Looking for the top fishing destinations for beginners can be challenging when you are just setting out. Luckily, the best places to fish for beginners can be found all over the U.S. Whether you are looking for destinations to teach your children how to fish, or you are just learning to fish, yourself, as an adult, there are countless areas where you can find success, even as a beginner.
Many beginners assume the best fishing destinations are in far-off locations that are nowhere near where they live. However, some of the best saltwater fishing, as well as freshwater fishing, can be found close to home. Some locations offer unique surprises, as well. For example, Devil’s Lake in North Dakota has a high level of salinity, despite it being an inland lake. Finding the best nearby destinations simply requires a little research. Learn about some of the top fishing locations for beginners in the sections below.
Best Saltwater Fishing Destinations: Florida Everglades
One of the top saltwater fishing spots can be found in and around Everglades City in Florida. This area is considered one of the best saltwater fishing areas, because young or inexperienced anglers can catch species such as snapper, sheepshead, snook and tarpon. These shallow areas are less challenging to navigate than many other saltwater environments, which make them suitable for families, as well as those new to boating in the ocean. With this area’s close proximity to the Florida Everglades, fishermen can travel inland to catch both freshwater and saltwater species in the same habitat. Learn more about fishing in the Everglades area here.
Best Deep Sea Fishing: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Deep sea fishing destinations can be somewhat intimidating for beginners, but luckily there are many different charter services in popular, deep-sea locations to help inexperienced boaters. Arguably one of the best deep-sea fishing spots is found in the Outer Banks, an area located off the coast of North Carolina. Learn more about this area here. Popular species to catch in the Outer Banks include:
- Yellowfin tuna
- Striped bass
- Speckled trout
Best Freshwater Fishing: Lake of the Ozarks
Narrowing down the best freshwater fishing destinations is an impossible task, but there are a few places that stand out. One of the top fishing destinations for beginners is the Lake of the Ozarks, located in Missouri. This manmade lake is massive with more than 1,000 miles of shoreline. Not only is this a great fishing destination, it is also a highly-popular family vacation spot. For new fishermen and those who want to take the family fishing, it can help to have a wide variety of other recreational activities to choose from nearby when done fishing for the day. It is common to catch a wide range of species in this lake such as:
- Largemouth bass
- Blue catfish
- White bass
- Channel catfish
Best Spring Fishing Locations: Percy Priest Lake
When looking for the best spring fishing destinations, any lake or river with bass, trout, steelhead or other similar freshwater species will be a popular spot. One of the top spring fishing spots can be found in Tennessee at Percy Priest Lake. During the month of March, the lake tends to be flooded, which makes the bass more active in anticipation of the spawning season. In April, Tennesseans can find equally good crappie fishing in Kentucky Lake.
Fly Fishing Trips for Beginners: Boise River
Choosing the best fly fishing spots for beginners is challenging, as all fly fishermen have their own favorite locations. When taking a fly fishing trip for beginners, the Boise River in Idaho is a great choice. Like any other fishing location, a good fly fishing spot will need to have plentiful fish and a wide variety of species. The top species to catch in this spot include:
- Rainbow trout
- Bull trout
Top Bass Fishing Destinations for Beginners: Toledo Bend
One of the best bass fishing destinations can be found in the Toledo Bend reservoir, a manmade waterway that straddles the border of Louisiana and Texas. Objectively, this is one of the best places to fish for beginners, but it is also widely regarded as a great fishing spot, because it regularly hosts fishing tournaments. Details about Toledo Bend are as follows:
- Bassmaster Classic tournaments have been hosted on this lake in the past.
- This lake is an easy place to catch bass, in addition to crappie, catfish and other freshwater species.
- The ease of catching fish in Toledo Bend makes it a popular destination for those just learning how to fish.
Best Saltwater Bay Fishing: Chesapeake Bay
Some of the best saltwater fishing can be found in Chesapeake, Bay due to the fact that many striped bass spawn here. This is a great place to fish for beginners, not only because of how plentiful the fish are, but because the bay provides a calmer fishing area than many other saltwater destinations. In addition to striped bass, also known locally as rockfish, it is common to catch bluefish, drum, croaker, flounder, specked trout and other species. Learn everything you need to know about fishing in Chesapeake Bay here.
Best Fly Fishing Trip: Bighorn River
Another great fly fishing destination for beginners is the Bighorn River, which spans from Montana to Wyoming. This river offers a good fly fishing trip for beginners, due to its gentle current and clear water. As with any fly fishing spot, anglers should be aware of the potential dangers of this fishing spot. Because of the clarity of the water, it can appear shallower than it actually is. On the other hand, the clear water is part of why this is such a great fishing spot. When planning a beginner’s fly fishing trip, note that there are license requirements and certain fishing regulations, as some portions of this river are protected by the National Parks Service. Various species, such as brown trout, rainbow trout and more, are caught in this river.