When Is the Best Time to Plan a Deep Sea Charter Fishing Trip in the Gulf of Mexico?

When Is the Best Time to Plan a Deep Sea Charter Fishing Trip in the Gulf of Mexico?

One of the best things about deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is that it’s almost a year-round sport. That doesn’t mean all fish are fair game year-round, nor does it mean some months aren’t better than others.

This article will offer some insight into when the best time is to plan a fishing trip and what to expect to make it easier for novices and avid fishermen alike to make their plans.

Fishing Seasons in the Gulf of Mexico

The types of fish deep sea fishermen can catch vary by the season (1). That’s good news for those who want to schedule fishing charters, since it means they have plenty of leeway when it comes to timing.

Here’s a quick rundown of what starts biting at different times of the year:

  • Fishing in February. The Yellowfin tuna season starts in February, when most fish are still waiting out the winter in warmer waters. During this time of year, they tend to gravitate toward the warmer waters around oil rigs and rock formations. Professional fishermen track the tunas’ movements, so they’ll know where to find them.
  • Fishing in April. There should still be plenty of Yellowfins out and about, but fishermen can also expect to start seeing Grouper migrating back into the area. Grouper are shallow water fish, so catching them requires heading to different areas. In warm years, the Cobia should also be beginning their migration back into the area of the coast of Biloxi, but it’s important to pay attention to the weather and consult an expert before planning a charter trip to fish for Cobia this early in the season.
  • Fishing in May. May is a great month for deep sea fishing. The water will be warming up, the tuna will be out in full force, and fishermen can also expect to see plenty of Wahoo, Snapper, Triggerfish, and mackerel. It’s a perfect time for trophy fishing and good times on the open water.
  • Fishing in June. The beginning of summer is a good time to plan a fishing trip with the whole family. June marks the beginning of the area’s limited Red Snapper season, and there are multiple varieties of fish swarming in shallow and deep waters, alike, but the season doesn’t really pick up until mid- summer so it should still be relatively easy to find a charter boat.
  • Fishing in July. Gag Grouper season opens in July, which makes this a great time of the year to take fishing charters out from the Mississippi shores. There are plenty of species congregating in deep and shallow water alike, and the weather out on the ocean should be warm and pleasant. Keep in mind that July is the height of the busy season for most companies, so it may be more difficult to schedule time off on the water.
  • Fishing in August. The waters of the Gulf Coast tend to be comparatively calm in August, which makes the end of the summer a great time for taking charters out from the coast. Since the seas are usually calm, this is also a great time to take kids out for their first trips out or to schedule deep sea fishing party boat charters.
  • Fishing in September. King Mackerel peak in mid-September and Greater Amberjack season opens just as Snapper season closes. Plus, fewer tourists will be heading to the area once school starts back up. These factors make planning the best fishing trips in September a great idea for serious fishermen.
  • Fishing in October. With the season about to wrap up, October is the last opportunity visitors will get to head out on the water off Biloxi to see what they can catch. There should still be Amberjack, Mahi- Mahi, Groupers, King Mackerel, Sailfish, and more, and since things will be slowing down for the season, it should be easy to find a charter boat.

What’s the Best Fishing Trip for a Family?

The best fishing trip for a family depends on how large that family is and how old the kids are, but a trip outside is great for little ones of all ages. With good fishing boat charters from the Gulf Shores, almost any family can enjoy fun in the sun together on the open waters. Planning fishing trips isn’t just an easy way to encourage family bonding. It’s also a good way to encourage kids to develop a more intimate relationship with nature.

Experts believe that all of today’s children and teens should be spending more time outside. Richard Louv, author of the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit-Disorder, points out that it’s not just about getting enough exercise and access to vitamin D. He questions the effects of encouraging kids to spend so much time indoors, pointing out, “Last time I checked, it was pretty tough to have a sense of wonder when you’re playing ‘Grand Theft Auto’…If we’re raising a generation of children under protective house arrest, where does that lead us in terms of our connection to the natural world?” (2).

Scheduling some time out on the water is a great way to encourage kids of all ages to form a deeper connection, especially when families take their catches home for a delicious dinner. When planning fishing trips for the whole family, make sure to ask the boat’s captain about minimum age requirements and other stipulations.

Although some veteran fishermen start taking their kids out on the water at ages as young as 3, not all deep sea charter boats are equipped to handle younger children. Thankfully, there’s still plenty of good fishing right off the coast for those interested in a shorter trip out from Biloxi.

What Is the Ideal Trip for Someone New to Fishing?

The ideal trip for someone new to fishing is one that increases his or her chances of landing a good catch. The best way to maximize chances of success is to find a captain who knows not just the best times for catching different types of fish, but also where to go to find them during different parts of the season. Many fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico fish out on rock formations or near wrecked boats since that’s where fish tend to congregate.

Just finding the right Biloxi fishing charter isn’t enough to guarantee a good time, although it will dramatically increase the chances of a successful fishing trip. Novice fishermen should also familiarize themselves with the basics (3) and come prepared for a full day out on the water. Here’s what’s most important when it comes to personal items:

  • Sunblock
  • Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Protective eyewear
  • A camera
  • Medication for seasickness
  • Non-skid shoes
  • Layered clothing
  • A cooler to transport the catch from fishing home

When it comes to the equipment required for fishing Biloxi charters typically provide it all. If they come prepared with personal items, new fishermen should have good times and make memories to last a lifetime, even if they don’t catch any fish. By planning charter fishing trips with experienced Biloxi boat owners, they’ll also increase their chances of making their first catches.

Take a Deep Sea Fishing Trip for Fun

Not everyone who charters a boat cares all that much about fishing. There’s nothing wrong with taking Biloxi tours on the water with an experienced fisherman, just setting a few lines, and otherwise sitting back and relaxing on the water.

The best Biloxi fishing charters like Side Bet Sport Fishing Charters offer plenty of comfort and space, so people can fish when they want to and relax the rest of the time. Even a relaxed trip out on the open seas can improve mood, reduce stress, and even alleviate the symptoms of PTSD (4).

Contact the Experienced Crew at Side Bet Today

Planning a trip to go out deep sea fishing from Biloxi is a great way to have fun with friends or family out on the water, catch some delicious fish to eat, and get to see the world from a different perspective. Just make sure to go prepared and follow the captain’s instructions when fishing to maximize chances of success.

Contact the experts at Side Bet Sport Fishing Charters today to learn how we can help.


  1. Gulf Council gulfcouncil.org/fishing-regulations/federal/
  2. American Psychological Association www.apa.org/monitor/2008/03/outdoors
  3. Takemefishing.org www.takemefishing.org/saltwater-fishing/types-of-saltwater-fishing/deep-sea-fishing/
  4. Huffington Post www.huffpost.com/entry/benefits-of-fishing_n_5754408

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