50 Family Fishing Vacation Ideas: One for Each State

Oct 11, 2023 | 20 minute read Comments
Reading Time: 20 minutes

Today, we bring you some of the best family fishing vacation spots across the US. Whether it’s huge fish, nearby aqua parks, or sandy beaches – we’ll have you spoiled for choice. Ready? Jump straight to the state you’d like to explore first!






Orange Beach, Alabama

Targets: Red Snapper, Redfish, Speckled Trout, Cobia, Mackerel

two boys and their dad holding big Redfish on a family fishing trip out of Orange Beach, AL.

If you want to give your kids a vacation to remember, Orange Beach is your safest bet. It’s a perfect combo of sandy white beaches and tasty Red Snapper. But that’s not all. There are hundreds of artificial reefs close to the shore, where you can catch Snapper, Cobia, or Mackerel. Plus, you can stay inshore and get Speckled Trout and Red Drum. The best time to here come here is during the summer months when the Red Snapper craze is at its highest. Your kids will want to take part.

Kenai, Alaska

Targets: King Salmon, Steelhead, Halibut

A young boy and his dad on a family fishing trip in Kenai, Alaska holding Chinook Salmon.

If you’re a family of outdoors lovers, boy, you are going to have fun fishing in Kenai. These fisheries are not only beautiful but are also home to some of the largest King Salmon in the world. Come summer, the Kenai River is full of different Salmon species and Steelhead. They are exciting to catch and tasty too. You can spend the day walking and hiking the nearby meadows and parks, such as the Meek’s Trail or Cunningham Park. If you want to make your family fishing vacation spectacular, visit the fjords of the Kenai Fjords National Park. A short ride away is Soldotna, known as the King Salmon capital of the world. Another gem to check out is the city of Homer which many anglers visit for its Halibut fishing.

Big Lake, Arizona

Targets: Cutthroat, Rainbow, Brook, and Brown Trout

Angler holding Rainbow Trout on Big Lake Arizona fishing trip

Big Lake has some of the best family fishing in Arizona. You will find a healthy stock of Rainbow, Brook, and Brown Trout. Plus, Cutthroat Trout swarm the place during summer. You will find many visitor facilities and a good offer of fishing gear in local tackle shops. But there’s more than fishing. Make sure to bring a camera and snap some quality photos of the White Mountains behind you.

Eureka Spring, Arkansas

Targets: Rainbow Trout

A yellow bridge over the White River outside of Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs has well-preserved Victorian-era buildings, so your family fishing vacation will feel like traveling back in time. But, that’s just the beginning! There are many walking trails, mountain bike routes, air zip lines, and picnic spots around the city. The outdoors culminate in excellent Trout fishing. The White River below the Beaver Lake Dam offers good fishing for kids.

San Diego, California

Targets: California Sheephead, White Seabass, Halibut, Mahi Mahi, Sharks, Rock Cod

A mom and her son holding Rock Cod fish on a family trip in San Diego

San Diego is the hub of hip anglers. You can enjoy the sunrise on Coronado Beach, then fish for California Sheephead, White Seabass, and Halibut around Point Loma and La Jolla Cove. And that’s just to get you started. If you head offshore, you can grab Mahi Mahi, Tuna, and even Marlin (though you should try this only if your children are in their twenties or older). The fishing is solid year-round, with fishing in the summer months being on fire, both inshore and far out into the ocean.

Bear Creek Lake Park, Colorado

Targets: Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Walleye

View of trees, mountains, and Bear Creek Lake Park

The Bear Creek Lake will let you unplug and fish for Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Tiger Muskie, and Walleye. Start the day with some horse riding or archery, swim in the lake (from Memorial to Labor Day only), and then hit the water for some fun fishing. Follow the 1.3-mile-long Fisherman’s Trail for nice scenery and access to good fishing spots. You should buy a fishing license before you start in one of the nearby sporting facilities.

Westport, Connecticut

Targets: Striped Bass, Scup, Flounder

Cityscape of Westport, Connecticut showing the Saugatuck River and red buildings in the background

If you want a well-deserved fishing vacation, Westport will treat you right! From May to November, you can do some excellent fishing in the local waters. You and the kids can catch Striped Bass, Flounder, Little Tunny, or Scup. Come summer, you can enjoy Compo Beach. It is a long stretch of sand that attracts thousands of beachgoers year after year. There are plenty of restroom facilities, beach volleyball, and basketball courts. If your kids love stargazing, take them to the Westport Astronomical Society to use a telescope on a bright summer night.

Lewes, Delaware

Targets: Striped Bass, Black Seabass, Mahi Mahi, Sharks

Two young boys on a family fishing trip in Lewes, DE. One of them is holding a Flounder he caught.

