The endless coastlines, miles of lake shore and numerous rivers and streams in the U.S. are home to thousands of incredible fishing destinations. If that, coupled with the beautiful fall weather, isn’t enough to get you out there exploring, the start of the Bassmaster Tournament Trail might be the inspiration you’re looking for. With competitions in Mille Lacks Lake, Minnesota and Lake Champlain, New York, just to name a few, you’re bound to find a fishing destination that fits your needs. Here are four of the best fishing trips for every angler to channel you’re inner Bassmaster.
If you’re looking to reel in a tasty salmon for dinner, head to Washington state in the month of September where you’ll find different species of salmon both in marine areas and freshwater rivers throughout the area. If you want to head out into the ocean, salmon fishing in Marine Areas 1-4 is at its peak, while Coho and Chinook are plenty at the mouth of the Columbia River near Buoy 10. With autumn in full speed, make sure you’re prepared with all your fall outdoor essentials to keep you safe, warm, dry and successful on the water.
Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
Considered the major spawning ground for Atlantic coastal striped bass, the Chesapeake is the perfect destination to find a plethora of fish swimming freely before they migrate out of the Bay before winter. In the late fall, migrating stripers will stop to feed on smaller fish that are also migrating out of the bay, making the area around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel one of the best places to fish. Here you’ll see most fishermen throwing lures by the small islands on the bay while jigging around the pilings of the bridge. First-time Chesapeake anglers who haven’t developed the intuition to find fish on the bay should invest in a fishfinder to take the guesswork out of your adventure while bringing more success to your trip.
Mammoth Lakes, California
For those who can’t decide on fishing from a boat or the shore or fly fishing in a lake or stream, Mammoth Lakes is the ideal destination for you. The beautiful, clear lakes and streams offer opportunities to fish from boats, shores, docks or in lakes, rivers and streams. Catch-and-release fisheries are open year-round, but if you’d like to keep what you catch, the season ends on November 15 every year. If this is your first time visiting Mammoth Lakes, reserve a guided tour that consists of a full day (eight hours) or half day (five hours) of fishing and includes lunch, beverages and fishing gear (rods, reels, flies, tippet, etc.).
Pamlico Sound, North Carolina
Considered the largest lagoon on the East Coast, Pamlico Sound is every angler’s dream fishing destination. The Sound is excellent for light tackle fishing and is home to a variety of fish species, including speckled trout, red drum (Channel Bass), flounder and striped bass. The fishing season is open and biting year-round, although there are certain areas of the Sound where anglers will find more success. In the fall, the red drum catch-and-release fishery is at its peak, with the largest fishing showing up in late August to late September. Make sure you’re prepared with the best bait for catching red drum, including shrimp, pinfish and finger mullet paired with an artificial lure like a golden spoon or MurroLure.