a calming day of fishing – coated fishing deck, reside bait store,  and fish cleansing station, in addition to a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a beer bar. The pier’s construction attracts all kinds of fish supplying you with entry to deep water fish with out the necessity for a ship.

Texas’s offshore or deep-sea fishing attracts vacationers from everywhere in the world © Fabien Monteil / Shutterstock

Offshore Fishing

Texas’s offshore or deep-sea fishing attracts vacationers from everywhere in the world the promise of reeling in and wrestling an epic 70-pound marlin from a ship in the course of the ocean. Constitution fishing providers can be found in Port Lavaca if you wish to courageous the gulf in hope of tuna, cobia, Dorado (Mahi Mahi), wahoo, sailfish and marlin. Whereas there is no such thing as a unhealthy time for fishing in Port Lavaca, the very best time to catch massive fish is early summer season by way of mid-September.

The Texas Gulf Coast is the epicenter of birding in the USA © Wildvet / Shutterstock


The Texas Gulf Coast is the epicenter of birding in the USA. With 613 documented species of birds sighted, Texas exceeds all different states in alternatives to view all kinds of birds. Two main migration patterns – the Central and Mississippi Flyways – converge over Port Lavaca, leading to an unlimited array of migrating birds flying by way of yearly.

Port Lavaca is a part of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, a community of trails, chicken sanctuaries and nature preserves managed by the Texas Division of Parks and Wildlife. The pristine, unspoiled panorama attracts greater than 450 chicken species. Much less frequent birds noticed in Port Lavaca embody Roseate Spoonbills, Reddish Egrets, Wooden Storks and all kinds of surprising gulls. Birding is greatest within the winter when birds are migrating to hotter climates.

The Formosa Wetlands Walkway is a perfect location to identify many species of birds © Courtesy of Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce

On the Lighthouse Seashore and Hen Sanctuary, stroll out into the salt marsh on the Formosa Wetlands Walkway to identify Seaside Sparrows, Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows and Clapper Rail Appears within the marsh alongside the walkway. The Alcoa Birding Tower positioned on the finish of the walkway is a good lookout level for gulls, terns and Brown Pelicans within the bay.

The 2-acre shoreline Six Mile Park is one other nice birding cease. Reddish Egret, shorebirds and terns are sometimes noticed right here. The park empties out into the bay offering nice alternatives for wade fishing so don’t neglect the fishing gear.

Halfmoon Reef Lighthouse is the Lone Star State’s oldest surviving picket lighthouse © Courtesy of Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce

Discover Historical past

If you want a break from the birds and the fish, dive into Port Lavaca’s previous on the Calhoun County Museum and the Halfmoon Reef Lighthouse

The Calhoun County Museum tells the story of the county’s pure and maritime historical past with artifacts such because the Fresnel Lens from the 1852 Matagorda Island Lighthouse, an 8-foot diorama of the city of Indianola and gadgets recovered from the ship of the Seventeenth-century famed explorer Robert La Salle.

From 1858 till 1943 the hexagon-shaped Halfmoon Reef Lighthouse guided ships from the Gulf of Mexico by way of Go Cavallo previous the treacherous mud- and oyster-filled Halfmoon Reef and safely into Matagorda Bay. Right now the lighthouse is the Lone Star State’s oldest surviving picket lighthouse. Within the Nineteen Eighties, county officers moved it to its current location the place it serves as a small museum, welcoming vacationers getting into Port Lavaca from the east on Freeway 35.

Texas Tidbit: In case you are touring by way of Port Lavaca throughout a weekend make sure that to avoid wasting Saturday evening for the Bayfront Beats Summer season Live performance Sequence. The free live performance sequence runs each Saturday evening in July and August at Bayfront Peninsula Park.