Want to Go Fishing? Know the Spots You Can Explore

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  • Good fishing spots are about catching the desired fish, relaxing and feeling at ease with the surrounding nature. 
  • Florida Keys, Metolius River, Lake Leelanau and Utah Lake are just some of the most popular fishing spots in the US.
  • To find your perfect fishing spot, use a pat, ask locals for recommendations, try different techniques and explore new areas. 
  • Choose good-quality gear that will last longer and offer the best fishing experience.

If you have been thinking about the best places to fish for your next angler vacation, search no more. We have the best fishing in the US, with additional activities to keep the adventure going on and off the water.

When planning the best places to go fishing, you’ll want to think about the type of fish you want to catch. Good fishing spots are more than just plentiful fish; they’re also locations where you can feel at ease in the surrounding nature. Whether your great fishing spot is on the ocean or a lake, we have compiled something for everyone.

Fishing is not just a hobby but also a way of life for some. People can spend many happy hours in their local area catching their favorite fish or relaxing with family and friends.

There are different types of fishing, and each has its unique way of doing it. Some like fishing from a boat; others prefer the bank of the lake or river. For those of you who prefer to fish from the bank instead of a boat, you will be happy to know these familiar spots and many secret locales where fishermen can cast their line in peace. If you want to give fishing a try, here are the best spots you can go to for an excellent experience.

Popular Fishing Spots In The United States

To help you find popular fishing spots, we listed our 25 best fishing places across the US. With so many beautiful and majestic places to choose from, every angler is sure to start packing their bags!

1) Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains run through North Carolina and Tennessee, where you will enjoy 2,900 miles of a stream rich with trout. This picturesque fishing spot is great for hiking, horseback riding and cycling.

2) Florida Keys

The Florida Keys, Florida, are one of the best fishing spots where you’ll find five highly desirable deepsea fish: bonefish, tarpon, permit, redfish (red drum) and snook. You can also indulge in golf, snorkeling and diving, and it’s a popular wedding destination spot.

3) Situk River

Situk River, Alaska is your destination for the elusive steelhead trout. You can enjoy hunting and hiking as well as catch a glimpse of many exciting species, such as bears, moose and even caribou. 

4) Metolius River

Metolius River, Oregon, is an idyllic location for fishing rainbow trout. If you find rock climbing interesting, you are a short drive from Smith Rock. There are plenty of caves for spelunking or having fun at the adjacent golf courses and camping grounds. 

5) Puget Sound

Puget Sound, Washington, provides an abundance of fishing piers for ocean fishing for species such as rock fish and wolf eels. If you want to try your hand at shellfishing as well, there are plenty of opportunities. Hunting and whale watching are also popular activities in the region.

6) Bozeman

Bozeman, Montana, is a top destination if fly fishing for brown trout, whitefish and rainbow trout is on your mind. Not only is it one of the top 10 fishing spots in the United States, but you can experience the cultural riches of the city or head into nature for hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and even visit Yellowstone National Park.

7) Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake , Kentucky, boasts several species, such as largemouth bass, yellow bass, crappie, catfish and bluegill. Hit the trails on an ATV or bike, enjoy the sandy lakeside beaches, or visit the Kentucky Opry to experience some bluegrass.

8) Lake Leelanau

Lake Leelanau, Michigan, is a village that offers diverse species, such as large and smallmouth bass, rock bass, sunfish, lake trout, yellow perch, northern pike, walleye and brown trout. You can also explore wineries, orchards and lovely marinas.

9) Lake Guntersville

Lake Guntersville, Alabama, along the Tennessee River, is known for largemouth bass, but you can also find bream, bluegill, redear sunfish, longear sunfish, crappie, sauger and catfish. Use the opportunity to fish from your kayak, since this lake is a top destination for kayak fishing because of its many ramps. 

Lake Guntersville is also home to many bald eagles and offers ziplining and geocaching.

