February 13, 2019

10 Big Saltwater Fish You Should Catch in Your Lifetime

big saltwater fish

Every fisherman wants to catch a fish so big that someone stuffs it and puts it on the wall. Depending on where you live that’s not always possible.

But in Texas. . . it is! You’ve heard that everything is bigger here and that includes the fish. Want to learn how to catch big saltwater fish and which to set your sights on?

Read below.

Everything is Bigger in Texas: The Big Saltwater 5

While we love fishing in Texas, obviously you’ll fish some other waters in your lifetime. And we’ll address the fish you should chase in those situations in the second part of this article.

But first, let’s look at what you should set your sights on in our beautiful Texas waters.

Ling or Cobia

Part of the fun of saltwater fishing is that these fish put up a bigger fight than little lake dwellers. The Cobia or Ling fish is no different – in fact, it’s an even more exciting catch.

Why? Because it likes to hang out near the surface of the water and will come right up to your boat. But once you have it hooked, it won’t give up easily. You can watch this beautiful fish fight you every step of the way.

Red Snapper

This is probably the fish we catch most often or the one we’re asked the most about – for good reason. They’re bigger than ever and traveling in giant schools. It’s almost hard not to catch a snapper if you chum the waters right.

Their gorgeous red skin makes for a beautiful profile picture and they taste great however you choose to cook them.

You’ll be more likely to find big snapper before the commercial fishermen snap them all up, so aim to catch them before June. You can still find them afterward, but they’ll be in more complex waters (like around rocks) after that.


We guess you could say Texas Gulf waters are a great place for all sorts of red-colored fish, including the aptly named redfish.

This gulf-coast delicacy is on the menu of seafood places year round. Why? Redfish are greedy and will eat or bite just about anything you put out for them.

Most people hook them with mullet but ask your charter captain what bait they use and why.

Depending on the bait you use, you could catch a redfish anywhere from 10-25 pounds. And if you get a big one, beware. They put up a good fight, they’re strong fish and you’ll really need to plant your feet.

But once you’ve shouldered it onto the boat, you can take it home feeling accomplished and eventually – well fed!

Speckled Trout

This is the white whale of Texas fish – the speckled trout. It’s a big, hard fighting fish that eludes even the best of fisherman. It’s known for stealing bait and getting away unscathed.

The good thing is that you can usually tell where the trout will be based on mullet populations. If you find a school of mullet, it’s likely some speckled trouts are hiding among their numbers.

They’re more flats fish than deep water, but your charter captain will work with you to choose the best fishing trip for your interest.


Finally, we’ve got our last and flattest saltwater fish. Texas is famous for its tasty and abundant flounder.

Unlike the other fish on this list, they’re easy to catch and there’s a lot of them, so they’re a good fish to put on your early goal list.

Other Assorted Legends

We’re going to leave the gulf now and talk about saltwater fish every fisherman dreams of catching. If you can afford the time and money to go catch one of these specimens, good for you.

Be sure to ask our crew if they’ve ever caught them and have them tell you that story – we promise it’ll be a good one!

Mahi Mahi

Ah, the Hawaiian Mahi Mahi, a giant fish with a giant attitude. These are a hard fish to catch because they’re so darn fast!

They can swim up to 50 miles per hour and don’t mind jumping into the air while hooked, almost pulling the rod out of your hands. Good luck catching this fishing legend!


Speaking of fish jumping, we have the Tarpon. They’re known not only for their size but for their ability to jump six to ten feet out of the water.

And to make it even more exciting, you can spot these giants in the shallows, if you find the right spot. Don’t forget a picture if you catch this jumping giant.


Probably the most beautiful and striking fish on this list, the Marlin is a hard catch. These fish get huge, up to the triple digits in pounds.

Their silvery scales make watching them fight you tooth and … scale a little more bearable if you manage to hook one. Buying Marlin in stores is sometimes impossible, if not extremely expensive, so if you do catch one, freeze some for a special occasion.


We’ve talked about a lot of fighting fish on this list, but Amberjacks are the heavyweight champions. You can fight with one for upwards of an hour – they do not want you to win.

If you catch one stand your ground and don’t give up, the final catch will be worth it!


These are some of the smallest big catches on this list, but they’re strong and fast. Their silvery almost white scales can make them hard to spot over white sand.

You’re in a for a fun catch if you can hook one and you can do it with a range of equipment.

Big Saltwater Fish

Which of these big saltwater fish were already on your to-catch bucket list? We’re always thrilled when our customers have a good day on the water, but also when they catch something they’ll talk about for the rest of their lives.

What can we help you catch? Let us know and we’ll help you plan a trip to get you that scaly trophy!

Ready to get started? Book your trip here

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