Every angler knows that naming the best local spots for fishing depends entirely on who you ask. One person’s favorite fishing hole is another person’s long, bad day of fishing (and they’ll be more than happy to tell you the story).

Even so, most can agree on the big picture when asked to name the best fishing spots across the nation. All the best U.S. fishing spots have earned their reputation. They’re the sort of places that people who enjoy fishing build a vacation around. They’re also a great way to get the kids to like the outdoors.

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Choosing the Best U.S. Fishing Spots

Much like choosing a hunting spot, you have to take a lot of factors into consideration when putting anyplace on a “best of” list for fishing spots in the United States. Luckily, a lot of that work has been done for you when it comes to fishing in the U.S. These are considered not only the best fishing spots in the United States, but rank among the best in the world.

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Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are known as a fisherman’s paradise for a reason. The variety of fish available in the warm Gulf Stream waters include bonefish, redfish, snook, sailfish, marlin, swordfish and one of the most sought after fish in the world, the permit. The best fishing in the Keys is done on charter boats. One of the most famous fish in the Keys, the tarpon, swims the flats and backwaters all year around.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Offshore from the Outer Banks in North Carolina you’ll find blue and white marlin, sailfish and yellow-fin tuna. There are over 100 miles of ocean-side spots to cast for surf fishing, where you’ll find striped bass, Bluefish, croaker, drum, flounder, pompano, spot, sea mullet and Spanish mackerel. The Outer Banks also feature plenty of fishing services for those who are new to fishing or who do not have the bait, tackle and gear they need.

Kona, Hawaii

Along the western shore of Kona, the calm waters of the Kona River rank among the best U.S. fishing spots. The combination of great fishing and the scenic islands make this a paradise vacation spot for sports fish fanatics and their families. It’s the perfect spot for deep sea fishing, with a fishing season calendar that includes blue marlin, striped marlin, short billed spearfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, and dorado (mahi mahi).

Bighorn River, Montana

This spot is a must for fly fishermen. There’s limited access to the river, and the three points of public access areas can get crowded, but it’s worth the effort. Most who fish the Bighorn catch and release trout, as there are strict catch limits. The most common fish are brown trout, but the determined fly fisher may also find the prized rainbow trout.

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Thousand Islands, New York

Freshwater anglers flock to Thousand Islands in upstate New York. About 1,800 small islands dot the area, which is in the St. Lawrence River on the eastern edge of Lake Ontario. Those who fish the area in the summertime will find a freshwater fish heaven, including smallmouth bass, yellow perch, walleye, north pike and muskellunge. It’s a great spot for veterans and novices. However, only veterans should go after the muskies, which commonly reach 50 inches or more.

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

This scenic location is perhaps best known as a vacation spot for the well-to-do, but it also offers some of the best fishing in the U.S. Both shore and boat fishing are popular, with fish species including bonitos and false albacore (for those in boats) and striped bass for those putting on the waders and dropping a line just offshore.

These six spots rank among the best U.S. fishing spots. For the sports fisherman, each is worth building a nice, long fishing trip around.

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