If you’ve never considered staying at a fishing resort, then you should. Does a fishing resort sound like a weird cross between an upscale vacation destination and a camping trip? Okay, well, it is sometimes that. But usually it’s a perfectly normal cabin trip by a good fishing lake — and it’s the absolute bomb. You can find good fishing vacations at all price levels, from less than $100 per night to more than $1,000 for the weekend depending on location and the room you rent.
Everglades City, FloridaPerfect for anglers seeking tarpon, snook, snapper or sheepshead, Everglades City is ideal for family getaways.
Lake Reelfoot, TennesseeHome to crappies, largemouth bass, catfish and bluegills, this lake offers visitors a range of fishing options year-round.
Lake of the Woods Fishing Resorts, MinnesotaHome to walleye, northern pike and a host of smaller fish, this lake always has something on offer to bring in visitors.
Kenai Peninsula, AlaskaKenai Peninsula is home to some of the best hot spots for fishing including Kenai River, Quartz Creek Campground and Williwaw Creek Fishing Platform.
Montauk, New YorkWith some of the best fishing on the East Coast, anglers can catch bass, sunfish, perch and walleyes in Montauk’s pounds and lakes.
Mammoth Lakes, CaliforniaIn addition to fishing, there is plenty to do in Mammoth Lakes on a family vacation such as boating, kayaking and paddle boarding.
Lake Pymatuning, PennsylvaniaPerfect for a family getaway, this lake houses bluegills, bass, walleyes and crappies and is completely enclosed in state park lands. Cabins and camping sites are plentiful, making Pymatuning a great place to gather with friends, families and groups.
Nags Head, North CarolinaLocated in the state’s famous Outer Banks, Nags Head offers prime fishing for redfish, cobia, bluefish and spotted seatrout.
Ashley Lake, MontanaHome to trout, salmon and perch, Ashley Lake is perfect for anglers and families looking to “rough it” on vacation.
Honolulu, HawaiiFishing lodge and farm estates offer unique experiences away from the busy shorelines.
Eureka Spring, ArkansasLocal waterways provide easy fishing spots for youth and more challenging but rewarding sites for experienced anglers.
Bear Creek Lake Park, ColoradoPerfect for taking trout, bass, perch and walleye, Bear Creek Lake fishing vacations also offer opportunities for horseback riding, archery, swimming, and hiking.
Westport, ConnecticutSherwood Island National Park is Connecticut’s first state park and offers saltwater fishing to its visitors. Surf and shore fishing are also available any location not designated for swimming specifically.
Lewes, DelawareThere are many fishing holes in this area including Broadkill Beach, which has striper, bluefish and black drum.
Portland, MaineHome to bass, cod, haddock, halibut and sharks, Portland also features bountiful nightlife, cultural attractions, fine dining, and a host of hotels, resorts, campgrounds and other accommodations. With something for every age, budget and taste, Portland is a fisher’s haven.
These resorts enable you to visit and fish in areas you may not normally get to enjoy. The best part is most people around are going to be there for the exact same reason. Everyone within a five-mile radius will smell vaguely of sweat and fish. No one will judge. Here is my personal list of recommendation for the best fishing vacation spots.
Best Fishing Locations in the Country
1. Everglades City, Florida
Everglades City is a fantastic fishing community deep in south Florida. There are plenty of resorts in the area with a variety of cabins from small to family sized. It stays warm pretty much all year round, so you’re far less likely to encounter fish in a winter rest.
There’s plenty of rentals in the area and fishing charters galore for you to get out into the gulf. If your family is… not the fishing kind, you can still convince them to come if you visit one of the higher-end resorts in the area.
2. Lake Reelfoot, Tennessee
If you’re looking for a good spring vacation, this Tennessee destination is the place to be. Lake Reelfoot was allegedly created by an earthquake that made the Mississippi flow backward for a few days. Today, it’s a state park with camping grounds, equipment rentals, cabins and a lake cruise.
There are plenty of local experts serving as guides in the area. Bring your binoculars and do some bird watching – there are golden eagles and bald eagles in the area. Please refrain from aiming your binoculars at people and being weird if possible.
3. Lake of the Woods Fishing Resorts, Minnesota
Lake of the View Woods is located in Minnesota on the Canadian border. You could enjoy some summer fishing here, but… why would you go to Canada for the summer? In my opinion, the best time to visit is in the winter, when you can enjoy Lake of the Woods ice fishing resorts. There are plenty of guides here prepared to help you find some massive walleye and perch underneath the ice.
4. Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
The Canadian border can be quite a distance, sure — but what if we went even further north? My next fishing vacation recommendation is in Alaska. The Kenai River features massive runs of sockeye and king salmon, as well as halibut, rockfish, silver salmon and more.
From shore fishing to ocean charters, the Kenai Peninsula has everything you could want. It’s also kind of still a wild frontier which means you have the opportunity to see orcas, sperm whale, grizzly bears and other massive mammals hanging around. You might want to watch out for those.
5. Montauk, New York
At the tip of Long Island in New York resides Montauk. “Long Island — that’s where I want to go fishing!” you might say sarcastically. Indeed, it is where you want to go fishing. This tiny fishing resort on the tip of the island is a world-class sea fishing destination.
