Aransas, Nueces, San Patricio
Gulf Coast
2010 Census - 8,204
2000 Census - 8,138
Aransas Pass, Texas
Aransas Pass Texas History:
Aransas Pass is located on Aransas and Redfish Bays, and is named for the pass between St. Joseph and Mustang Islands. Early developers wanted to build a deep water port city on the Gulf of Mexico. The first attempt at this endeavor was made by Pryor Lea who founded the Aransas Road Company to link the coast with San Antonio by means of a railroad and a road. He only managed to build the road a short distance, and the railway never advanced beyond the planning stages. In the 1850s, English investors backed Central Transit Company’s plan to construct a harbor, but the Civil war interrupted this effort and the funding dried up. Other developer’s efforts to construct a deep water port failed. In 1899, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took over the project. Two jetties were built, a deep water channel was extended to Harbor Island, and a 100 foot wide and 8.5 foot deep channel was dug between the mainland and Harbor Island. The dredged material was thrown to one side, forming a roadbed for the Terminal Railroad which was extended from Harbor Island to the mainland where it joined the Southern Pacific Line. When the project was completed, oceangoing vessels regularly docked at the port, and in the two weeks ending on September 13, 1912, 47,093 bales of cotton were shipped. The huge 1909 land lottery held to sell city lots was extremely successful. A 1916 hurricane caused heavy damage, but repairs were completed within 2 months. The 1919 hurricane did tremendous damage to the town and the shipping facilities, causing the town to build a protective seawall. Dreams of having a deep water port ended when the Corps of Engineers announced that Corpus Christ had been selected as the site for a deep water port over Aransas Pass and Rockport. Harbor Island continued to be an oil terminal, but no further cargo shipments were made in and out of Harbor Island after the Port of Corpus Christi opened in 1926. The U.S. Corps of Engineers made improvements in Conn Brown Harbor after World War II, enabling the shrimping fleet to grow to be the largest on the Gulf Coast. The Seamen’s Memorial Tower is located at the entrance to Conn Brown Harbor (south from Stapp Avenue). Aransas Pass is located an eight mile ferry ride across Redfish Bay from Port Aransas. Aransas Pass is located on SH 361 and SH 35 (North Commercial Street), 10 miles southwest of Rockport, 22 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, 12.7 miles northeast of Portland, 8 miles northeast of Ingleside on the Bay, and 9.4 miles east of Gregory, Texas. 
Aransas Bay:
The bay is located on the Texas portion of the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. It is separated from the gulf by San Joseph Island (San Jose Island). Aransas Pass and Port Aransas are located on the southern end of the bay, and Rockport, Texas is located on the northern end of the bay. The bay is bounded on the north by Saint Charles Bay, on the northeast by Mesquite Bay, on the southwest by Redfish Bay, and on the west by Copano Bay.     
Redfish Bay:
Redfish Bay is located on the south side of Aransas Bay. Ingleside and Aransas Pass are located on the west side of the Bay. Port Aransas on the east side of the bay and is accessible to Aransas Pass by an eight mile ferry ride; there is no bridge. The bay is quite shallow and is a protected seagrass area.
Redfish Bay State Scientific Area Requires Cautious Navigation:
This area consists of sensitive habitats including shallow seagrass flats which are protected by law. Please use airboats, Jon boats, shallow water boats or trolling motors when navigating these areas. Use a white propeller instead of a brown one, and use existing marked channels or watch for preferred access lanes. It is best to navigate these waters during high tides. During low tides, use the deeper water access routes. (361) 994-9005. 
Conn Brown Harbor: 
Fabulous fishing is available at the harbor (from bulkheads or pier), especially redfish. Other fish species include speckled trout, flounder, black drum, and sheepshead. A boat ramp and lighted fishing pier are located at Conn Brown’s Harbor Point Park; the ramp provides access to the flats and the bay. The entrance to Conn Brown Harbor can be found at N27 53.869 W097 08.058 (WGS-84 datum), or near Intracoastal Waterway mile marker 533 in Aransas Pass. The harbor is located on Huff Street, and is accessed from Business SH 35 or from SH 361; follow the signs. The office is located at 600 West Cleveland Boulevard, Aransas Pass, Texas 78336.  Email  Con Brown Harbor Map 
Aransas Pass-Port Aransas Ferry Information, Wait Times, and Webcams:
From the mid-1920s when Mitizi, the first ferry boat, was put into service by the Texas Department of Transportation, until 1954 when SH 361 was built, ferries were the only access to the Island. In 1951, Nueces purchased the three 9 car ferries and charged $1 per car. TX Dot lowered the fare when they resumed control of the ferry system in 1968. Today, three 20 car ferries have replaced the old 9 car ferries, and service is free 24 hours a day between Port Aransas on Mustang Island, and Aransas Pass on the mainland. The ferry runs every 10 to 20 minutes. (361) 749-2850. The Port Aransas Ferry Landing is located at the south end of W. Cotter Avenue at 619 W. Cotter. The Aransas Pass Ferry is located on SH 361 South. A 24 hour radio message advisory is available at AM 530.  Ferry Webcams 
Bridges from Mainland to Mustang and Padre Islands:
The SH 361 Bridge in Aransas Pass connects Aransas Pass to Stedman Island and Harbor Island. There is no bridge connecting Port Aransas to Mustang Island and the town of Port Aransas. SH 361 & Bridge Map 
Saint Jo's (Josephor San Jose) Island and the North Jetty, 28 Miles Long, Port Aransas:
The island was originally inhabited by the Karankawa Indians, and then by conquering Spaniards. By the late 1830s, it was controlled by pirates. The remains of a pirate camp have been found, including iron rings implanted in the sand for tying ships and slaves. Saint Jo’s has been rated one of the top ten U.S. beaches for shelling.  The island borders the north side of the ship channel. The Port Aransas North Jetty is located at the island where the ship channel meets the Gulf of Mexico. Today the island is privately owned, but the public beach is accessible by small boat. There are no public facilities; visitors must carry out their trash. Gear carts are available for rental from Fisherman’s Wharf. You may also rent flat tired beach bikes in Port Aransas. The Jetty Boat passenger ferry to St. Jo Island leaves Fisherman’s Wharf several times daily. Fisherman’s Wharf: (800) 605-5448. 900 Tarpon Street.