June 23, 2024

Hardcore Game Fishing

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There are 9 best fishing destinations for summer in the US

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Summertime, and the fishin’ is easy…That’s how that song goes, right? Either way, what’s sure is that summer marks the peak fishing season in most of America. From rivers and lakes to ocean shores and the deep seas, the fish are biting everywhere. And if you’re trying to decide where to go this year, check out our list of the best summer fishing destinations for 2024.

Photo courtesy of Reel Release Sport Fishing.

Whether you’re looking for an idyllic freshwater adventure or an offshore trophy hunt, you’ll find somewhere you can do it on our list. Each destination we’ve picked offers red hot action during summer. So without further ado, let’s dive into this year’s picks!

San Diego, CA

“America’s Finest City” is a fantastic vacation destination whether you like fishing or not. But anglers will definitely love the city even more than usual, as San Diego is home to one of the most exciting fisheries in the world. In the summertime, the fishing in SoCal gets smoldering hot, with just about every species available biting with fervor.

An aerial photo of San Diego's shores, with waves crashing against the city's rocky cliffs and numerous buildings and houses stretching towards the horizon.

The action starts as soon as you hit San Diego Bay. Leopard Sharks, Calico Bass, Halibut, and numerous other species inhabit these waters, offering thrilling fishing minutes from shore. Moving offshore, the angling gets even better! The deep seas, as well as the waters around Catalina and San Clemente Islands, are abundant with Yellowtail, White Seabass, Mahi Mahi, Tuna, and more.

If you’re wondering what else there is to do in San Diego, the answer is – plenty! Some of the must-visit attractions include the city zoo, Balboa Park, and La Jolla. There’s also great surfing and diving along the coast, and the beaches are absolutely breathtaking.

Islamorada, FL

Situated right in the heart of the Florida Keys, Islamorada is a village that bears a unique title in the angling world. Dubbed the “Sportfishing Capital of the World,” it’s really no exaggeration to call it so, as it’s said to hold the most IGFA records of any single place on the planet.

An aerial view of a beach in Islamorada, FL in summer, with sun loungers visible in the foreground and a fishing pier sticking out into the water in the middle of the image.

There’s an incredible variety of fish you can catch in Islamorada. Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit, and Snook prowl the inshore waters, while the nearshore reefs house delicious Grouper and Snapper. Move offshore to one of the famous dropoffs such as the “Hump,” and you’ll get to catch Blackfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Billfish, and more.

Besides fishing, there are lots of things to do in Islamorada. Its central location makes it a great starting point for exploring the entirety of the Florida Keys. Go on a snorkeling tour, swim with dolphins, tour the local museums and historic marinas, or dip your toes on Anne’s Beach and relax. And if you get the big city itch, Miami is only an hour and a half away.

Virginia Beach, VA

Nestled at the exit of the Chesapeake Bay, where these productive waters meet the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach is one of the top vacation spots on the East Coast. Luxurious resorts, pristine beaches, and sunny weather draw in millions of vacationers every year. And while most know Virginia Beach for its beautiful shoreline, this coastal city also falls among the best fishing destinations in summer.

A sunset photo of the fishing pier in Virginia Beach, one of the best summer angling destinations, as small waves roll towards the pristine sandy beach.

The stars of the angling show in Virginia Beach are, of course, Striped Bass – known locally as Rockfish. However, there are also Cobia, Bluefish, and Spanish Mackerel swimming close to the city’s shores. Further offshore, there are even bigger prizes waiting. From King Mackerel and Mahi Mahi to Wahoo, Tuna, and Billfish… It all depends on how far you’re willing to go!

Besides fishing, you should really spend some time enjoying the Virginia Beach coastline and its famous boardwalk. There are also many parks and museums you can visit, including the Military Aviation Museum, which is home to one of the world’s largest collections of vintage aircraft.

Jacksonville, FL

Endless nightlife, stunning beaches on its oceanfront, and a unique blend of nature and urban living – Jacksonville is one of Florida’s most iconic destinations. But the city is also home to some of the state’s best fishing. It sits on the St. Johns River, which is a fantastic fishery in its own right, while also boasting easy access to the Atlantic Ocean.

A view of the Jacksonville Riverwalk at sunset, with the St. Johns River visible to the right of the photo and numerous buildings in the distance.

If you set out to explore the river and the inshore waters surrounding Jacksonville, expect to catch the likes of Redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, and Sheepshead. Once you head out of the inlet and into the Atlantic, your list of targets will expand. On the reefs, you’ll encounter Snapper, Grouper, and Amberjack, to name a few, while there’s also a number of pelagic species you can hook into further offshore. King Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, Blackfin Tuna, and Sailfish are among the most popular targets, and all peak during summer.

As for other activities, we recommend spending some time enjoying Jacksonville’s urban nature. Jacksonville Zoo is an excellent place to visit, as well as the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary. You’ll also find various parks throughout the city and along the Atlantic shoreline.

Oswego County, NY

With vast forests, coursing rivers, and the sandy shores of Lake Ontario, Oswego County is a place of incredible natural beauty. And since there’s a Great Lake at your disposal, as well as several world-class rivers, it’s also a fantastic destination for summer fishing.

A view towards Oswego Lighthouse and Lake Ontario, with a jetty visible in the foreground on a clear day, with calm waters in the distance.

