August brings the dog days of summer, with heat so hot that time seems to slow. However, this is the complete opposite when it comes to fishing. Game fish, sports fish, or any reason to fish, anglers will find some of the best fishing during this time. August signals the weather changes of the seasons to come, with seasonably warm water in the tropics and pre-season spawning appetites found near trout and salmon rivers. Here is our list of the Best Fishing Destinations found in the US and internationally in the month of August.

Best August Fishing for US Destinations

1. New Mexico

The next time you are planning a fly-fishing trip, you should consider New Mexico; especially in the month of August. With the stone flies and grasshoppers being dominant lures in June and July, the appetite of fish accelerates ahead of the pre-spawning frenzy. Thus, this means all flies; dry and wet flies work. 

The mountains offer chilled water that comes as a welcoming refresher from the heat, with most anglers opting to go without waders. The Gila River offers some of the best trout fishing in New Mexico, known for the elusive Gila trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout.

2. Lake Michigan

Although the salmon run is best known on the Great Lakes as being at the beginning of autumn, this is a misconception. On the Great Lakes, the salmon run starts in August as the fish return to spawning rivers from the cold water where they escaped the summer heat. Therefore, it is possible to nab a Chinook or coho salmon near the Michigan shorelines, with the Muskegon River being one of Michigan’s best spawning rivers.

Thus, the fish are more aggressive and come with a large hunger, and 30+ lb monsters are likely. To catch one of these freshwater kings, opt for trolling from a boat or hiring a charter. Chinook will require a downrigger or planer board set up. While coho prefers shallower water and with luck can be targeted from the shore. Regardless of the species, be sure to stock up on heavier blue and silver spoons.

3. Louisiana

people walking on wooden dock during daytime

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When Louisiana comes to mind, chances are you think of sports fish like swordfish or tuna. But, in the month of August, these sought-after fighters are driven toward the Mississippi River Delta thanks to warmer water. In reality, an angler can catch a largemouth bass, a blue marlin, mangrove snapper, red snapper, or yellowfin tuna all in one day.

As for targeting swordfish, it’s best to troll using a squid as tried and tested bait. This is best achieved by feeding a well-hidden J-hook through a small slit in the mantle of a squid. On the other hand, blue runners are abundant fish to use in attracting yellowfin tuna. Outriggers are the preferred method, with a J-hook feed through a fish head. Alternatively, chumming the water with cut bait will lure yellowfin tuna to the surface, snapping up food and lines.

4. Montana

Montana is a catacomb of premiere fly-fishing rivers. However, the Flathead River is of notoriety in August since the water levels drop. Don’t be fooled, this 28-mile river can be challenging, with rocky outcrops, many forks, side channels, and waterlogged or down trees being notable obstacles. 

Moreover, it is one of the few rivers where the native westslope cutthroat trout is present, with other species like rainbow trout, whitefish, and lake trout.  You’ll find the best luck with dry flies, with daddy longlegs and nymph patterns being the most popular.

5. The US Virgin Islands

brown and green island on blue sea under white clouds during daytime

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August marks the start of the Blue Marlin season. It is said, based on spawning cycles and the lunisolar calendar, that two weeks before and one week after the August full moon is the best time to catch one. But, there are more sports fish that eager anglers can target. With dolphinfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, and even white marlin found throughout this time.

The North Drop is world-famous for deep-sea fishing and can easily be accessed by boat from St. John and St. Thomas. Additionally, if fishing from St. Croix, it’s best to set out to Lang Bank if targeting these billfish.

Best August Fishing in International Destinations

6. Costa Rica

Costa Rica might be infamous for many things, from howler monkeys to jaguars, and the rainforest. But, when considering Costa Rica, what many may not know, it is a top destination when it comes to billfish. Marlin are abundant, but anglers can get lucky with tuna, dorado, roosterfish, grouper, and snapper.

When planning a trip to target marlin, the top locations are Los Suenos and Quepos. Los Suenos is found near Jaco and is the “Billfish Capital of the World”. Whereas, Quepos is known for blue, black, and stripe marlin.

7. Baja California Peninsula, Mexico

black and white fish under water

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The province of Baja California may not ring any bells at first mention when it comes to renowned fishing, but it is a hidden gem in western Mexico. With the Sea of Cortez at your disposal, the interior shores offer some of the best fishing in August. There are six sports fish that anglers can target. With the allure of dolphinfish, yellowfin tuna, marlin, sailfish, grouper, and snapper.

If you would like to plan a trip for yourself, there are several fishing locations to consider, with Loreto being the most popular. That isn’t to imply that these locations aren’t as fishing worthy. In fact, they may be a little harder to access, which entails the fishing could be more bountiful. These alternatives include Coronado Island, Carmen Island, Danzante Island, Montserrat Island, and Santa Catalina Island.

8. Ambergris Caye, Belize

Belize is known as the “Permit Capital of the World”. While fishing is great from June to September, the fishing in north Belize is exceptional in the month of August. Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island and although known for fishing, it’s also a top scuba location for the famous Deep Blue Hole.

That being said, anglers can wade into the warm shallows, with nothing more than a fly rod. Favorites like tarpon, bonefish, permit, and reef fish are plentiful here. With less common fish being snook and jack crevalle. Here’s a tip: opt for flies in tan, orange, and pink in shrimp and crab styles if packing your own gear.

9. Jardines de la Reina, Cuba

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Image Credit: Alejandro Castillo Lopex via Unsplash

Cuba should not be counted out when it comes to sport fishing. A little-known fact is that the Jardines de la Reina is a marine park larger than the Florida Keys. Some of the largest tarpons of the Caribbean are found here. Alas, anglers can get esthetic for a permit, bonefish, barracuda, and jack crevalle. With an abundance of salt flats and estuaries to choose from, avid fishermen can jump from locations as they please.

If you would like to travel to Jardines de la Reina for yourself, fly into the Cuban province of Ciego de Avila and charter a boat from the port of Juraco. 

Line in During August

Whether you’re knee-deep in the spring mountain water of  New Mexico or bobbing off the coast of Costa Rica, August presents the best fishing. Regardless if you’re targeting saltwater or freshwater species, there’s no such thing as a bad catch. August signals the changing of the seasons, with deep water fish daring to near the shore and migratory fish preparing to complete their lifecycles. But, don’t take our Hook and Bullet’s word for granted, get planning and go and explore with this list of the best fishing destinations in August.