10) Belgrade Lake

Belgrade Lakes, Maine, has good places to fish for both fresh and saltwater fish. Saltwater species include striped bass and bluefish; you could even charter a boat in search of bluefin tuna. 

If freshwater is more your speed, you’ll find trout, rainbow trout, largemouth bass, brown trout, musky, lake trout, smallmouth bass, pike and landlocked salmon. Activities include lighthouses, Maine Lobster and wellness spas.

11) Utah Lake

Utah Lake, Utah, has trout, tiger muskie, striped bass, wipers, walleye and several other species. As far as places to go fishing, it has everything. A picturesque location set against the mountains, you can also take advantage of river rafting, skiing, snowboarding and canyoneering.

12) Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain, New York, is one of the best largemouth and trout fishing places, but you can also catch over 80 other species. Activities on offer are snowshoeing, birding and paddling. It’s also home to Lake Champlain Chocolates!

13) Lake Berryessa

Lake Berryessa, California, may be one of the best fishing places in the US. You can combine excellent fishing with the best Napa wineries. At Lake Berryessa, you’ll find crappie, rainbow trout, catfish, bass and bluegill. 

14) Lake Fork

Lake Fork, Texas, is a top destination for bass and largemouth bass. Have fun, play paintball, visit a speakeasy coffeehouse or relax at a local spa. 

15) Lake Sinclair

Lake Sinclair, Georgia, has good places to go fishing for catfish, largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill. You could also take in a game of pickleball or tennis, explore haunted Milledgeville or go antiquing. 

16) Sturgeon Bay

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, is very proud of its Bronze award as a bike-friendly city. After fishing for bass, walleye, northern pike and musky, you can tour the city on your bicycle.

17) Santee Cooper Lakes

Santee Cooper Lakes, South Carolina, will provide crappie, largemouth bass, catfish and bream. In addition to fishing and plenty of beautiful outdoor recreation, you can also visit revolutionary war sites. 

18) Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods, Minnesota, has earned the title ‘Walleye Capital of the World.’ Morel mushrooms also make their home in this region. There are plenty of scenic drives – motorcycling is popular – so you may want to explore on two wheels instead of four. 

19) Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, has over 300 fish and shellfish species, such as striped bass, eel, oyster, horseshoe and blue crab. It also has the largest estuary in the world!

20) Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is full of rainbow, brown, cutthroat and brook trout, as well as many other fish varieties. Hotsprings, microbreweries and hot air balloon tours make this a destination worth adding to your list.

21) Lake Shelbyville

Lake Shelbyville, Illinois, spans 11,000 acres where you’ll catch catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, walleye, muskie, white bass and bluegill. Visit the largest goat tower in the world or tie the knot in the ‘Best Wedding Chapel’ – a fire engine that has cleverly been converted into a mobile wedding chapel.

22) Kona

Kona, Hawaii, is an iconic location for deep-sea fishing. You can try catching Marlin, Mahi Mahi, or Tuna. Still looking for more adventure? Try parasailing, surfing, mountain tubing, snorkeling or scuba diving.

23) Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, has several species, such as bonito, striped bass, fluke, sea bass, scup, tuna, false albacore, bluefish, squid and shark. A plethora of local activities includes shopping, skate parks, paddleboarding and local lighthouses.

24) Henry’s Fork River

Henry’s Fork River, Idaho, is excellent for fly fishing trout such as rainbow and brown. Gold rush tours and hot springs complete the unique experiences available.

25) Bighorn River

Bighorn River, Montana, is a top destination for trout fishing. Local attractions include the Little Bighorn battlefield, Fort Laramie and Devil’s Tower national monument. 

26) Conway, Arkansas

It is a great place to fish if you love catching big fish since the White River has some of the biggest freshwater basses. It is a great place to fish if you love catching big ones since this spot has some of the biggest freshwater basses. It is a great spot because the large bass population in this relatively small area makes it easy to catch one.

