It’s so lucky that we have lots of unique saltwater fishing spots scattered in every nook and cranny, throughout the Atlantic to the Pacific. Although anglers we always daydream about long-list destinations to pride ourselves, it’s hard – or at least, time-taking – to go through all of them.
Then, why not start with the must-visit ones?
We ask our crews for 11 best saltwater fishing destinations in the US and here are what we’ve analyzed. Take your rod and start an enjoyable fishing trip now!
The Florida Keys
The Florida Keys is well-loved by many anglers as it gives a full calendar of warm tropical weather with converging currents and crystal clear water. The place that is considered one of the most ideal saltwater fishing spots in North America.
You can find lots of hot spots throughout Key West to Key Largo, each of which cultivates different vibes both on the water and at the marina.
Whether you want to earn some trophy dolphin, tuna, and marlin or simple tangle with tarpon in the shallows, we believe the long list of fish species in addition to the plenty of charter boats will satisfy you completely.
Regardless of the flashy backdrop of the city, just the white sandy beaches, tropical weather, and year-round action are enough to attract numerous anglers, both beginners and pro fishers.
The true jewels of Miami are the bays where many flats and mangroves are specifically constructed to attract tarpon, bonefish, jacks, snapper, and snook. There are also different decked-out sport-fishing yachts and lines of boats looking like floating houses.
So, it’s not exaggerating to say Miami is the most engaging fishing on the Atlantic Coast.
Not to say that the productive fishing spots here are very easy to access while most charter captains are always ready to put you on fish.
It’s ideal to visit Outer Banks in April to June, and then again in the autumn for some tuna trophies.
Here, you can find various saltwater fisheries, such as wahoo, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, red drum, and the Caribbean. It’s a big thank you to the Gulf Stream waters which act as a highway for fish. They move baitfish-chasing trophies up the coast from southern fisheries.
For those who don’t know, the waters around Outer Banks are arguably some of the US’s most productive saltwater fisheries.
If you’re planning for a family vacation without compromising your fishing hobby, Cape Cod is the best bet.
Its mellow beach-houses and relaxing ambiance of sand dunes are the top-rated things to convince your family members. Regardless, the variety of fisheries in different sizes will make you smile happily.
From Martha’s Vineyard past Buzzards Bay, back up to Provincetown or around Nantucket, the waters are filled with giant wagon, swordfish, cod, bluefish, Bluefin tuna, and more. For leisure fishing, you can find some hot spots in the Sounds. If you’re in search of big boys, spend time to head to the nearby deep.
While working jigs, poppers, and live eels at outgoing tides will give you more fish, tossing live herring around rocky shorelines are advised by many crews for trophy stripers.
The best time to visit Cape Cod is either from May through June or from June to September.
In many fishing communities, Virginia Beach is no different than an angler’s paradise.
From the fantastic mix of inland, freshwater adventures to a bounty of coastal species. This is also the place where the largest annual tripper tournament is held in January when the stripers come back to their spawning waters inside the Chesapeake Bay.
The range of locales and fish is quite diverse here. Heading to the deep waters off of the beach, it’s not difficult for you to find big marlin, tuna, cobia, bluefish, amberjack, and Mahi.
Our crews also particularly emphasize to try some of the local restaurants here because they serve up fresh-caught fish.
While enjoying the futuristic atmosphere of New York City, you can take advantage of the chance of visiting Montauk – called the “World’s Fishing Capital”.
It’s also one of the most appealing saltwater fishing spots for anglers in North of Florida, which is thankful for the annual, massive schools of migrating fish (especially Striped Bass) from the Long Islands Sound up to Maine.
If you come here from May to October, there are lots of opportunities to catch up to 40-pound bass. The second chance is during September and October when you’ll find hundreds of big bass pounding through bait-balls close to shore and thumping against the surface.
Offshore fishing is the most popular technique during these two times, hence, don’t forget to prepare chunk bait, or toss plugs, soft plastics, and install with light tackle along the rocky shorelines.
For pro anglers whose goals are big deep-water trophies, like tuna, heading to offshore canyons (which are very easy to access) in Montauk and make you palms sweaty.
In Southeast Louisiana, find it at where the end of the Mississippi River Delta meets the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll get some good chances to catch many big trophies. For example, speckled trout, black drum, sheepshead, flounder, and redfish.
But take note of the various reefs and wrecks as well as the unique land structure of this area. We highly recommend hiring a knowledgeable charter captain for extra assistance.
Or, if you want to tangle offshore for dolphin, wahoo, tuna, and marlin, head out of the marina to move south into the Gulf. You’ll find some oil rigs there where there are many big boys awaiting.
If you’re an inshore angler, don’t dismiss San Diego, which is holding a quantity of big fish.
It has a thriving all-year-round fishing action with numerous skillful charter captains who are always ready to drop you some helpful pieces of information.
Spotted bay bass is the specialty of San Diego Bay where anglers can catch a few big boys during the day. That said, there’re some appealing spots for pro anglers or adventurers, especially if you’re interested in tuna.
Take a few days’ trips to offshore and cast for giant tuna, you won’t regret it.
Panama City beach
If you think Panama City Beach is just a tourist city, well, not at all.
It’s one of the most well-known spots in pro angler communities for various saltwater trophy fishes, such as sea trout, tarpon, flounder, and redfish. In fact, there is a wide range of beaches and piers inside St. Andrew Bay or along the coast where you can have a great day fishing.
3-day trips out at sea are not an uncommon thing here and if you have time for it, it can be extremely rewarding.
But don’t worry if you don’t, 50+-mile trips offshore are also popular to catch cobia, dolphin, tuna, blue marlin, and king mackerel.
In other words, as long as you choose to fish in PCB, it’s not difficult to trophy waters both offshore and in.
Like most southern fishing spots, Galveston gives you year-around action with numerous choices. From redfish, tarpon, and speckled trout in the bay to the world-class wahoo, red snapper, and king mackerel out in the Gulf.
In the area, there are a lot of jetties, beaches, and piers for recreational anglers and charters while inside West Bay, East Bay, and Trinity, you’ll find many potential flats.
The specialty of Galveston is big sharks to give you some cool, fantastic photo opportunities and quick releases.
The island itself is full of delicious local waterfront restaurants where you will be served some of the best seafood. As Galveston is a historic area with Houston under 1 hour away to access, it’s also ideal for your family members to enjoy and relax here with you, too.
And here’s the end of this article.
One thing we’d like to note (one more time) is these 10 best saltwater fishing destinations in the US are collected by asking our crew friends. That means these picks are subjective.
There are still many other interesting spots out there (of course) so, sharing is caring. We want this to be a spark for many good, deep conversations about fishing where everyone can join and get some good pieces of information.
Thanks for reading!