While you do not need a permit to fish in a kayak in Texas, you do need a basic understanding of the paddling resources available to paddlers throughout the state. Whether you are a solo paddler or part of a group or family, you must understand the type of water you will be exploring and which trails are best for your skill level. When fishing in a kayak in Texas, plan your trip in advance and outfit your kayak appropriately.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need:
- kayak rooftop carrier (optional)
- Fishing gear
- Spray skirt (optional)
Rent a kayak from a local boat rental company. (See Resources for a list of boat rental companies in Texas.) Alternatively, transport your kayak to Texas on your vehicle using a kayak rooftop carrier.
Fish along or join a paddling club for anglers. For example, the Alamo City Rivermen group in San Antonio is open to all age groups and skill levels. The North Texas River Runners is another paddling club, and it is located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Visit the Texas Park and Wildlife website for a paddling club near your Texas fishing site.
Plan your kayak trip using Texas river guide booklets and topography maps. Use an online source such as the Texas Parks and Wildlife website, which offers Internet-based information related to Texas Rivers, or you can purchase a Texas guide from a local bookstore or travel shop. Look for information related to water quality, water flow, nearby dangers and fishing restrictions.
Select a paddling trail from your river guide that offers angling opportunities. For example, choose a paddling trail with a strand of seabed like the Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail. This particular trail provides fishing for red drum, spotted seatrout and flounder, according to the Texas Park and Wildlife website.
Outfit your kayak related to the water conditions. Texas water conditions are classed as flat water, whitewater, class I and class II, according to the “International Scale of River Difficulty” section on the River Safety section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).
Determine if you need a spray skirt to prevent your kayak from “swamping” or filling with water when the tide is high. Bring tie-downs to hold your fishing reels while you paddle.
Tips & Warnings
Safety is essential, so pack a U.S. Coast Guard-approved helmet in case of a flip.