No season is as inviting as summer when it comes to fishing. The sun-kissed waters make for perfect conditions to spend the whole day casting a line. As the calendar year quickly unfolds, it’s high time you found your own piece of angling heaven. If you still don’t know where to go this summer, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Whether you’re seeking the thrill of battling a trophy fish or looking to get away to a peaceful, untouched corner of nature, you’ll find it in this article. We’ve created a list of the best 9 summer fishing destinations across the United States and neighboring countries. Check them out and let us know if we’ve helped you decide where to wet your line this summer!
Cape Canaveral, Florida
Does anything scream summer more than the Sunshine State? We don’t think so. It comes as no surprise then that we’re launching your summer fishing journey with Florida and Cape Canaveral. This unique city is not only famous for space exploration but also for its stellar angling opportunities (pun intended).
With the Banana River, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian River at its disposal, fishing in Cape Canaveral can be nothing but superb. The shallows are teeming with Tarpon and Spotted Seatrout in summer. Reefs and wrecks overflow with Snapper and Grouper varieties. Meanwhile, the offshore waters boast Tuna, Marlin, and Sailfish! It doesn’t get better than this, right?
Except it does! Besides fishing, Cape Canaveral will spoil you with kayaking, boating, and wildlife tours. If you’re into sightseeing, the city will treat you to several local attractions. Cape Canaveral Lighthouse is the most beautiful spot. Space enthusiasts can’t miss out on Kenedy Space Center, while nature lovers must check out Jetty Park.
With productive waters, stunning shores, and a space quest to boot, Cape Canaveral guarantees an out-of-this-world experience!
Montauk, New York
This coastal gem is engulfed by bay, sound, lake, and ocean waters. And what does that mean? Only that Montauk is the ultimate fishing and vacation destination! Trophy catches, impressive scenery, lighthouses, beaches, parks, golf courses, and first-class restaurants – Montauk has all it takes to be your next getaway destination.
Montauk shines bright in summer. The hottest season of the year has a reputation for bringing record-breaking Fluke. June marks the beginning of the Shark angling season. Come August, False Albacore and Bluefin Tuna fishing turns from excellent to exceptional. And as if this isn’t enough, summer sees the town host a number of tournaments too.
The “Surf Fishing Capital of the World” features both shore and bluewater events. Summer starts with the Montauk Marine Basin Shark Tournament and continues with the Montauk Canyon Challenge. They’re immediately followed by the Montauk Grand Slam, while the end of summer is reserved for the Montauk Surf Fishing Classic.
Long story short, Montauk is rightfully ranked high on this year’s summer fishing destination list!
Our next stop hides in Western Connecticut. Danbury is a perfect summer fishing destination for any family. It’s a place deeply rooted in history with a rich cultural heritage and breathtaking natural beauty. Add a welcoming small-town vibe and an array of outdoor activities to that, and it becomes clear why you and your loved ones should opt for this Connecticut sweetheart.
Danbury easily earned its place on this list thanks to its fish-supplied lakes and rivers. Lake Kenosia, Lake Lillinonah, Squantz Pond, Pootatuck, the Housatonic River… the list goes on and on. But by far the most productive area to fish and relax in is Candlewood Lake. This largest manmade creation in Connecticut is brimming with trophy Largemouth Bass.
Danbury promises an unplugged vacation. Boating, water skiing, swimming, kayaking, and hiking are just a few of the pastimes you can try along with fishing. In case you’d rather explore the town, find out why it’s called the Hat City or visit the popular Danbury Railway Museum. You won’t be disappointed.
Shenandoah County, Virginia
We’re so hooked on the East Coast’s angling opportunities that our next summer fishing destination is an entire region. It was impossible to single out only one hotspot, so we decided to present you with the whole of Shenandoah County. Situated in the midst of lush greenery, this Virginia stunner is a must-fish inland paradise.
Casting opportunities are endless here. Wherever you wet your line, a brag-worthy fish is likely to grace the end of it. The Shenandoah River is a world-renowned Smallmouth Bass fishery and safe haven for Catfish, Carp, and Musky. Lake Laura’s superstars are Sunfish and Passage Creek’s forté is Trout. But that’s not all!
If you’re a passionate Trout angler, once you cross Shenandoah County’s border and step into the Shenandoah Valley, you enter a real Trout fly fishing kingdom. Mossy Creek with its unsurpassed Brown Trout and the Dry River with its magnificent Brook Trout will make sure you have the time of your life!
Moving deeper inland toward Nebraska, you’ll come across the charming town of Ogallala. With less than 5,000 inhabitants, this picturesque settlement radiates hospitality and serenity, but also adventure. Not only will you have a blast fishing here but you’ll have a real blast from the past, too. Here’s what we mean by this.
The Wild West resonates through Ogallala’s downtown. The streets are dotted with western-themed buildings and cowboy memorabilia. Ogallala was one of the most important stops along the Texas Trail and is home to the Front Street Cowboy Museum. So, if you ever wondered what the Old West used to be like, this is the place to be.
