What is the best time of year to deep-sea fish? Anglers who are avid fishermen will know that the best time for deep-sea fishing is right now. This is because any time we have the opportunity to fish is the best. There are certain times of the year when fishing is better. For the Gulf of Mexico, the best times to fish deep-sea are late spring through early fall.
We have provided a guide that will help you pick the right times to deep-sea fish off Destin’s coast, FL.
What is the best time to fish in the Gulf of Mexico?
Each species of fish has its own run time. Some run times overlap while others are more dependent on the habits of other fish. For those new to fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, this means that you can target the fish that are most important to you based on their run times. If you want to target Yellow Fin Tuna, for example, February is a good choice. Because the coast waters are warmer than deep waters, Yellowfin Tuna will be closer to shore in February. They will also gather near structures that have warmer water. However, deep-sea fishing in Gulf waters is best between May and September. Below is a list of the best fishing spots off Destin, FL.
Spring- Gulf of Mexico Fishing Seasons
February-March — The Yellowfin Tuna is the biggest fish in the ocean. They are more common in winter as they seek warmer waters offshore or in the shallows. Yellowfin are also attracted to shipwrecks and oil platforms. Rock formations are another popular target for Yellowfin, as smaller baitfish often use these structures as a hiding place. The Cobia starts to appear in March. The Gulf’s current shifts north and the Cobia migrate back to the Gulf. They will be visible on windy days, lying in the upper depths of the Gulf and using the waves for their migration. March is the best time to sight-fish Cobia. Mid-February is the best time to go “deep-sea fishing” for Yellowfin. They are not likely to disperse in the Gulf’s wider areas. You can target them around structures in February.
April – May April – April is a major month. Warming water is causing the deepest waters to warm, which means that large fish are returning to the area. Cobia and yellowfin are both active. Baitfish are moving out of warmer water and protecting structures to school in open water. If you are looking for larger fish, your best option is Yellowfin. The leading Groupers can be found as they return to the shallows. Although they are very rare, fishing is always a great way to find them. Certain species of groupers are not allowed. The end of May is the best time to go deep-sea fishing with sharks. You can use live bait, or pieces of fish with an oily, fat layer. Mackerel is an excellent choice.
The action heats up in May, and deep-sea fishermen begin to shine with that magic. You can expect to see a lot more Yellowfin and Tuna. The Wahoo and Snapper are also growing in number. May is a great month to catch Mackerel or Triggerfish. The Gulf’s Trophy Fishing Season begins in May.
Summer fishing in the Gulf of Mexico
June and July
June is the busiest month for charters. The season is heating up. Red Snapper season opens in June and charter boats should have plenty of slots. Family adventures in Deep Sea Fishing are possible in June and July. If you are planning to visit Destin, Florida in July, book a charter as soon as possible. July fishing is more intense than June’s and big targets like the Gag Grouper, are popular. The Gag Grouper season runs from June through December. Other targets include:
There are many big targets for June and July, including the Yellowfin Tuna. These are the most popular months for Gulf of Mexico tuna fishing. June and July are the best months to fish deep-sea for large and medium-sized fish. There is less competition in June than there is in July. You should always check the fishing regulations because they are constantly changing. It is helpful to know the season opening and closing dates of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
August-September — The season has begun and fish are enjoying the warm, tropical Gulf of Mexico waters. The Greater Amberjack season opens on August 1, and ends on October 31. The fight is exhausting as they are almost a yard in length at 34″. The limit is one per person. However, the Lesser Amberjack may be smaller and more powerful than that. The Lesser Amberjack has a year-round season.
August is generally a cool month and the Gulf waters are clear. August is a great month to go deep-sea fishing with your family off Destin’s coast. August is a great month to fish with children because of the calmer waters.
The King Mackerel season in September is the best time to deep-sea fish. The snapper season is usually over by now and most of the fishermen and visitors have gone home. September is a great month to fish for trophy deep-sea fish. September offers fewer fish and just as many people. This gives you more options to choose where and how you fish.
Fall Deep Sea Fishing Off the Coast of Destin, FL
October-November — Although the busy season is over, there is still plenty of trophy fish to be had.
Sometimes, the quality of fishing is better than before or after peak season. Gulf Fishing in October is an example of this. It means that the best spots for fishing have quieted down. The fish are less scared, which means you can spend more time fishing. For all these reasons, October and November are great months to fish the Gulf.
Winter fishing — Destin, Florida
Winter brings cooler water. Deep-sea fish that are skilled in deep-sea fishing love cold water. Grouper is one such fish family that loves winter water. Yellowtail snapper is another target for December and January. The waters around structures like oil platforms can be targeted as well. You will find the water slightly warmer and baitfish can hide in structures. This little tip can allow for easy access to larger predatory fish like Yellowfin. You can expect some wind, but it is possible to fish with ease.
What is the best time for deep-sea fishing trips? You can fish deeper waters to catch trophy fish almost any time.
The article was written by a professional charter captain at Salty Knots Fishing Charters with 15+ years of experience in the Gulf of Mexico. Salty Knots Fishing Charters is a local fishing charter service based out of St. Pete Beach, Florida. “We know what it takes to catch a giant trophy fish!” Salty Knots Is the best when it comes to Offshore Fishing in St.Pete FL.