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Top Fishing Charters in Gulfport

Fishing in Gulfport

With a long fishing heritage and access to some of the best waters in the Gulf, Gulfport fishing charters can and will get you on that fish of a lifetime. Mississippi’s second city may be better known for its buzzing casinos, but the local fisheries are more exciting than any gambling hall. Whether you’re after shallow marshes, sandy barrier islands, vibrant reefs or deep bluewaters, Gulfport has it all.
Mississippi's Gulf Coast sits right in the middle of the “Fertile Fisheries Crescent”. This stretch of the Gulf of Mexico is one of the most important habitats in the entire country. Flounder, Redfish, and Speckled Trout swarm the shallows all year round, making for incredible inshore action. Hit the reefs, and you can find Grouper, Snapper, Amberjack, Cobia, and much, much more. And that’s not all! Make the journey out to the deep waters of the De Soto Canyon, and you could be battling Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, and even Marlin.

Types of Fishing

You can have a blast fishing in a few inches of water or rocket offshore to a thousand fathoms. You’ll have a great time wherever you go, and here are a few of the ways you could spend your day.

Inshore Fishing

If you’re a fan of big battles in shallow water, you may as well pull up stakes and move to Gulfport right now. Once you take a look at the incredible spots the city has access to, you’re not going to want to go home. The local marshes hold huge Speckled Trout (known locally as “Specks”) and monster Redfish all through the winter months. The grass beds around Cat Island are also outstanding and are the summer battleground for many an inshore angler.
But there are way more than just two species here. Sheepshead and Black Drum fill coolers throughout the winter, and summer nights come alive with Flounder gigging boats. Throw in huge migrations of Spanish Mackerel, Tripletail, and Tarpon, and you might wonder why anyone bothers going offshore.

Reef Fishing

Why do they go offshore? Oh yeah, for all the amazing reefs you can find out there. The season kicks off in April with the arrival of monster Cobia. These guys (or gals, as it’s the females that grow the biggest) are as fun to catch as they are good to eat. They signal the start of a six-month bottom fishing bonanza, and return in the fall to neatly close the season.
Again, there’s a lot more going on than just one fish. Red Snapper season gets mouths watering all along the Gulf, and Amberjack are well worth the rod-breaking effort of catching one. Strict closed seasons have been put in place to protect these species from overfishing. If it means they’re around for our grandkids, it’s well worth it, but you’ll need to book well in advance to fish in June and July. Otherwise, Grouper stay around into the fall and are also excellent food fare.

Deep Sea Fishing

Fishing charters out of Gulfport may not have the easy run that towns like Venice, LA enjoy, but the bluewater action is still outstanding. Head out on a 10 or 12-hour trip, and you could be fishing the legendary waters of the De Soto Canyon or the Mississippi Valley. Many species can be caught all year-round out in these waters, but rough conditions mean getting there is not for the faint-hearted.
During the summer, Gulfport deep sea fishing is on fire and the waters are much easier to get to. Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo - all your tasty big game favorites spend the hot months here. You can also enjoy great Billfishing for Sailfish, White Marlin, and even Blue Marlin. Whenever you think things can’t get any better, another huge gamefish shows up to prove you wrong.

Fishing Techniques

Gulfport fishing guides come from generations-long fishing families. They know what works and can get your coolers full of tasty fish faster than you could believe. If that’s what you’re after, sign up for some no-nonsense live baiting. Use light tackle and fresh Shrimp or Croakers to bring in Flounder, Redfish, and Trout by the dozen. If you want something with a bit more finesse, your captain will happily oblige. Troll spoons for Spanish Mackerel or throw topwater lures like plugs or jerkbaits for super-sized Specks and bull Reds worthy of the name.
The two species that locals really go crazy for are Tripletail and Cobia. Cobia fishing involves sending out a thick, oily chum slick and waiting for the fish to come to you. Pogies work the best for this, and the smell of them is enough to have first-time anglers leaning over the side of the boat. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as they say. Cobia certainly think so, and monsters up to 100 pounds will be drawn in from miles around.
Targeting Tripletail couldn’t be more different. The best way to catch these tasty little guys is to find them feeding around buoys offshore. Once you spot one, pick out a prize Shrimp from the tank, make sure it’s got plenty of fight left in it, then cast it 20 feet or so past the buoy on a cork bobber. As you slowly draw the shrimp back, it will prove irresistible to the famously boisterous Black Back.

Need to Know

You don’t need a license to fish aboard Gulfport fishing charters. If you want to head out on your own, you will need a saltwater license for everyone aged 16 and over. Order these up online or head to a local vendor when you get to town. 
We don’t want to sound like your mom, but remember to watch the weather when you’re fishing. The summer sun can be punishing if you don’t plan for it, and cold winds will chill you to the bone if you’re not dressed properly. Guides will always advise bringing sunscreen, a hat, shades, and one more layer of clothing than you think you’ll need.
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Gulfport Fishing Seasons

The weather can be unpredictable in January, and getting offshore is often impossible. Hit the marshes instead to enjoy endless hookups in dense schools of Specks and Redfish.

Trout and Redfish are still packed tightly into the shallows in February. Battle the cold winds and you’ll be rewarded with a cooler full of tasty fish. Black Drum and Sheepshead are also on fire.

The weather is a lot more pleasant in March, giving you even more reasons to head out in search of big hookups. Red and Black Drum, Speckled Trout, and Sheepshead top the bill.

Everyone’s waiting for the first sign of Cobia. Grouper start to show up on the reefs and Sheepshead move out of the shallows. King Mackerel are on fire, and Bonito are around in force.

Amberjack are usually open for harvest in May. The Cobia migration is in full swing, too, giving you even more reasons to hit the reefs. Inshore, Reds and Specks are getting bigger and meaner.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic and Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo offer huge prizes for ambitious anglers. Otherwise, it’s Red Snapper season! Head out and fill your freezer!

Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, White Marlin, and more are waiting for you in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. Red Snapper should still be open this time of year, and Cobia are often still around.

Amberjack is back on the menu in August The heat and high humidity can be punishing this time of year. If you can’t take it, head out at night to fish for Tarpon or gig for Flounder.

Tripletail are the talk of the town this time of year. Fishing for them is almost as enjoyable as eating them, so jump aboard and catch your fill. The reefs are still alive with Amberjack and Grouper.

October brings a welcome end to the scorching heat of summer. This is a great time to fish the oyster beds and shallow structure for Speckled Trout and Redfish. It’s your last chance to bag Amberjack.

Find the right spot, and you can hit your limits of Specks and Redfish in a couple of hours in November. There are a lot fewer boats out this time of year, too, meaning more water for you!

Sheepshead and Black Drum roll back into the bays in December. The Gulfport Harbor Winter Lights Festival will give you a healthy dose of seasonal cheer as you step aboard your boat.

Gulfport Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in Gulfport







Snapper (Red)

Snapper (Red)





Grouper (Black)

Grouper (Black)

Snapper (Yellowtail)

Snapper (Yellowtail)

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