As for fishing, Ogallala presents you with two big names – Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala. Lake McConaughy is Nebraska’s largest reservoir with over 30,000 surface acres. Naturally, fishing here is top-notch. It’s a favorite Walleye spot among locals. The Big Mac is also a proud owner of several fishing tournaments. Lake Ogallala isn’t to be skipped either, as the finest Rainbow Trout hide in it.
Bryce Canyon Country, Utah
Utah is an oasis for Trout fans and fly-fishing devotees, and Bryce Canyon Country is at the heart of it. The number of lakes and streams here is impressive on its own. But the quantity and quality of Trout species is jaw-dropping. With enviable fisheries scattered all over the region, Bryce Canyon Country is your ideal summer fishing destination.
Brook, Brown, Rainbow, Tiger, and Cutthroat Trout – Bryce Canyon Country has them all! Panguitch Lake and Blind Lake are among the biggest and best-ranked Trout fisheries. The name Panguitch even means “big fish!” When a place has such a name, you better believe that fishing is off the hook! In any case, these high-elevation lakes don’t lack record-breaking catches.
Panguitch might be the star of the show, but Otter Creek Reservoir and the Boulder Mountain Lakes are not to be missed, either. Want to fly fish in the fast-moving waters? Not a problem. Mammoth Creek comes to your aid. And if you have a change of heart, no worries, you can fish for Catfish in the Escalante River instead of Trout.
Bryce Canyon Country will treat you to breathtaking scenery and prolific waters. There’s no better way to recharge your batteries than by exploring this Utah remote gem.
Lake Buchanan, Texas
Situated near Austin, Lake Buchanan is our last freshwater destination on this year’s summer fishing list. This serene lake is the first and largest of the Texas Highland Lakes. It’s tailor-made for camping, sunbathing, swimming, and fishing. Wading and shore casting are particularly popular around here.
Lake Buchanan is a five-star Striped Bass location. If you decide to set up an RV and spend the entire summer here, kick off your Striper pursuit with topwater fishing. Once the temperatures are up, continue your Striped Bass hunt further from the shore with fish-finding devices and downriggers.
The hot blazing sun and cooling calm waters go hand in hand. For this reason, thousands of visitors flock to Lake Buchanan to refresh each year. Luckily, the lake boasts over 22,000 acres of surface water and several gorgeous parks, making it almost impossible for you to bump into other people.
But just in case you happen to crave even more time alone, sneak out to Fall Creek Vineyards. The oldest winery in the Texas Hill Country will treat your palate to some authentic Texas flavors.
Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Mexico
It’s high time we took you to an exotic location. Most people picture Cabo or Cancún when Mexico is mentioned. But what if we tell you that there’s an equally astonishing but less crowded place? Once a sleepy fishing village and now a famous angling hub, Puerto Peñasco is your new synonym for vacationing in Mexico.
Cozily nestled in the Gulf of California, Puerto Peñasco is the epitome of possibilities. The same goes for its fish species.You can try anything from beach and pier casting to deep sea fishing, and you can catch anything from Halibut to Mahi Mahi, Tuna, and Marlin. Be it an inshore or offshore adventure, you can’t miss out on Puerto Peñasco if you’re a true fishing aficionado.
Deep sea fishing, water skiing, parasailing, scuba diving, four-wheeling, and a vibrant nightlife – adrenaline seekers will have plenty of activities to choose from. But those looking for a slow-paced vacation will love it here, too. Surf casting, sunbathing, pristine beaches, massages, and upscale restaurants are only a tiny portion of what awaits you in Puerto Peñasco.
US Virgin Islands
We saved the best for last – the US Virgin Islands. This cluster of islands is so special that we won’t be able to do them justice. But that’s fine as it leaves more room for you to explore them on your own! What we can share, for sure, is that besides being an unsurpassed winter fishing destination, the US Virgin Islands are also an unparalleled summer angling headquarters.
Summer equals a fishing frenzy. The US Virgin Islands are the only US territory with access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Tuna, Barracuda, Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit, Rainbow Runner, and 500 other underwater residents await you here. Blue Marlin, however, are the ultimate summer royals, and the “North Drop” is their kingdom.
Once you conquer the deep blue (if that’s possible), go island hopping. St.Croix, St. Thomas, and St.John are the main cultural, historical, and natural wonders. St. John will amaze you with its Underwater National Park, St. Croix is a keeper of the oldest Baobab tree, and St. Thomas is a tropical Marlin mecca.
There’s no dilemma, the US Virgin Islands have to be your summer fishing destination this year!
Reel in the Fun with Our Top Summer Fishing Destinations
Whether you’re a professional angler or a first-timer, we made sure there’s something for everyone on this year’s summer fishing list. What you’ll choose depends on what ignites your passion. But truth be told, whichever destination you visit this year, you won’t be disappointed.
And should you need more locations, here’s last year’s list of summer fishing destinations as inspiration. Tight lines!
What summer fishing destination did you choose this year? Have you ever fished in any of the locations mentioned in this article? Hit the comment button below and let us know.