The White River and Pomme de Terre Lake are great spots to go fishing alone or with friends. White River is an hour and a half drive from Little Rock and a half an hour drive from Pomme de Terre Lake. If you don’t live nearby then, it will be a larger drive to get there.

The best times to fish at Pomme de Terre Lake and the White River are early morning, around 6 to 8 am, and later until about 5 pm. These are great times of the day because they will likely catch many big basses, and if not, the other fish will get more active. You will need rods, boats, and reels. For bait, fatheads or nightcrawlers will work best for the White River and Pomme de Terre Lake.

27) Eufala, Alabama

Lake Eufala will be your new favorite spot if you want to catch largemouth bass. There are so many fish here that you will probably see something every time. Many people have reported catching over 100 largemouth bass here, so that is bound to happen some time. The best times to go fishing at Lake Eufala are early morning, around 6 to 8 am, and late in the afternoon until about 5 pm or later.

Rods, reels, and bait are all that are needed to fish at Lake Eufala. A rod with a 6 lb test line or higher is what most people recommend because you might catch some big fish. Two boat ramps at the lake allow you to launch your boat or rent one of theirs. Canoe rentals are available on-site to go out into the water yourself.

28) Marianna, Florida

man holding a big fish

Shamrock Lakes has many lakes, each full of largemouth bass. Just be sure to have your fishing license. The best times are early morning to about 10 am, then afternoon until dark. During the mornings, bass will be more active, so you are likely to catch some, but there is less activity at night, so it’s not as easy to catch any fish.

Rods and reels are what are used for fishing at Shamrock Lakes. You can use either a light or medium rod with a 6 lb test line or higher, depending on your preference.

One boat ramp is located at Shamrock Lakes, making it easy to transport your boat. However, they also have boats for rent if you prefer that.

29) Stroudsberg, Pennsylvania

A trip to Pennsylvania wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Pittsburgh, home of the Steelers. But if you love freshwater fishing, a better stop would be Stroudsberg, about two hours from Pittsburgh. The best place for freshwater fishing is at Laurel Hill Lake, where you can catch muskellunge, panfish, bass, and many others.

There are six different locations around Stroudsburg where you can try fly fishing for trout, including the famous Richardsons stream. The best time to fish at these locations is from late May until September. The fishing spots require bait and a fly-fishing rod.

These are some of the best places to catch trout, the main fish you will look for here. All locations are close, making it easy to visit them in one day during the fishing season. Most of these locations also provide boating and canoeing, providing better access for your hobby.

30) Bellevue, Washington

Fishing from the bank of Lake Sammamish can be a great time. You might even catch some salmon since this is one of the best places to fish for them. It is a great fishing spot; you can fish from the bank or rent a boat. The best times are in the morning and evening when salmon begin their migration; however, anytime during the day will produce results.

Use a rod with a 6 lb test line or higher to fish here, and if you want to guarantee good luck, you could also bring some salmon eggs. For boats, there are a few available for rent on-site.

During weekdays there will likely be fewer people fishing which means more room for you to catch fish, but during busy times like weekends or evenings, it can be easier to get crowded out.

There are many places to fish from the bank. Walking along the shoreline is a great way to get in some time. There are opportunities if you prefer to be out on the water in your boat.

Fishing is a beautiful hobby that just about anyone can enjoy. It’s a great way to unwind, relax, and catch some dinner if you are hungry. Research the best places for fishing near your home by using this list as a guide.

Tips for Finding Your Own Fishing Spot

Whether planning the best freshwater fishing in the United States or saltwater, you can begin researching by understanding your target and the type of water and conditions they live in. Learn more about the type of salinity your targeted species prefer and what they eat. 

As you learn more about the fish you are trying to catch, you can also narrow down your search for where you’ll find them in abundance. 

