Best Destinations

There are so many awesome salmon fishing destinations.   You can catch salmon in many places, but below you will find some of the best vacation destinations with good salmon fishing.

Canada Maine
Georgian Bay Ontario Rangeley Lakes Area
Sault Ste. Marie
Thunder Bay, Ontario Michigan
Alaska Lake Huron
Lake Michigan
Kenai Peninsula Lake Superior
Prince William Sound
South Central Alaska Montana
Southeast Alaska
Southwest Alaska Fort Peck Lake
California New Hampshire
Lake Almanor Lake Winnipesaukee
Lake Tahoe
North Dakota
Lake Sakakawea
Coeur d’Alene, ID
Riggins, ID Wisconsin
Lake Michigan
Lake Superior


Georgian Bay Ontario

The Georgian Bay area is huge and it is home to some awesome recreational opportunities.  Georgian Bay is a bay of Lake Huron and if you take a look at the map, you will see just how big this area is and how diverse the fishery can be depending on where you choose to fish.

Sault Ste. Marie

Sault Ste. Marie is a city that lies on the northeastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on the Canadian border and it is separated from its twin city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, by the St. Marys River.  The population was 14,144 at the 2010 census, making it the second most populous city in the Upper Peninsula.  This area has a diverse fishery with salmon, trout, walleye, northern pike, muskie, smallmouth bass and other species available too.

Thunder Bay, Ontario

Thunder Bay is located on Lake Superior, but in Ontario, Canada.  The bay is known for its excellent fishing, but this is definitely big water fishing.  In this area, many people will use Thunder Bay as their base camp as they get you enjoy all the amenities of this city, but still get away to experience some awesome fishing too.  For others, they may stay at a fishing resort, but then come in for a day or part of a day in the Thunder Bay area.  It’s a nice destination that mixes some some city life with some outdoors adventures.

Stay on the bay and target chinook salmon, rainbow trout and lake trout.  Fish the area waters for a variety of fish.  Depending on the lake you choose, you can target smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, perch, crappie and more here.


Kenai Peninsula

The Cook Inlet & Resurrection Bay offer some excellent fishing for salmon, halibut and cod.  When visiting the Kenai Peninsula, you will have access to these waters from the following towns:

Homer | Hope | Kenai | Ninilchik | Seward

Prince William Sound

Prince William Sound is a sound off the Gulf of Alaska on the south coast of Alaska.  It is located on the eastern side of the Kenai Peninsula.  Most of the land surrounding Prince William Sound is part of the Chugach National Forest, the second largest national forest in the U.S.  This area provides some spectacular scenery as it is ringed by the steep and glaciated Chugach Mountains.

Whitter, Cordova and Valdez are popular fishing vacation destinations where anglers target five species of Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, halibut, rockfish, lingcod, cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden.

South Central Alaska

South Central Alaska is home to Anchorage, Copper Valley and the Mat-Su Valley.  For many visitors to this area, Anchorage is just the starting point to their Alaskan adventure. You can stay in Anchorage or venture out into some of the nearby destinations that offer a variety of wildlife and fishing adventures.

Southcentral Alaska offers the most variety of fishing in the state of Alaska.  Saltwater fishing is available for all five species of Pacific salmon, halibut, rockfish and lingcod. Inland, anglers have the option to fish for salmon and trout in the rivers, lake trout & northern pike in the many inland lakes or grayling in streams.

Southeast Alaska

Shaped by the staggering force of massive glaciers millions of years ago, Alaska’s Inside Passage is home to a variety of wildlife, tremendous scenery and some outstanding fishing.

Southeast Alaska, also known as the inside passage, is known for having some tremendous fishing opportunities.  In this area, you will be primarily fishing out of the saltwater ports of Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangell, Sitka, Juneau, Haines and Skagway.  You can expect to catch a variety of fish here such as salmon, halibut, lingcod and rockfish.

Fish the open water with charters for 5 species of Pacific salmon, rockfish, sea bass and halibut.  You can fish the open waters in all 7 locations in southeast Alaska.

Southwest Alaska

Southwest Alaska is home to a few destinations that we cover in our featured fishing destinations.  Dillingham, Unalaska / Port of Dutch Harbor and Kodiak Island make up this region.  Visitors come to see wildlife such as bears, the active volcanoes and so much more.  Fish the open water with charters for 5 species of Pacific salmon, rockfish, sea bass and halibut.  You can fish the open waters in all 3 locations in southwest Alaska.

