Compiling a list of just five of the best fishing destinations in America is no easy task. In a moment’s breath, a number of prime locations could come to mind, from cascading rivers and streams to mirrorlike lakes and sweeping oceans. But no one can argue that any of the following popular destinations are not worthy of merit. Here is a look at five of the best places to fish in America, with a respectful nod to all the other fabulous spots for one of the world’s most popular outdoor activities.
Key West, Florida
The warm waters off the southernmost city of the continental United States make for ideal conditions for world-class sport fishing. What’s more, there are several respected charter boat businesses operating in the region commonly referred to as the fishing capital of world. And the Florida Keys backs up that claim, boasting more than 900 world sportfishing records, more than any other destination on the planet. Newcomers to fishing might not catch a world record, but they can enjoy prime offshore spots like Dry Tortugas and the Marquesas Keys for a chance to catch a variety of prized game fish, such as mahi mahi, swordfish and blackfin tuna. Of course, a charter boat is required to fish in Key West as there are many great onshore fishing spots in town, such as White Street Pier at Rest Beach and Smather’s Beach.
Related: Top Fishin’ Spots In South Florida
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
The Twin Cities of the state known as the Land of 10,000 lakes is well known for hosting some of the world’s best freshwater fishing. From breathtaking fly fishing spots to small and large craft boat fishing, the greater Minneapolis and St. Paul region is home to about 100 of those lakes. Moreover, the Twin Cities is bounded by the mighty Mississippi River with multiple spots for prime fishing such as the area designated as Pool 2, above the Hastings Dam. Other top fishing spots include White Bear Lake and Mille Lacs Lake, well known as a popular ice fishing destination in winter. Among the freshwater species inhabiting the waters in this region are bass, walleye, steelhead and muskie.
San Diego, California
Boasting the world’s largest sport fishing fleet, San Diego is an easy choice among America’s best places to fish. More than 75 fishing vessels operate out of five landings, including Point Loma and Dana Landing on Mission Bay. Anglers will find the best offshore fishing spots at places like Coronado Island and La Jolla where an abundance of California yellowtail, yellowfin tuna and other varieties can be caught. Longer trips extended for multiple days are available for prime spots in Baja California for prized game fish like albacore, bluefin tuna, dorado and yellowfin tuna.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Miami Beach will be a special place to visit this year, with a multitude of special events planned. While Miami is best known for miles of white sandy beaches, tropical waters and a row of world class resort hotels, lt’s also one of the world’s best destinations for fishing, much like Key West, its neighbor further south. Recommended spots for saltwater fishing include the Rickenbacker Causeway, Newport Fishing Pier, Haulover Inlet and of course the deep sea fishing off Miami Beach, Boca Raton, Key Biscayne and other seaside communities. Other hot spots within driving distance of Miami are the Florida Everglades, particularly for fly fishing and Lake Okochobee, Flordia’s largest freshwater lake.
While several fishing destinations deserve mention on a short list of America’s best, it would be a mistake to leave out Seattle. More than 200 fish species roam the rivers, lakes and chilly waters beyond the Emerald City, including several salmon species. With breathtaking city views, 2,500 miles of shoreline and Mount Rainier in the distance, Puget Sound is the primary location for outstanding offshore fishing and pier fishing. Other recommended fishing spots in the greater Seattle region are Lake Washington, Lake Union and Bainbridge Island. One of Seattle’s top attractions to visit is Pike Place Market, the oldest continuously operated public market in the country.
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.