A note about Jetty diving:
Jetty diving is a unique type of diving experience. Options for jetty diving include Port Aransas or Packery Channel. At the Packery channel jetties, diving is done on the outsides of the jetty and not in the channel itself due to shallow depths and boat traffic. Depth is around 10'-15' near the end of the jetty, and current & visibility is often an issue here. Diving can be difficult due to the small size of the jetties themselves combined with the large amount of fishermen often there. In Port Aransas, diving can be done in the channel or on the beach sides of the jetty. Diving depth in the Port Aransas channel is around 40', and the beach side is about 15'. Currents in the channel can be too much to handle on some days and visibility is limited as a rule, but on a rare day, it may reach 30'. The South Jetty is easily accessible by car, but the North Jetty, which lies on St Jose Island, is only accessible by boat. Visibility on the North jetty is generally better than that of the south jetty due to prevailing wind direction. If you've never dived Jetties, there is a whole world you're missing out on just waiting to be discovered, and the best part is, you don't have to own a boat.
This is NOAA's tide prediction for any given day. Generally, the best time to dive the jetties for optimal water clarity is from just before high tide to about half way through the falling tide. It is best to plan to arrive just before high tide to allow time to set up you equipment, then begin your dive as the tide begins to slack.
Rig diving can be quite outstanding and is a favorite among many local divers. Rigs are essentially vertical reefs, requiring little effort to cover large areas. Species abound and on any given day, you are likely to encounter almost anything. Common species include Barracuda, Bermuda Chubs, Spanish Hogfish, Lookdowns, Atlantic Spadefish, Cobia, a myriad of Snappers, Groupers, Jacks, Sharks, Angelfishes, Damselfish, Blennies, Wrasses, and so on and so forth. The list is quite long. Less frequent visitors include species such as Whale Sharks and Mantas, Rainbow Runners, Parrotfish, African Pompano, Yellowtail Snapper and Palmetto, to name a few. Many shallow water rigs can be seen from the beach and are generally about 4-6 miles out, with depths ranging from around 40'-60'. There are quite a few available, but visibility is generally very limited, with 15'-20' being great. This makes the shallow rigs fertile hunting ground for spearfishermen, but not so great for sightseers. For consistently clear water with 100'+ visibility, you would be better served diving deep water rigs in water that is 130' plus. Many of our deep rigs have been removed over the last few years, but there are still some to be had. It will, however, be a long boat ride. The closest deep water water rigs are about 40 miles from Port Aransas. Bottom depths will be in the 200'+ range, but everything worth seeing will usually be above 100' anyway. Visibility at deep rigs is usually outstanding. Currents are often light, but can be moderate to strong on some days. If you have never dived a rig, you are missing out on some of the best diving to be had, and should definitely add it to your bucket list for some serious diving and serious fun.