There are three primary features of Port O'Connor and the surrounding waters that distinguish it. They are:
1. Excellent fishing, both inshore and offshore.
2. A migratory bird flyway with more species recorded than anywhere in the nation hands down.
3. A relaxing atmosphere and energy that will ease your mind no matter how high-strung it may be.
Port O'Connor sits on a 'corner' with water to the south, east, and northeast. The only road in and out of town is Highway 185, it ends at King Fisher Beach (the Front Beach for locals) which faces northeast into Matagorda Bay. The Front Beach is one of our primary kayak launch sites due to its excellent water access, amenities, and mild conditions.
Matagorda Island is a barrier island and national wildlife preserve, reachable only by boat and about four miles from town. There are no permanent inhabitants on the island. Texas Parks and Wildlife maintains the lighthouse and allows free camping. The most popular site to visit on the island is Sunday Beach - a narrow portion of the island where the gulf beach is a few minutes' walk away where there is access to both bay and offshore waters.
West Matagorda Bay is unique; there are two passages to offshore waters with dynamic tide. The ship channel is one of the deepest on the Texas coast, where many pelagic or offshore species routinely enter or exit the bay. There is also the historic Pass Cavallo (one of the only deep water passes before the turn of the century, and where the French explorer LaSalle entered the bay before shipwrecking in 1684). Lots of fish also pass through Pass Cavallo.
There are a total of six launch locations, three are boat ramps and three are beach or natural launches. It is recommended that paddlers do not launch at the boat ramps on busy weekends.
This is the closest launch to our location. The Fishing Center has a boat ramp (launch fee is usually about 3$), tackle and live bait shop right on the Intracoastal Waterway and directly across from Fisherman's Cut, which provides quick access to the 'back bay' system. When it is not very busy this is the perfect launch location. Please be considerate of the boaters that may also try to launch or dock, so do not take up too much time loading your gear near the ramp. DKW can assist loading your gear before launching your kayak when you rent from us. DO NOT use this launch when boat traffic is high. And be sure to look both ways before crossing the canal for boat or barge traffic.
This is also a good launch with a boat ramp. There is a shallow slip underneath Clark's Inn that is calm and safe, but beware of oyster shells on the bottom, it is generally better to launch at the boat ramp to avoid these shells. From Clark's it's a short paddle to either Fisherman's Cut or the Port O'Connor Jetties that open into Matagorda Bay. DO NOT use this launch when boat traffic is high, and remember to look both ways before crossing the Intracoastal Waterway for boat and barge traffic.
This is a relatively easy launch with little to no traffic. There is a short trail that leads to a south facing sandy bank on the right side of the jetties. The water is somewhat shallow (1 to 3 feet) for about 200 feet from the bank, and then it drops off sharply in the Intracoastal Waterway. From here it's a short paddle southwest to Fisherman's Cut, or an easy paddle out the jetties to Matagorda Bay, where you can either turn right (south) for access to the back-bay system, or left (north) to cruise along the front beach. The end of the jetties can be rough on high wind days, and also remember to check for boat traffic before crossing the Intracoastal. The opposite side of the Intracoastal is generally better for transit paddling, as it is calm and clear of any boats that are coming and going.
Launch anywhere along this beach. This is a grass and sand beach with picnic tables, a skate park, basketball, restrooms, and outdoor shower. Sometimes it can be rather shallow about 100 yards out with many sandbars (usually deep enough at the end of the fishing pier for mirage drive). If you have a Mirage Drive kayak be sure to paddle or walk your boat out to at least 7 inches of water and past the sand bars. At low tide in the winter months the beach can be very shallow for quite some distance out. Fish are often caught near and around the front beach making this a pretty good spot for kayak fishermen unfamiliar with the local waters.
Boggy is one of three lakes or inlets north of town. Referring to the first boggy, this can be found by taking 3rd street from Taylor Street where 3rd turns into a dirt road. This entire lake is no more than chest deep for adults. Boggy is somewhat muddy with some shell, so be sure to have appropriate foot gear. Since there is a small opening into Boggy from Matagorda Bay many of the fish that would normally migrate out towards the gulf with the tide will stay in Boggy. This is an excellent, safe place to paddle when the wind is up or for new paddlers.
Much like the Fishing Center, Froggie's is a good launch when it isn't busy. This is also the public boat ramp so there is no charge for launching here. DO NOT launch here on busy weekends or when boat traffic is high. Remember to look both ways before crossing the Intracoastal Waterway. From Froggie's you can proceed northeast to Fisherman's Cut, or if you are in the mood for a longer paddle, southwest to the Army Cut, which gives access to Espiritu Santo Bay where there are excellent fishing flats just to the right and left of the cut.
Dolphin sometimes has a good relationship with private parties who have good launch access. There may be other launches where it's possible to launch a kayak and still open to the public, but it is important to avoid obstacles such as debris and shell.Back to Top
There are many possible paddle trails our routes through the back-bay system to Matagorda Island. The following trails have been established by local kayakers:
• New Paddle Trails
and the link below shows the extremely long trails established by Texas Parks and Wildlife:
Port O'Connor Paddle Trails
Lodging (to name a few)
The Poco Loco Lodge
One of the most favorite motels in Port O'Connor. Great service, clean, charming colorful rooms, and a fridge packed full of snacks and drinks!
Beacon 44 RV Park
Full service RV Park with the most friendly ownership on the coast! The same owners of Beacon 44 seafood on Highway 185.
The Motley House
Right near the water, sleeps 10 comfortably, the bay breeze circulates onto the porch and balcony, and lookout on the top floor with a view of the Front Beach and town. Full kitchen, dining room, den, and hangout below the house with fire pit. You can even launch your kayak here when the tide is up.
The Motley House
Our local Chamber of Commerce is extremely active and the hub of our community. If you would like detailed information on all businesses
and services offered in Port O'Connor please visit the Port O'Connor Chamber Website portoconnorchamber.org
OR contact them by phone at 361.983.2898 .