Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Whether we are bottomfishing or trolling, it doesn’t get much better than what we have available here in South Florida. Our coast is known for catching both pelagics and bottomfish year-round, so you can bet that if you are using the right baits, you will find a good bite close by. My favorite inlet is Palm Beach, where you can run 30 minutes, put the lines in and you’re almost guaranteed to catch a sailfish or mahimahi. With great wrecks, reefs and landmarks all along the east coast of Florida, we truly live in a fisherman’s paradise.
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Although I have a fishing business located at Los Sueños Resort and Marina in Costa Rica, my favorite destination is right in my backyard: the Calcasieu estuary in southwest Louisiana. I was blessed to grow up duck hunting and fishing for trout and redfish, as well as chasing marlin in the offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I spent many days of my youth guiding fishing and hunting trips out of the legendary Hackberry Rod and Gun Club. Calcasieu has incredible trophy trout fishing and a redfish fishery that is just as amazing. In the Gulf, the deepwater platforms hold all the pelagic species, particularly blue marlin and big tuna.
West Palm Beach, Florida
I have been blessed to fish all over the planet with a lot of great boat owners, captains, friends and family over the years, and I can’t count the number of billfish I’ve released. Some of my favorites have been Australia, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Cabo San Lucas, Costa Rica and too many others to list. But it’s always nice to come home to the United States, right where it all started. Pick the right month and the East Coast — from north to south — has great fishing. My favorite spot is the Gulf of Mexico, though. It’s hard to beat the variety at the rigs, where you can catch whites, sails, blue marlin, tuna and wahoo, plus great bottomfishing as well. That’s my choice.
There’s no denying that the Florida Keys are my go-to place when it comes to fishing in the United States. The Keys have the Atlantic waters on one side, and on the other, the Gulf of Mexico. This means there are so many different fish species that inhabit and migrate through these areas. You can be catching sailfish, dorado and wahoo offshore one day and go bonefishing on the flats the next. And the Keys are known to be a top destination for divers as well, with their pristine clear waters and beautiful coral. One thing you have to be careful of, though, is getting the “Keys Disease”: never wanting to leave.