Best Kayak Fish Finders That Are Very Accurate

I have fond memories of camping at Camp Windermere with my father at the Lake of the Ozarks. We didn’t have the best fish finder for kayak fishing, however. All we could do was cast our lines and pray we’d catch something. While it can be said that not using the best fish finder for kayak fishing has an air of mystery, it’s the pits when you go for hours on end without getting a bite because there are no fish in the area.

Do note, however, that having sonar technology in the best fish finder for kayak fishing doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll catch anything. Instead, it only helps you find the fish. Once you do, there’s still an art to flicking your line to lure fish to your hook.

Comparison Table

Preview Product

Humminbird 410150-1 PiranhaMAX 4 Fish Finder
Humminbird 410150-1 PiranhaMAX 4 Fish Finder

Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5' GPS Fishfinder with...
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5″ GPS Fishfinder with…

Garmin Striker 4cv with transducer, 010-01806-00
Garmin Striker 4cv with transducer, 010-01806-00

Humminbird HELIX 7 Fish Finder 410940-1, CHIRP Mega DI GPS...
Humminbird HELIX 7 Fish Finder 410940-1, CHIRP Mega DI GPS…

LUCKY Wireless Portable Fish Finder with 120m Wireless...
LUCKY Wireless Portable Fish Finder with 120m Wireless…

Venterior Handheld Fish Finder, Portable Fishfinder Fish...
Venterior Handheld Fish Finder, Portable Fishfinder Fish…

The Best Spinning Reels: A Quick Review for Avid Anglers

A spinning reel is the most versatile and reliable style of reel an angler can own. It doesn’t matter whether you’re after bass, trout, walleye, carp, northern pike or marlin – if you have the right spool size and drag system, finding the best spinning reel will make pulling in biggest catch much easier. As reel technology advances and materials improve, lighter, more durable spinning reels offer anglers an abundance of choices.

It’s no doubt having so many quality reels to choose from is a good thing but knowing where to start the search can be a challenge. So, to give you a boost in the right direction, here is a review of the top spinning reels available. Read on to find out what makes each one unique, so you can choose the best reel for you.

The Realities of Reel Size

Spinning reels are often available in different sizes, each with different line capacities, drag strengths, and gear ratios. So the size you choose should be based on the size of fish you pursue and the fishing techniques you employ.

Every reel manufacturer uses a slightly different sizing system which can make comparison shopping for reels quite a chore. This list will present only one size of each reel so it’s easier to compare the various models. Also, this list of the best spinning reel for anglers features “middle-of-the-road” sizes, typically 2500 or 3000, depending on the unique size ranges of each spinning reel model.

If one of the reels on this list jumps out at you, but you see it doesn’t have a strong enough drag or enough line capacity, fear not. There is most likely a larger or smaller size of that particular reel available. You’ll also want to be aware that not all reels are for all climates, so if you are a fan of ice fishing, buy a reel that will withstand extreme weather conditions.

Freshwater Vs. Saltwater Spinning Reels

Just like fish finders, you can use any reel in either freshwater or saltwater. But not every reel can withstand the corrosive quality of saltwater with long-term use. Therefore many of the reels on this list consist of corrosion resistant components that allow for saltwater use without damage.

You’ll see an intended use section at the end of each spec list stating if you can use each reel for freshwater, saltwater or both. But even if a reel is “safe for saltwater use,” you should take proper care to ensure that salt and sand don’t wear the reel out prematurely. So, it’s always a good idea to rinse your reel down with fresh water after every use in salt water.

1. KastKing Sharky II

One of the best entry-level spinning reels is the KastKing Sharky II, a highly affordable, workhorse of a reel. With an all metal, fully sealed waterproof body and 11 bearings, the Sharky II has specs you’d normally find on reels in the $150-plus range. Also, the Sharky II is available in six sizes ranging from 1500 for trout and bass, up to 6000 for big catfish and larger inshore saltwater species, too.

