March 1, 2024

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Top Spring Fishing Locations in the US 2023

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As soon as we feel spring approaching, our mood improves significantly. There’s more of a pep in our step, more energy to start new adventures and, who knows, maybe even change the world. It all depends on your ambitions and hobbies. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast and a passionate angler, then you can’t wait for the chance to get into some first-class spring fishing. Rightfully so, because in some parts of the country, this is the best time to cast a line.

As the weather warms up, so do the waters, and that means only one thing – more fish are out and about, and they’re hungry! You can stick to some close-to-home watersheds or you can pack your gear and treat yourself to a visit to some of the best fisheries in the US. It’s your choice. For all anglers out there looking for a taste of excitement, here’s our choice of the top spring fishing spots for 2023 that you shouldn’t miss out on.

Ocean City, Maryland

We’ll start our journey on the East Coast, in a coastal town that has its roots in fishing. Once a small fishing village, it’s now a uniquely beautiful coastal town – Ocean City, MD brings a lot to the table. With the Isle of Wight and Assawoman Bays in the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, this is the place to be whatever your fishing ambitions are.

Spring fishing in Ocean City, MD is great fun for locals and visiting anglers alike. As the days become warmer, you’ll see increasingly more fishermen dotting the coastline. Surf fishing is very good, with Rockfish (Striped Bass) and Fluke (Flounder) being the most fun and delicious catches you can look forward to. That’s just the beginning – Tautog, Bluefish, Black Seabass, and many more are also in the cards.

If you come in late spring, going offshore will pay off. Yellowfin and Bluefin Tuna start to show up around this time, and other game fish are biting as well. Ocean City is also known as the “White Marlin Capital of the World,” though you’ll need to wait until summer to hook into one of these bad boys.

The family-friendly atmosphere of Ocean City is one of its best features. There are miles upon miles of sandy beaches at your disposal, a boardwalk that’s almost two centuries old, and the Trimper Rides to get your adrenaline pumping. It’s easy to see why Ocean City tops our list of top spring fishing spots!

South Padre Island, Texas

In the southernmost reaches of Texas, you’ll find South Padre Island. The views are unforgettable and the fishing is phenomenal. There’s a lot to do, whether you come to party or want to spend your days reeling in fish from these productive waters. Not only can you target all the state’s top catches here, but you can get a few species that aren’t usually present anywhere else in the state.

An aerial view of South Padre Island beach and pier on a clear day, with plenty of people sunbathing and swimming on the right of the image, and the Gulf's waters crashing into the beach on the left

Of course, we’re talking about Red Snapper, readily available in the Lone Star State’s waters. Only in Texas can you get Snapper year-round, which is already reason enough to visit. Then you’ve got your inshore greats – Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder, which make up the “Texas Slam.” This makes spring fishing on South Padre Island unforgettable. As if that wasn’t enough, you can even hook into a Tarpon from March onwards.

Surf fishing and galavanting around the flats and jetties offers first-class bites, but what about deeper waters? In late spring, you can chase a variety of game fish, including King Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, Red Snapper, and Sharks.

When you’re done with fishing for the day, why not go horseback riding on the beach? You can book kayak tours (or kayak fishing tours), go paddle boarding, or even parasailing. Take it as slow or as fast as you’d like. Either way, the island will provide.

Roanoke, Virginia

Maybe you’re a freshwater fishing aficionado and you’re looking for an angling spot that’s also a diamond in the rough. If that’s the case, look no further than Roanoke. The city is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western Virginia, surrounded by no less than five fishable lakes, with the Roanoke River running straight through the heart of the city, too.

An aerial view of the city of Roanoke, with massive mountains in the background, and bright yellow skies at sunrise

As you might imagine, there’s no shortage of fishing opportunities in and around Roanoke. Whether you choose to go out with your family or explore the farther reaches of the mountain streams on your own, you won’t go wrong. The Roanoke River is the best place to start. Here, you can focus on Black Bass, Trout, and Bluegill. You can also find good numbers of Catfish in some sections of the river.

