Best East Coast Fishing Trips (Best Destinations)


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Connectiuct


Candlewood Lake


Candlewood Lake is the largest lake in Connecticut and it is bordered by five towns: Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford and Sherman.  The Connecticut Light & Power built a hydroelectric dam and flooded the area, so technically, this lake isn’t a natural beauty, but it is still a beautiful lake and an awesome recreational lake.  Visitors enjoy boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, picnicking, bird watching and more.  There’s a public boat launch here, plus a small beach.  This lake is known as a good bass fishing lake with largemouth bass and smallmouth bass available.  It’s also a good lake for trout and a variety of panfish.


Maine


Moosehead Lakes Region


Moosehead Lake, located among scenic mountain ranges, is the largest lake east of the Mississippi contained within one state.  Surrounded by vast forested wilderness, this lake gives visitors a chance to get away from it all and relax in one of the most beautiful areas of Maine.  Anglers can fish Moosehead Lake, one of the other area lakes or one of the many ponds in the Moosehead Lake Region.  Brook trout, lake trout, landlocked salmon, perch and bass are available in the area lakes.


Rangeley Lakes Area


The Rangeley Lakes Region is an accessible wilderness that offers its visitors some of the most beautiful scenery in the state.  For the fishermen, this region is home to some excellent fishing for brook trout, lake trout and landlocked salmon in the lakes, ponds, streams and rivers that help make up this region.


Maryland


Chesapeake Bay


Fish the bay area’s beaches, fishing piers and bridges for some awesome shore fishing opportunities. Striped bass are the most popular fish that are targeted here from the surf and the piers, however, you can also catch a variety of other fish such as bluefish, whiting, an occasional trout or even flounder. During the peak of the striped bass migration, the fishing can be awesome from the surf in this area.


Ocean City, MD


Ocean City, MD is known for its excellent offshore fishing and there are a lot of fishing charters here to take you out on the ocean.  You can catch a variety of fish whether you fish the reefs and wrecks or the open water.  There are many pelagic species that are catchable here depending on the time of year.  Anglers fish for mahi mahi, wahoo, tuna, marlin and more.


Massachusetts


Cape Cod


There are plenty of fish to target offshore in this area.  Whether you fish the reefs and wrecks or the open water, there are plenty of fish to target here.  Black sea bass, tautog, scup, pollock, cod, haddock, wolffish, halibut and sharks are some of the types of fish that you may find around the reefs or wrecks.  Some of the fish that roam the open waters in this region are tuna, mackerel, bonito and false albacore.  The offshore fishing usually gets overshadowed here by the excellent fishing for striped bass inshore, however, there is some good offshore fishing here too.


Gloucester, MA


The Gloucester area gives anglers quick access to some good inshore fishing spots and some offshore spots too.  There are plenty of fish to target offshore in this area.  Whether you fish the reefs and wrecks or the open water, there are plenty of fish to target here.  Black sea bass, tautog, scup, pollock, cod, haddock, wolffish, halibut and sharks are some of the types of fish that you may find around the reefs or wrecks.  Some of the fish that roam the open waters in this region are tuna, mackerel, bonito and false albacore.


Martha’s Vineyard, MA


Martha’s Vineyard is in an excellent location if you want to go out and fish the offshore waters in this area.  With quick access to the ocean, it’s not as far of a boat ride as if you were coming from the mainland.  Whether you fish the reefs and wrecks or the open water, there are plenty of fish to target here.  Black sea bass, tautog, scup, pollock, cod, haddock, wolffish, halibut and sharks are some of the types of fish that you may find around the reefs or wrecks.  Some of the fish that roam the open waters in this region are tuna, mackerel, bonito and false albacore.


Nantucket, MA


There are plenty of fish to target offshore in this area.  Whether you fish the reefs and wrecks or the open water, there are plenty of fish to target here.  Black sea bass, tautog, scup, pollock, cod, haddock, wolffish, halibut and sharks are some of the types of fish that you may find around the reefs or wrecks.  Some of the fish that roam the open waters in this region are tuna, mackerel, bonito and false albacore.  Because of Nantucket’s location, you have a shorter boat ride out to some of the more popular offshore locations.


New Hampshire


Lake Winnipesaukee


Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in the state of New Hampshire and the 6th largest lake in the United States of lakes that lie within the boundaries of one state.  The crystal clear water of this spring-fed lake combined with the wooded shoreline and 3 mountain ranges surrounding the lake make this lake a popular year round vacation destination.  Aside from swimming and boating, fishing is the next most popular activity on Lake Winnipesaukee.

You can fish for salmon, rainbow trout, brook trout, lake trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, pickerel, yellow perch, sunfish and whitefish.  The lake offers endless opportunities for fishing.  From the shallow coves to the maximum depths of around 213 feet, the lake offers many different ways to catch fish.  It is well worth spending some time learning this lake.  A fishing guide or charter can help shorten the learning curve or just help to put some fish in the boat during your trip here.


