When Is the Best Time to Fish in Destin?
While successful fishing trips take place all year round in Destin, January to March are usually considered the “off-season.” This doesn’t mean the water has nothing to offer though! Our friendly fishing community is here year-round, and the fish never stop biting. Each Destin, FL fishing season has its benefits, though your odds of capturing a trophy fish are higher in some than in others.
In this article, we’ll go over all of the Destin, Florida fishing seasons, month by month:
- Spring Fishing Season
- Summer Fishing Season
- Fall Fishing Season
- Winter Fishing Season
Florida Fishing Season Regulations
Keep in mind that Florida state regulations control what you can fish for during each Destin, Florida, fishing season. The state also requires anyone who is out fishing to carry certain types of gear on board, such as tools for removing hooks so that you can release fish if regulations require you to do so. Florida places seasonal regulations on fishing to protect vulnerable species and preserve fish populations so that they will be there for future generations of fish.
If you sail with an experienced fishing charter captain, then they’ll make sure everything required by the state is present on the boat, and all safety standards and regulations are adhered to. This is generally the best way to fish in Destin Florida waters and is the best way to ensure you have a safe and successful fishing trip.
Spring Fishing in Destin, FL
The spring season marks the availability of several types of fish that are not so plentiful during the winter. Longer days, earlier sunrises, and warmer weather make the spring, (April and May in particular) a high point of this Destin, FL, fishing season. The weather is not too hot for afternoon fishing and the hurricane season is not yet upon us.
In many ways, the spring season is the best time for fishing in Destin. For college students who prefer a more tranquil spring break, the Destin, FL, fishing season could be your perfect Florida destination.
Destin Fishing in March
March marks the likely appearance of wahoo and shark. You can also catch Mahi-Mahi, Cobia, Spanish Mackerel, and Sailfish. Amberjack is also plentiful. March is the coolest of the spring months, so make sure to wear proper clothes and be prepared for lower temperatures on the water.
Destin Fishing in April
April brings a bounty of fish. In addition to what’s typically biting in March (Amberjack, Mahi-Mahi, Spanish Mackerel, and Sailfish) the King Mackerel and the marlin also typically increase their feeding and movement.
Destin Fishing in May
As the weather warms up, we reach one of the best times of year for fishing. While Amberjack bite is usually lessening, Snappers are picking up. Red Snapper catches start to become more common. Wahoo, Cobia, Marlin, and King Mackerel are all in full swing.
Temperatures can get much higher in May, especially late may, so be prepared with the proper clothing for warmer weather on the water.
Summer Fishing in Destin, FL
The summer season is perfect for anglers who like the Florida summer sun. Remember that the summer and fall are peak hurricane seasons. Be prepared for the possibility of cancellation due to inclement weather. Don’t forget to bring your bug spray and sunscreen for your fishing excursions. Enjoy long days, early sunrises, and warm mornings.
Summer is considered the “busy season” so understand that there will be high competition for the fishing charter boats and captains. Make sure to book your fishing trip well in advance and at the start of your time in Destin (in case the weather forces your trip to be postponed or rescheduled).
Sunscreen is extra important during the summer months. The light reflecting off of the water intensifies the UV rays being absorbed by your skin, meaning you can burn badly in just an hour or so. Wearing hats can be risky on a boat (don’t wear one you’re not ok with losing to the wind), but they can protect your neck and ears from the sunlight.
Destin Fishing in June
The Cobia and Amberjack are not as plentiful in June, but the Red Snappers, King Mackerels, Tuna, and Mahi Mahi really take the stage. Wahoo is also on the rise in June.
The weather is usually fine as hurricanes rarely arise this early in the year. Additionally, late June and early July have some of the latest sunsets of the year, making this time of year perfect for late afternoon fishing.
Destin Fishing in July
July is a great time of year to catch Grouper and Tuna. Mackerels and Snappers are also big. The waters are warming up, carrying with them the risk of tropical storms and hurricanes, but the clear days are majestic.
