Rollover Fish Pass - Gilchrist, Texas

Rollover Pass
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Roll on to Rollover
By Jerry S. Wall

On the Texas Gulf Coast twenty-five miles east of Galveston on highway 87, a two-hundred foot wide, one-eighth mile long channel joins the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay. It is the locally famous Rollover Fish Pass. As the name implies, it permits fish to swim from the gulf the the bay and vice-versa with the changing tides. The pass was constructed in 1956 for the purpose of improving fishing in the bay, and thousands of local and visiting anglers have found it highly successful.

Any weekend you may find dozens of fishermen lined up on both sides of the pass, pulling in fish. Twice a day, when the tide comes in, the water rushes frome the gulf to the bay as fast as you can run, bringing the big ones in from the gulf. And this signals the best angling. During night tides, fishing continues by lantern light.

The pass has an amazing variety of fish. An angler to your left will pull in a croaker. Farther down, some lucky fisherman has hooked a flounder. Looking across the pass you see a rod bend double and hear shouts of admiration, for the man has hooked a ten-pound redfish. In the course of an hour you will see sand trout, speckled trout, drum, sheepshead, salt water catfish, and Spanish mackrel pulled from the water.

Come down and give it a try!!

A bit of trivia: The pass is named for the practice of ship captains from the days of Spanish rule through prohibition, who, to avoid the Galveston customs station, rolled barrels of import or export merchandise over that part of the peninsula. (Handbook of Texas Online)

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