Best Destinations for Fishing Hobbyists
Fishing is one of America’s greatest pastimes. Whether it’s casting a line to put dinner on the table or simply to enjoy some catch and release fun, fishing is something that anyone can do. The U.S. is blessed with some of the world’s most prized fishing destinations, spread out across its many lakes, rivers, and deep sea fishing hotspots.
From coast to coast, fishermen and fisherwomen can go after everything from beautiful rainbow trout to giant swordfish. We thought we’d gather some of the best fishing spots in the nation that nearly guarantee you’ll be consistently reeling in some prize catches.
Trout Fishing in Elkhorn Creek, West Virginia
Many consider West Virginian’s Elkhorn Creek to be one of the best trout catching streams in the states. These waters are home to record-breaking rainbow and brown trout. While neither of these fish are native to the state, they have thrived in the consistently cold creek since they were released decades ago.
Rainbow trout were released into Elkhorn when a DNR hatchery truck broke down nearby and the driver felt the only option of them surviving was to release them in the creek. Brown trout were later released by the DNR in the 1990s. Both reproduced and began to grow quite large thanks to a catch-and-release policy that has been encouraged by guides and local authorities for decades. This means there are some big fish (24″-32″) in the river that can give even the most experienced fishing enthusiasts a fight.
Organized fishing trips and tours are offered in the community of Landgraff, and come highly recommended. The big fish can be elusive in these parts, and you need old knowledge to help guide you to the right spots at the right time of the day if you want to reel in a big one. The month of May is considered to be a prime time to fish the Elkhorn Creek which runs along U.S. Route 52.
Fish for Giant Pike in Lake Placid, New York
The Northeast offers some of the best year-round fishing in the country. There are a wide variety of species to catch in these parts including walleye, pike, sturgeon, perch, salmon, and four different types of trout including nice brook and lake trout.
Lake Placid is a village in New York’s Adirondack Mountains that is home to a number of great fishing lakes and rivers including the aptly named Lake Placid which the village is named after. Lake Placid and its sisters Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake make up the Tri-Lakes region which becomes a hotspot for fishing during spring. In addition to Lake Placid’s lakes, the regions West Branch of the Ausable River provides year-round catch-and-release opportunities for several varieties of fish.
There is no shortage of spots to choose from around Lake Placid, keeping accommodation prices competitive across the region, and there are tours available for just an afternoon of fishing or for days and nights camping on the shores of the lakes and streams, weather permitting.
Reel in some Truly Monster Swordfish off Miami Beach, Florida
If you’re looking to land a fish that’s bigger than you, head just a short distance out to sea away from the decadent shores of Miami Beach, Florida. It is here in the blue Atlantic that you can tackle some of the biggest fish in the ocean. Miami is known for its incredible deep sea fishing and you can easily charter a boat for a half or full day of fishing. You’ll be able to enjoy incredible sport fishing for sailfish, tuna, tarpon, and swordfish and target extremely tasty fish like grouper, snapper, and mahi-mahi.
While the Atlantic offers incredible deep sea fishing, great fishing can also be found in the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay. You can certainly fish all year round in Miami, however, the best conditions are often found from late fall until spring. If you love to fish, you simply have to fish at least once in your life off the coast of Miami. You can even go after shark if you‘re looking for a truly epic fishing experience.
Sailfish: Photo courtesy of Bmacdona~commonswiki
Fish for Albacore Tuna and Coho Salmon off the Pacific Coast in Ilwaco, Washington
Heading to the other side of the U.S., you’ll find more great sea fishing off the coast of Washington State. This part of the world is famous for its razor clam grounds and recreational Dungeness crab fishing, especially around the city of Ilwaco. Located on the southern edge of the Long Beach Peninsula, the city also offers incredible fishing. Ilwaco sits on the north side of Columbia River which flows out to the Pacific Ocean, allowing visitors to catch both freshwater and saltwater species.
The area’s Chinook and coho salmon, as well as its Albacore tuna, are often the focus of most fishing tourists, but make sure you go inland to experience Ilwaco’s well-stocked rivers and lakes such as Black Lake and Loomis Lake. Fishing the Columbia River takes a lot of skill and you need to learn how to read the tides and currents. This region allows you to take some beautiful kayak trips along some of the world’s most picturesque rivers, fishing for trout, perch, and bass. Sometimes taking your own kayak can be cheaper than renting one. Have a look here for a cheaper fishing kayak to take on your next trip to Washington.
➤ Depending on the region you’re visiting, it’s important to be aware of recreational fishing regulations, such as seasons, sizes and possession limits. For more information visit fisheries.noaa.gov
➤ If you’re leaving on a long trip which will see you spending considerable time away from home, make sure you’re not neglecting any domestic fish you have at home; get a vacation feeder and fill the compartments with the correct food for your fish, cover your tank securely, and ensure the water is healthy. Keeping your aquarium clean is an important part of preparation before you leave.
➤ If you plan on taking your own boat out, make sure you’ve read the boating laws and license requirements by State.