Where to Fish in June

Find the best spots to find your favorite species as summer kicks into form throughout North America, the Caribbean, Mexico and more

The Salt Water Sportsman editors list the best two locations to go in June for your favorite saltwater species, plus notes for each location about why the bite there is hot.

Pacific Blue Marlin

Pacific blue marlin
Pacific blue marlinIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Hawaii
Second choice: Ecuador

This month hot blue marlin action comes to ­Hawaiian waters, where plenty of 400- to 600-pounders—and the occasional beast exceeding 800 pounds—will be hooked for the next couple of months. Historically, the June bite has been better off Oahu and Molokai. In Ecuador’s Marlin Boulevard, it’s peak time for blues. Now is when boats raise as many as a half-dozen per day, especially off Manta.

Atlantic Blue Marlin

Atlantic blue marlin
Atlantic blue marlinIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Dominican Republic
Second choice: U.S. Virgin Islands

This month the best action moves eastward, away from Dominican shores, but local and visiting game boats still find plenty of blues within reach, and many raise multiple fish per outing. Meanwhile, the number of blue marlin patrolling the famous North Drop near St. Thomas steadily increases as current upwellings aggregate bait on the edge of the 10-mile stretch.

Black Marlin

black marlin
Black marlinIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Panama
Second choice: Costa Rica

The first drop, some 12 miles off Jaque, Panama, should have a fair number of blacks, and even more fish will be on the hunt off the northern Pacific coast of the Central American nation, particularly off Montuosa and Jicaron islands. Just north, the FADs and seamounts off Costa Rica produce solid numbers of black marlin, sometimes two or three at a time during short-lived flurries.

White Marlin

White marlin
White marlinIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Dominican Republic
Second choice: Bermuda

Boats out of Punta Cana in the northeastern D.R. still find willing whites, but not as close to port this month, forcing longer runs into La Mona Passage. Meanwhile, Bermuda anglers benefit from the annual migration of white marlin that sends waves of fish from the eastern Caribbean past the island, en route to mid-Atlantic waters off the coasts of North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland.

Atlantic Sailfish

Atlantic sailfish
Atlantic Sailfish
Atlantic sailfishIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida
Second choice: North Carolina

The South Florida spring sailfish run that in years past usually ended in May seems to extend into June nowadays, and banner days from the Keys to Stuart aren’t unusual. Staggering live baits from the surface to 50 feet below helps draw more strikes this time of year. In North Carolina, the peak of spindlebeak season is still some six weeks away, but two or three hookups a day is common in June.

Pacific Sailfish

Pacific sailfish
Pacific sailfishIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Guatemala
Second choice: Costa Rica

Guatemala sailfish numbers drop some in June, which also tends to be a wet month. And while the bites don’t jump back up to staggering heights until October, local fleets still scratch half a dozen or more releases during most charters. In Costa Rica, action off Los Sueños and Quepos is sporadic, but anglers visiting Flamingo and Tamarindo enjoy reliable sailfishing and pleasant weather.

Striped Marlin

striped marlin
Striped marlinIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Mexico
Second choice: Ecuador

Cabo San Lucas striped marlin fishing remains the world’s best, but it takes a slight downturn in June with the arrival of higher summer temperatures. Nevertheless, tallying two to five releases is attainable if using live caballitos (goggle-eyes) for bait. In the Galapagos, the Humboldt Current cools the water and the fishing, but the 88 Bank and other hotspots well offshore should yield six or more raises a day.

Wahoo

Wahoo
WahooIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Bermuda
Second choice: Hawaii

Fishing for ’hoos around Bermuda’s Argus and Challenger banks is as reliable as it gets, with plenty of 25- to 40-pounders to go around, and some 60-pound torpedoes in the mix to spice things up. In the Pacific, Hawaii presents the next best option. Ono, as wahoo are called there, peak in Hawaiian waters in June and July. While most fall within the 25- to 40-pound range, fish as heavy as 124 pounds have been caught off Oahu.

Yellowfin Tuna

yellowfin tuna
Yellowfin tunaIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Hawaii
Second choice: Bermuda

Trolling a spread of medium-size lures lets boats cover water fast and intercept yellowfins on the move in Hawaiian waters, where 75- to 150-pounders will be plentiful this month. If you don't mind slightly smaller tuna, live-baiting just off Oahu’s famous North Shore is even more reliable. In Bermuda, tuna flurries are fewer and farther between, but live-baiting is still effective, and chunking pays off too.

