Best Fish to Catch in the Summer

The fishing in Louisiana is unbeatable almost year-round. With nearly 400 miles of coastline along the Gulf, it’s hard to step off a charter boat empty-handed in any season.

Still, summertime is special. Some species tend to “lie low” until the spring traffic dies down. Whether you’re looking to land a nutritious supper or that elusive trophy fish, summer is an excellent time to hook that perfect catch.

Best Fish to Catch Inshore

Inshore refers to shallower waters closer to shore. Louisiana fishing is famously versatile, so both freshwater and saltwater species are plentiful inshore.


Largemouth bass

These fish, also known as black bass, are actually dark, drab olive green. They don’t mind warm water, so look for them near shorelines.

White crappie

This is the official state freshwater fish. Thanks to their size, which is typically less than a pound, crappies are easy for kids to catch. Look for them around vegetation or submerged wood.


This is another small fish that’s plentiful in summer and great for training purposes. Bluegill like warm, shallow water, so head for piers, docks, and fallen trees near the shore to find them.



If you have trouble catching trout, you’re probably in hot water — that is, you need to relocate to water somewhere in the 50-70 F range. Trout are notoriously elusive, but, as with many fish, you’ll probably have the best luck in the early morning or late at night.

As a longtime favorite of restaurant chefs and seafood lovers, among many other factors, trout has recently declined in population.

Fish responsibly by checking with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for catch and size limits.


Redfish (or red drum) are teeming in the Gulf all year, but late summer is an especially prime opportunity to catch some. Smallish fish run in small schools in shallow water. Larger creatures thrive all alone in the depths. Redfish of all sizes are aggressive and love playing hard to get.


Flounder are adaptable to various habitats, depths and salinity levels, but piers and pilings are good places to start fishing for them. They lurk in the bottoms and ambush predators, like shrimp and mullet, that swim above. You’ll recognize flounder by their distinctive flat bodies. Any way you cook them, they’re delicious.


These striking fish have silver bodies with vertical black stripes. Juveniles stay somewhat close to shore over grassy or muddy beds. They have a mouthful of teeth for crushing shells to get to the meat inside. Sheepsheads relocate to structures in deeper water as they age.

Black drum

Small, inshore black drum and sheepshead are often mistaken for each other, but black drum farther out in the Gulf can exceed 100 pounds.

Best Fish to Catch Offshore

Here in Sportsman’s Paradise, there are only two times of year to fish: great times and outstanding times. Any old month, you’ll see more species than you can catch.

That said, some gamefish seem to kick into overdrive, just daring you to hook them at the height of summer. If it’s saltwater trophy fish you’re after — not to mention deep sea adventure — here are some of the best fish to catch:


Red snapper live around natural and manmade offshore structures. The species is wildly popular, and Louisiana is arguably the best place to catch it. You can catch them with a federally-permitted charter captain outside of nine miles from shore on an offshore trip typically from early June to mid-August and with a non-federally-permitted charter captain inside of nine miles from shore typically from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The state season is adjusted according to pressure and harvest so watch for updates.

Meanwhile, fish for the other 15 or so snapper varieties.

Yellowfin tuna

These large, handsome fish have a distinguished torpedo-shaped body. Their dark blue backs are set off with a classy yellow stripe. Deep-water oil rigs are prime real estate for yellowfin. Late summer is best.

Book With a Charter Captain

Some prime fishing spots are best-kept secrets that don’t even have names. First-rate charter captains know exactly where to steer the boat for the best fish to catch. An experienced captain can also help you master the latest equipment and best fishing techniques.

Our captains are also experts on local history. They tell the best and tallest fishing tales.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, let us do the hard part. Louisiana Charter Boat Association has more than 300 licensed captains who are eager to show you a great time.


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