New Jersey


Atlantic City, NJ


Atlantic City gives you quick access to the ocean, which allows you to get to your offshore spots quicker.  You will find plenty of fishing charters here and there are a variety of trips offered.  Whether you fish the reefs and wrecks or the open water, there are plenty of fish to target here.  Anglers catch tuna, shark, bonito, false albacore, mahi mahi, marlin, sea bass, tautog, king mackerel and wahoo.


Ocean City, NJ


Atlantic City gives you quick access to the ocean, which allows you to get to your offshore spots quicker.  You will find plenty of fishing charters here and there are a variety of trips offered.  Whether you fish the reefs and wrecks or the open water, there are plenty of fish to target here.  Anglers catch tuna, shark, bonito, false albacore, mahi mahi, marlin, sea bass, tautog, king mackerel and wahoo.


New York


Finger Lakes


The Finger Lakes are a group of linear-shaped lakes in the west-central part of Upstate New York.  With 11 lakes covering 14 different counties, this region is a major tourist destination.  People come here for many different reasons.  Fishing and boating are very popular on the lakes, but people also come to the area for the events and festivals, to visit the wineries and to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Fishermen have many options with all of the water in this region.  Anglers can fish for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, brown trout, rainbow trout, lake trout and more.  There are several lakes to fish, some bigger than others and some more popular than others.


Lake Champlain


Lake Champlain is a huge lake located mostly within the borders of Vermont and New York, but a portion of the lake is also located across the border into Canada.  It is a natural, freshwater lake and it is very popular among boaters and fishermen.  Lake Champlain is 100 miles long and 12 miles across at its widest point.  The maximum depth is about 400 feet.

The cool waters provide excellent fishing for salmon, lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, perch, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and northern pike.  There are plenty of businesses located on and around the lake to help you plan an excellent fishing vacation.


Montauk, NY


Montauk gives you access to some awesome inshore fishing, however, some very good deep sea fishing is fairly close by as well.  There are plenty of fish to target offshore in this area.  Whether you fish the reefs and wrecks or the open water, you have a lot of options.  Black sea bass, tautog, scup, pollock, cod, haddock, wolffish, halibut and sharks are some of the types of fish that you may find around the reefs or wrecks.  Some of the fish that roam the open waters in this region are tuna, mackerel, bonito and false albacore.


Thousand Islands


The Thousand Islands are a group of over 1,700 islands that straddle the United States – Canada border in the St. Lawrence River.  The Canadian islands are in the province of Ontario and the islands in the United States are located in the state of New York.  This area is a popular vacation destination for fishing, boating and camping.

Fishermen have many different species of fish to target such as northern pike, muskie, smallmouth bass, walleye and others.  This area is truly an amazing fishery.  If you want to catch a lot of fish, you can do that.  If you want to catch trophy fish, you can do that too.


North Carolina


Asheville, NC


Asheville, North Carolina is a very popular summer vacation destination.  The city is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains at the confluence of the Swannanoa River and the French Broad River.  There are an abundance of things to do from river rafting adventures, hiking on mountain trails, taking in the beautiful scenery and experiencing some excellent fishing.

Asheville is an awesome fishing destination.  There is plenty of water to fish and there are numerous fishing guides that can help you find the local hot spots.  Fly fishing for trout is very good here in the nearby streams.


Brunswick Islands, NC


The Brunswick Islands area is home to some very good deep sea fishing. You can find many fishing charters who will take you out to deeper water. Whether you search the reefs and wrecks for bottom fish or troll for the pelagic species of fish that are moving through the area, you have some options on a deep sea fishing trip. Some of the common species of fish that are caught are sailfish, marlin, tuna, mahi mahi, wahoo, grouper and amberjack.


Crystal Coast, NC


This area is known for some very good offshore fishing for a variety of different species of fish. There are several fishing charters here that operate in the deeper offshore waters and some of the common species of fish that are caught are sailfish, marlin, tuna, mahi mahi, wahoo, grouper and amberjack.


Lake Lure


Lake Lure is a gorgeous lake located in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range of western North Carolina.  The lake has been called “one of the most beautiful man-made lakes in the world” by National Geographic.  With 720 acres of water and approximately 27 miles of shoreline, there is plenty of water to fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, rainbow trout and bluegill.

Lake Lure has a good population of bass.  Largemouth bass are more abundant than smallmouth bass, but you can target smallies here too and there are some big fish here too.  White bass are here in good numbers.  Secondary species of fish include rainbow trout, brown trout and panfish.


Outer Banks, NC


The deep sea and offshore waters can be very good for a variety of fish. There are many fishing charters here as well who can take you offshore. Some of the popular fish to catch are mahi mahi, wahoo, tuna, marlin, sailfish, king mackerel, amberjack, bonito, false albacore, barracuda, sharks, snapper, grouper, black sea bass and more.


Wilmington, NC


This area is known for some very good offshore fishing for a variety of different species of fish. Whether you go out in your own boat or hire a fishing charter, you can expect to find several different species of fish in the offshore waters around Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. Some of the common species of fish that are caught are sailfish, marlin, tuna, mahi mahi, wahoo, grouper and amberjack.