As you might have guessed, the most popular fishery in Oswego County is Lake Ontario. In it, you’ll get to test your angling mettle against Chinook and Coho Salmon, as well as Brown and Lake Trout. Besides the big lake, there are numerous others, such as Oneida. Here, you can fish for Walleye, Bass, Pike, and more. If you visit in late summer, you can hit Lake Ontario’s tributaries, such as the Salmon River, and catch – you guessed it – Salmon!

In terms of activities, Oswego County is really best suited for outdoorsy types. With the warm summer weather, you can enjoy the Lake Ontario’s beaches to their fullest. Or make your way up along the Salmon River and view the stunning waterfalls in Orwell.

St. Louis, MO

Known as one of the cradles of early blues and jazz music, as well as for its impressive architecture, St. Louis is a city with a rich cultural heritage. It’s a place where you can spend days exploring, never running out of things to do or see. And with the city nestled on the great Mississippi River, it’s also a great summer fishing destination.

A scenic sunset shot of the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, taken from the Mississippi River, which is a great destination for summer fishing.

There are numerous lakes and ponds scattered throughout the city, which offer anglers the chance to cast their lines without committing to a longer trip. The urban ponds are typically stocked with Catfish, so you can expect those to be your main catch in summertime. Of course, there’s also the option of fishing the Mississippi River. The Riverlands, just north of the city, is a good place But you can also head even further upriver to fish Pool 26 near Winfield – it’s just an hour from St. Louis!

While you’re in the city, make sure to pay a visit to the Gateway Arch. You can also catch a game and drink a beer at Busch Stadium or tour the city’s botanical garden or the zoo for a more nature-oriented experience. Either way, St. Louis is a great place to see, and the freshwater fishing is rock solid, too.

Lake of the Woods, MN

Found in the very north of Minnesota, right on the border with Canada, Lake of the Woods is one of the most magical places in the country. It’s a lake that’s famous both for its breathtaking scenery and the epic fishing. In fact, Lake of the Woods is often called the “Walleye Capital of the World” – a title it shares with Lake Erie.

A view across the calm waters of Lake of the Woods at sunset, with the sun visible behind some low-lying clouds and trees in the distance.

When it comes to Walleye fishing, Lake of the Woods is pretty much unmatched. These fish are found in abundance throughout the lake’s waters, and they grow to good sizes, too! Besides Walleye, there are also Bass, Northern Pike, Musky, and even Sturgeon roaming around. The Rainy River, which flows into the lake in its southern part, is also a world-class fishery in itself.

In nearby Baudette, you’ll find Willie Walleye, a large statue that perfectly encapsulates just how much the locals love their gravel lizards. After paying it a visit, you can simply relax along the lake’s sandy shorelines and enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

Lake Tahoe, CA/NV

Straddling the border between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is one of the most scenic lakes in America. It’s enclosed by the Sierra Nevada Mountains which reflect in the pure, blue waters of the lake, creating a mirage that’ll take your breath away. And, of course, this alpine lake is also abundant with life, including a range of fish species you can target.

The crystal clear and blue waters of Lake Tahoe, with evergreen trees on the shore, snow-capped mountains and clear blue skies in the background.

Lake Tahoe is primarily known for the Lake Trout (locally called Mackinaw) that inhabit its waters. These “Macks” can reach weights of over 20 pounds, and they put up one heck of a fight when you hook them. You’ll also find Rainbow and Brown Trout, as well as Kokanee Salmon in the lake, all of which will bite during summertime.

In addition to fishing, summer is also the prime time for swimming in the lake, hiking the surrounding trails, and just generally enjoying the outdoors. Lake Tahoe is loosely separated into northern and southern parts. The north is more serene and nature-oriented, while you’ll find more entertainment, concerts, and a bustling nightlife in the south.

Seattle, WA

To finish off our list of the best summer fishing destinations in the US, we venture to the Emerald City. Seattle is one of the most iconic cities in America. It’s famous for its rock music history, an obsessive love for coffee, and lush greenery scattered throughout the city. And since Seattle sits on the Puget Sound, it also features some of the finest angling in the Pacific Northwest.

A sunset view of Seattle’s skyline and several iconic landmarks posing against the blue water in front of them and purple-hued skies behind them.

July and August are the peak times to fish the waters around Seattle. You’ll find tough-fighting Chinook, as well as silvery Coho Salmon. Steelhead fishing is also available in places such as the Skykomish River. However, these fish are heavily regulated, so you’ll generally have to release them.

Seattle is a fun city to vacation in, with endless attractions and activities for you to enjoy. Visit landmarks such as the Space Needle or the Seattle Great Wheel, tour the Chihuly Garden and Glass Gallery, and immerse yourself in pop culture in the MoPOP Museum. Oh, and if you need a pick-me-up, grab some delicious coffee at one of the many local roasters. Thank us later!

Summer: The Best Time to Fish in the US

A photo of an angler standing in the ankle-deep water and fly fishing in the shallows on a bright and sunny day in Florida Keys.
Photo courtesy of Goliath Charters Summerland.

And there you have it, we’ve reached the end of our list for 2024. Pick any of the destinations on the list and you’ll be set for a thrilling summer fishing adventure. The sunny outdoors and hungry fish await in waters across America. So find a guide and live out your angling dreams to their fullest!

How do you like our list of best summer fishing destinations in the US? Are there any places you would add to the list? Hit the comments and let us know.

We write an article on summer fishing destinations every year. If you’d like to take a look at the previous year’s list, click here.

The post 9 Best Summer Fishing Destinations in the US appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Marko
Title: 9 Best Summer Fishing Destinations in the US
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/summer-fishing-destinations/
Published Date: Thu, 06 Jun 2024 16:33:56 +0000

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