Camping and Fishing

Mar 16, 2022 | 7 minute read
Reading Time: 7 minutes

While there are countless ways to spend time with your family and friends in the great outdoors, camping is one of the best ways to truly connect with nature. Picture this: you wake up surrounded by beauty in one of the US national parks, knowing that your loved ones are right beside you. What’s missing? A fishing rod, of course!

A girl standing by the lake behind a tent with two fishing rods in front of her on a sunny day.

Camping and fishing is perhaps the best combination there is. If we were to come up with a list of reasons why everyone should try it at least once in their lifetime, it would be very long. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know before you get to your camping grounds, ready to wet a line. 

Types of Camping When Fishing

A tent and a setup for fishing for an overnight stay on a lake.

There are plenty of opportunities for avid campers and anglers throughout the country. It doesn’t really take much to choose a site with a waterway to spend some time with a rod in your hand. Your experience will depend on what type of camping and fishing you’re planning on, though.

Before you pick a camping area with great fishing opportunities, think about where you’ll be sleeping and how you’ll get to the site. A lot of anglers choose motorhomes and RVs – vehicles and trailers with amenities of home. Such units usually come with sleeping areas, a kitchen, a bathroom, and living quarters. 

A motorhome parked on a lake with mountains on the background on a cloudy day.

Others prefer setting a good old tent or a sleeping bag. Finally, some anglers go as far as booking a camping cabin or even a full glamping extravaganza. In some cases, campers may even bring their own trailerable boat with them. 

Top Spots for Camping and Fishing

A few generations of fishermen by the lake catching fish while camping on a sunny day.

Whether you’re looking to set up a tent or park your RV, there are various campsites throughout the USA where you can wake up in the wilderness with amazing fishing grounds right at your doorstep. Read on for some inspiration on where to head for your next camping adventure!

Alaska

A girl on a canoe wearing a hat on Juneau Lake, Alaska.

We bet a lot of anglers would love the opportunity to get a real taste of a uniquely Alaskan atmosphere. There are plenty of campgrounds in the largest state, with free camping in parking lots, remote cabins, and even year-round facilities. Note that a lot of camping and fishing spots in Alaska are in remote areas. 

Heritage RV Park in Homer is perfect for Salmon lovers, while Ocean Shores RV Park is close to both the city and Kachemak Bay. In Anchorage, you can park your RV in Centennial Campground or Eagle River Campground to fish the river.

A man standing by the woods behind a parked RV somewhere in Alaska.

There are various cabins and RV campsites you can rent for your trip if you’re looking to fish the Kenai River. In fact, you can camp right on the beach at the mouth of the river. 

California

Winter RV camping on coast of California.

It’s not hard to find a good camping and fishing spot in California, with 4,800 lakes and reservoirs and thousands of miles of rivers and creeks. Add over a thousand miles of coastline and you’ll get yourself the perfect recipe for a successful camping and fishing trip. 

You and your family can head to the Sacramento River to fish for King Salmon and Rainbow Trout. Driftwood RV Park & Fishing Resort is a nice campsite in Los Molinos with great access to the river. 

Freshly caught Rainbow Trout on Eagle Lake, CA

If you’re interested in state parks, head to the heart of Redwoods in Crescent City and pick a spot at the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. There are picnic areas if you want to taste your catch outdoors, along with various amenities and access to a beach. 

For those who are interested in something a bit less crowded, less than 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles is Big Bear Lake. Here, you can camp in the San Bernardino National Forest and troll for Trout in a beautiful mountain lake. 

Massachusetts

RV and SUV parked at picnic area on the beach on north side of the Province Lands Cape Cod, MA.

Fishing and camping in the “Bay State” offers you the best of both worlds. First of all, there are various freshwater fishing opportunities with beautiful parks and state forests to park your RV.

In Monterey, you can explore the 12,000-acre Beartown State Forest which is ideal for a nice getaway. There’s a small boat ramp, although a lot of anglers prefer to fish right from the shore. Largemouth Bass and Yellow Perch are on the Benedict Pond fishing menu. 

Benedict Pond in Beartown State Forest, MA

Our second pick is Clarksburg State Park, with over three hundred acres of hardwood forest. Fishing here is done in the North Branch of the Hoosic River and in Mauserts Pond, which is perfect for novice anglers or those who’d like to introduce their kids to the art of catching fish.

It goes without saying that saltwater anglers definitely like to camp in Cape Cod. Where are the best campsites around? Well, you can head to North Truro Camping Area, also known as Adventure Bound Camping Resort. In addition to that, you can check out Cape Cod Campresort and Cabins to mix a bit of Cape Cod and freshwater fishing in a private pond. 

