With the official kick-off to summer comes the urge for adventure sports fishing. This could not be more true for saltwater species and brackish water species found in some famous destinations. This year is primed to be warmer than the previous year, two years under La Niña. Which in return means fish will be deeper or closer to the shores. If you think this will put a damper on targeting your dream trophy; you could not be more wrong. Many anglers report that some of their best catches come from La Niña-influenced waters. That being said, here’s a shortlist of the six most adventurous fishing destinations for June.
With warmer water comes the migration of some of the most sought-after trophy fish. Many anglers argue that June to August is the peak time for fishing on the Hawaiian island. A favorite target species during this time is the yellowfin tuna. Although this fishery is open all year, the chances of landing the big one are magnified during this period.
Billfish such as blue marlin, striped marlin, and short-billed spearfish frequent the waters around Hawaii in June. The good news is under the influence of the La Niña, they are more likely to hit your line. The state record occurred in 1970 when a 1,805 lb blue marlin was caught off the coast of Wai’anae, Oahu. However, these are not the most commonly caught species in the month of June, with the much-sought-after wahoo coming into peak seasonality.
The fishing is excellent in Florida all year round, with most varieties being caught at any given time. However, what makes the Month of June a little different is that the fish have gotten bigger, making them desirable eaters. Species caught include yellowtail, red snapper, tuna, mutton, grouper, kingfish, and sailfish. The current state record for an Atlantic sailfish got snagged on June 13th, 2009. It caught off the coast of Big Pine Key and weighed a monster 126lbs.
However, the month of June also means Tarpon season is in full swing. In 2013, a potential record-breaking fish was caught in June 2013. Although the fish was well documented, it was never officially weighed using a scale and could not be awarded an official record. Therefore, it did not fall under the IGFA guidelines, but it was estimated to weigh between 310 and 340 lbs.
3. The Dominican Republic
With over 800 miles of coastline of white sandy beaches and pristine water, it’s no wonder why the Dominican Republic is a top destination for June adventure fishing. Blue marlin starts to show up in June and stays until October. The possibilities of catching a half-tonne trophy only increase at this time. However, if you’re looking for something a bit smaller, white marlin is just as abundant and ranges up to 150 lbs.
If you’re looking for strictly a catch and release photo opportunity, consider trolling for some billfish. You’re more likely to snag a sailfish over a swordfish in June. But, this is because swordfish do not start to become active until late summer.
Yet, catching yellowfin tuna in the Dominican Republic should not be ruled out. Yellowfin season starts in March and wraps up at the end of June. The waters around the Dominican often produce tuna that are over 7 ft long and weigh over 400 lbs. Further, making it an ample destination to visit before the peak of hurricane season.
4. The Bahamas
The Bahamas are infamous for many things, from conch-inspired dishes to swimming pigs. Alas, it is also home to some of the largest hatcheries of bonefish. If you’re looking for a fishing package combined with a resort stay, take a look at the island of Bimini. Aside from that, if you’re not interested in targeting bonefish, Bimini has a well-rounded sport fishery. Bimini holds the record for a 971 lb bluefin tuna that was caught off the shoals.
However, on the Island, Andros is where all the bonefish action happens. So much so, that it’s dubbed the “bonefish capital of the world”. The best way to snag one is to wade into the shallow waters and cast a fly line.
5. Mississippi River Delta
The Mississippi River is the fourth-longest river in the world and runs over 3,900 miles from start to finish. It’s known for a plethora of fish species, and more notably for catfish. However, as it empties into the Gulf of Mexico, it forms a branched-out estuary system known as the Mississippi River Delta.
June marks the start of redfish season on the Mississippi River. Redfish are school fish, so it’s ideal to pay attention to your surroundings as they will give you clues. Anglers should look for flashes of red fins skirting the surface. Alternatively, look for hints from baitfish with scared mullets, herrings, or shrimp breaking the surface of the water. If trolling around a shallow, inlet, or mangroves look for the presence of crabs or crab shells. As the redfish are in season so are the bait and where one goes so does the other.
At their biggest, redfish can be 2 ½ to 3 feet long and can weigh over 50 lbs. It is impressive when there’s a school of 40 or more balled together. The current state record for a redfish caught in Louisiana occurred in June 1992 when a fish weighing 61 lbs got pulled from the water.
If you’re looking for a destination where you don’t have to worry about the weather, look no further than Belize. In June, you can expect a mostly sunny day with a quick little burst of rain. The water is warm, and the fish are plentiful around the shallow shores. Hence, fly fishing is excellent on any given day. Permit and bonefish are the main target species because of their abundance around June.
What may surprise you is the fact that Belize has risen to notoriety for its permit fishing over the past decade. So much so, that it has officially been coined as the “Permit Capital of the World.” However, don’t be surprised by the increased presence of tarpons as they hang before taking off in the late summer on their migratory route. Thus, June has proven time and time again to be a great time for tarpon fishing in Belize.
Grabbing the Gaff
From weather patterns, ocean climate, or migratory routes, June offers adventure fishing destinations in their prime. Nonetheless, now that you know where the best fishing destinations are, it’s time to get planning. Keep this list in mind of the most adventurous fishing destinations for June for years to come. So grab your sun lotion and charge your camera because whether you’re going after a trophy billfish, tuna or bonefish, you will surely want to snap a picture of your next adventure and trophy.