Popular Saltwater Fish
Redfish are found primarily inshore. They can be found near bridges, piers, jetties, near docks, in the surf, in bays and in tidal creeks. Redfish will be found inshore year-round, which is one of the reasons why they are so popular among anglers.
Tarpon can be found in the passes, on the beaches, around bridges, near docks, on the flats and in the tidal creeks, inlets and backwaters. Anglers visit Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean from all over the world to experience tarpon fishing. Tarpon are definitely one of the most exciting saltwater fish that you can catch.
Spotted Sea Trout are mostly found inshore. They can be found on grass flats, near bridges, piers, jetties, docks, in the surf, in bays and in tidal creeks. Sea trout will be found inshore year-round, which is one of the reasons why they are so popular among saltwater anglers.
Snook are found mostly inshore around all types of cover and structure. Bridges, passes, bays, backwaters, tidal creeks, rivers, mangrove-lined shorelines, docks, piers and the beaches will all hold snook at some point throughout the year. Snook are some of the most exciting fish to target in saltwater. Some anglers compare snook to freshwater bass fishing. The big difference is that snook can grow larger than 40 pounds.
Snapper are found mostly offshore near reefs, wrecks and rock piles. Inshore, you will find mangrove snapper around bridges, along the mangroves and under docks, but these snapper are much smaller on average than what you will find offshore. Anglers can’t wait for snapper season because these fish taste excellent. They are one of the most popular fish that anglers target offshore when they are in season.
Grouper are found mostly offshore on the reefs and wrecks in deeper water. Some species of grouper can be found inshore like the gag grouper and goliath grouper. Inshore, grouper can be found along deep water docks, mangrove-lined shorelines, near bridges and smaller fish can often be found on grass flats and shoals. Grouper taste excellent. They are one of the most popular species of fish to target when they are in season.
Marlin are considered one of the most prized fish of all freshwater and saltwater game fish. Marlin grow very big and they display incredible strength combined with extraordianary speed for a fish. They are known to swim faster than 65 mph.
Sailfish are found on the west coast, gulf coast, throughout Florida and up to the Outer Banks of the Carolinas. These fish can be found offshore. They are known for their acrobatic jumps and tail walks along the surface. The Pacific Sailfish grows to about twice the size of Atlantic Sailfish. Pacific Sailfish can grow up to 250 pounds.
Mahi Mahi are found offshore in open water. Schools of mahi mahi can often be found around large weedlines of sargasso seaweed, floating grass, palm trees, floating boards and many other types of floating debris. Trolling for mahi mahi is the most conventional way to catch these fish, but more and more anglers are sight fishing for mahi mahi. Because these fish are often found around large weedlines and many different types of floating debris, some anglers will go find these spots and chum these areas to see if they can attract some mahi mahi to the boat.
Saltwater Fishing Destinations – Plan your next saltwater fishing trip. We cover the best saltwater fishing destinations throughout the U.S., Canada, Bahamas, Caribbean, Costa Rica and more.
Types of Saltwater Fishing
Deep Sea / Offshore Fishing - Fishing offshore is a great way to target some of the biggest fish of the ocean. Most anglers refer to offshore as being far enough out that you can’t see any land. We believe the actual definition for fishing offshore is 20 miles away from shore, but the term offshore is used loosely among different anglers. Whether you are out just a few miles or 20 miles, most anglers will be trolling or bottom fishing. To fish offshore you need a certain type of boat that can handle the big waves that live offshore. For most anglers, their only chance to fish offshore will be with a fishing charter.
Inshore Fishing means fishing within the sight of land. Saying “let’s head inshore” means moving the boat from offshore back towards land. The term inshore fishing is most commonly used with saltwater fishermen. Some of the inshore areas to fish can be creeks, rivers, harbors, jetties and intracoastal waterways. Some anglers consider fishing from the pier or surf to be inshore fishing, while others may refer to inshore fishing as being from a boat near shore. Some of the popular fish to target inshore are redfish, snook and trout.
Flats Fishing is known as a type of saltwater fishing where you fish a very large area of shallow water. We’re talking about water that is 1 to 4 feet deep. Most people fish the flats from a skiff boat because these boats allow anglers to get into very shallow water (known as skinny water). Once you get onto the flats and the big motor is turned off, you have to decide how you want to proceed. While many anglers prefer to use a push pole to move the boat around the flats, there are plenty of anglers that use their trolling motor and some fishermen even get out and wade the flats. Either way you choose to proceed, fishing the flats can be a very fun and productive way to target a variety of saltwater fish such as redfish, bonefish, sea trout, tarpon, permit, snook, sharks and more.
Kayak Fishing is growing in popularity, although it is still just a small niche in the overall sport of fishing. Fishing from a kayak is a lot of fun for anglers that enjoy getting away from the crowds. Most kayak fishermen use their kayak to fish saltwater marshes, shallow bays and inlets. They are great for fishing shallow water and you usually won’t find any other boats in the areas that you find kayak fishermen. Some of the popular fish that kayak saltwater anglers target are redfish, flounder, sea trout, black drum, striped bass and snook.
Surf & Pier Fishing - Fishing from the surf or off the piers can lead to some very exciting saltwater fishing with minimal costs. Because a variety of fish feed just off the surf, anglers can catch many different types of fish. Pompano, whiting, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, redfish, striped bass and sharks are some of the popular fish that are targeted from the piers and in the surf. Many anglers enjoy fishing the surf, piers, bridges and jetties. These areas give anglers some excellent fishing opportunities without a boat.
More Saltwater Fish