Looking out onto the Atlantic, the city of Lewes has access to great family fishing. This town is a great choice when you want a laid-back family fishing vacation. You can reel in anything from Mahi Mahi to Black Seabass, Striped Bass, and Sharks. Summer is the best time to go out and land something delicious. After the fishing trip, visit the iconic Zwaanendael Museum. It celebrates the short-lived Dutch community in 17th-century Delaware. Take the stroll down to Fisherman’s Wharf for good fish lunch and continue to Lewes Beach.

Destin, Florida

Targets: Cobia, Mackerel, Redfish, Black Drum, Red Snapper, Speckled Trout, Mahi Mahi

Two girls in colorful shirts holding Black Drum on a family fishing trip out of Destin, FL.

Destin is the place where thousands of families gather each year for their annual fishing trip. It’s all about endless fishing opportunities here. You can catch Speckled Trout, Redfish, and Sheepshead inshore. A short ride into the Gulf will get you Cobia, Mackerel, Pompano, and Jack Crevalle. Move further out and you will be near some of the best bottom and game fishing in the entire Gulf of Mexico. Once you’re done fishing, hit some of the best beaches in the country and have some fish tacos down in the Destin marina.

Savannah, Georgia

Targets: Redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Black Seabass

A dad and his son holding Redfish which they caught on a fishing trip in Savannah, Georgia.

Savannah fishing is diverse and productive year-round. Right out of Wilmington Island, the backcountry waters stock Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder. You can fish from the shore or book a charter to take you out to artificial reefs. There you can catch Black Seabass, Sheepshead, and Bull Redfish (trophy-sized Reds). While you’re here, take your kids to the Savannah Children’s Museum which is entirely outdoors!

Honolulu, Hawaii

Targets: Mahi Mahi, Snapper

A couple of families holding Mahi and Billfish after their family fishing trip in Honolulu.

Hawaii has some of the best big game fishing in the world. Plus, Honolulu is as beautiful as you can imagine, a true dream-come-true vacation spot. Depending on how old your kids are, you can either bottom fish near the shore, or go out and chase game fish. Kids under 10 will love fishing for Snapper and other reef species. Meanwhile, teenagers can test their spirit against the mighty Mahi Mahi. You can also spend the day in one of the fishing farms in the central parts of the island.

Bear Lake State Park, Idaho

Targets: Cutthroat, Lake, and Rainbow Trout

View of the Bear Lake Park and mountains in the background in Colorado.

If camping, bird watching, hiking, biking, and watersports are an indispensable part of your perfect family fishing vacation scenario, you’ll enjoy Bear Lake State Park. You can camp here overnight, or drive in for a quick getaway from the city buzz. The park fisheries hold Cutthroat Trout, Lake, and Rainbow Trout, and Mountain Whitefish. It’s perfect for families who want to unwind outside and do something fun with their kids.

Sam Dale Lake, Illinois

Targets: Trout, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass

A dad and his son fishing on Lake Michigan and holding a big salmon.

Once you’ve had a good taste of Lake Michigan fisheries, try something different – head to the south of the state for a real treat. Hidden away from the buzz of Chicago, Sam Dale Lake is perfect for families who also happen to be outdoor enthusiasts. The lake holds Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, and Sunfish plus it’s stocked with Trout each spring and fall. It has camping facilities, but you should still prepare well in advance if you’re coming from afar.

Brookville Lake, Indiana

Targets: Walleye, Black Crappie, Channel Catfish

View of the Brookville Lake with trees and islands in the background

Brookville Lake is a great weekend getaway for families. With over 400 campsites and a long list of activities, you can spend your vacation hiking, boating, and sportfishing. There are two beaches where you can soak in the sun and swim. Once you have rested well, grab a pole and go fishing for Walleye, Black Crappie, and Channel Catfish. Plus, Brookville Lake is a good starting point to explore other places in Franklin County.

Green Valley Park, Iowa

Targets: White and Black Crappie, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Walleye

A happy angler holding Black Crappie he caught on his fishing trip in Green Valley Park in Iowa.

Green Valley State Park lies some 70 miles from Iowa’s capital, Des Moines, and offers good freshwater fishing. Largemouth Bass, Walleye, and Channel Catfish are the main fellas you can snatch here. But, kids can also get White and Black Crappie, Green Sunfish, and Bluegill. Bring your kids and spend the night in a pine log camper cabin, or enjoy one of 40+ campsites. There are many picnic shelters which you can reserve. If you like hiking – hit the road and explore the 900+ acres of hiking trails around the lake.

Milford Lake, Kansas

Targets: Walleye, Black Crappie, and Channel Catfish

Angler holding a Perch he caught on Lake Milford.

Kansas may not be the first fishing destination that comes to mind when you’re planning your family fishing vacation. Still, you should give it a shot! You don’t want to miss out on a nice day of fishing by overlooking the Sunflower State’s fishing and outdoors potential. Milford Lake is the biggest man-made reservoir in the state. Here, you can get Largemouth, Smallmouth Bass, White and Blue Crappie, Walleye, and Catfish. There are picnic tables, campsites, and hiking trails all around the lake.

