With a coastline covering much of the southeastern United States, you’re sure to find dozens of great fishing destinations. Considering the size of the Gulf of Mexico, it’s overwhelming for anglers of all experience levels to choose the right spot. Every year, almost 3 million people fish the Gulf.
From the southern Texas flats to western Florida, families are angling for many types of fish: tarpon, tuna, redfish, and even marlin. Hardcore anglers and first-timers alike hit the open waters in hopes of realizing their fish-finding dreams. If you want to be one of them, check out the top Gulf fishing spots on our list.
What’s Going on in Marathon?
In the Florida Keys, a hot July day will see hundreds of people fishing for just about everything. Tarpon and snook tend to prefer the warm waters of the flats, and a quick trip toward the Atlantic will get you up close and personal with the blue marlin.
The waters around Marathon are typically clear and calm. If you’re used to fishing by sight, you’ll love it here. Be sure to watch the horizon, as a quick-rising storm will surely put a damper on your trip. On your Marathon fishing trip, you may catch grouper, snapper, tuna, wahoo, and mahi mahi, all in one outing!
Be sure to check out the areas around shipwrecks and coral reefs. About five miles offshore, you’ll reach the reef edge, where you can go after numerous local fish varieties. However, if you’re looking for mahi mahi, sailfish, kingfish, and tuna, go out into deeper seas and watch for birds. For a great family meal, sail toward the Lower Keys to reel in some grouper and mutton snapper.
During the month of August, you’ll have a better chance of success with a day of reef fishing for grouper, mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, and yellowtail. It gets quite hot during the daytime, so many experienced charter captains suggest fishing during the night or in the early morning.
Many veteran anglers prefer to fish around deep reefs, as fish tend to congregate there. Or, if you want a fun time, take your deep-dropping chances in hopes of catching a huge swordfish. These fish are very active during the late summer and early fall, and there’s nothing better than reeling in a big one.
What’s the Fishing Like in the Everglades?
If you’re into the occasional game of hide and seek, you should take a fishing trip into the Everglades in the month of July. You’ll find sizable snook during the day, and nighttime trips are another worthwhile effort. At night, the waters are very calm, making for some exciting sight fishing.
During July, you’ll find some great-looking tarpon around docks and bridges. These fish are fun to pursue, and they’ll put up a good fight. Closer to shore, you may be able to pull in a snook, a speckled trout, or a redfish. Watch out for the sharks!
To beat Florida’s intense heat, it’s best to begin during the early morning. You’ll have a great chance of making a sizable catch before it gets too hot. There’s something to be said for the peace and quiet of an early morning fishing trip, and the chances of catching a snook or a tarpon are great.
If you prefer open water fishing, head closer to the Gulf where you’re likely to find permit, snapper, and grouper around the numerous shipwrecks. Moving slightly north, you’ll find great tarpon fishing near Rabbit Key and Sandy Key.
Summer’s heat lasts well into August, with temperatures climbing well above 90 degrees. An afternoon thunderstorm will provide the cooling needed for an evening of fine fishing. Snook populate these waters, and they respond quickly to pilchards and other live bait. Check out the oyster beds for some redfish and be sure to bring some live shrimp in your bait well. Speckled trout are a real delicacy, and they can be found near the flats, in the shallows, and near grassy areas.
Can You Make a Great Catch in Marco Island?
As you’re heading north and leaving the Everglades behind, you’ll encounter the Ten Thousand Islands, which make for a fantastic day of fishing near Marco Island. Your entire family will find it fun to fish for snook and redfish, while more experienced anglers can reel in tarpon. July is peak tarpon season, but it’s important to prepare for the heat. It’s the year’s hottest month, so be sure to sign up for a nighttime or early morning charter for the best results.
A couple of miles offshore near Marco Island, you’ll find several artificial reefs. These are home to king mackerel, grouper, snapper, and several shark species. Offshore trips are also popular; head 10 or 20 miles into the Gulf to pull up mahi mahi, wahoo, barracuda, amberjack, and huge grouper.
Though it’s just as hot in August, afternoon rain showers cool things off somewhat. These storms often stir up the water, but that doesn’t keep the fish from biting. To succeed, you’ll need a healthy measure of patience and plenty of hydration.
Snook are very active during the month of August, and they tend to congregate near the mangroves in and around bays. Pompano are fun to catch, but the bites are hit and miss at best. To explore the near-shore reefs, simply chum the waters and let the bait sink. Then, switch over to a flashy jig and wait for the jacks, mackerel, bluefish, and blacktip sharks to start biting. Many reef fish live near or at the surface, including lane and mangrove snapper.
If you love to go offshore for bottom fishing, try the area about eight to 10 miles west of Marco Island. It’s rich in red and gag grouper, which provide a fun fight for anglers of all skill levels. While you’re out there, be sure to explore the deep shipwrecks where the amberjack hides.
