Maybe you prefer dropping a jig for fluke, or perhaps strapping into the fighting chair and tussling with a mako shark is more your style. Either way, the bite in June has you covered. From fights with giant tarpon in Florida to scuffles with king salmon in Alaska, the bite is on the rise right along with the mercury. With fishing this good, you’ll have a great chance of scoring big no matter what you chase. Be sure to check regulations before heading out.
BEST Seward, Alaska Monster king salmon tear through the waters of Resurrection Bay, near Seward, Alaska. June is a peak month to mine the Northwest for these brutes that are quick to slam trolled spoons and jigs.
RUNNER-UP Homer, Alaska This town on Kachemak Bay plays host to the massive schools of kings that turn on in early June.
BEST Key Largo, Florida Looking for shots at peanut dolphin? Then head somewhere else because June is the best month for bulls up to 50 pounds off Key Largo. To master three sure-fire ways to fool big dolphin.
RUNNER-UP Venice, Louisiana Now is a great time to fish the Gulf oil rigs and bang a few bulls with chum and surface lures.
BEST Newport, Rhode Island Trophy striped bass feeding around the rocky coast of Newport give both surf and boat fishermen plenty to brag about. Large lures that mimic bunker, eels or mackerel score in a big way.
RUNNER-UP Montauk, New York Striped bass run rampant in the rips around Montauk Point. At night, live eels are the ticket.
BEST Riviera, Texas They say, “Everything’s bigger and better in Texas”—redfish included. The bull reds that prowl Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay are suckers for fresh shrimp worked deep on channel edges or under a popping cork.
RUNNER-UP Biloxi, Mississippi The waters around Biloxi are thick with redfish throughout the month.
BEST Islamorada, Florida With the migration ending, June is arguably the best month to nail tarpon pushing the 200-pound mark in the Keys. Whether you cast flies in skinny water or jig the depths, always lower the rod when a silver king takes flight.
RUNNER-UP Hilton Head island, South Carolina It’s not as famous as the Keys, but Hilton Head sees a good tarpon run.
BEST Hatteras, North Carolina For the hottest summer flounder bite, anglers need to go deep—50 to 60 feet below the surface, that is. When a fish strikes, drop back and let it eat the bait. You’ll have the fishbox stuffed in no time.
RUNNER-UP Virginia Beach, Virginia Doormat flounder are eager to strike strip baits around nearshore wrecks and lumps.
BEST Barnegat Light, New Jersey If you crave a fight with a high-flying mako, motor 40 to 60 miles off Barnegat Inlet and chum the lumps and wrecks. Even when fishing at anchor, adding a skirt to your leader can incite more strikes.
RUNNER-UP Atlantic Beach, New York As water temperatures climb, makos can be found on the move off Long Island.
BEST St. Thomas This tropical island is a summer hideout for massive blue marlin. When fishing on the troll, stay on the lookout for small clusters of birds as they often follow billfish that are cruising just below the surface.
RUNNER-UP Bahamas Blue marlin are quick to make their presence known in trolling spreads off the Bahamas.
BEST Bahamas If light-tackle tuna is your thing, jet off to the Bahamas for fights with speedy blackfin on spinning gear. These scrappers are easily chummed up and provide explosive strikes on poppers and other surface lures.
RUNNER-UP Turks and Caicos Islands Blackfin tuna are easy marks for anglers fishing around this small island chain.
BEST San José, Guatemala The numbers of sailfish that pass through Guatemalan waters are truly astounding, and June is the perfect month to get on the chase. Come prepared for battle, as days with 50 or more fish are nothing new.
RUNNER-UP Cancun, Mexico The numerous big sails off Mexico keep both fly and conventional anglers busy.
BEST La Paz, Mexico Roosterfish amp up the action in June in the waters off La Paz. During this first month of the peak season, big roosters go on feeding frenzies around inshore dropoffs, and threadfin herring are the meal of choice.
RUNNER-UP Puerto Jiménez, Costa Rica Heavy roosters ravage baitfish schools around this Osa Peninsula city.
All Illustrations: Florida Department of Conservation, by Diane Peebles; except Striped Bass and Summer Flounder: Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries; King Salmon and Roosterfish: Emily Damstra