Going to the lakes? Smith Mountain Lake will reward you with strong Striped Bass, as well as Smallmouth and Largemouth varieties. Come at the beginning of May, and check out the Mercury Marine Blue Ridge Big Bass Classic. You can also try your luck at Carvins Cove and Loch Haven Lake. When you’re not fishing in Roanoke, you can go hiking or visit the Roanoke Star, the most famous landmark in the area.

Morro Bay, California

Now, let’s explore the Pacific Coast and the beautiful coastal area around Morro Bay. If you love fishing, this place needs no introduction – it’s one of the more productive, yet relaxed angling destinations you can find. With gorgeous weather year-round, and views just as good, Morro Bay has a lot to offer.

The Morro Rock shrouded with mist, with water all around it, and a fishing boat on the water

Tourism and fishing are two pillars of the Morro Bay community, both blossoming and developing to this day. Locals understand the importance of their fisheries and fiercely protect them. As a result, some of the most popular and delicious fish around call these waters home. Come in spring, and you can target Rockfish, Halibut, Lingcod, and even Chinook Salmon.

Shore anglers can go after these species year-round, but boat fishing is allowed from April. As the season starts, Salmon arrive in good numbers, and all other bottom fish are active and ready to bite. That’s why spring is the perfect time to pop by for a visit – to take advantage of the great action!

When you’re not fishing, Morro Bay has plenty of fun activities for you to enjoy. Don’t miss out on going to the Morro Rock, also known as the “Gibraltar of the Pacific.” Check out the Embarcardero waterfront and enjoy the delectable seafood delicacies – maybe even made from the fish you caught! It doesn’t get better than that.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

When you’ve got three mighty rivers converging in a city, the chances of finding a fishing spot are all but certain. That’s exactly what you’ll get in Pittsburgh – aka “The City of Bridges.” There are more than 440 bridges here and many productive waters that you can explore. If that sounds awesome, it’s because it is.

An aerial view of downtown Pittsburgh at the confluence of two rivers, with many bridges that connect the city center with the other other parts of the city ivisible on either side of downtown

With the Ohio River in the west, the Allegheny River in the east, and the Monongahela River in the south, you’re choice of fishing spots is enviable. The rivers pose as the city’s limits, and in them, you can fish for anything from Walleye and Bass to massive Catfish. If you’re not sure where to start your spring fishing adventure in Pittsburgh, head to Point State Park.

The areas around the city are full of lakes and creeks where you can enjoy some decent angling action, with Cross Creek Lake and North Park Lake being the most prominent fisheries. Once you’re back in Pittsburgh proper, visit the botanical gardens or the Andy Warhol Museum, and enjoy the unique combo of cuisines that the city has to offer. A fishing trip turned into a city break? Yes, please!

Bozeman, Montana

Maybe you’ve never been to Bozeman, but chances are you’ve heard of it. If you watched the legendary movie “A River Runs Through It,” then you know that some of the most stunning and prolific fishing waters in the country are right around Bozeman. Fly fishing is not a pastime here, it’s a way of life, and one loved by pretty much everyone.

A view acrpss a river near Bozeman, Montana with snow-capped mountains in the background on a relatively clear winter's day

You’ve got the Yellowstone, Madison, and Gallatin Rivers here, each packed with excellent, hard-fighting fish. The Gallatin River is a blue ribbon stream, which speaks volumes of its quality. As you’ve probably guessed, Trout are the main attraction. Hard-fighting Brown Trout are the most sought-after species, closely followed by their Cutthroat and Rainbow cousins. These fish are big, strong, and ferocious, and taming one on the fly is a feat of skill and patience.

There’s no overselling Bozeman’s beauty and breathtaking scenery surrounding it. Spring fishing here brings strong currents and ice-cold pristine waters, brimming with plump and hungry Trout. Outdoor enthusiasts can discover the creeks and lakes in the broader area while hiking the Appalachian Trail, along with many others that lead out of the city and into the magnificent nature of southern Montana.

