The top saltwater fishing destinations in the U.S.

The top saltwater fishing destinations in the U.S. – words Alexa Wang

If you’re an expert in all things saltwater fishing, from the type of boat that works best for your needs to the type of saltwater trolling motor you need, you may be looking for a new adventure.

Perhaps a new destination for saltwater fishing in the United States.

Luckily, the options are plentiful, and the following are some of the best travel destinations in the United States if you’re a saltwater fisher, or you’d just like to give it a try.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks are located just off the coast of North Carolina, and they offer excellent saltwater fishing options. To fish in the Outer Banks, you do need to have a saltwater fishing license, which you can get online or from a tackle shop in the local area.

Fishing in the northern part of the Currituck Sound of the Outer Banks is actually considered freshwater fishing, so for that, you’ll need a freshwater license.

Some of the fish that you’ll commonly catch if you go to the Outer Banks include blue marlin, white marlin, yellowfin tuna, and wahoo if you’re fishing offshore. If you’re surf fishing, you might catch Spanish mackerel, sea mullet, and striped bass, and in the sound, there are bass, trout, and flounder.

If you go off-shore fishing from the Outer Banks, you’ll be going to the Gulf Stream where you can find big fish and plenty of action.

Montauk, New York

Montauk Harbor has a sign when you enter declaring it the Fishing Capital of the World. Montauk Harbor has the largest commercial fishing harbor in New York, and it’s known for having the best sport fishing on the East Coast. If you go offshore, you might catch tuna, marlin, or mahi-mahi.

Montauk is a particularly good saltwater fishing destination because fish migrate to Main from the Long Island Sound, and Montauk is on the path.

Along with deep-water fishing, surf fishing is popular in Montauk as well.

The Montauk fishing season is short, but when it’s at a peak, it’s excellent. When there’s a spike in fish in the area, it’s reported that they’ll be bumping into the hulls of boats because they are so tightly packed. The best Montauk fishing times are September and October.

The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys is not just one of the country’s best fishing destinations—it’s one of the world’s. The Florida Keys is among most people’s bucket lists for fishing as well as diving.

There is offshore fishing in the Keys where you might catch sailfish, marlin, mahi-mahi or wahoo. You can also reef fish and catch snapper and grouper, and if you go backcountry fishing, there are bonefish, snook, and tarp. If you go diving or snorkeling, you can also try your hand at grabbing lobster.

To fish from a private boat or the shore in the Keys, you’ll need a fishing license. If you go on a charter boat, you don’t need a license because the boat’s license covers you.

Specific fishing hotspots in the Keys include Islamorada and Key Largo.

Galveston, TX

Galveston, Texas offers access to beaches, bay reefs around the piers and flats. Some of the species you might catch in and around Galveston include sharks, cobia and flounder.

Fishing East Galveston Bay might put you near seatrout and redfish, and there are reefs and flats in the bay including Hanna’s Reef and Pepper Grove Reef.

Eagle Point Marina is another popular place to head if you like to fish, as is Pelican Island.

San Diego, California

Finally, San Diego surprisingly is one of the best fishing destinations in America as well. San Diego offers 70  miles of beaches, and the Pacific Ocean is home to yellowfin, bluefin, albacore, and mako, among others. If you’re inshore, you might catch halibut, rockfish, or white sea bass. There are five landings in San Diego, including Point Loma and Dana Landing. You can make a charter trip, and the crew can help you process your fresh fish.

Along with saltwater fishing, there is plentiful freshwater to fish in as well. In fact, San Diego is often named as one of America’s best fishing cities in general. There are more than 20 lakes and reservoirs in the San Diego area, which is especially known for largemouth bass.

For pier fishing, there are seven ocean options, each of which has a bait and tackle shop available and you can catch bay bass, halibut, and bonito.


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