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The 10 Best Destinations for Saltwater Fishing in the US

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While freshwater fishing is the most common experience for a majority of anglers, there is an impressive number of fish species found when saltwater fishing. These unique saltwater fishing locations are a must-do on any angler’s bucket list…

1. The Florida Keys

The Keys are a string of coral islands that stretch 125 miles. Located just 15 miles from Miami, they include well-known islands like Key West and Key Largo. Commercial and recreational fishing with crankbait rods are year-long activities in The Keys, and anglers fish for highly sought-after species like redfish, bonefish, permit, tarpon and snook..

(follow this link if you require another kind of rod holder)

A fishing expedition to The Keys wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Atlantic Ocean. There, you have a chance to angle for prized fish such as sailfish, swordfish and white marlin. 

[NOTE: you may want to check out these portable fishing pole‘s before you go.]

2. Miami, Florida

The most noteworthy parts of Miami’s fishing scene are the marinas, which host sport-fishing yachts in a city known for its glitz and glamor. The bays of Miami, along with the Newport fishing pier, are the most well-known havens for fishing. There are plenty of big fish to catch in Miami, including tarpon, grouper, sailfish and swordfish.

The right performance fishing apparel is just as important in the sun as in the cold. Choose a crew neck shirt with +UPF 30 to block harmful UVA and UVB rays. Whether fishing in The Keys, Miami or any other hot destination, an anti-microbial treated shirt provides more breathability while protecting you from the sun.

3. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Historic Cape Cod is known for its wahoo, swordfish, bluefish, giant bluefin tuna and as the name suggests, cod. It’s a location that’s long held a fantastic reputation as a fishing area. Due to the shape of the land, there are sheltered conditions and flat seas throughout the year. 

For those looking for striped bass, the action increases in May and June. Aside from fishing, sandy beaches, historic lighthouses, a water park and shopping plazas with niche gift stores make it a fun and friendly attraction for the whole family.  If you’re taking your kayak out, make sure you at least consider bringing with you kayak fish finders. These help you easily identify where the action is and save time.

4. Galveston, Texas

Galveston is the barrier between the Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Anglers can expect to see redfish, speckled trout, sheepshead, black drum and flounder. Galveston Bay is known to have giant kingfish in its waters as well.

Meanwhile, the Gulf is home to red snapper, wahoo, world-class sailfish, king mackerel, cobia, yellowfin tuna and marlin.

5. Montauk, New York

Known as the “Fishing Capital of the World,” Montauk is the most popular fishing destination north of Florida. This is possibly due in part to Montauk’s proximity to New York City, but the large schools of fish migrating from the Long Island Sound up to Maine also spark interest in Montauk as a top spot for anglers. It’s a great destination for trying the saltwater fishing kayaks that are available around $1000.

Montauk Harbor is the state’s largest commercial harbor. Big bass and striped bass are the most common fish caught in the area from May to October, but offshore canyons provide a steeper challenge: Big tuna. Porgies, blackfish, fluke and flounder are just some of the many other fish species that are found in Montauk.

6. Venice, Louisiana

Located in southeast Louisiana, the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River Delta meet at Venice, Louisiana. Due to the unique land structure, including numerous reefs, hiring a charter captain will help you net your catch. 

Inshore of the gulf, in the marshy bays close to the river, there are trophy fish like black drum, flounder, redfish, sheepshead and speckled trout. There are also tuna and marlin in the offshore canyons.

For those looking to have a good time after the fishing is done, the city of New Orleans is located just 1½ hours from Venice.

7. San Diego, California

With a wide variety of fish and some of the largest types, San Diego is another excellent spot for anglers. From San Diego’s waters are highly productive and present anglers with a myriad of species to chase in the Pacific’s warm waters, including spotted bay bass, albacore, mahi, halibut, rockfish, giant tuna, perch, corbina, bonefish, bonito and leopard sharks.

San Diego has some of the most exciting waters for catching tuna, which include yellowfin tuna and world-class bluefin tuna. With seven piers that allow fishing, San Diego is home to Ocean Beach Pier, a main attraction for locals and tourists as the longest concrete pier on the west coast.

8. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach doesn’t often get the credit it deserves as a fishing destination, despite the variety of fish that can be caught in its waters. Located where the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay and several other freshwater bodies meet, anglers can find both freshwater and deep-sea species.

Virginia Beach also hosts several fishing tournaments, including the striper tournament held in January. Offshore fishing can net an angler their selection of tuna or marlin, while inshore anglers will chase cobia, flounder, red drum and sea trout.

Once you are done fishing for the day, enjoy the 3-mile boardwalk that stretches along the oceanfront and hosts restaurants, museums, live entertainment, amusement areas and sculptures. 

9. Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks in North Carolina are viewed as some of the most productive waters on the East Coast, with Hatteras Island acting as a highway for fish. Wahoo, sailfish, yellowfin tuna and red drum aggressively feed as Gulf Stream waters move them up the coast from southern fisheries like South Florida.

The ideal months to fish in the Outer Banks are from April to June, with the fall bringing the most action for catching tuna.

10. Panama City Beach, Florida

Located on Florida’s Forgotten Coast, Panama City has crystal clear inshore waters that provide anglers access to redfish, flounder, tarpon and sea trout. Offshore, anglers have a variety of fish species to choose from as well, including king mackerel, blue marlin, tuna and cobia.

Bring high-quality fishing apparel, including gaiters, which provide much-needed protection against the Florida sun.

Where Will You Go?

For anglers looking to have their best experience, these locations are considered the most attractive saltwater fishing spots in the United States.

These locations offer anglers different types of fishing experiences, whether they prefer the Gulf Stream, flats bays, jetties, shorelines, bridges or piers.

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