Regardless of the season, there’s always a great time and day to go fishing. It’s the perfect way to bond with friends and family or enjoy some peaceful alone time with nature. This is also an excellent opportunity to test out your knowledge of local wildlife or even get a fresh catch for dinner.
But if you’re new to the sport/hobby, you may ask yourself a few questions:
“Where are the best fishing spots near me?”
“Is there any good fishing near me at all?”
Lucky for you, there are many different spots in every state for you to visit. Of course, knowing which spot to pick can be the difference between coming up empty-handed, getting that prize catch, or obtaining a new lifelong story. Here we’ve made a list of some fantastic fishing trips you can take, along with tips and tricks to make the most out of your experience.
Widely considered the most popular category, Freshwater fishing is easy to learn and typically gets great results. Every state in the country has plenty of freshwater lakes, rivers, and creeks that are full of many different species of fish. Bass is usually the most common, as are herring, salmon, catfish, and even eel.
Worms are a tried-and-tested bait for freshwater fishing, as are shrimp, smaller fish, and insects. Dough balls are popular and easy to purchase or make at home using flour, cornmeal, sugar, and water. Even simple whitebread works, so feel free to get creative!
If you want to test yourself or catch a particular type of fish, then try saltwater fishing. Depending on where you go, this can be done from such places as a public pier or fishing boat. Not only will the waters prove to offer a new challenge, but you’ll also have the opportunity to catch much larger fish such as marlin or tuna.
Shrimp and shellfish are popular baits since saltwater fish eat them in the wild. Different types of cut-up bait also work wonders, thanks to the strong smell that they give off.
Canoe and Kayak Fishing
Those who love the ambiance of the great outdoors will find themselves right at home canoe or kayak fishing on a lake or river. This also provides an opportunity to catch fish that you will usually see in your local market, such as pickerel or trout. Keep in mind, canoe or kayak fishing can get a bit dicey when reeling in a larger catch, so having a partner on-hand is ideal.
A landing net can also help bring the fish onto your boat, simultaneously protecting your hands, and making release easier.
Of course, you can always have a successful fishing trip even without a boat. Try standing on a pier, or at the shoreline of a lake, riverbank, or surf (if you’re along the coastline). Most freshwater fish are known to gather along the shore, but this technique works great for both freshwater and saltwater locations. Shore fishing is an excellent opportunity to take the kids to the pond and teach them how to fish.
Consider this a special kind of shore fishing. Instead of the pier or surf, you stand on the rocky outcrops of the shoreline as you fish. Rock fishing also allows you to use versatile methods, including ground fishing (along the bottom) or surface fishing (near the top). You can even use both live bait or artificial lures to attract fish to your line. Some of the best locations in the states are along the New England coast and the Hawaiian islands.
Side note: please don’t try this if you are inexperienced or commonly fish alone. Slippery rocks and crashing waves make things very dangerous. Even with a partner, it’s still best to fish amidst calmer waves and clearer weather.
We’ve embedded a google map of “rock fishing spots near me” below, and recommend performing a “rock fishing safety” search to brush up on additional tips for staying safe.
Can I still find good spots near me if I live in the city?
Yes, you can!
As the name suggests, urban fishing takes place in any urban area. In fact, more and more cities across the United States are seeing increased popularity in fishing. There are public piers and designated parks that offer fishing to both locals and tourists alike. In some cities, you could even take a small canoe or kayak to the middle of the city pond or lake. They also have programs in place to keep the lakes stocked and educate the public about their native fish species.
If you live in a major city, try out the map below that searches for ‘public places to fish near me’ or a search for ‘good fishing spots near me’ might surprise you.
How to Have a Successful Fishing Trip
As with any other outdoor activity, there are things to keep in mind to have a safe and successful experience:
Do some research on the best times to fish. Early morning and late evening (just after sunrise and before sundown), are usually the best times since the fish are closer to the surface. Strong winds and storms can have the same effect, so keep an eye on weather patterns as well.
Always research the fishing regulations in your area. While many will allow you to catch and eat the fish, others require that you release them shortly after. A fishing license and boat registration may also be required for conservation purposes.
Be sure that you have the right equipment on hand for your trip. Have the proper fishing rod, along with extra line, hooks, and possibly a net for convenience. Also, depending on where you’re going, figure out whether you want to use live bait or artificial lures.
Many pros also recommend looking at nearby plant life to determine a spot’s value. For example, lily pads and weed beds will attract bait fish, which then attract larger fish to the area.