In 2019, more than 50 million Americans went fishing, making it one of the most popular outdoor activities in the United States. There are different types of fishing trips you can do, including freshwater, saltwater and fly-fishing, with freshwater being the most popular - attracting 38.3 million people. In the face of global lockdowns, many people were able to find solace on fishing trips, as fishing was one of the only activities that weren’t banned nationwide.
Now, as restrictions are lifted, those who picked up fishing during lockdowns, as well as those long-standing fishing fans, are looking to plan a fishing trip. In this article we’re going to give you some key information on fishing and advice for planning a fishing trip in the U.S. Let’s get started!
Facts about fishing
Recreational fishing is constantly gaining popularity across the U.S., particularly as a result of Covid-19. A number of news articles have reported on the growing demand for fishing supplies, and fishing licenses, with more people than ever choosing to enjoy their time outdoors on a fishing trip.
Interestingly, among the growing number of participants, fishing has also attracted traditionally underrepresented groups like women, who now make up 36 percent of the fishing community. Similarly, while fishing predominantly attacks individuals 45 and older, younger people have also started fishing more than ever. This gives us an insight into the world of fishing, and how much of a place it has in American society.
Best fishing spots in the U.S.
Whether this is your first time planning a fishing trip or you’re just looking for some inspiration for a new fishing spot, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to fish in the U.S. today. Plus, keep reading to hear some important advice about planning a fishing trip.
- Florida Keys, Florida
Florida Keys is the retirement destination for a reason! Not only is the weather warm and sunny year round, it’s also known for its crystal clear warm water that attacks a variety of fish unlike anywhere else in the U.S. According to Time Out, Florida Keys is the number one place to fish in the U.S. because of its selection of tropical and highly coveted fish like white marlin, grouper, swordfish and tarpon.
- Kobuk River, Alaska
Alaska is a place of untouched nature, which acts as the home for many internationally renowned fish, making it one of the best fishing destinations in the world. The Kobuk River has 125 miles of floatable river, and is known for its abundance of trophy sheefish, chum salmon, arctic grayling and white fish.
- Tanasee Creek, North Carolina
North Carolina has a number of popular fishing destinations, including Tanasee Creek and Outer Banks. Found in the Nantahala National Forest, Tanasee Creek is part of the U.S. only fly-fishing trail, making it a perfect spot for those interested specifically in fly-fishing.
- Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
If you want something a little more tropical, Kailua-Kona might be the spot for you. Also known as the Big Island, Kailua-Kona has the largest charter fleet and is a recreational fishers dream. You’ll be preparing yourself to potentially land a huge ahi marlin or mahi mahi - which swim close to the coast all year round.
- Lake St. Clair, Michigan
Lake St. Clair is a 420 square mile freshwater lake with a shallow depth compared to other nearby lakes, which makes it an ideal spot for families with younger children. Along the lake you can relax on the 160 miles of beach or join a charter to catch muskellunge, walleye, bass, rainbow trout, northern pike or one of the many other types of sough-after fish.
Tips to plan a fishing trip
- Choose the destination
We hope the list above with five of the most popular destinations helped to give you some inspiration on where your next fishing trip could be. For more, check out this list with the top 15 fishing destinations in the U.S. Once you have chosen the destination, you can begin your research.
- Research the destination
As with all trips, it’s important to have an idea of what to expect, to ensure you are adequately prepared. To get you started with some research cues, find out the answer to these questions:
- What is the climate like?
- Nearer the time, what is the weather forecast predicting?
- What species of fish live there?
- What are the fish you are aiming for?
- Where will you be staying?
- How will you be travelling to the destination? E.g. Do you need to charter a boat?
- What special equipment will you need?
If you are a total newbie, it’s a good idea to look into hiring a local fishing guide or going with a local fisher. This can help you ease into the trip without feeling lost or overwhelmed and missing out on an opportunity to catch some fish!
- Invest in the right gear
This goes back to point number two - when you know the destination and what to expect in terms of the weather and the species of fish, you will have a better idea of what fishing gear you will need. Some examples of fishing gear you may need include:
Check out this article for some more information on fishing methods and gear types.
By ‘comfort-pack’, we mean packing things to guarantee your comfort during your trip, like comfortable footwear, layers for changing temperatures, a sun hat, waterproof jacket, first aid kit, food, snacks and plenty of water. Sometimes being overly prepared is better, to protect you in a variety of unexpected conditions.
- Stick to the law
Unfortunately, illegal fishing is on the rise. Part of this growing number is likely people who have recently picked up fishing as a hobby, without fully understanding the laws and regulations around it. Fishing where you shouldn’t be, or not sticking to the rules of the destination, can harm the marine ecosystem and deplete fish stocks.
Before you go, make sure you’re cognizant of the regulations and abide by them to keep yourself within your rights.
It’s time to plan a fishing trip, and we hope this article gave you some inspiration to get the ball rolling. The U.S. is one of the greatest places to fish globally and from coast-to-coast you can experience the full variety that the marine ecosystem has to offer.