Texas Travel

Airboats, Alligators, and Bowfishing!

By Christine Perez 7.24.13

They’re wildly popular in the Florida Everglades and the Louisiana Bayous, but airboats can found in Texas, too. Sometimes called fanboats, these smaller, flat-bottomed vessels are powered by a propeller that’s mounted on top of the boat. They’re perfect for shallow waters and marshy areas that are difficult — if not impossible — to navigate in a traditional boat.


Airboats in Orange

As in the southeastern states, airboats in Texas are used for hunting, fishing, and eco-tourism excursions. In Orange, the state’s easternmost city, Airboat Rides of Texas offers nature tours of Blue Elbow Swamp and the Sabine River.

Riders can expect to see a lot of alligators, turtles, and birds, such as the Great Blue Heron, egrets, and osprey. In the summer months of June and July, there’s the extra bonus of blossoming lotus flowers. The company also offers night tours, where groups of up to six can bring a cooler and have a moonlight party on the swamp.


Galveston bowfishing

Farther south along the Gulf Coast, Capt. Hal Newsom offers both wildlife and fishing tours of Galveston Bay. Riders can see marine life such as stingrays and sharks in their natural habitat, along with beautiful marsh birds. Nighttime bowfishing and floundering are also available.


Redfish, duck, and alligators too!

Down in Seadrift, near the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Castaway Lodge uses airboats for its Texas Redfish fishing trips, tracking the prized fighters to their “favorite skinny water haunts.” The vessels are used for Castaway duck and alligator hunting trips, too.

Whatever Texas water wildlife experience you’re seeking, airboats will help you get up closer than ever before.