Lake Barkley State Park, Kentucky

Targets: Black, Largemouth, White, and Striped Bass

View of the Barkley Lake and a fishing boat

Lake Barkley State Park will let you explore the finest of Kentucky fishing. You can catch Largemouth, White, and Striped Bass, as well as Channel Catfish. Kids will enjoy fishing for Redear Sunfish and Bluegill. Spring is the best time to come here with your little ones. Lake Barkley has plenty of campsites, hiking trails, wildlife exhibits, and a planetarium.

Grand Isle, Louisiana

Targets: Redfish, Grouper, Amberjack, Red Snapper, Mackerel, Cobia

A dad and his three kids holding bull Redfish they caught on their family fishing trip in Grand Isle.

Grand Isle has a stellar fishing reputation, whether it’s inshore or far offshore. The city is a major tourist destination that attracts thousands of beachgoers yearly. You and your family can catch Redfish around inshore passes and inlets, or Grouper, Amberjack, Red Snapper, Mackerel, and Cobia further out. Plus, Venice, the fishing paradise, is a stone’s throw away. After the fishing trip, you can hike around the barrier island or spend the day on the beach. There’s something for pretty much everyone here.

Portland, Maine

Targets: Striped Bass, Cod, Haddock, Halibut, Sharks

A man holding Salmon aboard a fishing charter in Portland Maine on a sunny day with Portland in the background.

If you want to escape the heat and enjoy pine trees, an oceanfront cityscape, and heavenly food, Portland is the right choice for you. The city boasts 700 acres of open space and parks, miles of trails, and a fleet of charter boats that fish the Atlantic Ocean. You and the kids can reel in Cod, Haddock, Halibut, Sharks, and Striped Bass. These fish are tasty and can be a good intro to fishing for the rookie anglers among you.

Annapolis, Maryland

Targets: Striped Bass, Redfish, Trout, Spanish Mackerel

Parents with kids fishing the Chesapeake Bay and holding Redfish.

Annapolis lies right at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay, one of the biggest and richest fisheries in the US. Start by going on a charter and chasing Striped Bass (here also known as Rockfish). But that’s just to get you warmed up. You can also catch Sharks, Redfish, Trout, as well as Spanish Mackerel during their summer migration. You can also stay on dry land and fish from the shore for Bluefish, Striped Bass, and Black Seabass. After a day out, you can do some shopping along the brick-lined streets.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Targets: Black Seabass, Cod, Haddock, Halibut, Striped Bass

A group of family and friends fishing in Cape Cod and holding Striped Bass aboard a fishing charter.

If you decide to have your family fishing vacation at Cape Cod, rest assured that the peninsula won’t let you down! Cape Cod towns gather thousands of passionate fishermen who spend their days around the dunes, bays, ponds, and lighthouses. Needless to say, Cape Cod fishing is top-notch! You can reel in Striped Bass from rocky shorelines and ledges. Take a short boat ride from the land you can target Black Seabass, Cod, Halibut, Haddock, Pollock, or some Mako Sharks.

Grand Haven, Michigan

Targets: Chinook and Coho Salmon, Perch, Lake Trout

A young boy holding a Salmon which he caught on his family fishing trip in Grand Haven

Love sandy beaches and lakefront bike trails? Grand Haven has it all! Plus, you will find a good number of Chinook and Coho Salmon. Also, there are schools of Perch for families with small kids who love to turn their daily catch into a delicious meal. Another great fighting fish that’s also scrumptious table fare are Lake Trout on Lake Michigan. Once you’re done fishing, you can take a walk to the iconic red lighthouse and snap some memorable photos.

Lake of the Woods, Minnesota

Targets: Perch, Walleye, Smallmouth Bass

A young boy holding Walleye which he caught on a fishing trip with his family on the waters of the Lake of the Woods.

We’re going to look past Lake Superior and talk about a somewhat hidden gem. Lake of the Woods combines rustic log cabins, greenery, and excellent fishing into a picture-perfect family fishing vacation. You’ll enjoy these scenic waters whether you’re fishing from shore or chartering a boat and fishing around some of the lake’s thousands of islands. Perch, Walleye, and Smallmouth Bass are only some of the fish you can take back home. During the summer, fisheries fire up with big fish and the bite stays strong until September.

Holmes County State Park, Mississippi

Targets: Bream, Perch, Walleye, Striped Bass

Perch swimming underwater in the Holmes County State Park

Want to swap sandy beaches for acres of green parks? Then the Holmes County State Park is your next stop. You can camp in the park, go on a family picnic, and walk by the lake. You can catch Bream, Perch, Walleye, Striped Bass, and many more species. If your kids are older than 16, they too will need a fishing license. You can buy a freshwater or saltwater license online.

