Five must-visit areas for fishing in the eastern United States.
Pop open your bucket list journals and get ready to take some notes. Most of us get so caught up local fishing spots that we forget there’s an entire world out there teeming with fish prepared for us to catch.
Up and down the Atlantic states, we have a plethora of incredible fishing spots — more than we could name in one article. So let’s focus only on the best of the best. These dynamite fishing locations are:
- The most accessible
- The easiest to fish
- Close to other attractions
- Enjoyable for the whole family
Of course, everyone you ask will always have a different opinion, and most people will defend their local spot. These are my favorites, according to personal experience, research and networking with other anglers.
Let’s get into it!
Planning Your Fishing Trip
Before you head out, you need to plan everything and get organized. A lot of the steps you need to take depend on the purpose of your outing. Are you going with friends for a bachelor party? Are you planning a family trip? There’s an east coast fishing trip for each type of occasion.
Here are some steps you’ll want to take when planning your fishing trip.
Figure out what you want to catch
You have to know what you want to catch or what is available to catch in the location you are going to. If you don’t understand the species that inhabit the waters, you won’t know what kind of gear you need to bring.
Since we’re talking east coast fishing, we’re talking a lot of saltwater species like redfish, mahi-mahi, cod, and seabass. You need to prepare accordingly to catch these types of fish. If you are unsure about what you’ll catch, make sure you do plenty of research ahead of time, so you show you prepared.
Get your gear together
Now that you know the species of fish you’ll find in the water, you can start to prepare the gear you need to catch them. It goes without saying that you wouldn’t fish for smallmouth bass the same way you would fish for haddock. Along with the right lures, make sure you have the right rod and reel to handle the job.
What else is planned?
While you might plan your entire trip around fishing, you’re going to need to find some other things to do in the area you’re going. You want to keep that in mind when planning your trip. You might find the best fishing in the world in this small pond 200 miles from the nearest gas station, but you won’t find much else out there.
Plan your trip around other attractions as well. If you’re looking for some inspiration, consider planning a trip near one of the Top-Rated Good Sam RV Parks and Campgrounds. There are ample locations within close proximity to great fishing spots.
The 5 Best Eastern U.S. Fishing Trips
Now it’s time for the good stuff. You came here for fishing spots, and we’ve got them. Below you’ll find some great salt and freshwater locations on the east coast that are sure to impress. These spots are in no particular order.
1) Hilton Head, South Carolina
My favorite saltwater fishing spot on the east coast is Hilton Head, South Carolina, for sure. Here you’ll find some of the most untouched shorelines with a great ecosystem of fish. If you’re traveling with the family, consider checking out Jarvis Creek Park. Here you’ll find plenty of easily accessible docks for the kids. Plan to fish for bass when you hit this spot.
For salt fishing, check out Palmetto Dunes. Here you can escape the rough shore fishing and still find salt species like redfish, black drum, tarpon, and flounder.
In Hilton Head, there are also a bunch of great fishing charters that offer you the full experience of expert angling without asking much out of you. Taking a charter allows you to get out on the water as far as 25 miles from the shore. Doing this offers you the rare chance to catch fish like grouper and snapper.
If you’re planning on camping or renting a cottage nearby, you could check out The Campground at James Island County Park in nearby Charleston. They have great family activities like a water park, climbing wall, challenge course, and more.
2) Montauk, New York
I can almost guarantee that I would not be the first person to recommend Montauk to you. This area is locally claimed as the “Fishing Capital of the World.” This spot is located right at the eastern tip of Long Island, and it sees incredible schools of migrating fish moving from the Long Island Sound to Maine.
Many people travel to this location for bass fishing, and it’s not uncommon to catch 30-pound bass here through the summer and fall. People flock here like crazy and for a good reason. If you’re planning a trip, you’re also within close proximity to the main amenities and activities available throughout Long Island.
3) Lake Champlain, Vermont
This tremendous lake straddles the border of upstate New York and Vermont. Regardless of which side you hit the lake from, you’ll find great bass and trout fishing. I recommend fishing this during the fall and into early winter. Many people also hit Lake Champlain for ice fishing if that’s your cup of tea. I also highly recommend taking a charter out on this huge lake for the full experience.
4) Destin, Florida
Taking a trip to the Florida panhandle offers tons of great fishing opportunities. Here, you’ll find speckled trout, redfish and sheepshead. The great thing about Destin is that you have the capabilities of fishing inshore and taking a quick drive to the Gulf to fish for pompano and mackerel. Don’t forget that you have incredible access to some of the most beautiful beaches, parks and campgrounds in the world.
5) Portland, Maine
If you’re not all about the white-sand beaches and hot weather, you could opt to head all the way north up to Portland, Maine. Here you’ll find incredible greenery, and fishing like you’ve never seen before. There is a reason why the food is so great in this state; it boasts a vast ecosystem that makes fishing the entire shore up and down a great experience.
Off Maine’s coastline, you can expect to catch plenty of cod, haddock, halibut and striped bass.
If you’re looking for something else to do, you can take a short drive to Kennebunkport and stay at one of the best campgrounds on the east coast, Sandy Pines Campground. This campground has something for the entire family to do.
You know darn well what’s next! Start planning your trip to one of the amazing locations featured above. You’ll find incredible fishing, great attractions and endless fun at any one of the spots featured above.
Even more, you’ll find great memories with your friends and family. Put a dent in your bucket list this year! If you see this post on social media, let us know which one of these beautiful spots you enjoyed the most.