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The 9 Best Places for Fishing

The 9 best places to cast a line (and your cares) away.

By Marc Acton on March 1, 2017

best places for fishing
Seattle / Courtesy of Jonathan Miske under a CC 4.0 license.

Whether you’re looking for a fun, outdoor family vacation spot, or a destination where you can add another “big one” to your list of “behemoths,” there are tons of great fishing cities from sea to shining sea. These towns are some of America’s greatest spots that feature not just a variety of unique opportunities to practice the sport, but some of the best scenery in the country while you do it.

1. Seattle, Washington

To enjoy beautiful mountain views and some of the best salmon fishing in the country, head to the Pacific Northwest. Home of the Pike Place Fish Market, Seattle provides a variety of unique and relaxing opportunities from saltwater to freshwater to family-friendly lakes and rivers. Find all species of salmon in Seattle’s Puget Sound, or head to Lake Washington for some freshwater fishing. One of Seattle’s smaller lakes will be perfect for a fun-filled family vacation in the great outdoors.

Can’t afford Seattle? The 5 Most Affordable Cities in Washington

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

The Big Easy is endlessly vibrant and full of life, and this colorful city is a prime fishing destination. Relax on the banks of City Park, travel to nearby marshes like Biloxi for some fly fishing, or head to Venice for an amazing offshore experience. From bass to huge snappers to dolphin fish, New Orleans has a variety of ways to enjoy the sport along with a rich culture and history on land.

3. Miami, Florida

This south Florida mecca is more than just hot sand and beachgoers—it also features a myriad of salt and freshwater destinations. Check out the extensive canal system and Everglade National Park, or take advantage of the amazing Atlantic deep-sea action. The Gulf Stream carries hundreds of varieties of fish up the East Coast. Relax on a downtown dock and watch the sunset, or head out to Biscayne Bay. Whatever you’re looking for can be found in this buzzing, beachy city.

4. Charleston, South Carolina

Quaint, classic, and charming, historic Charleston should be on every angler’s must-visit list. Avid fly fishers will find marshes, creeks, rivers, and beaches galore. In and offshore, you’ll find quiet areas to park yourself for hours and enjoy the serenity of the water. Whether you’re in the mood for Atlantic saltwater or beautiful backcountry freshwater, Charleston has it all.

Aside from the fishing: 8 Reasons Why Charleston is the Dream City for You

5. Boston, Massachusetts

Park the cah in Harvahd yahd, grab yah poles, and hit up Boston Hahbah (Harbor) for huge striped bass, flounder, bluefish, and more. Saltwater fishing is a significant part of Boston’s rich tradition. You can also travel to Cape Cod Bay for tuna, mackerel, haddock, and of course, cod. Enjoy the rich culture and history in the city of some of America’s oldest and largest ports.

6. Detroit, Michigan

An industrial city like Detroit might go unnoticed, but its geography makes it a great place for anglers. The Detroit River connects Lake Erie to Lake St. Clair, where you’ll find walleye, perch, crappie, smallmouth bass, and hefty muskie. A great catch over 30 pounds isn’t uncommon in the waters of Lake St Clair! Don’t miss out on this city’s potential for trophy-sized catches and gorgeous skyline views.

7. San Francisco, California

The bay area gives anglers access to awesome deep sea locations, as well as fresh water that houses huge trophy fish. From sharks, perch, and flounder at famous Fisherman’s Wharf to massive white sturgeon at Coyote Point, San Francisco fishing is exhilarating. If you’re looking for a challenge, you’ll find trout and steelhead rivers not far from the area. Stretch your skills and wrangle some big ones in this great city.

Can’t afford SF? The 5 Most Affordable Cities in California

8. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

Between the Mississippi River and hundreds of local lakes, you’ll find more freshwater fish than you’ll know what to do with in these cities. Walleyes, catfish, carp, crappies, pike, panfish, bass, muskies…and the list goes on. White Bear Lake is said to have water clear enough to sight fish. And if you think you have what it takes to hang with the locals, don’t be afraid to travel in the winter for some amazing ice fishing.

9. Missoula, Montana

This laid-back, outdoorsy town is the home of famous fly fishing in Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It. Known for some of the best trout fishing in the country, Missoula is home to the Clark Fork, Bitterroot, and the Big Blackfoot rivers. Check out Rock Creek for great blue ribbon fishing. Missoula also features a comfortable, mild climate, and great hiking, hunting, and mountain biking for a full outdoor vacation experience.

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