In the unfortunate event of your fishing charter being postponed or canceled due to weather, be understanding. Your fishing charter captain does not control the weather, and their first priority is your safety.
Destin Fishing in August
Like in July, August usually has a great Grouper and Tuna bite. Snapper, Mackerel, Wahoo, and Sailfish are all plentiful as well. While Triggerfish are caught year-round, you’ll see quite of few of these in August too.
You can expect some of the hottest weather of the year, so wear your sunscreen! Light clothing designed for boating with some SPF protection is perfect for hot August days.
Fall Fishing in Destin, FL
The period from late August to mid-September offers a wealth of fishing opportunities and fine weather. Most notably, the Amberjacks start to be more active as the weather begins to cool. Like Spring, Fall is an amazing time of year to fish in Destin as there are fewer crowds and the weather is more temperate.
While there is typically less competition for available fishing charters, it’s still a good idea to book in advance. The biggest downside to fall over spring is the weather. Due to hurricane season, you’ll want to book your fishing charter at the beginning of your trip in case it has to be postponed.
Destin Fishing in September
King and Spanish Mackerels are still usually biting hard in September, Grouper as well. Amberjacks will start to become more plentiful on the docks though, and Tuna is hit or miss. The weather (when there aren’t storms) will be nice though.
For those of you who can get away from your responsibilities, September is a fantastic time to do some fishing and stay out of the heat.
Destin Fishing in October
September continues the autumn trend. If you want to catch grouper and shark, this time of year will be your last opportunity for a while. Amberjack bite will continue to increase, while Sailfish and Marlin start to drop off. Amberjacks definitely steal the show this time of year.
Destin Fishing in November
As the weather cools in November, the conventional fishing season comes to an end. Water temperatures should still be fairly warm, but the weather is cooler and the types of fish being caught usually shifts substantially.
Marlin and sailfish bite is pretty much done for the year as these fish begin to migrate south. Amberjack, Triggerfish, and Vermilion Snappers are plentiful though. King Mackerel and Mahi Mahi are also still common catches this time of year.
Winter Fishing in Destin, FL
Not as many fish are biting during the winter months, but you can find Amberjack, Snappers, Triggerfish, and Tuna still. If you enjoy the cooler weather of the Florida winter, why not come out on the water, relax, and catch some fish.
We welcome anyone from up north who is looking to escape the snow and take advantage of off-season rates for accommodations. Winter is a great time to get to know our local fishing community without the distractions of the crowds of tourists. The off-season brings with it a slower pace of life that people find better suited to the quiet contemplation that fishing provides.
Destin Fishing in December
This is generally your last chance to catch Wahoo until March. Though the waters are getting colder, there is still a good chance of catching Snappers, Triggerfish, Amberjack, or Tuna.
Destin Fishing in January
As the water continues to become colder, Wahoo pretty much disappears. Tuna, Amberjack, and Triggerfish are the most common catches this time of year.
Destin Fishing in February
While there is still fish to be caught, February is usually Destin’s most “off” month of the “off-season”. Amberjack, Snapper, Triggerfish, and Tuna are all still biting, but fewer than earlier in the winter. However, that does not mean that you can’t enjoy being out on the water if you don’t mind the cooler temperatures.
Best Times of Day to Fish in Destin
This question really depends on which fish species you’re talking about, but it’s typically best to fish Destin in the morning or the afternoon. Morning fishing can be a little better because many species of fish feed in the morning. For more details, check out the following pages about specific fish varieties:
Make Any Time of Year the Best Destin Fishing Season
To truly experience the fishing seasons in Destin, FL, let Southern Country Charters take you out on the water. We’ll help to let you get to know the thriving fishing community in Destin. We’ve been through many seasons in Destin, and what we’ve learned about the best fishing spots, times, and Destin fishing seasons would never fit on a blog post. We’ll customize your tour to help you catch the type of fish you want at a time.
To book a fishing excursion with Southern Country Charters during any Destin, Florida, fishing season, call (850) 739-3175 today. If you prefer, visit our homepage and click on the blue “Book Your Adventure!” button.