10 Top Gulf of Mexico Fishing Hot Spots

A list of 10 favorite Gulf of Mexico fishing destinations.
Sam White
The Gulf of Mexico offers some of the most diverse angling opportunities found anywhere in the world. Deepwater drop-offs, oil and natural gas production platforms and even the mouth of the mighty Mississippi River all provide plenty of shots at a wide variety of pelagics including blue and white marlin, sailfish and swordfish. There are also yellowfin tuna and wahoo that often weigh well into the triple digits plus big mahi and a whole lot more. Here are ten of the best spots the Gulf has to offer.
VENICE, LOUISIANA: It's literally at the end of the Belle Chase Highway as you head down from New Orleans, but Venice serves as the ultimate gateway to the Gulf through the Mississippi Delta. Venice is nicknamed "Tuna Town" for good reason -- just about every boat in the offshore charter fleet is well versed in yellowfin tactics. Most captains are just as adept at chasing marlin as well should a blue or white pop up on a teaser.
Check out <a href="http://www.fishtrack.com/fishing-charts/east-gulf_60806" target="_blank">FishTrack's fishing charts</a> to find the latest conditions at DeSoto Canyon.
BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI: Located in the heart of Mississippi's coastline, Biloxi is famous for her beaches and casinos and a run of big blue marlin. Top crews come to Biloxi every year to fish for giant cash prizes in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Tournament, one of the most popular tournaments on the Gulf Coast billfish circuit.
GREEN CANYON: It's the land of monster marlin and because Green Canyon is located over 100 miles from Venice, it doesn't see much fishing pressure. Because of the distance, most boats will fish multiple days in the Canyon, usually starting from one end and rig-hopping their way down the line.
THE STEPS: While the run to the fish gets very long as you move down the Florida coastline, the fishing also tends to improve thanks to the remoteness of the locations and lack of fishing pressure. The Steps is a top location for not only blue marlin but also swordfish, which are targeted almost exclusively at night.
ORANGE BEACH, ALABAMA: Its got the smallest coastline of any state on the Gulf but Alabama makes the most of her shoreline, hosting a large number of tournaments throughout the summer. The Mobile Big Game Fishing Club is one of the oldest and most active clubs in the region, and their Labor Day and Memorial Day tournaments are legendary, often hosting more than 100 boats each year. Orange Beach is also home to the Blue Marlin Grand Championship and Orange Beach Billfish Classic.
Finding temperature breaks and color changes helps immensely when fishing the Gulf. Check out the latest fishing conditions at the deepwater rigs here.
TEXAS: Yep, that's right -- the entire state is a terrific sportfishing destination. Whether it's Galveston, Port O'Connor, Rockport, Port Aransas or any other Lone Star port of departure, it's entirely possible to target pelagics throughout the Texas coast. Texas is also becoming well known as a swordfish destination, producing some truly incredible broadbills (the current state record is a whopping 493 pounds). The culture and freewheeling hospitality of the locals is just a bonus.
DESTIN, FLORIDA: It's better to be lucky than good... Destin is known as "The World's Luckiest Fishing Village" and with one of the largest charter boat fleets on the Gulf Coast it's no wonder that Destin makes the list of hotspots. While many operations focus on the prolific bottom fishing, there's no shortage of top marlin crews. The sugar-white sand beaches and wide range of options for lodging and dining make Destin a family-friendly favorite. Check out the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin for a shot at a six-figure payday.
THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA: It's the most dominant geographic feature in the entire Gulf of Mexico and the Mighty Mississippi's influence on the region can't be understated. Fishing relatively close to shore around the mouth of the Mississippi River can be spectacular when the conditions are right, as billions of gallons of nutrient-rich water flush baitfish out into the Gulf -- where predators stack up around the rigs and drop-offs in ambush. Several big marlin in 2014 came from this area, so don't overlook it on your way offshore.

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