Lake Almanor

Lake Almanor is a large reservoir in northwestern Plumas County, northeastern California. The reservoir has a maximum depth of about 90 feet and it is formed by Canyon Dam on the North Fork of the Feather River, as well as Benner and Last Chance Creeks, Hamilton Branch, and various natural springs.  This lake offers anglers some very good fishing for trout, salmon and smallmouth bass.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the United States.  It is located along the border between Nevada and California.  This is a very popular tourist area that is known more for snow skiing and boating than fishing, although, fishing is very popular on this lake also.  This is one of the most scenic lakes in the country.

This lake is a very deep, cold water lake.  Hiring one of the fishing charters on this lake will give you a much better chance to do well on the lake, especially if this will be your first time on the lake.  Trolling is one of the most popular and effective techniques for targeting trout and salmon on Lake Tahoe.


Coeur d’Alene, ID

Coeur d’Alene is a popular tourist destination and it is the largest city of Kootenai County, Idaho.  This area has so much to offer with the dining, shopping, nightlife, skiing and outdoor recreation.  There is even a casino in the area if you enjoy gambling.  Lake Coeur d’Alene is very popular among boaters and fishermen.  There are marinas available as well as fishing guide services to take care of your needs.

Coeur d’Alene is one of the better fishing destinations out west.  You have the options of fishing for so many different species of fish, fishing for numbers or targeting trophy-sized fish.  It’s a special lake with so many different fish to catch.

Riggins, ID

Riggins, Idaho is located between the two deepest gorges in North America: Hells Canyon to the west and the Salmon River Canyon to the east.  This town is popular for people that are looking for a vacation with a little bit of adventure.  The scenery is beautiful and there is plenty to do with the Salmon River, Little Salmon River and Snake River nearby.

There is plenty of whitewater here and many outfitters that can set you up for a trip of a lifetime.  The fishing can be excellent on the Salmon River.  Most people come here to catch steelhead in the spring and fall.  Steelhead are amazing fighters and they taste excellent.  Chinook salmon are also very popular and the smallmouth bass fishing can be pretty good too, although, they are usually not targeted nearly as much in this area.


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.


Alpena, MI

Alpena is a smaller city in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.  It’s an important city in this part of the state as it serves as the commercial hub to this part of the state.  Sitting on the shores of Thunder Bay, this area has some fishing charters available and plenty to do if you like getting outside and enjoying the outdoors.

Baraga County, MI

Baraga County, Michigan is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  This area is very scenic and you have the option of spending time on Lake Superior or going inland to spend some time on the area lakes.  If you want to do some fishing, anglers have so many areas to fish.

Benzie County, MI

Benzie County, at 321 square miles, Benzie County is the smallest of the 83 counties in Michigan.  Here you will find 60 miles of shoreline with 25 miles on Lake Michigan.  This is a very scenic area with its sandy beaches, high bluffs, clean lakes and natural rivers.  You have a lot of options here if you want to fish.  Lake Michigan’s waters offer excellent fishing for salmon, trout and perch and inland you will find plenty of lakes and rivers where you can target other species of fish too.

Charlevoix, MI

The Charlevoix Area is a gorgeous area with plenty of water as the town of Charlevoix sits on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, Lake Charlevoix and Round Lake.  It has been named one of “America’s Prettiest Towns” by Forbes, the second “Best Yachting Towns in the World” by Yachting magazine and the “Best Area for a Vacation Home” by Detroit Home Magazine.  This is an outstanding destination for planning a vacation or weekend getaway.  The fishing is also very good here for a variety of different fish.

Cheboygan, MI

Cheboygan is a city located at the mouth of the Cheboygan River on Lake Huron.  Where the Cheboygan River and Lake Huron connect sits a community far and away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  Located on the picturesque Straits of Mackinac, Cheboygan is the gateway to the famous “Inland Waterway” – a navigable series of waterways encompassing three rivers and three lakes and 42 miles of inland boating pleasure.  From the mouth of the Cheboygan River into Lake Huron, you are a leisurely boat ride away from Bois Blanc Island and Mackinac Island.  It’s a beautiful area known for its outdoor recreation.

Douglas & Saugatuck, MI

Saugatuck and Douglas are harbor villages that offer its visitors an excellent vacation getaway.  Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, this area has plenty to do such as art galleries, golf, fishing, boating and much more.  This area is a popular fishing vacation destination and there are plenty of fishing charters available to help you fill a limit of salmon and trout.