Are the Fish Biting in Tampa?
July is one of the best months to take a Tampa fishing trip. The waters in and around the Bay are full of fish, especially redfish and snook. If a good fight is what you’re after, look for a shipwreck where the permit hang out. Early morning is the best time to catch permit; be as quiet as possible to avoid scaring them away and bait them with plenty of crabs and shrimp.
Tarpon are a popular catch too, and this is a good time to catch them before they slow down for the off season. With an experienced charter captain, you’ll have a greater chance of reeling in a big catch. You’ll also find plenty of speckled trout and redfish in the grassy flats, and the bay’s open waters produce plenty of mangrove snapper and Spanish mackerel.
If you like a fast, energetic fight, move out of Tampa Bay and into the Gulf’s offshore fisheries. You might pull in some yellowfin, mahi mahi, and wahoo. They’re plentiful during July, but during August, some fish start moving into deeper seas. The grass flats will still yield bait fish, redfish, and snook. Mackerel, sharks, jacks, and tarpon are here in significant numbers, so be sure to take the time to explore the Bay to its fullest.
Can You Pull in a Big Catch in Pensacola?
Pensacola gets busy during July, and fishing charters are popular day trips. Thousands of anglers come here for end-of-summer trips in hopes of catching a big grouper or snapper. Pensacola is known as the world’s red snapper capital, and area charters attract hundreds of fishermen during the season. If you’re looking for a fun, relaxing day on the open water, this is the perfect trip. The end of July is a great time to seek deep-water fish such as scamp grouper and tilefish.
Along with bottom fishing, it’s possible to pull in mahi mahi and cobia around the reefs. A bit further out, yellowfin, king mackerel, and wahoo are there in big numbers, and with a bit of luck, you may even get a sailfish or a blue marlin. If you’re looking for a more relaxing trip, check out a few of the areas in and around Pensacola Bay. You’ll find snapper, grouper, sheepshead, redfish, bluefish, spotted sea trout, and black drum. Into August, the bite slows down somewhat, but you’ll still find a good catch.
Before heading out onto the water, be sure to learn about season closings and other fishing regulations. For example, the red snapper season ends in August. There are plenty of other fish to take home, such as triggerfish, mackerel, wahoo, and mahi mahi. If you’re lucky, amberjack season will still be open.
What’s Down in Dauphin Island?
Fishing charters around Dauphin Island have easy access to hundreds of artificial reefs where gag grouper and red snapper congregate during July. Be prepared for the Alabama heat, as this is the hottest part of the season. Many anglers like to take offshore charters for amberjack, tuna, and mahi mahi.
If you want to take your family for a boat ride and do some fishing inshore, you should look around inshore structures for spotted seatrout, redfish, bluefish, black drum, and tarpon. You can also fish from the docks at night. Just make sure to bring insect repellent, as the mosquitoes can give you a nasty bite.
As August kicks off, the tarpon bite is in full swing. Explore inshore fisheries to will also come across redfish, speckled trout, flounder, black drum, Jack crevalle, and some sheepshead. A bit further out, nearshore waters will produce cobia, bluefish, Jack crevalle, and pompano, as well as Spanish and King Mackerel. Spanish Macks will gradually slow down, but the Kingfish will be on fire. August is their prime time.
For hardcore anglers and adventure lovers, book an offshore charter to head miles into the Gulf of Mexico where you can snatch triggerfish, wahoo, red and gag grouper (season allowing), sailfish, yellowfin and blackfin tuna, and the apex of all sportfishing – white and blue Marlin!
Incredible Fish Out of Gulfport
If you’re staying in Gulfport, Side Bet Sport Fishing Charters will show you an incredible variety of fish species. The red snapper season is open, but there are many more fish in the sea: mutton snapper, Jack crevalle, snook, tarpon, and permit, to name just a few.
You can also get redfish, bluefish, black drum, flounder, sheepshead, and spotted seatrout in inshore waters. This is a perfect time to come to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast: you can enjoy the heat of the summer and go back home with a tasty dinner.
If you charter a boat to take you farther offshore, you can fish for numerous grouper species, including gag, red and black, but also for other fish, like King Mackerel, cobia, amberjack, mahi mahi and wahoo. You can even test your skills against Yellowfin Tuna around offshore oil rigs.
August days in Gulfport can be highly humid, so make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid the summer heat if you can. Fishing will be good early in the morning, and if you want something special, go on a night fishing trip for tarpon and flounder.
Not much has changed from July – inshore fisheries still offer fine fishing for a variety of species, including reds, trout, flounder, sheepshead, tripletail, as well as blacktip sharks, Mangrove snapper and black drum. Far offshore you can get big game – some mahi, wahoo and yellowfin tuna. If you like bottom fishing, have your charter take you fishing for grouper and amberjack.