Branson, Missouri

Targets: Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass

View of Branson, Missouri and the Table Rock Lake

The Cave State has a lot to offer to families who want to spend the day in the open air. If you’re coming from far away, you may overlook Table Rock State Park and its stock of Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass. The lines of hickory and oak trees stretch by the lake. There are many hiking, running, and biking trails which you can spend the day exploring. If you’d like to focus on fishing, pair up with local fishing guides, who can help you get your dream catch. Branson is a treat in itself. It is a popular family destination and offers a large number of theatres and music halls.

Ashley Lake, Montana

Targets: Cutthroat Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Yellow Perch

Trees and shrubbery on the Ashley Lake

Ashley Lake lies close to the more prominent Flathead Lake but has a different feel to it altogether. It’s for adventurous families with a bit older kids who’d like to camp in the wild. The lush wildlife makes this lake the perfect scenery to catch Cutthroat Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Yellow Perch, and some Rainbow and Cutthroat hybrids. Once you’re done fishing, you can take a swim or have a barbecue. You will find restrooms and picnic tables strategically positioned around the lake. You’ll have the best chances if you bring along your own boat or pair up with one of the local guides.

Walnut Creek Lake, Nebraska

Targets: Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass

A dad and his son fishing from a pier on Walnut Creek Lake.

A quick ride from Lincoln gets you to one of many family-friendly fisheries in the metro area of Omaha – the Walnut Creek Lake! You can spend the day hiking the scenic trail around the lake, chill out under the shade of the trees, walk your dog, and of course, fish! The Walnut Creek Lake holds a good number of Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Redear Sunfish, and Largemouth Bass. If you get up early in the morning or go late in the afternoon, you can snatch some pretty hefty fish. You can also explore deeper waters with a lot of structure where the fish spend the warm summer days.

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Targets: Mackinaw, Brown, and Rainbow Trout

Lake Tahoe waters with mountains and pine trees in the background

The capital of the Silver State, Carson, has one of the most interesting fisheries in this part of the country. You can find Lake Tahoe on many anglers’ bucket list, and for a good reason. Staying in the buzzing capital may not be your idea of a vacation. But worry not! You can recharge in Carson by fishing for Mackinaw (Lake), Brown, and Rainbow Trout, and Kokanee Salmon. You can spend the day at one of the many beaches that are suitable for families with kids. One of them is Sand Harbor, which is great for boating and offers open-air entertainment during the summer.

Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

Targets: Smallmouth, Largemouth, and Striped Bass

Pier on the Lake Winnipesaukee, and fishing boats around it, with trees in the background

New Hampshire is a perfect getaway for winter lovers. You can go skiing, mountaineering, hiking, or book your spot on a cruise boat. But the fishing is none too shabby either. The state’s biggest lake, Lake Winnipesaukee, is popular among outdoor enthusiasts who seek shelter from the heat of Boston and NYC. Families can fish for Striped, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Lake Trout, and Salmon.

Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey

Targets: Fluke, Flounder, Striped Bass, Mahi Mahi

View of Burlington cityscape and Lake Champlain

Each summer, scores of anglers hit the New Jersey shoreline to enjoy the beach, food, and the sun. Many of them come to Point Pleasant Beach and for all the right reasons. Here, you will find some of the very best inshore and offshore fishing in the area. You can fish for Fluke, or Flounder, as well as some Tuna or Mahi further offshore. This is a perfect idea for your next family fishing trip. You can catch Striped Bass in the morning, and play arcade games at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in the afternoon.

Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico

Targets: Walleye, Catfish, Crappie

Aerial view of Elephant Butte Lake in New Mexico.

New Mexico boasts a rich history, but you should also consider its vast fishing opportunities. Drive south from Albuquerque, and you will reach the biggest man-made lake in the state – the Elephant Butte Lake. Its fishing opportunities will turn your camping into a family event of the year. You will find a good number of Walleye, Catfish, Crappie, White, Striped, and Largemouth Bass. The area is popular among outdoors enthusiasts, but don’t worry – there’s enough beach room here for your family and friends. If you like other watersports too, you can enjoy the views from kayaks, pontoons, and sailboats.

Lake Placid, New York

Targets: Lake, Brown, Rainbow, and Brook Trout

View of the autumn foliage on Lake Placid

We know it’s hard to resist the temptation of visiting New York City, but we might have something even better! Enter Lake Placid. The village actually sits on Mirror Lake and has twice hosted the Winter Olympics. Many families find a perfect retreat here in the summer months. Lake Placid has a number of hiking trails, lovely beaches, and above all – stunning fishing! You can get Lake, Brown, Rainbow, and Brook Trout, Smallmouth, Largemouth, and Rock Bass.