Drummond Island, MI

Drummond Island is very unique island in the Upper Peninsula.  This island is home to one of the largest closed loop trail systems for off road – ATV / ORV exploration in the United States.  If you like the outdoors, you will find plenty to do around the island.  Combine that with some great food, excellent fishing and numerous places to stay and you can see why people enjoy coming to Drummon Island.  Anglers fish for salmon, trout, perch, northern pike, smallmouth bass, whitefish and other species of fish in the waters that surround Drummond Island.

Glen Arbor, MI

Glen Arbor is home to Big and Little Glen Lakes and miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan.  It’s a beautiful area and there is plenty of outdoor recreation in this small coastal town.  Anglers have a lot of options when it comes to fishing.  Stay on the inland lakes or go fish Lake Michigan.  Either way, the fishing can be very good in this area.

Grand Haven, MI

Grand Haven is located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Grand River, for which it is named.  This area has plenty for its visitors with attractions, festivals & events, parks, beaches, shopping, dining and some excellent fishing.  You will also find plenty of lodging options here as well.

Grand Marais, MI

Grand Marais is an unincorporated community in Burt Township and it is located on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  It is the eastern gateway to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and this area is known for its beauty along the lake.  For those of you that like getting outdoors, there is plenty to do here around the lake.

Holland, MI

Holland is a coastal city in the western region of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.  It is home to Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, institutions of the Reformed Church in America.  This area is beautiful with Lake Michigan, Lake Macatawa and Holland State Park.  Outdoor recreation is very popular here with some excellent salmon and trout fishing too.

Keweenaw Peninsula

The Keweenaw Peninsula is the most northern part of Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. Here, you will find some great fishing from inland lakes to the waters of Lake Superior and Keweenaw Bay.  Anglers target a variety of fish in this area.  On inland lakes, they come here mostly for the walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass and perch fishing.  On the waters of Lake Superior, salmon and trout are priority, but other fish are available.  On the spawning streams, steelhead provide exciting action.

Les Cheneaux Islands

The Les Cheneaux Islands are home to the villages of Cedarville and Hessel.  Located on the shores of Lake Huron and close to lakes Michigan and Superior, this area has great fishing, miles of beaches, small town charm and much more.  This area gives anglers so many options with all of the water that is here.  Fish the many channels or open water for salmon, trout, perch, northern pike, smallmouth bass, whitefish and other species of fish.

Mackinaw City, MI

Mackinaw City is located on the “Straits of Mackinac.” The Mackinaw Area offers an abundance of things to do for the entire family.  This is a beautiful area and a popular summer vacation destination for many families.

Manistee, MI

Manistee County is located on Lake Michigan, a part of northwestern Michigan.  Historic Manistee, the Victorian port city, is the county seat, and it features a riverwalk running through downtown to Lake Michigan.  The coastline villages include Onekama, Arcadia, Bear Lake, Copemish, Kaleva, Brethren, and Wellston.  This area offers so much for people that enjoy the being around the water.  Fishing, boating, beaches and plenty of accommodations, restaurants and shops make this a popular tourist destination in Michigan.

Salmon and trout are the primary species of fish in this area for most anglers.  With Lake Michigan here and some very good river fishing available, it’s easy to forget about the other game fish here.  Anglers can also catch walleye, big pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, muskie and a variety of panfish.

Manistique, MI

Manistique is located in the Upper Peninsula near the Bay de Noc area.  It’s not a large city, but it is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and this area is popular for tourism. This area is home to “The Big Spring” which is the largest in Michigan.  It’s over 40 feet deep and 16,000 gallons of clear water gush per minute.  The water is crystal clear and there are tons of trout that call this area home.  It’s a cool place to see.

Marquette, MI

Marquette County is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  It’s a good-sized county with tons of recreational opportunities available.  Many people enjoy the miles of trails for walking and biking.  You have Lake Superior here, many inland lakes and some gorgeous waterfalls here too.  It’s a beautiful area and the fishing is very good too.

Marquette County offers some very good fishing opportunities.  The better fishing spots may be spread out throughout the county, however, having the option to go fish on Lake Superior one day, Lake Michigamme for a couple days and then you can even bounce around on some of the smaller inland lakes here too.  Fish for salmon, trout, pike, muskie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and panfish.

Munising, MI

Munising is a city on the southern shore of Lake Superior on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  With miles of scenic shoreline and trails located within the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore area, this area is gorgeous and it offers plenty of outdoor recreation for its visitors.

Lake Superior is popular for targeting salmon and trout.  You also have the option of going inland to fish the many area lakes for walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and panfish.

Muskegon, MI

Muskegon is a decent-sized city that is known as a popular summer tourist destination in Michigan.  Located on the shores of Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake, people come here to fish, boat and just enjoy the outdoors.  The Muskegon River is also a huge attraction here since it’s one of the better fishing rivers in the state for salmon, trout and smallmouth bass.

