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Published: June 27th 2019
Freshwater fishing is a relaxing pastime and there are thousands of places where you cast a line into the water within the United States. You can fish from the shoreline, in kayaks, from docks and piers, or on fishing boats. The options are truly limitless. If you are planning a fishing trip and looking for the best freshwater fishing destination in the US, here are five places that offer an unforgettable experience.
Table Rock Lake
Located in the beautiful city of Branson, Missouri, Table Rock Lake is one of the nation’s best lakes for bass fishing. Here you will find a dense population of smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass. Whether you are a new angler or you have been fishing for decades, this is a great place to reel in a large catch. Locals swear by using natural baits. The water is clear so fresh baits like simple worms work well at Table Rock Lake. Of course, crawfish lure designs and crank baits can also draw a bite. For best results, try using top water lures in the early morning or late evening. The lake is quite large, so look for areas with large rocks or obstructions near the bottom of the water to find the most populated areas for bass.
Lake Fork Reservoir
Travel just five miles outside of Quitman, Texas, and you will find the Lake Fork Reservoir. With 315 miles of shoreline and more than 27,000 acres to explore, this fishing hotspot holds records for more than half of the Top 50 largemouth bass caught in the state.
This is another highly popular destination for bass fisherman, but there is an abundance of other fish here as well. In the colder months, Lake Fork Reservoir is a hot spot for crappie fishing. In the spring and summer, you can find a variety of perch, catfish, sunfish, bream, and of course largemouth and white bass.
Experienced Lake Fork Reservoir anglers tend to use live bait. A light line baited with a minnow is best for catching perch. Small colorful crank baits and lures work nicely if you are using fishing boats
with a trolling motor.
Stretching the western border of Tennessee across the tip of Kentucky, the Kentucky Lake runs from north to south. It’s famous for being the largest manmade lake in the United States, east of the Mississippi River. Anglers will be paradise here, with every imaginable species of freshwater fish in abundant supply. The lake is huge so it’s easy to find an unoccupied fishing spot to enjoy.
The bass in Kentucky Lake have reached award winning sizes in the spring and fall months. During the summer, you will hook a never-ending supply of pan fish. During the colder winter months, you can still enjoy a good catch with perch typically biting well in early morning and late evening.
Lake Saint Clair
Northeast of Detroit, anglers enjoy some of the country’s best freshwater fishing at Lake Saint Clair. This smallest of the Great Lakes has earned a reputation among fishing enthusiast thanks to a large population of smallmouth bass, muskie, and walleye. Even amateur anglers can easily catch sizeable smallmouth bass at Lake Saint Clair, thanks to shollow depths that are perfect for trolling and drifting. Those who prefer to fish for muskie will want to bring larger lures with spinners. The hardy muskie is known for hitting hard and putting up a fight, making Lake Saint Clair one of the most adrenaline-packed freshwater fishing destinations in the north.
If you are willing to travel outside of the continental United States, plan an unforgettable visit to Kobuk River in Alaska. Here, you will find fish varieties that aren’t available anywhere in the lower 48 states. Some of the most popular catches are northern pike, arctic char, arctic grayling, chum salmon, lake trout, and sheefish.
The most popular target is the sheefish, similar in appearance to halibut but with far superior flavor. These big fish will grow to 50 pounds so make sure to pack a heavy rig. To hook a sheefish, use live baits at least 2 inches long or a shiny lure that imitates the action of a baitfish. Be prepared for a fight as sheefish are quite aggressive when they feed. Take along some regular plastic lures for drifting to hook salmon and fish with small lures to catch lake trout. Fishing in Kobuk River is most popular in the summer, as the weather in the winter months often makes it impossible.
Tips for Success
No matter which destination you choose for freshwater fishing in the United States, there are a few simple boating tips
you can follow to help you land the biggest catch every time. First, make sure you have your gear well organized before you head out to the water. Fishing is much more enjoyable if you have an organized tackle box and you don’t have to spend precious time on the water looking for your gear or trying to assembly complicated line set-ups.
Second, do you research in advance to find out what types of bait tend to work best in your location. Call local tackle shops or check fishing forums online to hear from other anglers who have been successful in your destination of choice. While you are talking to experienced anglers in the area, also ask about what time of day is generally most successful for fishing and what types of tackle, fishing gear, and locations they prefer.
Third, make sure you dress correctly for the weather and always take rain gear in case you get caught in a storm. There is nothing more miserable than being stuck in a downpour on an unfamiliar lake, with no idea how long the storm will last.
With some careful research and planning, you can enjoy a once in a lifetime destination fishing trip to one of these five popular locations in the US. Plan your trip today and start dreaming about your next award-winning catch.
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