Once known as Redfish Landing this end of the road destination offers world-class angling options.
Story and Photography By Danno Wise
Because it is located at the terminal end of State Highway 183, once you reach Port Mansfield, you can literally drive no further — at least not in an automobile.
But in a boat — oh, the places you can go. It’s little wonder generations of Texas inshore anglers have considered this cozy village and its surrounding waters a fisherman’s paradise.
Fishermen in the Deep South Texas county of Willacy will tell you anglers have been accessing the Lower Laguna Madre at a point some 23 miles from Raymondville since the early 1900s. At that time, this tiny spot surrounded, which then was part the King Ranch was known as Redfish Landing.
In 1933, Redfish Landing officially became a public access point when Henrietta King, widow of Richard King, leased 197 acres to the American Legion of Willacy County. However, it remained more or less just an access point for several more years.
That all changed following World War II. The Willacy County Navigation District was created in 1948, essentially creating a legal entity that could create a port for the nearby cities of Raymondville and Lyford. In 1950, the WCND condemned more than 1,700 acres, including the American Legion’s leased land at Redfish Landing, to create what is now present-day Port Mansfield.
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