What kind of fishing gear should I buy for fishing in the Texas Gulf Coast?

I need brand names, and specs on what kind of equipment to get for fishing in the surf in the Texas Gulf Coast. Namely, rod, reel, line weight, weights, etc…the basics for someone with no equip!!!

I don’t have to have top of the line equipment, but I would like to invest in reasonably priced, good equipment that will last. I am aiming to catch red fish, SW trout, pompano, and other medium sized fish out of the surf.

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3 thoughts on “What kind of fishing gear should I buy for fishing in the Texas Gulf Coast?

  1. wow, I’ve been fishing in the Texas gulf coast since i was in diapers. I grew up in Harlingen, so i grew up in a delta plain region. I mostly recommend goin to the local tackle shop, they’ll be able to help you out. There’s so many brands. if you’re in South Texas, you’re gonna have to get a cork (floater) it’s cone shaped, if you’re gonna fish at night you’re gonna need a lot of light. to attract reds, and trout. Mainly for any medium sized fish you’ll also need live bait, this isn’t lake fishing, you’re gonna need live shrimp. As far as brands, you cant’ really go wrong with many of the brands available.

  2. Ivan’s got a good answer.
    Here’ s what i use for general fishing along the Texas Gulf Coast.
    1. 7ft. popping rod.
    2. A stainless steel baitcasting reel. Abu Garcia 5500C is what I use. No rust, and works great.
    3. 12lb monofilament line with 30lb leader.

    This will work on fish up to 35lbs.
    There are ton’s of information explaining how to setup different fishing rig’s. You might what to read up on what and how your going to fish before you go to the tackle shop. The clerk ought to be able to tell you what brands sell the best.

    Good Luck.

  3. Here’s a basic kit for Gulf Coast Surf fishing, ( please read all reviews):

    1. Spinning Reel- Penn 650 SSM- This is a reel that could last a life-time if properly cared for- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_72135_151001002_151000000_151001000_151-1-2

    2. Spinning rod- Ugly Stik 10 FT MH- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_19912____SearchResults

    3. Line- Berkley Big Game 15LB- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_15127____SearchResults

    4. Weights & Sinkers- A basic Pyramid sinker works well for most Surf Fishing. You would need 2-3 between sizes 1OZ to 5OZ- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_22434____SearchResults

    5. Sinker Slides- This device helps you connect your sinker to your line- http://www.cabelas.com/p-0017984316709a.shtml

    6. Gamakatsu circle Hooks in various sizes 1/0 – 3/0 – Don’t get “stingy” when purchasing your hooks OR line; they are what connect you to the fish- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_19936____SearchResults

    7. 16LB Fluorocarbon Leader material- This is a “must have” in my book. Due to “fishing pressure” most productive fishermen use Fluro due to it’s “invisible” and “abrasion resistance” qualities- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_2289_151011004_151000000_151011000?cmCat=CROSSSELL_PRODUCT

    8. Weighted Popping Corks- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_89330____SearchResults

    You will also need a “Sand Spike” (you can purchase one or make one yourself using a piece of heavy-walled PVC pipe). A knife for cutting “cut-bait”. 3-5 regular Slip-bobbers. A folding chair and a tackle box.

    You should also purchase some Berkley Gulp Saltwater Shrimp and Jerkshads. Rig these on 1/2-3/4 OZ Jigs.

    I think that’s about all you need. Try to stay away from “X-mas tree” rigs with 2-3 hooks. They CAN work, but mostly attract Hard Headed Catfish and basic “trash fish”. It’s always a good idea to make your own rigs using a SINGLE hook, (esp with Live Shrimp or Finger Mullet).

    This outfit will work best for Surf Fishing and Pier Fishing. If you intend to do some Inshore fishing you would want to “downsize” your tackle and outfit. Understand, Reds love inshore flats and creeks………

    Hope this helps ya?

    For further info on fishing the Gulf ask another Q! (wink)

    UPDATE: I forgot to give you “brand names”. Penn, Shimano, Daiwa, and (for baitcasters & conventional reels) Abu Garcia makes the most reliable & durable Saltwater reels.

    Reels to look at OTHER than what I suggested :

    1. Daiwa, “Black Gold Series” BG15 or BG20

    2. Shimano, “Sphereos” SP8000FB

    3. Abu Garcia, C-3 baitcaster.

    You may have customer service people try to sell you an Okuma, Pinnacle or Quantum reel. Many people have had luck with these, but for “longevity” and “the ability to get SPARE PARTS, Penn, Abu, Shimano, & Daiwa reign supreme.

    ( A good analogy?- Think of Penn, Shimano, Abu Garcia, and Daiwa as the “Ford, Honda, Chevy & Toyota” of the fishing world. The big question is- Do you want to purchase the “Hyundai or GM” of the fishing industry?)

    Rods- Rods are tough. This really depends more on your budget than anything else. Most Florida guides and Offshore Charter Captains rely on Ugly Stik and have been for over 40 years. They are cheap and take a beating. Don’t get me wrong, there ARE better rods, but you will pay 2-3 times the price of an Ugly. And when it comes to Surf/Pier fishing rods you need a rod that is extremely durable……..

    Rods- Seeker, Penn International, St. Croix, Shimano, Daiwa. Go to Bass Pro Shops and do a search in the Saltwater section for “Surf Rod”.

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