Guide to Fishing in the US

For many, nothing beats casting a line in clear blue waters and soaking up the beauty of nature in peace, calm and serenity.

Fishing is easily one of America’s favorite past times and is attempted by many and mastered by few. Practiced for thousands of years, it is an activity that both thrills and relaxes, and also guides many keen travelers on their destination choices.

Although it’s a popular sport and past time across the entirety of the United States, we have narrowed it down to the very best spots to give fishing a go on your next RV rental vacation.

Our Guide to Fishing in the US is your one-stop-shop to where all those fish are hiding.


Lake Eufaula



Boasting seemingly endless shorelines of white, sandy beaches, Lake Eufaula is teeming with wildlife and is a fisherman’s paradise.

As the largest lake in Oklahoma, Eufaula attracts visitors from far and wide all year round.

 

Where:

Eufaula Lake, Eufaula, McIntosh, OK 74432

Lat/Long:

35.2808333, -95.5297222

Fishing Laws:

An Oklahoma resident or non-resident fishing license is required of all persons who fish in Lake Eufaula. This must be carried on person at all times while fishing here.

Fish to catch:

- Largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, striped and white bass
- Black and white crappie
- Brown and rainbow trout
- Sauger
- Saugeye
- Walleye
- Blue and channel catfish


Grand Traverse Bay


This stunning little bay of Lake Michigan spans 32 miles in length and boasts several bays within it.

The surrounding countryside if comprised of a thriving wine industry, with rolling green hills and vineyards creating a picturesque background for fishermen.

Fly fishing is particularly popular here.


Where:

Grand Traverse Bay, MI 49684

Lat/Long:

47.1761729, -88.2274364

Fishing Laws:

A license must be obtained to fish in Grand Traverse Bay. These can be obtained at multiple locations across the state.

Fish to catch:

- Smallmouth bass
- Carp
- Lake trout
- Brown trout
- Steelhead
- Salmon


Umpqua River


Spanning 111 miles in length, the Umpqua River is one of the principle rivers of the Oregon coast and drains an expansive network of the valleys in the mountains west of the Cascade Range and south of the Willamette Valley.

Fisherman can expect some of the world’s best fly-fishing, salmon fishing and sturgeon fishing here.

Where:

Umpqua River, Winchester Bay, OR 97467

Lat/Long:

43.6692829, -124.2051161

Fishing Laws:

Sections of the Umpqua River are designated for fly-fishing only and a license is required for fishing here. There may also be limits in place, so check with local authorities before fishing.

Fish to catch:

- Salmon
- Small mouthed bass
- Striped bass
- Shad
- Sturgeon
- Steelhead


Located in the southern portion of Lower New York Bay, Raritan Bay is part of the New York Bight and perfect for locals of Central Jersey and New York City, hoping to cast a line.

Along with an impressive array of fish, anglers can also expect to see the blue crab, fiddler crab, green crab, horseshoe crab and spider crab


Where:

Raritan Bay, NJ 08861

Lat/Long:

40.4703461, -74.1768412

Fishing Laws:

A license and fishing permit is required to fish in Raritan Bay, and these may be purchased by both residents and non-residents.

Fish to catch:

- Striped Bass
- Fluke
- Winter Flounder
- Bluefish
- Tautog
- Weakfish


Mille Lacs Lake


 

Regarded as the “Walleye Capital”, Mille Lacs is home to an impressive 40 species of fish and is a popular spot for ice fishing.

Hot in winter and cool in summer, this area is the perfect place to visit all year round.



Where:

Mille Lacs Lake, MN 56450

Lat/Long:

46.2668345, -93.623236

Fishing Laws:

Regulations are placed on many of the fish species in Mille Lacs Lake. Walleye must be released immediately is under 28” and there is a possession limit of four. Fishing is also prohibited between 10pm and 6am.

Fish to catch:

- Walleye
- Northern Pike
- Smallmouth Bass
- Tullibee
- Muskellunge


Roanoke River


Base yourself in the charming village of Weldon; a small town positioned just below the dam at Roanoke Rapids.

Here you will fine a nature (and fishing) lover’s dream and a river packed to the brim with striped bass, rockfish and green backs.


Where:

Roanoke River, NC 27890

Lat/Long:

36.1475146, -77.1774726

Fishing Laws:

There is a limit of two fish per day in April and catch and release fishing begins in May and runs through to the end of June. All tackle must use single, barbless hooks and live bait is recommended.

Fish to catch:

- Striped Bass
- Rockfish
- Greenbacks


Lake Erie


Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake of the Five Great Lakes in North America and is home to the world’s largest freshwater commercial fishery.

Fish populations here are abundant because of the lake’s mild temperature and plentiful supply of plankton.


Where:

Lake Erie, OH 16501

Lat/Long:

42.0668852, -81.3399414

Fishing Laws:

Laws are in place in Ohio restricting the daily limit of fish including muskellunge (1), yellow perch (40), trout (5), bass (5) and walleye (6) just to name a few.