South Carolina


Beaufort, SC


You will have a little farther boat ride here if you plan on going out to fish the offshore waters near Beaufort. Some people will just head over to Hilton Head Island to find an offshore charter. The fishing will be the same as the Hilton Head Island area. Fish the reefs and wrecks for snapper, grouper, sharks, barracuda, amberjack, king mackerel and other fish or go after tuna, marlin, mahi mahi, sailfish and more.


Charleston, SC


Anglers have access to some good offshore fishing here too.  With the jetties here, a lot of anglers choose to stay closer and fish the jetties, but you can go offshore for some very good fishing too.  The target species will vary depending on the seasons.  Fishing charters will target grouper, snapper, cobia, king mackerel, permit, amberjack, barracuda, bonito, sharks and more.


Georgetown, SC


You have quick access to some excellent offshore fishing in the Georgetown area. You have much smaller crowds here than farther north in Myrtle Beach, but there are still plenty of fishing charters here to service you for an offshore trip.

The target species will vary depending on the seasons, however, plan on fishing the hard, rocky bottom or wrecks for bottom fish such as grouper, snapper, cobia, king mackerel, permit, amberjack and more. Some other fish that are targeted offshore are barracuda, bonito, sharks and others. Offshore trolling is also done in this area, especially for king mackerel.


Hilton Head Island, SC


You have some deep sea fishing options here also. There are so many charters that operate out of the Hilton Head Island area and several of them will go offshore. Fish the reefs and wrecks for snapper, grouper, sharks, barracuda, amberjack, king mackerel and other fish or go after tuna, marlin, mahi mahi, sailfish and more.


Lake Murray


Lake Murray is a large lake covering over 50,000 acres.  The lake is a major recreational destination in South Carolina.  There are numerous fishing tournaments held throughout the year and there are plenty of places for a recreational fishermen to launch a boat.  Fishing guides, boat rentals and marinas can be found here to make your trip more enjoyable.  Lake Murray is known for its excellent striped bass fishing to go along with other species such as largemouth bass, crappie and other panfish.


Myrtle Beach, SC


The Deep Sea / Offshore Fishing is what most people will do if they are looking to get into some serious fishing while in Myrtle Beach. The target species will vary depending on the seasons. Fishing charters will target the hard, rocky bottom or wrecks to bottom fish for grouper, snapper, cobia, king mackerel, permit, amberjack and more. Some other fish that are targeted offshore are barracuda, bonito, sharks and others. Offshore trolling is also done in this area, especially for king mackerel.


Santee Cooper Lakes


Lake Marion

Lake Marion is the largest lake in South Carolina, covering over 100,000 acres.  It is one of the Santee Cooper Lakes and it is known for its excellent catfish fishery.  The crappie fishing is also very good, but this lake really stands out for its catfish.  Fish in the 10 to 20 pound range are common and there are many fishing guides that can take you out for some incredible fishing.  Striped bass, largemouth bass and bluegill round out a good fishery.

Lake Moultrie

Lake Moultrie is the third largest lake in South Carolina and it covers over 60,000 acres. There is plenty of public access on the lake and it is very popular among fishermen.  Lake Moultrie is one of the best lakes in the country for catfish.  Catfish anglers flock to this lake and channel cats in the 10 to 20 pound range are very common here.  There are some other species on the lake as well, but none get the attention that catfish do on Lake Moultrie.  Other fish consist of striped bass, largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill.


Vermont


Lake Champlain


Lake Champlain is a huge lake located mostly within the borders of Vermont and New York, but a portion of the lake is also located across the border into Canada.  It is a natural, freshwater lake and it is very popular among boaters and fishermen.  Lake Champlain is 100 miles long and 12 miles across at its widest point.  The maximum depth is about 400 feet.

The cool waters provide excellent fishing for salmon, lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, perch, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and northern pike.  There are plenty of businesses located on and around the lake to help you plan an excellent fishing vacation.


Virginia


Smith Mountain Lake


Smith Mountain Lake is a very large artificial lake that is located southeast of Roanoke, Virginia.  With over 20,000 acres of water and more than 500 miles of shoreline, this lake is a water lover’s paradise.  Boating and fishing are very popular on the lake.

Fishermen target many species, but many of the anglers come here for the striped bass.  It’s known as a good numbers lake for stripers and some big fish are available too.  There are several fishing guides available on the lake that can help you find where some of these striped bass call home.  You can also catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and a variety of panfish.


Virginia Beach


You will find the species of fish that are known to be found on the northern Atlantic coast as well as some of the species of fish that are known for being along the Atlantic coast on the southern states and through Florida.  This gives anglers so many options to target so many different types of fish offshore.  Some of the popular fish that anglers target are marlin, tuna, sailfish, wahoo, snapper, grouper and sharks, but there are so many other fish that you can also catch here.


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