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The 20 Best Fishing Vacations In tThe United States

Logan River

Fishing is one of the oldest sports in the United States. In fact, early Puritan settlers considered fishing the most acceptable form of sport, as it kept with their tradition of working hard and being productive. Though it was an enjoyable activity, it also provided food for the family, making it a worthwhile leisure activity.
So, while most Americans consider vacations a time for rest and leisure, we thought it might be apt to put together a list of the 20 best fishing towns in the United States for angler-minded travelers.

20. Beckley, WV
New River Gorge
WV Division of Tourism (WVDT)
Photographer: David Fattaleh

The New River in Beckley is a great spot for catching smallmouth bass, walleyes, and muskies, as well as various species of trout.

19. Mountain Home, AR
Bull Shoals Lake
By: Jeremy Noble

Mountain Home in the Ozarks hosts both lake fishing and river fishing, offering a wide range of fish to catch, from largemouth bass, to stripers, walleyes, and trout.

18. Mammoth Lakes, CA
Mammoth Lakes
By: Frank Kovalchek

Not only does Mammoth Lakes offer great fishing, but it is also stunningly beautiful, nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

17. Bozeman, MT
River in Bozeman, MT
By: LightHart

Bozeman is the fly fishing capital of Montana, boasting some of the best streams and rivers for fishing in the country. The area also offers that old-school, gritty cowboy culture that most people thought was lost.

16. Chesapeake Bay, MD
Man holding striped bass
Photo from Shawn Kimbro

The Chesapeake Bay is probably the best place in the U.S. to catch striped bass, but head there in the spring or early summer for the best fishing.

15. Sebago, ME
Lake at sunset
By: Morgan Dobbins

Sebago is located on the northwest shore of the town’s namesake lake, which teems with Atlantic salmon year-round.

14. Apalachicola, FL
apalachicola shrimpboats in fog
By: dfbphotos

If you want to experience Florida like it was before tourists flooded theme parks by the millions, Apalachicola is a great place to visit. Anglers can expect to hook some of the area’s best light-tackle fish, including sea trout, redfish (red drum), sheepshead, and even shark.

13. Logan, UT
Logan River

If you want to experience some of the best trout fishing the U.S. has to offer, find your way to the myriad streams in and around Logan.

12. Show Low, AZ
By: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters

Show Low is the only place in the world to catch Apache trout in the White Mountains. Surrounding areas are also the only place to catch gila trout. Both are a tad over-fished, so make sure to practice catch-and-release.

11. Nantucket, MA
Woman Casting
By: Public Herald

Nantucket was a well-known fishing town long before Europeans set foot in New England, as Wampanoag Indians took advantage of the abundant striped bass and bluefish. Anglers can enjoy the best fishing from June through November.

10. Ely, MN
Man holding pike
By: Ray Dumas

Located on the east shore of Shagawa Lake, Ely is a great place for fishermen to catch walleye and pike in the summer.

9. San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Men holding white sturgeon

The Bay Area is known for a lot of things, but fishing is rarely one of them. However, the Sacramento River is home to great fishing, as anglers search for the famous white sturgeon.

8. Massachusetts Bay, MA
Mako Shark

If you’re of the mind to try your luck with an apex predator, head to Massachusetts bay and seek out the mako shark. Don’t be surprised if you hook one over 1,000 pound, because these things get pretty huge.

7. Bend, OR
Rainbow trout

Bend is another great fly fishing spot, with the Lower Deschutes River as the location of choice for rainbow trout. There is also great camping in the area, and tons of other recreational activities around the Cascade Lakes.

6. Pamlico Sound, NC
Man holding redfish
By: JedR3

Pamlico Sound is located right in the middle of North Carolina’s Atlantic coast. What you’re going to find here are huge redfish, some reaching sizes exceeding 60 pounds. These reds aren’t to be taken too lightly.

5. Morehead City, NC
Man Holding Dolphin
By: JedR3

Morehead is the perfect blend of saltwater fishing and freshwater fishing. Inland fishermen can find some of the best largemouth bass fishing in the country, and offshore they’re likely to land tuna, dolphin (the fish, not the mammals), and possibly even Marlin.

4. Selawik Valley, AK
Man holding sheefish

Selawik Valley is where anglers go to find sheefish, a species dubbed the tarpon of the north. Reaching upwards of 60 pounds, these fish will give you quite a workout. The best part? They’re biting year round.

3. Venice, LA
Fish jumping out of water

It’s difficult not to list Venice at number one, because the area boasts largemouth bass inland, sea trout and redfish in the marshes and tributaries, as well as tuna, marlin, and swordfish offshore. What’s not to love about all those options?

2. Driggs, ID
Brown Trout release
By: Nils Rinaldi

Driggs is our last freshwater fishing spot on the list, but it is worth its lofty spot. The area is absolutely gorgeous, and the brown trout fishing is second to none.

1. Boca Grande, FL
Tarpon jumping
By: Robert Neff

From April all the way through to October, fishermen from all over the world flood to Boca Grande to try their hand at catching tarpon, the most majestic fish in the world. These beasts will put on a show too, jumping out of the water and leaping through the air. This fish can cover over 20 feet in a single jump, so consider having your phones ready to snap a quick video.

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