Fish to catch:

- Steelhead
- Walleye
- Brown and rainbow trout
- Rainbow smelt
- White perch
- White bass


Crater Lake


 

Positioned in the beautiful Crater Lake National Park, this idyllic lake is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity.

Although it didn’t have an indigenous population in the first half of the century, several species have now formed self sustaining populations.

 

 

Where:

Crater Lake National Park, CO 97604

Lat/Long:

42.9339482, -122.1029662

Fishing Laws:

Unlicensed fishing is allowed here without any limitation of size, species or number.

Fish to catch:

- Kokanee salmon
- Rainbow trout


Yellowstone National Park


Fishing has been a major activity in Yellowstone National Park for well over a century now and has grown to enhance the park’s primary purpose to preserve natural environments and native species.

Fishing season here begins the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and extends through to the first Sunday of November.

Where:

Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Lat/Long:

44.4620852, -110.6424411

Fishing Laws:

A Yellowstone National Park Fishing Permit is required to fish in the park and these are available to all ranger stations, visitors’ centers and the park’s general stores.

Fish to catch:

- Arctic grayling
- Westslope cutthroat trout
- Yellowstone cutthroat trout
- Brook, brown, lake and rainbow trout
- Cutthroat trout/rainbow trout hybrid


Elizabeth Lake


 

Elizabeth Lake is the most popular back country destination of Glacier National Park, largely owing to its stunning beauty and unique fishing opportunities. It is also one of the very few places in Montana in which anglers can catch both rainbow trout and arctic grayling.



Where:

Glacier Lake National Park, MT 59936

Lat/Long:

48.7105178, -114.0105104

Fishing Laws:

Fishing in Glacier National Park is free and no license is required.

Fish to catch:
           
- Rainbow trout
- Brook trout
- Lake trout
- Arctic grayling
- Whitefish


South Fork of the Flathead River


Originating in the Rocky Mountains near Glacier National Park, the Flathead River is part of the Columbia River drainage basin, with the South Fork cutting between the Whitefish Range and Swan Range.

The area surrounding this part of the river is home to wild creatures such as grizzly bears, moose, elk and wolves, and the only access to the best fishing spots are by trail.

Where:

Northwestern Montana

Lat/Long:

48.467222, -114.069444

Fishing Laws:

Special regulations and limits apply when fishing in the wilderness portion of the South Fork. Only 3 fish of any type may be taken and none of these may be over 12 inches.

Fish to catch:

- Cutthroat trout
- Rainbow trout
- Grayling trout


Lake Havasu


 

The large reservoir of Lake Havasu sits behind the Parker Dam on the border between California and Arizona, and is well known for its recreational fishing and boating.

Fishing tournaments are held at the lake throughout the year, and bass is a popular catch.

 

Where:

Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403

Lat/Long:

34.3448115, -114.1766333

Fishing Laws:

A fishing license is required of all anglers, (except those who are blind or under the ages of 14) for taking aquatic wildlife from public water.

Fish to catch:

- Sunfish
- Largemouth, smallmouth and striped bass
- Crappie
- Catfish


Daytona Beach


 

Boasting some of the best fishing in Florida, Daytona Beach is ideal for recreational fishers of all ages. Cast your line from a pier or head out on a deep-sea charter, or why not take part in the “King of the Inlet” fishing tournament series?

 

 

Where:

Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Lat/Long:

29.2108147, -81.0228331

Fishing Laws:

A fishing license is required for all anglers fishing in Florida and these can be purchased in many different stores across the state.

Fish to catch:

- Snook
- Redfish
- Sea trout
- Tarpon
- Cobia
- Flounder
- Snapper
- Mackerel
- King fish


Montauk Point


 

Montauk Point is a glacial cliff and is a popular breeding ground for all kinds of fish and actually attracts the highest number of fishes than any other spot in the world.

 

 

Where:

Montauk, NY 11954

Lat/Long:

41.0720465, -71.8572881

Fishing Laws:

Restrictions and regulations are in place for certain fish in New York, and these are frequently amended.

Fish to catch:

- Flounder
- Bluefish
- Striped Bass
- Atlantic cod
- Mackerel


Key West


 

Some of the most unique and addictive angling can be found in the clear backcountry waters of Key West.

Here, fly fishing rules and charter boats will take you to some of the best saltwater fishing spots around.

 

Where:

Key West, FL 33040

Lat/Long:

24.5557025, -81.7825914

Fishing Laws:

There is a daily limit on nearly all fish in the Florida Keys, including a maximum of 10 bluefish, bonefish, dolphin, flounder and Spanish mackerel per day.

Fish to catch:

- Blue marlin
- Sailfish
- Tarpon
- Shortfin mako
- Bonefish
- Red grouper


Ozark Mountains


Regarded as “America’s secret fishing hole”, the Ozark Mountains fishing spots hold up to 20 different species of sporting fish. Anglers can choose to fish in White River, Bull Shoals, Norfolk and Table Rock Lakes.

Where:

The Ozark Mountains cover much of the southern half of Missouri and northwestern and north central Arkansas.

Lat/Long:

37.1822028, -92.5158694

Fishing Laws:

A license must be purchased for anglers fishing in Arkansas. This can be either a resident or non-resident permit.

