Fishing during the winter can be just as productive and enjoyable as fishing during the warmer months – whether or not it’s an activity for sport or pure passion. There are no perfect locations based on the season, and certain locations may be locally kept secrets, but there’s hot action still to be had during the coldest time of year.
Some of the best winter fishing destinations in the US are considered the best not only because of the beauty they offer in location but also due to the action that is happening there all season long. You can choose to fish with friends and family, with a professional guide, or search for fishing charters in specific locations based on your weather and area preferences.
From the freezing tundra of the upper north to the lesser chills of the east and west, here are some destinations sure to knock your socks off. Better wear a double pair to keep warm.
The Mid-Atlantic Region
One of the best winter fishing destinations in the United States can be found in the great state of New York. A wide contrast from the possibly greatest city in the world located in the same state, great winter fishing can be found up north on Lake Ontario. During the summer, you can choose to sail from mighty Lake Ontario down to the Hudson River in NYC.
During the wintertime, Lake Ontario is a prize of wondrous fish, from the gush of water flow out of Lake Erie through picturesque Niagara Falls. There will be an abundance of trout here in the winter – either brown or lake trout, as well as the glorified Steelhead. Fishing by boat is the best approach on these chilly waters, and an expert guide would be the top approach to reel in your rewards. These big fish can weigh up to 20 pounds or more.
East South Central
If you’re aiming for a warmer location to keep your mind and body focused on the fine craft of fishing, this region of the country may have fantastic fishing options for you. Head to the Tennessee tailwaters for robust fisheries of rainbow and brown trout. Fishing can get more technical in these waters, so it’s best to be on a boat with the right equipment.
Pickwick Lake is a destination spreading wide across parts of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi as a reservoir on the Tennessee River. This large body of water can be considered either a lake or a river depending on the location. Pickwick Lake churns out smallmouth and largemouth bass well in the winter and holds records for the size of fish that’s been caught.
The Pacific Northwest
Steelhead has become the ultimate prize in the Pacific Northwest region. Steelhead is big—some may even say it’s so big that it’s beautiful. Steelhead’s illusions are elusive, making them a coveted catch. If you’re a passionate fisher, this species is the catch worth making, and this region is the best location to do so.
The top destination for Steelhead fishing in the Pacific Northwest has to be on the Salmon River in Idaho. This area is stunning, located in Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in the nation. Fishing guides and tours located along the river are available to help anglers make the catch of a lifetime. No matter if you’re an expert angler or a newbie looking for game, you’re sure to find a spot on or off this list that’s just right.
After you book your winter fishing trip, take a gander at this basic winter fishing guide. Preparation is key for a successful and safe fishing excursion.
Related Read: 4 of the Best Road Trip Destinations in South Carolina