Montauk boasts of its saltwater fishing records and great fishing. You can catch everything from Atlantic cod and mackerel to bluefish and yellowfin tuna. The peak season here is in September and October but it can last through the winter into January some years.
6. Mammoth Lakes, California
It seems like California has everything, doesn’t it? The Mammoth Lakes region has beautiful crystal-clear lakes surrounded by enormous mountain views all around. Some people might be visiting to hike in the area, see the views and even ski in the winter.
You’ll be visiting to snag one of the many trout species stocked in the lake. You can camp in the area or stay in some local cabins. This fishing vacation is about the beauty and sights of the area. You won’t find the world’s most impressive fish, but you will find good fishing on a picture-perfect lake.
7. Lake Pymatuning, Pennsylvania
At the border between Ohio and Pennsylvania, Lake Pymatuning is an excellent freshwater fishing vacation. This lake is a protected state park. Visitors can hunt for deer and rabbits in the area but you’re here to catch catfish, crappie and bass.
You also have the option to rent boats or kayaks, buy fishing supplies and even clean your fish at a cleaning station on the premises. It might feel a little more rural than some other options, but sometimes you want to get a little more connected to nature.
8. Nags Head, North Carolina
I’ve spent many a day angling off the Nags Head Fishing Pier on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The banks are made of sand dunes facing the Atlantic Ocean, where you can catch mahi-mahi, king mackerel, marlin and more.
It makes a great family fishing vacation — the kids can play on the beach and your non-fishing family members can explore downtown while you reel in the tuna. Bonus reason to visit Nags Head: you can spend the entire time making jokes about the name “Nags Head.”
9. Ashley Lake, Montana
Now, this is a secluded fishing ground. Ashley Lake is tucked in a small, rarely-visited corner of Montana. If you were looking for beauty at the Mammoth Lakes, you’ll find relative seclusion and plenty of wildlife here.
Trout are the fish to catch here, but you will be competing with bears for them. For those non-fishing family members that seem to tag along to all your fishing vacations, there’s plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy — swimming, hiking, kayaking and more.
10. Honolulu, Hawaii
When the average individual hears “Hawaii,” they picture a beautiful beach vacation, with dancing women and music and drinks. But when a fisher hears “Hawaii,” he pictures the fish.
The island state offers both shore fishing and deep-sea fishing opportunities worth crossing the ocean for. Catch anything from massive mahi-mahi to barracuda to sharks in this fishing paradise. Absolutely no travel companion will need convincing to go here.
11. Eureka Spring, Arkansas
This natural spring near the northern border of Arkansas contains some of the best fishing the state has to offer. Arkansas is famous for its bass fishing, but the nearby White River boasts of a variety of trout to land. Find a fishing lodge near the spring to enjoy a quiet vacation. The city itself is worth exploring too, with some unexpectedly impressive architecture and a number of local parks and sights.
12. Bear Creek Lake Park, Colorado
This fishing resort in Colorado offers everything from fishing to biking, camping and more. There are even horses in the area, and you can sign up for riding lessons.
The water has rainbow trout, saugeye, smallmouth bass, yellow perch and more. The lake is stocked annually, and there’s a trout tournament held every May worth planning your visit around.
13. Westport, Connecticut
Westport is an Atlantic coastal town similar to Nags Head. A little farther north, the city faces the Long Island Sound. Catch anything from bass and flounder to silversides and bluefish. Westport is best from May to November when it’s not so cold in the area.
14. Lewes, Delaware
Lewes, Delaware is another fishing vacation spot you can bring your fish-hating family members to (although at this point you might consider just replacing the family). This area has great dining locations and cultural opportunities beyond fishing, like theater and museums. The actual fishing is pretty good too — flounder, minnows, shiners and black sea bass can be found throughout the year.
15. Portland, Maine
The final entry for my list of fishing lodge recommendations is the Old Port district in Portland, Maine. You can try all sorts of angling techniques at the waterfront here, from netting to spearing to hanging out with a rod and reel.
Oh, and by the way, the seafood here is the bomb! Catch striped bass and tuna on the water then return to shore and enjoy a dinner of freshly caught Maine lobster.
Download this guide on Best Fishing Itineraries to learn more about planning your dream fishing vacation.
More Fishing Vacation Hotspots
If you weren’t overwhelmed by the options presented above, I’m about to hit you with several more. What can I say? The fishing resorts near me aren’t that fun so I’ve gone far and wide to find good communities. Other places that deserve a shout out include:
- Blackberry Farm, Tennessee.
- Laurel Hill Lake, Tennessee.
- Catskill Mountains, New York.
- San Diego, California.
- Black Hills, South Dakota.
- Big Lake, Arizona.
- Destin, Florida.
- Port Isabel, Texas.
- Sam Dale Lake, Illinois.
- Grand Isle, Louisiana.
All of the above locations will provide a pleasant time, but you and I know fishing isn’t limited to the United States. If you’re interested in a real change of scenery, you can pick one of these fantastic fishing resort destinations:
- Connemara, Ireland
- Khao Thong, Thailand
- Riviera Maya, Mexico
- Prince Edward Island/Nova Scotia, Canada
Are you considering a fishing vacation? Download our guide on Best Fishing Itineraries to help you plan your trip.