Nags Head, North Carolina

Targets: Redfish, Cobia, Spotted Seatrout

A dad and three kids on a family fishing trip in Nags Head holding a Bonito

Nags Head is one of the best family fishing vacation spots, not just on the Outer Banks, but on the US East Coast. Its beaches, sand dunes, and access to great fishing will have you coming back for more year after year. Spend the morning fishing the Nags Head pier, or chase Redfish, Spotted Seatrout, Bluefish, and Cobia. Then go see Jockey’s Ridge – the biggest sand dune on the East Coast. It’s really something. Later in the afternoon, take your kids to the beach and swim in the ocean alongside other beach lovers.

Bismarck Family Fishing Pond, North Dakota

Targets: Trout, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, and Catfish

The bridge over the Missouri River near Bismarck family fishing pond.

If you love the idea of an urban vacation, staying in Bismarck will be a nice experience for your family. You can cruise the Missouri River aboard the Lewis and Clark Riverboat. Make sure to visit the Desert, which is a popular hangout place on the Missouri bank. Fishing on the Missouri River is fabled. But, since you’re here with the kids, you may want to start with something safer. We suggest you explore the Bismarck Family Fishing Pond. It’s perfect for parents with small kids. It lies in the North Dakota Game and Fish Headquarters office, and fishes well for Trout, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, and Catfish.

Geneva State Park, Ohio

Targets: Perch, Rainbow and Brown Trout, Walleye, and Bass

Two anglers holding Walleyes they caught on their fishing charter on Lake Erie.

Sitting on the shores of Lake Erie, the Geneva State Park is your gateway to first-class Walleye fishing. Plus, you and your kids could be reeling in Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Rainbow and Brown Trout. Families frequent the Geneva State Park. You can explore freshwater marshes, sandy beaches, and shimmering Lake Erie waters. There are camp sites around the lake and Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a quick ride away.

Lake Murray State Park, Oklahoma

Targets: Smallmouth Bass

View of a picnic spot, trees, and the waters of Lake Murray.

Lake Murray State Park often makes it to the top list of Oklahoma’s family-friendly spots. And for a good reason. You and the kids can climb up to the Tucker Tower which gives a stunning view of the lake. Once you’re done hiking and exploring the wildlife, get to the lake and wet the line. With a bit of luck, you will be reeling in Smallmouth Bass in no time. There’s a lot of them and they’re not afraid of fighting you with everything they’ve got. You can also admire the clear water of the lake while fishing from one of the piers. There are many well-equipped camp sites, including Cedar Cove, Elephant Rock, and Tipp’s Point Campground.

Coffenbury Lake, Oregon

Targets: Rainbow Trout, Yellow Perch, and Catfish

A smiling angler holding Salmon which he caught on his fishing trip on Coffenbury Lake, near Astoria.

Oregon has many fishing spots for kids and families across the state. Coffenbury Lake is among the best ones. You will find generous stocks of Rainbow Trout, Yellow Perch, and Catfish here. This popular family vacation spot gathers many outdoors lovers from around the state. There are many good spots with shallow water that will let you fish from the shore. Plus, you will find a campground nearby. You can also easily reach the city of Astoria and explore its fishing opportunities.

Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania

Targets: Walleye, Yellow Perch, Steelhead

A smiling girl holding a fish she caught in the Presque Isle State Park.

Some four million people come to Erie each summer. They all want their annual dose of Walleye fishing in Lake Erie and Presque Isle State Park. It’s the state’s most vibrant summer hub that offers water sports, biking, hiking, skating, and so much more. Here you can fish for the iconic Walleye, Yellow Perch, Steelhead, Trout, Bass, and a variety of Panfish – which is a fun activity for small kids. It’s not hard to understand why this is easily one of the best family fishing vacations in the state.

Narragansett, Rhode Island

Targets: Striped Bass, Black Seabass, Porgy, Flounder

A smiling angler holding a massive Striped Bass which he caught on a fishing trip out of Narrangansett.

Narragansett is the top fishery of Rhode Island for families. Just ask all other thousands of families who arrive here each summer, doubling the town’s population. Come summer, these beaches light up and so do the fisheries. You can spend the morning fishing for Striped Bass, Black Seabass, Porgy, Flounder, Bluefish, or Sharks, then hit the beach and enjoy the sunset. It’s a great combo for families who love outdoor adventures. There is an entrance fee for some of the beaches, so you best check in advance.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Targets: Redfish, Trout, Black Drum, Pompano, Flounder

Parents and four kids on a family fishing charter in Myrtle Beach, holding an Amberjack.

Myrtle Beach can be a dictionary example of “charming.” This summer vacation spot is popular among families who enjoy beachfront, theaters, and of course, good old fishing. Myrtle Beach boasts some of the best fishing in this part of the US. If you’re traveling with teenagers you can head offshore and fish for Cobia, Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, and other feisty fish. Closer to land, you can help your youngsters catch Redfish, Trout, Black Drum, Pompano, Flounder, and Bluefish.

