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By AustinWader
#2297930
Hey Y'all,
I'm spending a month in Galveston this Summer and am planning to hit the surf hard. I've gotten limits of specs from the rock groin on the seawall before, but I heard than many people drive down the beach and simply wade out.
Is it better to stick with the rock groins or would it be a good idea to try wading the surf? Does the structure and depth the groins provide help attract trout?
If I do wade the surf, should I drive along the beach and only fish if I see suspicious activity or should I just some popular spots like the bolivar pocket?
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By karstopo
#2298031
I’ve never fished the Galveston groins, but, hey, if it isn’t broke, why fix it? Maybe for the sake of variety you want to wade the surf over fishing the groins. Variety is nice.

I like to drive slowly along the beach and study the water looking for sign and/or structure that catches my eye. Some days, it’s slap your face obvious and other days really tricky and then others where nothing looks good.

When it’s right, there’s almost nothing easier or more productive or pleasant than wading the surf. No launching anything, no long wades trying to track down scattered fish and structure, no blazing hot roast in your own juices summertime kayak paddling, no mud, no piles of gear to lug around, no rocks to slip on and bust your tail, a potential fish about every cast potential. Sometimes, you can have all that and not even have someone else fish right on top of you. There’s a ton of upside to wade fishing the surf.

The downside to the surf is finding the water/weather/wave windows and then being free to fish them. There’s limitations to what is considered wadeable surf. If you like being crushed and buried by breakers, there will be ample days for you to enjoy in relative solitude. Maybe save those days for fishing off the rocks.
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By SurfRunner
#2298033
I don't think either one is more productive than the other except for the winter where the rock groins do hold trout occasionally.

I have done a lot of surf fishing for trout and I personally don't think you need to worry about spots on the Island. The Galveston surf doesn't have much as far as structure except for the bars. Really not much there to hold them. You can simply wade in anywhere and do good as I believe the fish are constantly on the move swimming up and down the beachfront between the bars. However, things I do look for if present is patches of shell on the beach and a series of bumpity bumps you drive over as you cruise along. The Matagorda and PINS surf is an entirely different animal. There are plenty of holes and tidal rips that will concentrate and hold fish, which are void in the G-Town surf.
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By karstopo
#2298059
The surf, with all the bars and guts, is such a great and easily accessible structure. It doesn’t require anything fancy or expensive, no boats necessary, just some cheap wading shoes, a rod and reel and a favorite plug, lure or whatever. I’ve waded barefoot, but there’s enough junk around I usually like something more on my feet. I wade in Crocs, they do float should one pop off, most of the time, plus a swimsuit, occasionally long fishing pants should there be something stinging, fishing shirt, a pair of long nosed pliers and that’s about it. I walk in fish that I might want to keep and put them on ice. I’d soon not think about fish on stringers or in those bags, with the amount of sharks that are almost always present. I keep a towel or two handy in the truck and sometimes a change of clothes. Once I’ve gotten wet, I sit on the giant plastic trash bags over the seat covered with a towel riding from spot to spot. You will mess up your truck seat letting saltwater drip into it.

I’ve confined my surf fishing, the drive up type, to Surfside or the next beach down, Quintana/Bryan beaches. I have waded the beach below the Mouth of the Brazos and above the San Bernard, but that’s currently only accessible by boat or kayak unless The San Bernard and Cedar lake Cut are both filled in.

The guts and structure do tend to change daily and with the up and down of the water levels and wave angles, current changing tide after tide. As you probably already know, there’s the gut, bar, gut, bar structure that repeats. It is amazing how un-uniform those can be moving up and down the beach, at least this is true at Surfside and even more so on Quintana/Bryan. In my experience, the fish will be concentrated on some aspect of the bar, gut, bar structure, but it’s going to vary day to day and even over the course of a morning wade.

Often, the fish will be tight to the beach at first light right in the first gut and maybe even the beachside part of the gut. They might shift to being over the bar and the edges of that either on the first gut side or into the second gut as the sun angles change.

The first gut can be chest deep in places or almost none existent, depending on where and how the waves have reworked the sand. A thigh to waist deep first gut is often what I like put together with the first bar off the beach being shin/knee deep. Again, this is what I’ve observed at the beaches I’ve fished, Galveston might be a whole other ball of wax.

I’m always looking for bait sign and it can be tough to tease out in a high energy surf zone. When I find the sign, I cast into that zone. But if I’m not really seeing anything that catches my eye with the bait, I’ll fish different parts of the structure until I find fish or give up and move on down the beach looking for something better.

If I can’t make it happen in the first or second gut or the bar that separates those, I’m generally out. It doesn’t mean there aren’t fish out around the next bar or gut, I’m just not going to swim out there 9 times out of ten.

There’s some buoy data that I look at before heading out, but if your staying at the beach that cuts out the need for the buoy reports. Most of the buoys are down, offline for whatever reason, off Freeport and Galveston currently. Generally, I’m looking at 2 foot waves and under before I even consider a wade. 1, 1.3 is about ideal. Zero waves, maybe not so much. I’ve waded up to about 2.6 feet, but it cuts down where you can go and there are generally more pleasant and or productive places landward to fish when the surf gets cranking. Soaking bait with big rods is a different story and can be done without taking a beating in rougher surf.
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