The Texas coastland has some of the best fishing in the country.  Trout, redfish, flounder and croaker are plentiful and easy to catch from the shore, thus allowing for great fishing without a boat.  

The following is advice I received from an old Texas fisherman in the Rockport-Fulton area:

Trout are a top fish and harder to catch whereas redfish, flounder and croaker are usually caught on the bottom and therefore called bottom fish.  For bottom fishing, use a fairly heavy tackle, 20 or 30 pound test line, a treble hook, a 2 oz. sinker or thereabouts, and a rod and reel of your choice. Live shrimp is usually the bait they like best.  Place your sinker 4 to 8 inches above your hook to allow the bait to look natural to the fish.  Let your line out and feel the current on the bottom.  Keep a tight line by reeling in very slowly.  When the fish bites, you will know by the pull on your line.  Set the hook by pulling back on the rod very quickly and reel him in.  If the fish is large, better net him.

To clean your catch: You will want to “gut” your fish first. Slit the underside and scrape out the insides-the guts- and wash thoroughly.  Lay the fish on a flat surface, hold it by the tail and press a rigid knife at an angle. Scrape the scales off, working against the nap.  The fish will scale easier when wet and will be easier to handle if the head is left on prior to scaling.

To fillet the fish: Begin your cut at the base of the head and run the edge of knife flat against the bones to fillet the meat off.  A good sharp knife is a must!  Do this on each side leaving only the skeleton and head.  Smaller fish are not practical to fillet so they are usually broiled or pan-fried.  Flounder is a flat fish and can only be filleted on one side so usually they are broiled or stuffed and baked – even though fried flounder fillets are about as good as it gets.

Happy Eating!  Nothing tastes as good as freshly caught Texas fish!