Updated on August 15, 2022
Labor Day Weekend falls perfectly between summer and fall which is often when the first signs of cooler weather show up. Regardless of the water or fish you want to target, these seasonal changes bring on the bite. To help you pick the perfect trip, here’s our top five fishing destinations for Labor Day Weekend fishing charters.
Lake Ida and Lake Worth are north of Delray Beach and a freshwater fishing experience you won’t find anywhere else. What makes the fishing in these lakes so special is the exotic species that thrive in the tropical Florida climate. Peacock bass and clown knifefish are usually found in Brazil or Cambodia but now they dominate Lake Ida and Lake Worth providing anglers with a truly unique experience. These waters are known for largemouth bass, peacock bass, and clownknife fish but there are more species you can catch here. Native species include bluegill, sunfish, sunshine bass, and catfish but if you want to chase more exotic species, spotted tilapia, Oscars, and Mayan cichlids are also abundant.
With shallow water and about 135 miles of shoreline, Lake Okeechobee has plenty of spots to find fish. Vegetation and structure are abundant throughout the lake which is the perfect cover for fish to hide or hunt. The ideal conditions allow for a variety of species to thrive including bluegill, crappie, catfish, pickerel, bowfin, gar, and sunfish. This lake is a frequent stop on the Bassmaster Elite Series and double-digit bass routinely show up at weigh-ins.
With Lake Ida and Lake Worth to the north and Lake Okeechobee to the west, there is no shortage of freshwater fishing opportunities.
Charleston is a unique city that has some of the best sportfishing in the country. The incredible fishing and laid-back culture attract visitors from across the country for Labor Day Weekend. With easy access to the Gulf Stream and prime inshore spots, fishing in Charleston is a unique opportunity.
One of the most popular ways to target redfish in Charleston is on the fly. The best fly fishing in Charleston SC is done in the maze of intertidal creeks and flats that surround the city. Fly fishing allows anglers to exploit productive skinny waters that Redfish feed in. Visible "tailing" Reds are easily recognizable as they prowl the shallows in search of crabs, shrimp, or baitfish.
Within the Gulf Stream, blue water holes, reefs, and banks are the best spots to find big fish. With hundreds or maybe thousands of reefs and wrecks, the bottom fishing is hard to beat. Every captain has their favorite spots but when it comes to fishing the Gulf Stream, It’s hard to go wrong when the fish are everywhere.
Trolling the edge of deep reefs and ledges will bring on bites from sailfish, wahoo, mahi mahi, kingfish, tuna, and marlin. Wahoo are regularly caught in the area giving anglers the chance to catch one of the fastest and most delicious fish in the sea. With the smaller white marlin biting throughout the year and the bigger blue marlin hitting its peak in the warmer months.
If you want to hit one of the best spots in the gulf for inshore and nearshore action then Port Aransas is the place to be. Everyone has a good time in Port Aransas, and the town gets plenty crowded on Labor Day Weekend. Port A has the perfect balance between being a popular coastal town and an ideal fishing location. Fishing guides target both inshore and offshore saltwater species, and there are even popular jetties that hold a variety of fish. Much of the town is open to golf cart driving, which instantly provides a fun-loving, vacation town vibe. With a solid mix of beach and bay activities, Port A is a terrific town for any fishing or family trip to the coast.
The Emerald Coast of Florida (along with the small coastline of Alabama) is located in an advantageous position because of its proximity to the Continental Shelf. Destin is closer to deep water than any other point in the Gulf and for anglers fishing the emerald coast, this means easy access to giant deep-sea fish. Since Destin is one of the top vacation spots in the U.S. it makes sense that it’s also a popular place for fishing and festivities on Labor Day.
Common reef fish include grouper, snapper, and amberjack. Cobia are abundant here as well and can be found near structure or out cruising the open water.
Billfish can be great late afternoon and if you stick around on an overnight charter, the swordfishing can be excellent after dark if you’re willing to burn the midnight oil and crack a few glow sticks. Blue marlin are a treat when going past the shelf for pelagic species. Destin offshore is known as a haven for big blue marlin and the trophy opportunities which draw in a ton of anglers on Labor Day.
Venice is the perfect laid-back town to beat the crowd and experience top-notch fishing. Venice has a reputation for producing massive fish and is a top destination for anglers. The Mississippi River created the landmass that Venice sits on and cut a deep channel in the seafloor which creates some of the best fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Also known as the Tuna Capital of the Gulf, Venice is a bucket list location for any angler that loves to chase pelagic species.
Venice is 70 miles south of New Orleans which makes it the closest location in the Gulf to deep water capable of holding big fish. Warm water pouring into the Gulf where the seafloor drops away quickly means the bite is hot year round. If the tuna and marlin weren’t enough the fishing for wahoo, mahi-mahi, and kingfish also happens to be top-notch. Whether you want to troll or drop live bait these fish will crush anything that looks like food and peel line off the reel. These fish are some of the fastest fish in the ocean and if you hook into a big one, long runs are to be expected.
Surrounded by a maze of marsh, channels, and other structures, the inshore fishing is also incredible. Venice has also been dubbed The Redfish Capital of the World, and for good reason. In the summertime, Tarpon stop by the bays and bayous around Venice on their yearly migration around the gulf. Hooking into "The Silver King" on the bayou is an experience no angler will forget. For the ultimate challenge, hit the backcountry with a fly rod. Tarpon are never a guarantee, but you'll have your hands full with massive Redfish and Speckled Trout.