Bluefin Tuna

bluefin tuna
Bluefin tunaIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Massachusetts
Second choice: Rhode Island

New England waters are home to the highest concentrations of bluefins this time of year, with both schoolies and giants widespread. In Massachusetts, Cape Cod Bay, the sand shoals east of Chatham, Jeffreys Ledge, and both Stellwagen and Tillies banks should produce. In Rhode Island, the Dump, an offshore spot some 50 miles south of Block Island, is another consistent tuna hangout.

Bonefish

bonefish
Bonefish
BonefishIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Bahamas
Second choice: Turks and Caicos

June is one of the most reliable months for bones on Bahamian flats. Breezes are most often gentle, and temperatures don’t yet reach the extreme highs common in July and August. The fish will remain active throughout the day, but mornings will provide the best chances to connect. In neighboring Turks and Caicos, expect a similar weather pattern. So, get on the water early and follow the bones as they move up the flats.

Snook

snook
SnookIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida
Second choice: Belize

Florida remains the world’s top destination for anglers intent on picking a fight with a linesider, and June happens to be one of the best months to do it as snook congregate in inlets, passes and beaches, and feed aggressively in preparation for spawning. Belize’s coastal rivers and creeks also promise consistent snook action. Try fishing from just outside the mouth to the second or third bend.

Tarpon

Tarpon
Tarpon
TarponIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida
Second choice: Belize

The annual migration is still underway in Florida, so tarpon will be plentiful, but this month many turn around and head east in the Florida Keys, then north farther up the Atlantic Coast, or west along the Big Bend and the Panhandle. Bridges, inlets and passes are top spots for live-baiters; beaches and flats are best for fly and lure casters. June also brings lots of tarpon to Belize’s flats and shoals, but action peaks in July.

Permit

Permit
Permit
PermitIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Belize
Second choice: Florida

The abundance of permit—of all sizes—makes Belize a perennial hotspot for sickle-tail seekers. Fly-fishing gets most of the publicity, but a number of local guides will catch small crabs to use for bait, if requested in advance. In Florida, most permit have finished spawning on the wrecks and are back prowling the flats and beaches. Count on finding more fish on the shallows of Miami’s Biscayne Bay and the Keys.

Red Drum

red drum
Red DrumIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Louisiana
Second choice: North Carolina

The entire Louisiana coast is flush with reds this time of year as they find plenty of forage and spread throughout the region. Look for keeper-size fish in the marshes, or outside islands and shoals if it’s bulls you're after, and pay attention to points, channels, and entrances to lakes and bays, where bait congregates. In North Carolina, reds hunt grass lines and oyster bars from Pamlico Sound to the Swansboro marshes.

Striped Bass

striped bass
Striped bassIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Massachusetts
Second choice: New York

Baitfish schools push up the Northeast Coast with the warming water temperatures, with hungry stripers on their trail. Some of the fish feed along the beaches, and others enter bays to look for prey in protected waters. Expect the bass fisheries in Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Chatham and Buzzard Bay in Massachusetts, and Montauk and Long Island Sound in New York, to heat up fast this month.

Swordfish

swordfish
Swordfish
SwordfishIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida
Second choice: Cayman Islands

June provides broadbill hunters in Florida with plenty of opportunities; in fact, it’s common for boats to hook more than two fish per trip, day or night, and calmer seas make for comfortable fishing. In the Cayman Islands, South Florida tactics are old hat for local captains, who have consistent success off Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman, with the first producing bigger fish.

King Mackerel

king mackerel
King mackerelIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida
Second choice: Georgia

A large portion of the Gulf of Mexico’s kingfish stock stages off the Florida Panhandle and Alabama coast this month, before continuing west toward Louisiana and Texas. On the Atlantic Coast, the schools that terrorized baitfish off northern Florida in May invade a number of Georgia reefs between Golden Isles and Savannah, where they’ll spend about eight weeks before moving north to the Carolinas.

Bluefish

Bluefish
BluefishIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: New York
Second choice: New Jersey

Hordes of voracious blues have been eating their way up the mid-Atlantic, and this month they arrive en masse off New Jersey and New York, where they’ll find plenty of baitfish schools along the beaches and inside the inlets to keep them happy for a while. Expect packs of the real bruisers to increasingly take up residence on wrecks inside New York Bight as July approaches.

Dolphin

mahimahi
DolphinIllustration by Keilani Rodriguez

First choice: Florida
Second choice: North Carolina

It’s hard to beat South Florida waters this month if it’s dolphin you’re after. Schools of peanuts and grasshoppers, and pairs and trios of slammers patrol weed lines and inspect just about any floating object bigger than a trash-can lid, so run-and-gun tactics pay off. Other mahi continue northward, cruising off North Carolina with the Gulf Stream, foraging on flying fish and whatever else they come across.