Size matters when it comes to offshore fishing in South Texas, not just because you're trying to haul in the most incredible trophy catch of your life…
… but also because of the catch and release fishing regulations.
On board The Megabite, we’re all about the thrill and the chase of fishing those offshore giants. However, there is one thing we are against: the overharvesting of any species. And -- overharvesting is also against the fishery laws.
Now, whether you’re a hardcore pro angler, a total newbie, or just someone who’s looking to have one of those bucket-list kind of experiences - there are regulations for offshore fishing in South Texas and we want you to be aware of them.
Here’s everything you need to know about how the size of your catch affects your catch and release:
What do we mean by overharvesting?
Fishing regulations have one main focus: to protect fish species from being overfished. If you’ve ever wondered why it’s crucial to avoid overharvesting, it’s because it can deplete the population that is overfished and have lasting and serious consequences on the marine ecosystem. So, the goal for all responsible anglers is to follow catch and release regulations and keep the population of all the fish species healthy and thriving.
What are slot and bag limits?
The regulations for South Texas Anglers have slot limits and bag limits. The slot limit refers to the size of the fish, and the bag limit refers to the amount of fish. These limits help maintain the balance in the current population (bag limit) AND helps protect future populations (slot limits) by placing a catch and release on small fish that haven’t reached spawning maturity yet and on the largest fish that have strong genetics.
Fishing regulations can also change with the seasons. For example, you can only keep one Flounder during November and December, since that is their spawning season. During the rest of the year they have a bag limit of 5.
Another species, Snappers, are typically only allowed to be fished during a two week period in June.
If you’re wondering why the limits are different between all the species of fish, and why they can change year to year… It's because the State and Universities of South Texas study the fish population, the spawning season, and other important factors. The regulations each year are based on their research.
What are the catch and release guides for species found in the bay?
For the 2020 season the catch and release guides for some of the saltwater species found in the bay area are:
Daily bag: 5
Min length: 18
Max length: no limit
Daily Bag: 25
Min Length: 12 inches
Max Length: no limit
3. Red Drum
Daily bag: 3
Min length: 20 inches
Max length: 28 inches
Daily bag: 5/2
Min length: 15 inches
Max length: no limit
Based on this year’s regulations, if you end up catching more than 5 bass, you’ll have to release them back (daily bag: 5). And, if you caught a bass that was 15 inches long, it would be undersized (slot limit of min.18 inches), so you would need to release it to avoid any hefty fines.
When you’re a pro angler there’s a lot of regulations and so many species to remember… but, when you’re offshore fishing aboard the Megabite, our crew takes care of that part for you so you can just sit back and enjoy the ride - catching your fish! We’ve got you covered!
With our measuring tapes on hand, we’ll tell you what trophy fish you can catch and take with you, and which ones to take a brag worthy photo of before you release it.
Besides understanding regulations, we’re also experts in knowing how and when to catch different species.
Here’s the thing, following regulation is really important… but it can also be pretty overwhelming. Take it from our crew, understanding the behavior of fish can be a HUGE part of upping your angler game!
Fish move in schools and they have patterned migrations affected by different seasons, the tide, temperature, and the moon. Understanding these movements is how we know - on any given day of the year - what you’re likely going to catch.
Just in case you’re a total fish enthusiast, we’ve also put together a comprehensive guide for you, click here to download The Offshore Species Planner.
MEGABITE SPORT FISHING
300 S Garcia St
Port Isabel, Texas
Monday - Friday :: 9am - 5pm
Weekends :: Gone Fishing!
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