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The 5 Best States for Fishing

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

There are countless spots for fishing across the United States, but what states land in the top 5? The criteria that these states are put under include: community interest, water sources, easy access to gear, affordable fishing licenses, and overall scenery.

1. Alaska

Alaska was named the best destination for fishing due to Alaska's cold climate, abundance of salmon, and the niche it provides for the community. Alaskan waters are swarming with 600 species of fish, including the king salmon. The tail end of King Salmon season and the peak time for catching Pink, Red, Silver, and Chum Salmon.

2. Michigan

Surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan is number two on the list. The state has the longest freshwater coastline in the U.S., and almost 65,000 lakes and ponds. Giving Michigan one of the greatest ranks for access to water. Some of the best spots to fish in Michigan include Saginaw Bay, Union Lake, and 275,000-acre Lake St. Clair.

3. Maine

Maine boasts thousands of miles of rivers and streams, and hundreds of freshwater lakes. Lobstering and ground fishing also play a significant part in the state's economy, and sport fishing is a major tourist attraction. Cobbosseecontee Lake is a favorite spot for bass fishing among locals and experienced anglers.

4. Rhode Island

Now I know what you're thinking, “Rhode Island? This tiny state?” Yes! The smallest state in the country is filled with great ponds and lakes. The Ocean State also boasts impressive coastal shorelines littered with a plethora of fish to catch. Not to be missed is Ninigret Pond in Charlestown where you can fish in the largest coastal salt pond the state has to offer. Other top fishing spots include Watchaug Pond.

5. Florida

Subtropical Florida is the self-proclaimed "Fishing Capital of the World," and is a major tourist destination in the U.S., where fishing is a billion-dollar industry. Florida fell behind other states because of cost and supplies, meaning it's a bit pricier to get your fishing permits. Bait and tackle shops also are lacking throughout the state. Experts recommend avoiding Florida's coral reefs, where the fragile but important ecosystem is threatened by overfishing. Key West, or "Fisherman's Paradise" is a more sustainable option where you can find plenty of fish swimming through the warm waters of the Gulf Stream.


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