Quintana is an old Texas town right on the water near Freeport, TX. It is now an island, but used to be part of the mainland. The Intracoastal canal cut it off from the mainland and it is now connected by an impressive arch bridge.
Its history dates back to 1528 but it wasn’t incorporated as a town until 1891. Since then the town has been leveled several times by hurricanes, but rebuilt and is now home to about 100 full-time residents. A short history can be found on their website.
Now back to our trip. Because of the high tide we set up camp near the Northeast end of the beach which is near the fishing pier. Normally we wouldn’t be so close to civilization, but our options were limited by the narrow beaches we encountered. We tucked our site as close to the dunes as we could get and felt we were fairly protected from high water. Another family was setting up near us and we agreed we were likely thru the worst of the high water. I did wake up several times during the night to check the incoming tide which peaked at about 3:30 AM. The water did not rise nearly as high as earlier, so we were in good shape.
The fishing pier is pretty neat. It’s public and is lighted all night. Made of wood it extends out maybe 100 yards putting fisherman close to the third bar, I estimate. It’s T-shaped so there is room for several lines, and other have drilled holes or attached PVC pipes for use as rod holders.
The water was very rough while we were there but we decided to wet our lines. It soon became obvious we were not equipped for rough surf as our lines kept washing in. Finally I hung as many weights on each line as I could fit and they were secured against the incessant surf.
There was a family with 2 kids and Grandma fishing and we struck up a nice conversation with them. They were from Sugarland and came down to Quintana often to camp and fish. He said he caught a Bull Red off the pier recently, but no such luck tonight.
I woke up before dawn the next morning and hit the pier again. The water was still rough, but the guy at the other end and myself pulled in a few small fish. I hooked 4 small Catfish and a good size Whiting(?) that broke off right as I was pulling it up. I only had dead bait and artificials, so I may have had more success with live bait.
Quintana is a pretty beach, and the pier is nice, but there is a drawback. The town is near Freeport, TX which is home to several Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) operations. The ones in Freeport aren’t much of an issue, but the one being built on the island is a monstrosity and it’s just a few hundred yards behind the beach. This is the view of the beautiful beach:
This is the view behind us. Impressive, but not the view we were looking for.
I’m not opposed to big industry, and on the Texas Gulf Coast you can’t escape it. There are chemical and petroleum facilities everywhere. They are intrusive and not beautiful, but on the other hand they bring needed income to so many families. Texas is a well-off state in part because of facilities like these, so most Texans have learned to accept. Anyway the state is so big one does not have to travel far to be isolated from all that.
So, I’d recommend this beach for a day trip, or for camping for families. It served us well for our ’emergency’ campout, but it wasn’t our favorite. On the way home we drove by another beach that I think will be next on our list to explore. I’ll let you know in a month or so as we are planning on camping out for Thanksgiving.