Whether you’re just getting into the sport or you’re a lifelong fisherman looking to check off some destinations on your bucket list - you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to uncover the best fishing spots in the US.
It’s true - there are no bad days fishing. But let’s face it - certain spots provide an experience above and beyond the norm. These are the spots that you’ll tell stories about for years to come - and these are the spots that you’ll be eager to return to once you get a taste.
We’re going to unveil where you can find:
First and foremost, though, allow us to break down our criteria in selecting these spots.
What Makes The Best Fishing Spots In The US?
If you wander into any online forum talking about the best fishing in the US, you’ll get thousands of answers. Everyone seems to have a different favorite. Because the reality is, “the best” can get subjective when it comes to fishing spots. That’s why we’re going to explain the criteria we had in mind when selecting our list of the best places to fish in the USA. For us, it came down to three factors:
- Ease of access
- Quality of fishing
Ease of Access
Getting to and from these destinations is relatively easy. To us, part of what makes for a great fishing trip is the journey. You don’t just want to head up the road an hour - you want to travel somewhere new and exciting.
With that said, you may not want to travel 20 hours by car and then take a seaplane into your destination either. The spots we’ve selected are easily accessible and nearby towns with ample lodging, food, and other resources.
Quality of Fishing
Of course, it can’t be considered among the best fishing spots in the US if the fishing isn’t amazing! Nobody wants to spend the time and money getting to these destinations just to head home empty handed. Trust us - the fish are hungry on the spots we’ve selected for you. Better yet? They’re big! We’ve got some locations that are sure to have trophy fish just waiting for you.
Not only do the fish at the spot need to bite, they need to taste good, too. The destinations we’re going to share today are known for having the best fish in the world - and once you taste your catch, you’ll know why.
When we talk about quality of fishing, we also consider conditions in the area. Sure, the best ice fishing trips in the US may not have incredible weather. But, the rest of these spots are known for being great places to relax and wind down in general - the incredible fishing is just a bonus!
We’re nature geeks. For us, much of the fun with fishing trips is being outside and experiencing scenery we’ve never seen before. Maybe that’s the clear water and gorgeous beaches in the Florida Keys, or the cliffs of the north east in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Perhaps it’s the mountains of Alaska, or the wildlife of Montana. Whatever the case, one thing is for sure. You’re going to have your breath taken away at most of the spots on this list.
Best Fishing In The US Ranked: Top 8 Spots
Now that you know how we came up with our list of the best fishing in the US, let’s get right into it. We’re going to share what we deem to be the best places to fish in the US - but we’re interested to hear what yours are, too. Feel free to chime in at the end if you have your own suggestion. Without any further ado, let’s kick things off with our absolute favorite place to drop a line: the Colorado River.
The Colorado River (Utah)
The scenery along the Colorado River is off the charts. This body of water is long and winding, spanning from Utah to California and even down to Mexico. We love fishing this river in Utah in particular. You can enjoy the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains this way. We recommend you add this destination to your bucket list and visit it during summer for some of the best trout fishing and salmon fishing of your life.
Bighorn River (Montana)
Once you’re fishing the Colorado River, head up north to the Bighorn River in Montana. You’ll see some incredible sights along the way, and once you get there, you’ll be greeted by one of the best places to fish in the USA. Here, you will experience some of the best fly fishing in the US. While the river is home to some of the most highly sought after trout, like brown or rainbow, it does have a few drawbacks. For one, accessing the river isn’t always easy - and restrictions on fish are pretty tight. With that said, it is still worth making the trip - take our word for it.
Florida Keys (Florida)
Looking for some of the most diverse fishing of your life? Look no further than the Florida Keys. One reason we love the Florida Keys so much is the variety of fishing you can do on your trip. One day you can drop a line in the Atlantic sea for some of the best saltwater fishing of your life. The next day, you can head inland a bit for some backcountry swamp fishing, pulling in monster catfish. There are few other places you’ll have this experience!
Deschutes River (Oregon)
The Deschutes River runs through Oregon and offers some of the best trout fishing in the world - let alone the US. It’s also a great destination for fly fishing, especially on the lower end of the river. It offers incredibly wild and scenic sights as you wind your way down the river, and deserves a spot on every fisherman's bucket list.
Lake Champlain (New York/Vermont)
If you’re looking for the best bass fishing trips in the US, you’ll find it on the east coast. Particularly, at Lake Champlain. This lake splits the borders of New York and Vermont. It’s home to a wide variety of species, including all sorts of different bass families. There are even a variety of fishing guides and tours you can partake in if you’re looking for some help in catching the limit and experiencing all this lake has to offer.
Kobuk River (Alaska)
Are you looking to challenge yourself a bit? Want to come home with some rare fish you can brag about to your buddies? If so, make a trip to the Kobuk River in Alaska. This river is home to hard to catch fish like arctic grayling, chum salmon, northern pike, lake trout, and more. This is a fishing spot we only recommend to experienced anglers - otherwise, you’ll want to find a guide to help you make the most of your trip.
Cape Cod (Massachusetts)
For the best saltwater fishing in the US, head to Cape Cod. Here, you can choose to fish on shore or take your inflatable sailboat offshore. You’ll enjoy reeling in striped bass, mackerel, bluefin tuna, and more. You can fish this region year round, but make sure to visit this area before late fall for the best experience possible.
Lake of the Woods (Minnesota)
Looking to put together the best ice fishing trips possible? If so, Lake of the Woods in Minnesota should be at the top of your list. After all, the state is known as the land of 10,000 thousand lakes! Up north, these lakes freeze and create the best ice fishing in the US. This lake in particular offers ice shanties you can rent out.
Best Places To Fish In The USA For Specific Types Of Fishing: Quick Recommendations
If you’re looking for a very specific type of fishing trip, we’ve got you covered with some quick recommendations. Take our advice and you’re sure to create a memorable experience:
Final Thoughts On The Best Fishing Spots In The US
Well, there you have it - the best fishing in the US. We’ve covered the best fishing spots in the US for any type of fishing you have in mind. If you’re looking to truly elevate your experience, make sure you have the right gear for the destination. You can research each spot in depth to learn about the recommended bait, along with whether you should fish in the water or onshore.
For most of these spots, however, we recommend fishing from an inflatable boat like the TakaCat or the MiniCat. These inflatable boats make it easy to navigate these fishing spots - and then you can conveniently pack up and head to the next destination. Otherwise, you’ll have to go through the hassle of planning out a rental and fishing from a vessel you’re unfamiliar with at each destination. This is just one of the many reasons to own an inflatable boat as a fisherman!