Updated on April 20, 2022
Fishing is one of the most popular activities in the U.S. and is a great way to experience some of the best seafood available. Here are five of the best fish to eat that you can catch on your next trip to the coast.
Out of all the big pelagic species anglers pursue, tuna species are some of the most sought-after fish as table fare. The two most popular species in the U.S. are yellowfin and bluefin tuna, which happen to be great fighters. These fish can be caught by trolling or drifting offshore, and because of their size, getting a bite can bring a big reward. Tuna have rich red meat that is delicious—whether it’s cooked or eaten raw. If you like fish, eating tuna fresh off the boat is as good as it gets.
There are many species of salmon that are delicious, with the most common species being the Atlantic salmon. Whether you catch them in the ocean or the river, these fish have delicious, orange fatty meat that is perfect for smoking, searing, or eating raw. Salmon species can be found in cool waters on either coast, which means they can be caught almost anywhere. As an added bonus, salmon roe or eggs are a delicacy enjoyed by many seafood enthusiasts around the world.
Wahoo are popular sportfish because they are one of the fastest fish in the ocean and can grow to over 100 pounds. These aggressive fish often hunt in groups and are caught while trolling in offshore waters. As table fare, they’re less well known than tuna or salmon, but anyone who has eaten them knows their firm white flaky meat is some of the best. Wahoo are just as fun to catch as they are to eat, so if they are in season on your next trip, it’s worth taking some time to target them.
Red snapper can be found in restaurants just as often as in the freezer of many anglers. Because of their size and accessibility, these fish are one of the most popular target species of anglers in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Red snapper live on the reefs and other deep structures in nearshore and offshore waters. Red snapper trips consist of bottom fishing, which is a relaxing way to spend the day on the water while also possibly catching huge fish. Their tender meat and mild flavor are highly prized by chefs everywhere because they can be prepared in a variety of ways. If you haven’t had the chance to catch or eat red snapper, book a trip and find out why everyone loves this fish.
Black drum and redfish (red drum) are a fan favorite among inshore anglers because of their strength as well as their light meat. Redfish specifically have become one of the most sought after fish. Whether you like tailing them on the fly in the flats, or casting for them in the bays, this fish is exhilarating to catch. Both species of drum can grow over three feet long and are incredibly strong, making catching them on light tackle a rewarding challenge. If you are looking for an easily accessible fishing trip that will put you on a fish that is both powerful and makes for a great meal, head to the coast in the fall or spring to get in on the action.