Pentwater, MI

Pentwater is a village in Oceana County.  It’s a small community, but it offers people a nice place to get away and enjoy the outdoors away from the crowds.  Located on the shore of Lake Michigan and Pentwater Lake, there is plenty to do here for those of you that enjoy being out on the water.

Presque Isle County, MI

Presque Isle County is located in the Lower peninsula.  It’s a beautiful area, but not a very popular tourist destination.  There is enough here as far as accommodations, shops and restaurants go to have a nice getaway.  As long as you like the outdoors, you’ll have something to do here.

The fishing can be good on the main lake or inland.  This area has some good fishing for salmon and trout and there are several charters that operate out of this area.  Chinook salmon, lake trout, brown trout and steelhead are the prime species to fish for here.  Lake trout can be very good and walleye are here too.  Thunder Bay has a lot of good structure for walleye and the fish run big here.  There are several inland lakes and rivers that you can fish here also for bass, northern pike, walleye, trout, panfish and more.

Saulte Ste. Marie

Sault Ste. Marie is a city that lies on the northeastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on the Canadian border and it is separated from its twin city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, by the St. Marys River.  The population was 14,144 at the 2010 census, making it the second most populous city in the Upper Peninsula.  This area has a diverse fishery with salmon, trout, walleye, northern pike, muskie, smallmouth bass and other species available too.

South Haven, MI

South Haven is located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Black River.  This is a popular port city with plenty of outdoor recreation such as boating, fishing, golfing shopping and more.

St. Joseph, MI

St. Joseph lies on the shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the St. Joseph River, which is around 90 miles east-northeast of Chicago.  This is a very popular port for fishing with good numbers of salmon and trout being caught here throughout the fishing season.

Traverse City, MI

Traverse City is located at the bottom of Grand Traverse Bay.  The bay is part of Lake Michigan and it is 32 miles long, 10 miles wide and up to 620 feet deep in some spots.  It is divided into two arms by the Old Mission Peninsula.  Traverse City is the main town on the bay and this is a very popular tourist area.  Plan on finding many restaurants, shops, accommodations and and some awesome scenery around the water.

This area offers some outstanding fishing for lake trout, salmon and smallmouth bass.  Most anglers come here for the smallmouth bass fishing because it is truly amazing.  You will find tons of bass in the 2 to 3 pound range and bass in the 4 to 5 pound range are possible with bigger fish here caught too.  There are also some inland lakes close by which gives you some options when the bay is too rough on windy days.


Fort Peck Lake

Fort Peck Lake is the largest lake in Montana measuring 134 miles long and it has 1520 miles of shoreline with a maximum depth of 220 feet.

This lake is known for its excellent walleye fishery, however, there are so many species of fish that you can catch here.  Salmon, lake trout, northern pike and smallmouth bass are all here in good enough numbers to fish for them and to expect to be able to catch some fish.  Crappie and catfish are here too.

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.

North Dakota

Lake Sakakawea

Lake Sakakawea is one of the three largest man-made reservoirs in the nation.  The lake has a surface area of about 368,000 acres and is 178 miles long with depths ranging from 70 to 175 feet in the main channel.  The lake offers many opportunities for boating and fishing.

The lake can be a challenge for new fishermen because of its size, but it will definitely reward you once you learn the hot spots.  You can catch rainbow and brown trout, chinook salmon, walleye, sauger, saugeye, giant northern pike, crappie and perch.


Chequamegon Bay, WI

The Chequamegon Bay is a popular fishing destination in Wisconsin, although, this area doesn’t draw nearly as many visitors as some of the other popular destinations in Wisconsin.  The scenery is beautiful and the fishing is outstanding for a variety of different fish.

This area might have some of the best smallmouth bass fishing for big bass in the entire state of Wisconsin.  You can also catch lake trout, walleye, salmon, brown trout, northern pike and perch.

door county wi

Door County, WI

Rated as one of the top ten vacation destinations in America, Door County has so much to offer.  With hundreds of miles of scenic shoreline, there are numerous recreational opportunities in this area.  From swimming on the beaches, shopping, dining, hiking, sight-seeing, boating or fishing, Door County has something here for everyone.

Door County is known for having a great salmon and trout fishery as well as being one of the top smallmouth bass destinations in the country.  Walleye, northern pike and perch are also plentiful making this area an unbelievable place for fishing. With all of the different opportunities, you might catch your personal record for a variety of species all in one vacation.