Seasonal ecological effects caused by temperature and photoperiod are typically considered minimal in the tropics. Nevertheless, annual climate cycles may still influence the distribution and abundance of tropical species. Here, we investigate whether seasonal patterns of precipitation and wind speed influence the structure of coastal fish assemblages and fishing yields in northeast Brazil. Research trips were conducted during the rainy and dry seasons using commercial boats and gear to sample the fish community. Diversity was analyzed using abundance Whittaker curves, diversity profiles and the Shannon index. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to analyze associations between the abundance of species and various environmental variables related to seasonality. A total of 2,373 fish were collected, representing 73 species from 34 families – 20 of which were classified as both frequent and abundant. Species richness was greater and more equitable during the rainy season than the dry season – driven by changes in the precipitation rather than to wind speed. Species diversity profiles were slightly greater during the rainy season than the dry season, but this difference was not statistically significant. Using PCA was identified three groups of species: the first associated with wind speed, the second with precipitation, and the third with a wide range of sampling environments. This latter group was the largest and most ecologically heterogeneous. We conclude that tropical coastal fish assemblages are largely influenced by local variables, and seasonally mediated by annual changes related to precipitation intensity and wind speed, which in turn influences fishery yields.