Saratoga Lake, New York

Less than an hour from the New York state capital, Albany, you’ll find the gorgeous Saratoga Lake. This is both a popular weekend getaway spot and a favorite fishing hole of many New Yorkers. After ice-out, the fish come out to play and they’re hungry enough to attack your offering with wild abandon.

A view across the water of lakefront houses dotted on the shore of Saratoga Lake, with fall foliage behind them

Spring fishing on Saratoga Lake can be super successful because there’s a variety of freshwater game fish to target. Walleye are probably the most popular catch, and they’re among the first to start biting. Then come Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, with Northern Pike, Crappie, and Carp right behind. You can also find good numbers of Bluegill swimming around.

The biggest fish in the lake are Carp, as they can weigh a few dozen pounds. Bowfishing for Carp is big here, and there’s even a yearly tournament dedicated to it. If you’d like to try something different, this definitely takes the ticket. Want to do more than fishing? No problem. Saratoga Lake has plenty of options. Kayaking and paddleboarding are two go-to pastimes, as is relaxing on Brown Beach and having a picnic at the waterfront park.

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Let’s travel north now, to the city of Sturgeon Bay and the legendary waters of Lake Michigan. Famous both for its ice fishing and traditional fishing potential, Sturgeon Bay could be the place where all your fishing dreams come true. Spring fishing in the area is off the hook, whether you fish from shore or hire a guide to take you out.

An aerial view of Sturgeon Bay and its boat marina on a sunny and cloudy day, with two bridges visible across the water in the foreground, and another in the distance

Cutting the Door Peninsula almost exactly through the middle, Sturgeon Bay boasts easy access to Lake Michigan. In its vast and murky waters, you’ll find a variety of freshwater game fish. Big Walleye come out to play in spring, as soon as the ice is melted. They’re the number one target both because of their feistiness and delectable taste.

Smallmouth Bass follow right behind, and this is one of the destinations to catch them in the whole state. As the days become warmer, you’ll find more and more Trout swimming about, as well as Salmon, Musky, and Yellow Perch. When you’re not on the water, check out Sturgeon Bay’s many museums or hike out to the Whitefish Dunes State Park.

Clinton Lake, Kansas

Looking to cast a line off the beaten path? Clinton Lake might just be the place for you. In the east of the Sunflower State, right between Topeka and Kansas City, you’ll find a beautiful wildlife area with this lake’s clear waters in its center. Here, you can fish, swim, hike, mountain bike, and so much more. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll have a lot of fun here.

An aerial view of Clinton Lake in Kansas at sunset, with land sticking out into the lake, with the sun setting in the distance

Clinton Lake has a well-earned reputation as one of Kansas’ strongest fisheries. These pristine waters are brimming with the likes of Catfish, Crappie, Walleye, and Sunfish. All of them are fun to catch and, what’s equally important, all of them are delicious. Clinton State Park gives you good access to shore fishing and there are even a few guides on the lake that can take you out on their boat, too.

Clinton Lake is a superb spring fishing destination for families because of the local fishing pond for kids. Bring your little ones and show them the ropes – they can learn the basics and have a fantastic time catching small Bluegill and Catfish. After that, you can explore one of the several hiking trails, pick a spot in the park for a picnic in the sun, or go horseback riding on one of the many trails. There are plenty of things to do and enjoy on wonderful Clinton Lake!

Get Ready for Some Top-notch Spring Fishing!

If you can’t wait for warmer weather and sunny days, we’re with you! If you’re here, you already know that fishing is one of the best ways to spend quality time outside, and maybe come back with a delicious dinner. That’s why we made this list of top spring fishing spots – to motivate you to make your spring fishing plans and follow through. Chances are, you’re going to have the best time!

Do you have a favorite spring fishing spot? Is there a destination that we missed and that’s worth our attention? Let us know in the comments below.

We bring to you the selection of top spring fishing locales yearly, so if you’re looking for more inspiration, check out the spots that made the list last year.

The post Top Spring Fishing Spots in the US for 2023 appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Andriana
Title: Top Spring Fishing Spots in the US for 2023
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Published Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2023 15:24:16 +0000

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