Canyon Lake Park, South Dakota

Targets: Crappie, Walleye, Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass

Two boys holding Trout which they caught on their fishing trip in Canyon Lake Park.

Canyon Lake Park is a nice weekend getaway for families that boasts strong fishing. You can fish for Crappie, Walleye, Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass, and Smallmouth Bass. You will find many picnic areas, paddle boats, walking paths, and bike trails where you can spend the afternoon. Plus, there is a fishing bridge inside the park where you can wet the line. People with kids love the park as it’s clean and hosts family birthday parties, gatherings, and outdoor events.

Laurel Hill Lake, Tennessee

Targets: Trout, Sunfish, Perch, Crappie, Bluegill

A young boy holding a Bluegill he caught on his family fishing trip on Laurel Hill Lake.

Tennessee boasts 18 family fishing lakes which give you and your kids a good chance to land some fish for a small fee. Laurel Hill Lake is among the finest kid-friendly fisheries in the state. It has excellent fishing for Trout, Sunfish, Perch, Crappie, Bluegill, Catfish, and Bass. There are three different picnic areas, grill facilities, cottages, cabins, and campsites. From May to September, you can take a dip in the lake from a designated beach.

Galveston, Texas

Targets: Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder

Two young smiling girls holding speckled Trout and Spanish Mackerel which they caught during their family fishing trip in Galveston.

Galveston is the best family fishing vacation spot in the Lone Star State. It has plenty of salt marshes where you can land massive Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder. And that’s just for starters! Fishing is a big part of this coastal city and attracts thousands of anglers each summer. You and the kids can also visit the iconic Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, The Strand, and of course, one of Galveston’s sandy beaches.

Fish Lake, Utah

Targets: Mackinaw (Trout) and Yellow Perch

View of the Fish Lake as birds fly over the water surface looking for fish.

Utah is the third US state by the number of national parks. This means you and your kids are going to love coming here! The scenery is stunning, the sprawling parks are stunning, and fishing is nothing short of great. Fish Lake, which lies in the Fishlake National Forest, is well-known for Mackinaw (Trout) and Yellow Perch fishing. It’s a popular spot for anglers of all levels of expertise. You will find nice beaches where you can fish or roast marshmallows. In addition, you will find hiking trails where you can experience the natural splendor of the place.

Lake Champlain, Vermont

Targets: Atlantic Salmon and Lake Trout

A smiling girl angler holding a big Lake Trout which she caught on Lake Champlain.

Although Vermont is a popular winter getaway, you should not snub its potential for a fun family fishing vacation. Especially because of Lake Champlain. When you decide to visit these waters, you should stay in Burlington. It is the most populous city in the state, but beating the crowds is worth it. Why? Because of Atlantic Salmon, Lake Trout, and Bass fishing, which is on fire from April to late fall. There are many tackle and bait shops around the lake where you can get all the gear and ask about hot fishing spots.

Hampton, Virginia

Targets: Striped Bass, Shad, Redfish, Speckled Trout, Spanish Mackerel, Sharks

Two young girls holding Flounders they caught on their family fishing trip in Hampton, Virginia.

Hampton sits at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay, which makes it quite special. You can give your kids a trip to remember. Go fishing for Shad, Redfish, Speckled Trout, some Macks, Sharks, or numerous Striped Bass. Hampton has access to excellent fishing throughout the year. Plus, the city lies not far from other major fishing spots in the region, such as Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Cape Charles. If you’re traveling with youngsters, take them to chase Spot and Croaker from one of the many piers around Hampton.

Puget Sound, Washington

Targets: Chinook and Coho Salmon, Trout, Flounder, Lingcod

A young boy holding a Salmon he caught on his family fishing trip in Puget Sound.

Not only does Washington have access to the Pacific Ocean fisheries, but it also boasts thousands of lakes teeming with Trout. If you want to land a nice Chinook Salmon, make sure to explore the riches of Puget Sound. And, to make this fishing trip even better, we suggest you stay in Seattle. If you want Chinook, come here in late fall, sometime in November. The fishing is incredible at that time of year. Plus, you can also warm yourselves up in one of the hundreds of coffee houses that are everywhere the city, which just happens to be the birthplace of Starbucks. Once you have reached your Chinook, Flounder, or Lingcod limit, hop on a cruise boat or the Seattle Great Wheel to see the city from above.

Cheat Lake, West Virginia

Targets: Bass, Perch, Catfish

View of the Cheat Lake and beaches

A short ride away from the town of Morganton lies Cheat Lake – a weekend getaway for families, friends, and avid anglers that live nearby. The beaches and shoreline trails make this lake not only a good fishery but a popular outdoors hub where you can spend the summer days. As for fishing, you can get Bass, Perch, Catfish, or even battle Walleye. Depending on how old your kids are, you can fish from docks, piers, or boats.

