Ranking the Top Fishing Destinations


Best of the:  East Coast | Midwest & Up North | West Coast | Down South


Best of the Best (Overall Rankings for Destinations)

10.0  (Perfect Score)

This is tough to pull off.  To get a 10, there needs to be a good chance to catch good numbers of fish, have trophy fish potential and all the amenities you need for an awesome fishing vacation without being overly crowded and overpriced.  For some destinations, they are so awesome for fishing that we were able to look the other way for some of the other amenities or the pricing (for example, Hawaii & Alaska)

10 9.75
Bend, OR Asheville, NC
Door County, WI Big Fork, MT
Emerald Coast (Northwest Florida) Brunswick Islands, NC
Florida Keys Chesapeake Bay (MD)
Hawaii Crystal Coast, NC
Hilton Head Island (SC) Devils Lake (ND)
Jackson Hole, WY Glenwood Springs, CO
Kenai Peninsula (Alaska) Helena, MT
Lac Seul (Ontario) Jupiter, FL
Lake Champlain (VT) Lake Pend Oreille (ID)
Lake of the Woods (MN & Canada) Lake Texoma (OK & TX)
Marco Island, FL Missoula,MT
Outer Banks, NC Ocean City, MD
Prince William Sound (Alaska) Port St. Lucie, FL
South Central Alaska Saginaw Bay (MI)
Southeast Alaska Thousand Islands (NY & Canada)
Southwest Alaska Whitefish, MT
Traverse City, MI
Venice, FL
9.5 9.25
Amelia Island, FL Biloxi, MS
Beaufort, SC Boca Raton, FL
Bemidji, MN Boulder, CO
Brainerd, MN Bozeman, MT
Branson, MO Charlotte Harbor, FL
Cape Cod, MA Coeur d’Alene, ID
Captiva Island, FL Detroit Lakes, MN
Cedar Key, FL Eagle River, WI
Charleston, SC Gunnison, CO
Corpus Christi Area, TX (Aransas Pass, Port Aransas & Rockport) Heber Valley (UT)
Ely, MN Lake Sakakawea (ND)
Fort Myers Beach, FL Leech Lake (MN)
Galveston, TX Livingston, MT
Grand Rapids, MN Matagorda Bay, TX
Iowa Great Lakes (IA) Panama City Beach, FL
Indian River Area (MI) Pickwick & Wilson Lakes (AL)
Kabetogama Lake (MN) Presque Isle County, MI
Kentucky Lake Riggins, ID
Lake Barkley (KY) Sarasota, FL
Lake Saint Clair (MI) Smith Mountain Lake (VA)
Manistee County, MI Steinhatchee, FL
Mille Lacs Lake (MN) Winter Park – Frasier Valley, CO
Naples, FL
Orange Beach & Gulf Shores (AL) 8.75
Pensacola, FL
Pinedale, WY Beaver Lake (AR)
Port Arthur, TX Boulder Junction, WI
Rainy Lake (MN) Breckenridge, CO
Sanibel Island, FL Bull Shoals Lake (MO & AR)
Sault Ste. Marie (MI) Butte, MT
Sebastian, FL Fort Collins, CO
South Padre Island Fort Peck Lake (MT)
Steamboat Springs, CO Georgetown, SC
Tampa Bay & its Beaches (FL) Glen Arbor, MI
Venice, LA Houghton Lake Area, MI
Virginia Beach Ketchum – Sun Valley, ID
Wilmington, NC Kissimmee, FL
Lake Fork (TX)
9 Lake George (NY)
Lake Leelanau, MI
Apalachicola (FL) Lake Murray (SC)
Benzie County, MI Lake Powell (AZ)
Big Sky, MT Mackinaw City, MI
Billings, MT Norfork Lake (AR)
Buena Vista, CO Otter Tail Country, MN
Candlewood Lake (CT) Palm Harbor, FL
Cape May (NJ) Park Rapids, MN
Charlevoix, MI Pine Island, FL
Chattanooga, TN Whitefish Area, MN
Cheboygan, MI
Chequamegon Bay, WI 8.5
Colorado Springs, CO
Crystal River, FL Alexandria Lakes, MN
Douglas & Saugatuck, MI Aspen, CO
Dunedin, FL Atlantic City, NJ
Durango, CO Boynton Beach, FL0
Englewood, FL Cape San Blas & Port St. Joe, FL
Estes Park, CO Carrabelle, FL
Fort Lauderdale (FL) Conover & Phelps, WI
Gloucester, MA Crane Lake, MN
Golden Isles, GA Chattanooga, TN
Grand Haven, MI Drummond Island (MI)
Hackensack, MN Iron Mountain MI
Hayward, WI Jacksonville, FL Area
Holland, MI Lake Guntersville (AL)
Homosassa, FL Lake Lanier (GA)
Keweenaw Peninsula (MI) Lake Lure (NC)
Lake County (FL) Lake Okeechobee (FL)
Lake Cumberland (KY) Lake Worth, FL
Lake George (NY) Longville, MN
Lake Gogebic (MI) Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Lake Vermilion (MN) Minocqua, WI
Marquette County, MI Myrtle Beach, SC
Muskegon, MI Nantucket, MA
New Port Richey, FL Patoka Lake (IN)
Ocean City, NJ Pentwater, MI
Salmon, ID Port Mansfield, TX
Savannah & Tybee Island (GA) Seadrift, TX
South Haven, MI St. Germain, WI
Space Coast, FL Three Lakes, WI
St. Augustine, FL Vero Beach, FL
St. Joseph, MI West Palm Beach, FL
White River (AR)
8
8.25
Alpena, MI
Bays de Noc (MI) Arizona’s White Mountains
Bonita Springs, FL Challis, ID
Cable, WI Daytona Beach, FL
Lac du Flambeau, WI Lake Shelbyville (IL)
Lake Charles, LA Lake Tahoe (NV & CA)
Lake Minnetonka (MN) Lake Winnebago (WI)
Mackinac Island (MI) Lake Winnibigoshish (MN)
Marcell, MN Lake Winnipesaukee (NH)
Orlando, FL Mercer, WI
Priest Lake (ID) Miami, FL
Rhinelander, WI Munising, MI
Stanley, ID Orofino, ID
Tarpon Springs, FL Rim Country, AZ

Update:  4/1/18

We just finished a big update for our ranking of our featured fishing destinations.  We still have to make some updates for the following states:  California, Ohio, New York, Canada and I’m sure we’re missing a few others.  We are around 90 percent up to date though.  Enjoy the new ranking system.  We hope this makes it easier for you to plan a better fishing vacation.