Quick Specs
  • Reel type: Spinning
  • Sizes available: 1500, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000
  • Number of bearings: 11 – 10 stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing.
  • Body material: All metal body
  • Drag material: Triple disc carbon fiber
  • Sealed: Fully sealed waterproof
  • Drag type: Front
  • Drag strength: 17.5 pounds (3000)
  • Gear material: Precision brass gears
  • Gear ratio: 5.2:1 (3000)
  • Retrieve rate: Not specified
  • Line capacity: 160yds/12lb mono (3000)
  • Reel weight: 8.71
  • Intended use: Freshwater and saltwater

2. Shimano Sienna RD Spinning Reel

Another affordable reel that packs a punch is the Shimano Sienna RD. This specific model of the Sienna features a rear drag, but a front drag model is available with similar specs. However, the rear drag is easier to adjust while actively fighting a fish. And it is the best spinning reel if you go after strong fish that make long runs.

The Sienna RD also features several of Shimano’s signature components and systems including Propulsion Line Management. It helps make longer casts and minimizes backlashes. The Super Stopper II anti-reverse gives you solid, reliable hook setting power. And the DynaBalance rotor design eliminates spool wobble.

The design provides stable energy transfer when reeling, keeping the reel spinning smoothly. Also, the Sienna RD has corrosion resistant materials throughout, including a graphite frame and side plate, making it perfect for use in saltwater.

Quick Specs
  • Reel type: Spinning
  • Sizes available: 1000, 2500 and 4000
  • Number of bearings: Four – Three stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing
  • Drag material: Felt drag washers
  • Body material: Graphite
  • Drag type: Rear
  • Drag strength: 9 lbs (2500)
  • Gear material: Not specified
  • Gear ratio: 5.2:1
  • Retrieve rate: 29″ per turn (2500)
  • Line capacity: 140yds/8lb mono; 145yds/15lb braid (2500)
  • Reel weight: 9.5
  • Intended use: Freshwater and saltwater

3. Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

The Penn Battle II is the best spinning reel among the high-quality, mid-level reels. Better yet, this reel is available in eight sizes. The smaller 1000 and 2000 sizes are perfect for freshwater pursuits. The 2500, 3000, and 4000 are ideal for lunker catfish and hard-fighting inshore saltwater species. And the 5000, 6000, and 8000 sizes are capable of tackling monster fish inshore and nearshore like amberjack, barracuda, and even small tuna.

In addition, the drag system with HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers feeds out the line smoothly on hard pulling fish. The higher-than-average gear ratio pulls in 35 inches of line per turn bringing your catch to the boat quickly. In fact, Penn has earned a reputation for producing world-class reels over their long history. Notably, the Battle II continues the company’s legacy in a high-performing, affordable reel.

Quick Specs
  • Reel type: Spinning
  • Sizes available: 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 8000
  • Number of bearings: Six – five stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing
  • Drag material: HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers
  • Body material: Full metal body
  • Drag type: Front
  • Drag strength: 15 lbs (3000)
  • Gear material: Cast alloy
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1 (3000)
  • Retrieve rate: 35″ per turn (3000)
  • Line capacity: 165yds/10lb mono; 250yds/15lb braid (3000)
  • Intended use: Freshwater and saltwater

4. Okuma Trio Standard Speed Spinning Reel

The Okuma Trio is a stealthy looking reel that incorporates Okuma’s Dual Force Drag system for efficient fish stopping power. The aluminum and graphite body give the reel the rigidity for better energy transfer while tight tolerances give the reel a crisp, smooth feel. This specific reel is the Standard Speed model.

But there is also a high-speed model which is next on this list of the best spinning reel today. The standard speed model has a lower gear ratio than the high-speed model. So, this lower gear creates a slower retrieve rate that’s helpful when using techniques like “walking the dog” or “dead sticking” when bass fishing. Also, the Trio is fully corrosion resistant, including high-performance HPB bearings to keep the reel cranking smoothly in all conditions.

