A little over a year ago, Jonathan Newar was having a terrible time booking a fishing trip. While he played phone tag with guides, sorted through sketchy online reviews, and paid wads of cash to people on the dock, he came to the same classic realization where all great businesses are born—there has to be a better way! The advent of Uber and Airbnb had made old-school experiences like this stick out like a sore thumb. 

To help bring the industry into the 21st century, and most importantly, help you have the fishing trip of a lifetime, every time, Newar launched Captain Experiences. The company takes away all of those booking headaches and replaces them with a process that’s quick, easy, and safe. You can search their library of trips based on location, price, target species, and more. Check out their YouTube-embedded videos, read their 100% Verified Reviews, and book with their licensed and insured guides. Damn good guides. 

Booking with Captain Experiences is completely free and unlocks their Best Price Guarantee, 100% Weather Protection, and streamlined Auto-Pay. While the company was started right here in Texas, they are offering more and more trips beyond the Lone Star State. If you don’t have a guide in your next destination, Captain Experiences can get you out on the water to spend peaceful, worry-free hours doing what you love. 

For our 365 readers, Newar put together a list of his favorite four experiences that are just a hop, skip, and a jump from Austin. 

1. Hill Country Bass Fishing (0-50 miles from Austin | 0 – 1 hour drive)

“Austin is spoiled when it comes to Largemouth Bass. From Decker Lake on the east side to Town Lake in the heart of Austin to Lake Travis, Lake LBJ, and the Colorado River, the opportunities to catch this freshwater trophy species are endless. 

Our guides at Captain Experiences host trips on all of the above bodies of water and would love to host your next trophy bass staycation.”

2. Fly Fishing for Trout on the Guadalupe River (50 miles South of Austin | 1 hour drive)

“The Guadalupe River is the perfect scene for an Austin fly fishing getaway. Home to numerous species, including Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Largemouth Bass, and Guadalupe Bass (the state fish of Texas), this local fishery offers something for everyone. 

Whether wade fishing or drift boat fishing under the shade of the river’s Cypress canopies, there’s no such thing as a bad day on the Guad. This river is great for those looking to pick up fly fishing for the first time, and experienced anglers love that the Guadalupe keeps them guessing as well.”

3. Redfish & Speckled Trout out of Rockport, TX (200 miles South of Austin | 3 hour drive)

“Rockport offers some of the best saltwater fishing in the country. The town is surrounded by the transparent waters of Copano Bay, Redfish Bay, Aransas Bay and nearby San Antonio and Matagorda Bays. There are excellent year-round populations of Redfish, Speckled Trout and Black Drum, and occasional opportunities exist for other species such as Jack Crevalle and Tarpon. 

Our guides provide all gear and tackle, and be sure to pick a trip that includes fish cleaning if you’re looking to catch and cook back in Austin!”

4. Deep Sea Fishing out of Port Aransas, TX (200 miles South of Austin | 4 hour drive)

“With immediate offshore access and a fleet of top-of-the-line sportfishing charters, Port Aransas is your ticket to an unforgettable deep sea fishing trip. Red Snapper, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Marlin, and Sailfish are just a few headliners you can target after just a quick run into the Gulf of Mexico from Port Aransas. 

These trips are incredibly popular and are booking up quickly this summer. Red Snapper season runs through early August—reach out now if you’re looking to get in on the action!”

If you’ve been looking for a safe way to break out of your bubble and explore the outdoors, this is a safe and fun way to take that baby-step vacation this summer. Search, book, and live that trip you’ve been daydreaming about.