Everyone knows what a good old-fashioned Independence Day celebration looks like – parades, get-togethers, barbecues, and a lot of fireworks. Should you add fishing to this list? We certainly think so! After all, what better way to celebrate the spirit of this holiday than to enjoy the same activity so many patriots and frontiersmen themselves enjoyed for hundreds of years.
To that end, we’ve put together a list of the best Fourth of July fishing destinations all across the USA. We’re sure you’ll appreciate the sheer variety of fisheries, species, and angling techniques you can make use of on an important day like this. Without further ado, let’s jump in!
And what better place to start with than Myrtle Beach! Not only is there tons of variety here in terms of fish species, but July’s the best time of year to check them all out. For newcomers to the hobby, there’s plenty of Redfish, Spotted Seatrout and Flounder to be found inshore. If you’re hankering for a challenge, why not seek out Tarpon and see for yourself whether the nickname “Silver King” is well-earned.
Finally, there’s the option of heading deep into the Gulf Stream. This will have you spending most of the day on the water, but it’ll be well worth the trip. From big Mahi Mahi to Billfish and Yellowfin Tuna, it’s the real test of your angling skills and stamina. Good news is, you’ll be back in time to enjoy the evening fireworks even after a 12-hour offshore adventure. The big ones start at 10 p.m. giving you plenty of time to rest up after your big day.
The variety Myrtle Beach offers is tough to beat, but Jacksonville is certainly going to give it a shot! With over 20 species of saltwater and freshwater fish to catch across the city, it’s safe to say you’ll have your hands full. From diving near the Coppedge Tug Wreck and marveling at the schools of brightly colored fish to bottom fishing at Blackmar’s Reef for big Snappers, there’s no time to be lost hanging about.
Planning on sticking around after the festivities are done? As it happens, you can look forward to one of the largest fishing tournaments in this part of the country. The 42nd Annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament will take place from July 14–22. A big event with an even bigger tradition, it’ll also include a junior angler tournament, a food festival with live entertainment, and more. Come for the fireworks, stay for the pro fishing!
3. Moosehead Lake, ME
Speaking of tradition, do you like steamboats? Those of you who do won’t want to miss the Steamboat Katahdin Fireworks Cruise on Independence Day. This 1914-era steamboat is a perfect way for anyone to become immersed in the history of Moosehead Lake. But what about fishing? Sadly, you won’t be able to fish from a steamboat, so you’ll need a different type of boat for that sort of thing.
Fortunately for you, the Maine Highlands area in general and Moosehead Lake in particular are teeming with fish this time of year. These waters are famous for their landlocked Salmon, Brook Trout, and Lake Trout fisheries. All you fly anglers out there will surely have a blast! And if you’re looking for a more relaxed family experience, there are plenty of shallow bay spots where you can take it easy while fishing for Smallmouth Bass.
4. Redding, CA
So far it’s all been about the East Coast, so let’s shift gears for a moment. We’ll now be talking about one of the best destinations for Fourth of July fishing on the West Coast. Fun fact, Redding is the only West Coast town to make it on Forbes.com’s list of North America’s Top 10 Trout Fishing Towns. With easy access to the Lower Sac and some of the most powerful Rainbow Trout in the world, we certainly understand the appeal.
Rainbows are just the start, though. Trinity River is less than an hour’s drive away and has some great Chinook and Coho fishing on offer. Or head east to Lassen Volcanic Park and explore the local creeks and lakes while also making time for boating, hiking, and other ways of navigating this breathtaking wilderness.
Another fabulous freshwater fishing destination, Brainerd has the honor of being Minnesota’s Fourth of July Capital! Every year, they go above and beyond with festivities that last for days. Parades and fireworks are just scratching the surface of the effort that goes here every Independence Day. And thanks to the nearby Mississippi River, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to find a good spot for fishing when you’re there.
Not only that, but the hundreds of lakes that gave the locale its name mean that every fishing experience here can be as unique as you want. When it comes to species, your main targets here can include Walleye, Northern Pike, Trout, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, as well as different Panfish. So, if you’re in the market for fresh fish for your Fourth of July feast, nothing beats catching it yourself.
6. The Keweenaw Peninsula, MI
At first glance, The Keweenaw Peninsula looks very similar to the previous location in terms of its freshwater fishing potential. But there’s one big difference – trophy-caliber Lake Trout. The peak fishing season for these massive fish comes right on the doorstep of Independence Day. This makes Lake Superior a prime place for a day of fishing as part of your holiday schedule.
Of course, landing big “Lakers” is far from the only reason to visit. The Keweenaw Peninsula is easily one of the top adventure destinations in the Midwest. Hike, pedal, and paddle until you drop, then take a breather while enjoying the hidden waterfalls, lighthouses, and the sheer beauty of Lake Superior’s rugged coast. End the day with BBQ, fireworks, some good old-fashioned family fun, and you’ve got yourself a day to remember for the rest of your life.
7. Seattle, WA
If you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the big city but still want to get some Fourth of July fishing done, Jet City’s the destination for you. Chinook and Coho Salmon are the main stars of the show in Puget Sound. That’ll also stay the case for the next few months. Your other options include the likes of Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Cutthroat Trout, Crappie, and other Panfish besides.
One thing to keep in mind is that fishing in the Seattle area is heavily regulated. So make sure to either brush up on the local sportfishing regulations or head out with a guide. A professional can help you do everything by the book and have fun while you’re at it. On the other hand, a benefit of staying in a big city is taking part in the spectacular celebrations, easily eclipsing those in smaller places. Head down to Lake Union Park for the Seafair Summer Fourth and enjoy some of the best fireworks in the Pacific Northwest!
8. Yellowstone National Park, WY
Our final entry is twice famous for being the first national park in both the United States but also the world. A shining symbol of American natural heritage, Yellowstone National Park presents a very unique way to celebrate Independence Day. For starters, there are a lot of fishing opportunities here to jump on. From Rainbow, Brook, and Lake Trout, to Smallmouth Bass and Mountain Whitefish, you won’t be lacking for choice.
What gives this fishery a slight twist is that some of these species are nonnative and harmful to the local habitat, and you’re encouraged to catch and keep as many as you can. Making sure future generations can enjoy the local wildlife in the future is crucial. In a sense, you’ll be enjoying a day of awesome fishing while also doing your patriotic duty. It’s a perfect way to have fun while giving back to the community.
Celebrating the Republic, One Fish at a Time
On that patriotic note, we’ve reached the end of our collection of Fourth of July fishing destinations for 2022. From sprawling lakes and rivers to the deep blue depths of the Gulf Stream, it’s impossible to pick a favorite. Still, it’s a far cry from everything these 50 states have to offer, so don’t worry if your favorite didn’t find its way here this year.
Who knows, we might have even mentioned it as one of our top picks from last year. If you missed it, be sure to check out our 2021 list here for more Independence Day fishing. One thing’s for sure – in America, there’s always a good fishing spot near you!
Where do you like to go fishing for Independence Day? Any noteworthy catches you’d like to brag about? Let us know in the comments below.