Port Washington, Wisconsin

Targets: Chinook and Coho Salmon

A dad and his son holding a Salmon they caught on their family fishing trip in Port Washington.

Port Washington is your safest bet to have the best family fishing vacation ever. How come? Well, it looks out onto Lake Michigan and its Chinook fisheries. The city’s port is a major hub for anglers and boat lovers. Don’t be surprised by the number of people who visit the port each day – join them instead! You can give your kids a memorable day on the water: fishing for Chinook Salmon and Coho Salmon around Port Washington is as good as it gets. These fish are tasty and feisty, and local captains can help you land big ones. Once you have filled the bags, make sure to visit the art-deco lighthouse and hike around the Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Targets: Cutthroat Trout, Mountain Whitefish, and Arctic Grayling

View of the fishing bridge in the Yellowstone National Park

Known for its mountains, shrubs, and the first national monument in the US, Wyoming has miles of rivers, streams, and thousands of lakes to explore. A jewel among these is the Yellowstone National Park, loved by outdoor enthusiasts around the world. You may not think of it as a top fishing location, but for those in the know – Yellowstone fishing is worthy of your bucket list. Your kids will love the scenic waters, plants, trees, birds chirping, and fish tugging. Make sure to always follow safety instructions and stay inside permitted areas only. And, for the sake of preservation of the wildlife, learn the dos and don’ts before the trip. There are many fishing guides around Yellowstone that can help you get the Cutthroat Trout, Mountain Whitefish, and Arctic Grayling. The season is generally open from May until November.

These are the best family fishing vacation spots in the US. Which ones have you fished? Where do you want to fish next? Let us know in the comments below or find a charter near you and start catching fish!

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Stefan is a writer at FishingBooker, who especially loves fly fishing.

Comments (23)


Jul 16, 2023

My family and I took an April fishing trip to the everglades with our base out of Naples. Husband and son love fishing and my son bagged 8 different species in a week Fished different spots as we drove from Naples to Everglades City. Booked a charter in the canals for Peacock bass through this website. It was one of our best trips ever. Highly recommend and possible for a very reasonable price. Plus Naples has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

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    Jul 17, 2023

    Hey Patty,

    Thanks for reading our blog and sharing your experience.
    We’re thrilled we could help and super excited to hear you had great time with us and our captains! 🙂
    Here if you need us.

    Tight lines!

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Duke Frinzi

Jan 29, 2022

To catch a shark is on my bucket list. In February , but where its a bit warmer than my home state of Pennsylvania, willing to travel a few states down , what would u recommend?

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    Katie Higgins

    Jan 31, 2022

    Hi Duke,

    Thanks for your comment. We definitely understand why catching a Shark in on your bucket list! Based on your current location and the time of year when you want to go fishing, we’d suggest heading south, straight to the state of Florida. The weather is warm and you’ll find a whole variety of Shark species on offer here, but Blacktip and Bonnethead are by far the most plentiful during the winter months. You can check out our full guide to Shark fishing in Florida here. Come back and let us know how it goes!

    Tight lines,


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Dec 18, 2021

For Ohio.
Isn’t the picture of a walleye that the article never mentioned

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    Katie Higgins

    Dec 20, 2021

    Hi Mdog,

    Great catch! That is indeed a Walleye. The article does mention these fish, in the first line of the paragraph about Ohio. However, I have edited the target subheading to make it even clearer that you can go after Walleye in this state.

    Thanks for your comment, and tight lines!


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Cristina Pauline

Dec 5, 2021

Hi! Thanks for providing these great tips. I am trying to plan a trip for my family with teens and am wondering if you have any particular recommendations for location for beginners in April. We love MT, ID and WY, but it seems like a tricky month for fishing? Appreciate your thoughts!

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    Dec 6, 2021

    Hi Cristina,

    Thanks for reading and for your question. Actually, April can be one of the most productive months for fishing in MT, ID, and WY, as plenty of fish are stocked for the season, some are even spawning, and the change in water levels and temperature as the snow melts makes for a hospitable environment for them. Although, as you know, the weather may be a bit unpredictable, time your trip right, and you could be in for a feast of fishing.

    As it’s still cold, the fish are likely to be feeding in the afternoon, meaning heading out between noon and 4 p.m. is your best bet. I suggest the Yellowstone and Madison Rivers, and the Spring Creeks in MT; any of Idaho’s lakes or reservoirs will probably be fine, along with the Clearwater River; while the North Platte is the place to be in Wyoming. Depending on where you are, you could find yourself hooking into Rainbow Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Pike, Bass, and much more. I hope this helps.