Here are other tips you can use when finding the perfect fishing spot for you:

  • Know your fish: When fishing, you must know the habits of the species you are willing to catch. Learn more about what they eat, temperature preferences, the type of cover they use for hiding and where they spawn.
  • Use a map: Start by looking at maps of the area and determine the type of growth you are looking for around banks or shorelines. Know your fish and the terrain they prefer to help narrow your search.
  • Ask for recommendations: Who better to ask than local fishermen on the bank or in a local tackle shop. They will likely tell you of the best local fishing spots in the area and probably not their secret favorite fishing location, but you will be one step closer.
  • Exploring New Areas: There is a certain thrill in finding a new spot and tapping into better fishing opportunities. Another reason to look for new locations is the fish are generally more apt to bite and may even be more willing to bite in adverse conditions. The tide or the wind may not be the right conditions and they will still grab hold. You’ll often find larger fish than you’d find elsewhere!
  • Try different techniques: Sometimes you need to try several techniques and find one that’s perfect for your perfect fishing spot. 

When you find a hidden treasure, it’s best to fish a little and move on to another spot nearby. If you overfish the water, it won’t be a hidden treasure for long.

Benefits of Finding Your Own Fishing Spot

We can tell you the best fishing spots in America, but what will make them great fishing spots is if they are perfect for you. The quote by Charles W. Waterman portrays how you find your spot: “Most of the world is covered by water. A fisherman’s job is simple: Pick out the best parts.“

Finding your own fishing spot will give you a little oasis from the rest of the world. It allows you to use the fishing technique you enjoy most, giving you the greatest thrill. Some may be built for the serenity of fly fishing, whereas other anglers prefer more exotic deep-sea spots. 

Tools and Accessories You Need for Fishing

Before you head to the best fishing cities in the US, you’ll want to be sure you have the appropriate gear. Most high-traffic good fishing places will have fully stocked tackle shops to provide for any additional needs you may encounter.

Fishing Rod and Reel

Once you know the type of fish you are fishing for, you can narrow down the rod and reel, which will be a good fit. Think about the length, the types of lures you’ll be casting, and the line you’ll work with.

Before heading to your local tackle shop, take your reel with you and consult the experts there regarding the fit. 

Tackle Box and Lures

Your tackle box should be well-outfitted with organized compartments for your lures.  It should be sturdy and waterproof. Consider a tackle binder to keep your lures well at hand. 

Your lure choices will depend on what you are looking to catch. Consider several options according to the possible bait the species could be biting in the area. Consider the time of year, if it’s post or pre-spawn, as this will also affect what the fish are bound to bite.

Fishing Line and Hooks

Check if monofilament, fluorocarbon or braided fishing line is best for your purposes. The size and weight of your fish and the environment you are fishing in will be determining factors. 

There are dozens of sizes of hooks available. Once again, the hook size will depend on the fish size. The hook needs to fit inside the fish’s mouth or you may just end up feeding the fish instead of hooking it.

Fishing Net and Pliers

Pliers can have many uses including removing the hooks from the fish’s mouth, cutting lines and crimping sleeves. Choose a plier which will maneuver in small spaces. Fishing nets are basically for helping you get the fish out of the water, so the size will depend on the type of fish.

How to decide how much you’ll invest in your gear?

Balancing your angling needs with your budget can be tricky. If you want to invest a bit more money in your gear, you might want to consider your rod and reel first. A better quality rod will be more sensitive and thus able to feel the bite better. Reels impact the speed with which you are able to bring your fish in.

Less expensive gear will not be as sensitive and responsive and you could lose a fish on your line. It may also not last as long. Here are some pros and cons to consider when purchasing your fishing gear:


  • More expensive equipment will mean better quality materials and more durability. 
  • They will perform better. 
  • They may be easier to use.


  • They may cost more, require more maintenance, and not be as readily available.
  • They are better suited to experienced anglers as opposed to beginners. 

Final Thoughts

The best fishing in the USA awaits you! Each destination offers plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to relax and have fun. Go by yourself, with friends or with the family. These cities were chosen not only for their fantastic fishing but for the diversity of things to do for everyone in your group. Get your gear and book your ticket for a destination that is sure to fulfill your angling dreams!


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