The beaches are an unblemished paradise. Beyond the customary seashells, there are a variety of treasures to be found, from driftwood, to bottles, to sand dollars, to old Spanish coins. There are 22 miles of beach accessible by vehicle with a $6 permit and a half mile pedestrian beach. The remaining 35 miles of beach are only accessible by boat. There are great beach rentals for large or small groups. Great for a family vacation or reunion. Tent camping is also allowed on Matagorda Beach. For those wanting some adventure there is another 33 miles of beach accessible by boat. So bring your boat or contact Full Stringer Realty & Rentals in Matagorda to assist you with finding a guide.
Matagorda Birding & Nature
Birdwatching is a serious sport along the Gulf Coast. Other local creatures, great and small, include deer, porpoises, alligators, and mosquitoes (yes, bring some repellent). If birding is your passion then Matagorda will provide the ultimate birding experience. A diverse collection of rare breeds of birds tend to gather in Matagorda County, Matagorda County’s Mad Island Marsh Preserve is the champion of the event for North American species, a title its held since 1997. The Birding Nature Center of Matagorda County spans 34 acres on the Colorado River and offers you and your family or group a variety of ways to enjoy nature. A bird watching area which is part of “The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail” is found on Matagorda Peninsula running from Sargent to Pass Cavallo.
Matagorda is a fisherman’s and hunter’s paradise. With more than 50 miles of coastline and literally hundreds of miles of rivers, creeks and bayous, you’ll find every type of habitat for almost any type of fish. Choose from wade fishing, drift fishing, surf fishing or offshore fishing. Visitors will find one of the best trout fishing sites in Texas. Small boats cruise these waters for red drum, spotted sea trout, and tarpon. For the surf-fishermen, miles of beach allow them to stake out their own sand for themselves. Surf fishing is especially good in the Fall. If competition is what you’re looking for, check the local fishing tournaments held seasonally.
The shoreline of the bay is included in the Texas Coastal Plain. At the eastern end, near the Colorado River, there is a swampy terrain, with an abundance of wetlands and tidal marshes. Extended coastal prairies supporting native grasses, can be found throughout the area. On average, the Matagorda Bay system is 6.6 ft. deep, and covers approximately 422 sq mi. It is the third largest estuarine system in Texas behind Galveston Bay and Laguna Madre.
A wide variety of wildlife can be found in and around Matagorda Bay. The Mad Island-Oyster Lake conservation area, located on the eastern shore of Matagorda Bay, is a habitat for over 300 species of birds including songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl. More species of birds were found in the area than any other in the nation during the National Audubon Society’s Annual Christmas bird count from 2000 to 2002. Other fauna located along the bay include Bobcats, White-tailed deer, River otters, Texas horned lizards, Reddish egret, White-tailed Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, the piping plover and alligators.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, the following fish have been caught in the bay: Striped Bass, Gafftopsail catfish, Atlantic croaker, Black drum, Red drum, Southern flounder, Barred grunt, Hake, Skipjack herring, Crevalle jack, Ladyfish, Gulf menhaden, Pigfish, Smooth puffer, Sand seatrout, Spotted seatrout, Blacktip shark, Gray snapper, Southern stingray, Gulf toadfish, Tripletail. The Matagorda Bay system is a renowned fishing location in the region, due to its status as a nutrient-rich estuary. Other activities for visitors include hunting, oyster roasts, beach combing and birding.