New Orleans Charter Fishing is Excellent
New Orleans fishing in July is superb. You can spend the day fishing marshes and estuaries with your kids and go home with big, tasty fish.
You will find big redfish, black drum, flounder, tripletail, sheepshead and Jack crevalle hiding around grassy areas near the shore. It’s best you look around bay edges and duck beds. Speckled trout are thick this month – you can catch them pretty much everywhere.
Inshore fishing trips around New Orleans are perfect for families with young kids. You will stay in shallow parts of the bay and have access to good fishing not far from dry land. Days are hot, but a sudden storm can take you by surprise, so make sure to pack some rain gear and talk to your captain about the weather before you head out.
If you’re staying in New Orleans in August, you will have excellent chances of landing a variety of inshore species. Speckled trout are hiding throughout the Breton Sound and Black Bay, along with redfish and black drum.
These are great species for first-time anglers. If you’re traveling with young kids, it might be good to start with these critters. Even so, some of them reach unbelievable weights. You should look for fish around the banks of the bays and on grass flats.
The summer heat is the main problem during August – days get so hot that it’s only fishable early in the morning or from late afternoon throughout the night.
Venice Fishing Known for Yellowfin Tuna
Redfish are always biting in Venice, and July’s no different. They invade inshore waters, and you can catch them on shrimp and crabs. Check out grassy flats and marshes and you will be pulling in 12-pound redfish. It’s a perfect way to spend the day for both hardcore anglers and families with kids. You can also get flounder, speckled trout, black drum and tripletail.
The real treat lies a few miles off the Louisiana coast where you can get mahi mahi, Mangrove snapper, Warsaw and gag grouper, amberjacks, cobia and King Mackerel. Up for more of a challenge? Head offshore and chase sailfish, blue and white marlin and swordfish – it’s sportfishing at its finest.
Venice fishing is best known for yellowfin tuna. Their bite is excellent in July and it gets better with each passing day, all the way to October. These brutes swim around offshore oil rigs and weigh up to 50 pounds on average in July, but more skilled anglers snatch 120-pound monsters. You could be the next champion of the day!
August is just as good. If you and your family want a light tackle adventure, go fishing for black drum, sheepshead, speckled trout and flounder. But that’s not all.
Ever heard of a “Louisiana pumpkin patch”? No, it’s not an early Halloween. A pumpkin patch is a body of shallow water, with grass and a horde of redfish swimming around. They become golden in color and it’s a real sight to admire.
The redfish of the Louisiana waters are so legendary that you will find anglers elsewhere around the Gulf comparing their Red to “a true Louisiana pumpkin.” August is a great time for some pumpkin hunting!
Solid Fishing Trips in Port Aransas
You can enjoy excellent fishing trips in Port Aransas in July. It is a month of solid inshore fishing, with bull reds and speckled trout taking the spotlight. But that’s far from all. You will also find black drum, tripletail and sheepshead hiding around grassy patches.
In Texas, state waters are open for red snapper year-round, but in July you can also fish federal waters. These bottom fishing trips around coral banks sell fast as families and friends head out to fill their coolers with juicy flesh.
You can get other fish besides snapper and grouper. Amberjack, mahi mahi and wahoo inhabit deeper waters, some 40-plus miles from the coast. If your kids aren’t too young, these trips are a great way to spend a summer day outside.
Fishing stays top-notch throughout August, as Aransas and Corpus Christi Bays continue to produce limits of speckled trout and redfish. Plus, you can still catch flounder, sheepshead and black drum inshore. It’s a great way to spend the day on the water with your family.
Head out of the pass and you start catching catching King Mackerel and cobia. Go farther offshore and you will likely be returning home with mahi mahi, wahoo and blackfin tuna. And who knows – with a bit of luck, you could also land yellowfin tuna or marlin.
South Padre Island Popular for Gulf of Mexico Fishing
South Padre Island has amazing fishing in July. You can spend the day on beaches and swim these calm waters, then go fishing around the bay, jetties, and flats for redfish and speckled trout. Other species, such as black drum, sheepshead and flounder are also large in numbers and make for a great family trip and a fine dinner.
Once you’ve explored fishing opportunities around the bay, turn towards the Gulf of Mexico and take an offshore charter. You could be coming back with snapper, grouper, amberjack, mahi mahi, wahoo and tuna.
South Padre Island is popular among fly anglers and folks who love wade fishing. Make sure to go wading with a local guide as they know the good spots and will put you on fish.
SPI fishing is real magic in August. It’s the start of speckled trout high season, and flounder are also biting with full force. Specks are numerous around the Intracoastal Waterway. You will find Red Drums in the Laguna Madre, and if you fancy fly fishing this is some of the best there is.
Although it’s still hot here in August, the bay waters will help keep you cool, and there is likely to be a light breeze. All the more reason to head out early in the morning!