Feel free to learn more about camping sites with good fishing opportunities here.

Minnesota

A campsite with an orange tent and a canoe on a lake in Minnesota.

The “Land of 10,000 Lakes” offers you so many places to enjoy the outdoors that you’re practically spoiled for choice. For instance, you can start with Tomahawk Lodge & RV Park in Bemidji. Here, you can even rent one of the pontoons and hunt for Walleye and Northern Pike in Blackduck Lake. 

If you’re looking for a calm and relaxing place, consider Burlington Bay Campground in Two Harbors near Lake Superior. It has plenty of amenities, including restrooms, showers, and even Wi-Fi. Note that the site is seasonal, operating from mid-May until mid-October. 

Canoer on Cross Bay Lake in the Boundary Waters, Minnesota.

Another great Lake Superior campground is Grand Marais Campground and Marina. Here, you can enjoy the north shore of the Great Lake, along with various hiking and biking trails, Wi-FI, restrooms, showers, and even a couple of fish cleaning facilities. 

River fishermen can head for their healthy dose of Trout in the Whitewater River in Whitewater State Park. There are over a hundred drive-in sites and amenities for a comfortable camping experience. This site is open from mid-April until mid-October. 

Oregon

An orange canoe at the shore of Trillium Lake, OR

When you think about camping in Oregon, postcard-perfect views immediately come to mind. Pack your fly fishing gear and grab a spot at one of the six campgrounds at Timothy Lake to enjoy Mt. Hood and a true connection to nature. 

If you’re considering camping in Southern Oregon, you can hardly go wrong with the Aspen Point Campground and Sunset Campground. In Central Oregon, Trout lovers might want to book a tent, cabin, or even a mix between a yurt and a dome, a “yorn,” in Pelton Park Campground

A tent campsite on the Deschutes River in Oregon next to a boat and the river.

Scenic Hills Creek Reservoir is perfect for a summer or an early fall camping trip. Packard Creek Campground is an excellent site for this, among many others. It’s also not a bad idea to consider taking a boat with you to cover as much water as possible. 

Finally, there’s the Oregon Coast. You can camp at Barview Jetty County Campground and fish the beautiful Pacific early in the morning (or any time of the day, really). Not to mention all the seasonal crabbing available nearby!

F.A.Q.

Two fishermen drinking coffee by a bonfire while camping.
When is the best time to go camping and fishing?

Seasonality is an important factor to consider when you’re planning your trip. It applies to both camping and fishing. Some campsites are seasonal, while others operate year-round. If you have a specific catch in mind, you may want to check the local rules and regulations in advance, too. 

Generally, the best time for camping is spring through early fall. In some places, you can even camp in winter, especially if your RV allows it. 

Can I camp and fish alone?

While camping is usually a family activity, it’s also a great way for solo anglers to relax and spend time in nature. If you’re planning to camp by yourself, make sure you never leave your campfire unattended, especially when you leave it to go fishing. 

Another great way to have a successful fishing trip is to book a local guide. Wherever you choose to camp, there might be a professional guide that knows everything about the area. Local tips are always helpful, and fishing with a guide can increase your chances of finding a lot of interesting catches at the end of your fishing line. 

Do I need a fishing license when camping and fishing?

The short answer is yes. However, there are certain exceptions to the rule. Depending on where you’ll be camping, you may want to check out local regulations in advance, especially if you’re traveling to another state. Feel free to learn more about fishing licenses here.

What gear should I bring when camping and fishing??

It’s always good to carry fishing gear that is specific to the area where you’ll be camping. Research the area in advance and pack accordingly. Even if you’re preparing for a camping trip by the lake, there might be a river nearby you could also explore. 

Consider packing an ice chest to take your catch home with you if you’re not planning to cook it at the site.

Camping and Fishing – Relax, Have Fun, Catch Fish!

Fishing tent and rods setup on a beach, Fraser River.

There’s a myriad of amazing waterways, national parks, and forests in the USA. You can choose between thousands of campgrounds that are suitable for families, groups of friends, or even a solo rendezvous with nature. Once you find your next destination, research the local waters, pack your fishing gear and bait, grab a fishing license, and get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime!

So, there you have it. What are your picks for camping and fishing? Do you have any advice for beginner anglers and campers? Feel free to share your thoughts and tips in the comments below!

Leave a reply
NameRequired *
Your comment Required *