LivingTravelFishing in the town of Arroyo, Texas

Fishing in the town of Arroyo, Texas

Located along the banks of the Arroyo Colorado River in South Texas, Arroyo City is not so much a city as a collection of fishing cabins and RV parks. Yet despite being somewhat disappointing in the metropolitan sense, this often overlooked Gulf Coast outpost offers plenty of fishing options for saltwater anglers looking for something ‘a little different’.

A fishing destination

Located less than 10 miles upstream from the shallow, clear plains of the Lower Laguna Madre, Arroyo City is an excellent starting point for plains fishermen. However, it is the river itself that offers light tackle anglers and fly fishermen some subtropical fishing with a twist.

Throughout the year, the confines of the Arroyo Colorado have a catchable number of spotted trout (spotted sea trout), redfish, and flounder. However, these fish are found in denser concentrations during the extreme climatic parts of the year – summer and winter. During times of very high or low mercury, schools of fish seek to escape from the shallow waters of the Lagoon and take refuge in the relative protection of the depths of the Arroyo. It is during these times that fishermen can score a lot by working along the banks of the river.

Light tackle anglers can do well with soft plastic jigs, while fly anglers can strike by casting flies that sink in the middle lines or sunk along the banks of the river.

However, having fishable numbers of Texas ‘Big 3’ saltwater fish isn’t really that unique. What is different is the amount of snook and juvenile tarpon that has been calling Arroyo home for the past few years.

Like spotted trout and redfish, snook are found in the river year-round, but in greater numbers during the summer and winter. These fish are generally found near a coastal structure, be it boat docks or tree branches. Since bass generally must be pulled from a heavy cover, fly fishermen are best served by erring on the high side when it comes to rod selection. Conventional tackle anglers should use a medium-heavy rod on the lightest. The best fly rod option is usually something in the 9 to 10 weight range.

Another fish that requires heavier tackle is tarpon. Although South Padre to the south and Port Mansfield to the north have large Gulf passes and schools of shad, neither location has developed as consistently as a year-round shad fishery as Arroyo City. Shad are available in the river 12 months a year. Again, some of the best fishing activities take place during the winter.

All the fish that inhabit the Creek will easily take a variety of bait and shrimp that mimic lures and fly patterns. Conventional tackle anglers should use 1/8 to 1/4 ounce lures. For fly catchers, flies tied on size 2-4 hooks are the most versatile. And, although poppers can produce at times, most of this fishing will be subsurface, where a midline is a better option than a float. During periods of extreme cold, a faster sink line is an even better option.

Get to the city of Arroyo

Getting to the town of Arroyo can be a challenge, but no more than any other isolated fishing spot. The easiest way to get to Arroyo City is to get to Harlingen, Texas by plane or vehicle, then take FM 2925 east approximately 10 miles.

Accommodation options are limited. However, Arroyo Lodge operates a full service fishing lodge. Anglers also have the option of renting one of the many cabins available through private owners and hiring a guide such as Captain Richard Weldon (956.245.0147). Those looking to camp, either tent or RV, should contact Adolph-Thomae County Park (956) 748-2044, which offers a boat ramp, lighted fishing piers, tent sites, and RV hookups.

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