Fish to catch:

- Trout
- Bass
- Crappie
- Tiger muskie
- Catfish
- Walleye
- Bream


Outer Banks


The Outer Banks of North Carolina are home to some of the best angling waters around, making this destination a sporting fisherman’s paradise.

Whether you choose to do a spot of pier, brackish, fly, inshore and offshore charter fishing, you are sure to have a flipping good time.

 

Where:

Kinnakeet, NC 27972

Lat/Long:

35.5668467, -75.4684908

Fishing Laws:

North Carolina’s Coastal Recreational Fishing License can be purchased on a 10-day, annual or life-time basis and allows anglers to harvest the fish they catch for personal consumption.

Fish to catch:

- Trout
- Sea bass
- Blue fish
- Bluefin tuna
- Snapper
- Grouper
- King mackerel


Colorado River




The mighty Colorado River is without a doubt one of America’s most popular fishing hot spots…and with good reason. Hundreds of fantastic spots can be found along its banks, with the locals sure to point you to some of the best ones.

Where:

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO 80511

Lat/Long:

36.1771464, -114.4173321

Fishing Laws:

A fishing license is required for all fishing along the Colorado River.

Fish to catch:

- Largemouth bass
- Rainbow trout
- Channel catfish
- Black crappie
- Walleye
- Striped bass


Gunpowder Falls


Boasting excellent trout fishing opportunities, Gunpowder Falls is a great place to throw out a line and take in the beauty of nature.

Fly fishing is a popular past time in the Big Gunpowder, in a special Catch and Return Area downstream from the Prettyboy Dam.

 

Where:

Gunpowder River, MD 21152

Lat/Long:

39.4148299, -76.3877382

Fishing Laws:

This area is managed under catch-and-return, statewide wild trout and put-and-take regulations. Much of the good fishing spots can be found on private property so it is important to ensure you are not trespassing.

Fish to catch:

- Brown trout
- Rainbow trout


Laguna Madre


The Lower Laguna Madre is a unique fly fishery and is often referred to as the least pressured, most available saltwater fly fishery in North America. It is perfect for anglers who enjoy fishing in shallow, clear waters, while enjoying a horizon uninterrupted by buildings and boats.

Where:

Laguna Madre, TX 78209

Lat/Long:

26.6850599, -97.4273195

Fishing Laws:

The bay’s ecosystem is protected by the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge and the Padre Island National Seashore. Possession limits are in place.

Fish to catch:

- Redfish
- Speckled trout


Henry’s Fork


Henry’s Fork is a tributary river of the Snake River and has long been noted for its superb fishing. Dry fly fishing is extremely popular here, with plenty to offer the advanced angler as well as the beginner.

Where:

Island Park, ID 83429

Lat/Long:

40.9985704, -109.6529242

Fishing Laws:

The section of Snake River between Henry’s Lake and Big Springs is closed to fishing.

Fish to catch:

- Rainbow trout


Lake C. W. McConaughy


Spanning an impressive 35,700 acres in surface area, Lake McConaughy’s size is rivaled only by the fish that inhabit it.

The dam itself is among the largest of its type in the world and the fish in it grow to trophy proportions.

Fishing has long been the draw card of the dam, and its cool, clear and deep waters also make it a popular sport for swimmers, wind surfers and boaters.

Where:

Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area and Wildlife Management Area, Keith County, NE 69153

Lat/Long:

41.2289719, -101.7409946

Fishing Laws:

A fishing permit is required to take, or attempt to take fish from Lake McConaughy and this must be carried at all times while fishing.

Fish to catch:

- Rainbow trout
- Catfish
- Walleye
- White and striped bass


The Kenai River


Regarded as the most popular sport fishing destination in Alaska, the Kenai River boasts some of the world’s biggest and best salmon.

Running into Skilak Lake and the Cook, Inlet, this lake boasts 2 runs of king salmon, silver salmon and red salmon annually.

Where:

Kenai, Kenai Peninsula, AK 99611

Lat/Long:

60.5544444, -151.2583333

Fishing Laws:

In the Kenai Lake and the drainage area only one unbaited single hook artificial lure is allowed year round. There is also an annual limit of two rainbow/steelhead trout, 20” or long taken from lakes and ponds of the Kenai River drainage. These fish must be recorded on the back of your license.

Fish to catch:

- King salmon
- Red salmon
- Silver salmon
- Pink salmon
- Chinook salmon
- Rainbow trout
- Dolly Varden trout


Katmai National Park and Preserve



Katmai is a world famous destination, known for the opportunities it presents to fish with bears. Home to some of the world’s best salmon, you will have to fight the bears to get your piece of the action, but remember that safety should always come first.

Where:

Katmai National Park and Preserve, King Salmon, Bristol Bay Borough, 99613

Lat/Long:

59.0663921, -155.128745

Fishing Laws:

An Alaska fishing license is required for fishing here and all state rules apply. Sport fishing is allowed in the park, only using artificial lures.

Fish to catch:

- Salmon
- Rainbow trout