    Tight lines,

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    Jul 16, 2023

    My family and I took an April fishing trip to the everglades with our base out of Naples. Husband and son love fishing and my son bagged 8 different species in a week Fished different spots as we drove from Naples to Everglades City. Did a charter in the canals for Peacock bass. It was one of our best trips ever. Highly recommend and possible for a very reasonable price. Plus Naples has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

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Maria Eanz

Sep 1, 2020

We are having our kids do virtual school this year. My husband and I work remote. We would love to take them somewhere fishing this fall but not to remote as we need phone service for work and school. We have a camper that we would like to use. We live in MN and would like to go out of state. We are willing to drive quite a ways. Do you have any suggestions?

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    Sep 2, 2020

    Hi Maria,

    What a great idea!

    One place you could go to is Holland, Michigan.

    The town provides you with some awesome fishing opportunities, as it lies on the shores of Lake Macatawa. Lake Michigan is just a few miles away, so you’ll have no shortage of fishing spots to explore. The best thing is that Steelhead, Chinook Salmon and Brown Trout are all in the mix during the fall.

    The town itself is a unique place to experience. You might not see blooming tulips during the fall, but windmills, wooden shoes and charming local accents are all here as a testament to the town’s Dutch heritage. When you’re not fishing, you can take the kids to the DeGraaf Nature Center or the Holland State Park. Speaking of, there are several well-maintained campgrounds around the park.

    If you’re willing to drive even further, you can visit Lake Erie. This fishery is awesome during the fall, and there are a number of lakeside towns you can stay around.

    I hope you’ll find this helpful.

    Have a great day!

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Alexa Richmeier

Jun 10, 2020

I am looking for a special getaway to celebrate my golden birthday in August. I am craving somewhere with beach vibes. Somewhere I can lounge on the beach, sun tan, swim in the ocean and/pools, sip fruity blended cocktails and relax in the hotub. Somewhere near a town or city for some shopping and dinners out. However, my boyfriend wants to go somewhere he can fish. Can you recommend somewhere that gives us the best of both worlds??

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    Jun 11, 2020

    Hi Alexa,

    Oh boy, what a question! A few places definitely come to mind.

    If you don’t mind flying, nowhere does island vibes, colorful cocktails, and world-class angling like Hawaii. Oahu also balances amazing shopping and dining in Honolulu with more secluded beaches away from town.

    If you’d rather drive, Key Largo is a little slice of heaven and just an hour or so from Miami (plus it’s the Keys, so again, incredible fishing).

    And of course, pretty much the whole of Southern California has great beaches, shopping, and fishing.

    And that’s just within the US! Beyond that, you’ve got the whole of the Caribbean to explore.

    I hope that helps. Let me know where you end up going and I might be able to help with the fishing side of things.

    All the best!

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Jun 4, 2020

I love fishing I’m 9 I started fishing when I was a young boy about4 I’m won of the best cat fisher man I love your website

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    Jun 5, 2020

    Hey Ryder,

    That’s awesome!

    What’s the biggest Catfish you’ve caught so far?

    I’m glad you like the blog, we’ll keep the articles coming.

    Tight lines!

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shonell singler

Jan 6, 2020

My husband and I are taking our grandson on vacation He says he wants to go to Montana fishing and horse back riding I dont know where to start, can you give me some suggestions

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    Jan 6, 2020

    Hi Shonell,

    I’m afraid I can’t help you with the horseback riding. However, we do have a guide with lots of information on fishing in Montana. You can check it out here.

    I hope that helps!

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Al. Paton

Jul 29, 2019

Love Outer Banks NC
Surf fishing the month after the first hurricane is outstanding

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Long Island Fishing

Jul 16, 2019

Great list of spots for the fishing. Thanks for sharing this here.

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Rosy Alfredo

Mar 20, 2019

Thank you for sharing this list of information. Carry on.

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Chance E. Ballinger

Jul 7, 2018

Great list, this is awesome.
I am interested in cat fishing. You’ve written about Cheat Lake, West Virginia : How I can book a resort and boat there ? I’ll go there alone, need some quite place there.

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    Jul 10, 2018

    Hi, Chance, thanks for reading the blog.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have any guides who work with us guiding trips on Cheat Lake.

    However, I’d recommend having a look at the Cheat Lake website, there is some useful info on fishing there.

    If you don’t manage to find a guide to take you on a boat, there are several fishing piers around the lake from which you can catch a lot of Catfish. If you want to rent a boat, get in touch with the people from the Sunset Marina.

    As for your stay, you can either look for some of the private houses that locals rent near the lake, or if you’re into camping – head to Coopers Rock State Forest or Chestnut Ridge Park.

    I really hope this helps. If you have any more questions, feel free to write back.
    Hope you have a nice stay and let us know how your fishing was.

    Tight lines,

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Jun 30, 2018

Lugares maravilhosos e lindos que voces frequentaram!
Sem falar na beleza dos peixes.
Muita paz e sucesso a todos vocês!

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