Quick Specs
  • Reel type: Spinning
  • Sizes available: 20, 30, 40, 55, 65a
  • Number of bearings: 10 – nine stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing
  • Drag material: Multi-disc Japanese-oiled felt drag washers
  • Body material: Aluminum and graphite
  • Drag type: Front
  • Drag strength: 18 lbs (30)
  • Gear material: Precision cut brass pinion
  • Gear ratio: 5.0:1 (30)
  • Retrieve rate: 25″ per turn (30)
  • Line capacity: 160yds/8lb mono (30)
  • Reel weight: 10.3 oz (30)
  • Intended use: Freshwater and saltwater

5. Okuma Trio High Speed Spinning Reel

The Okuma Trio High Speed has all the same features as the Trio Standard Speed except for the higher 6.2:1 gear ratio. The faster retrieve rate is for using techniques like high-speed vertical jigging for species like kingfish in deep water. Additionally, the Trio High Speed has bomb-proof components all throughout the reel. It also includes a precision cut brass pinion gear, Okuma’s fully sealed Dual Force Drag System and corrosion resistant HPB bearings.

Quick Specs
  • Reel type: Spinning
  • Sizes available: 30S, 40S, 55S
  • Number of bearings: 10 – nine stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing
  • Drag material: Dual Force Drag System
  • Body material: Aluminum and graphite
  • Drag type: Front
  • Drag strength: 18 lbs (30S)
  • Gear material: Precision cut brass pinion gear
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1
  • Retrieve rate: 30″ per turn (30S)
  • Line capacity: 160yds/8lb mono (30S)
  • Reel weight: 10.4 oz (30S)
  • Intended use: Freshwater and Saltwater

6. Shimano Spirex RG Spinning Reel

The Spirex RG Spinning Reel is one of Shimano’s highest-performing mid-level spinning reels. In fact, the reel features Shimano’s Propulsion Line Management System that uses a special spool lip design. It even reduces backlashes and feeds the line off the spool smoothly for improved casting distance. The reel also features a DynaBalance system that keeps the spool wobble-free and a Fluidrive II gearing system with extremely tight tolerances for smooth, powerful retrieves.

Although the Spirex RG is a tough, durable, corrosion-resistant reel, it features a lighter drag than other reels of the same size. The lightweight makes it the best spinning reel for freshwater species like smallmouth bass and walleye. However, it isn’t the best reel for hard-core saltwater fishing where the specimens are usually much larger and stronger.

Quick Specs
  • Reel type: Spinning
  • Sizes available: 1000, 2500, 4000,
  • Number of bearings: Five stainless steel ball bearings
  • Drag material: Felt drag washers
  • Body material: Graphite
  • Drag type: Rear
  • Drag strength: 7 lbs (2500)
  • Gear material: Fluid drive precision cut gear
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1 (2500)
  • Retrieve rate: 33″ per turn (2500)
  • Line capacity: 140yds/8lb mono; 145yds/15lb braid (2500)
  • Ree
    l weight: 11.3 oz (2500)
  • Intended use: Freshwater and saltwater

7. Shimano Stradic CI4+ FA Spinning Reel

This list of the best spinning reel ends with one of Shimano’s top-shelf offerings: the Shimano Stradic CI4+. When the original Stradic came out, anglers noticed the lightweight design and smooth, powerful drag. But the new, improved CI4+ takes the original Stradic one step further with a design that utilizes Shimano’s new Carbon Interfusion (CI) material. And with this material, they created a reel that is 20 percent lighter and a whopping 250 percent stronger.

Another key feature of the Stradic CI4+ is the cold-forged Hagane gear that outlasts and outperforms the common brass pinion gears. Adding to the lightweight, nimble feel of the Stradic CI4+ is Shimano’s G-Free Body design. It brings the reel’s center of gravity closer to the rod, creating better weight distribution and balance. It also makes the rod and reel feel lighter in your hand, reducing casting fatigue.

The Stradic CI4+ is hugely popular with bass anglers due to its extremely lightweight design and powerful drag. But it also makes a great saltwater reel as it’s made with corrosion-resistant components inside and out. Also, they coated this reel with Shimano’s CoreProtect, which provides lightweight water resistance. In addition, Shimano fully sealed the drag to keep damaging saltwater, sand and grit out.

Although the Shimano Stradic CI4+ is more expensive than many other reels, the durability and corrosion resistance of the CI4+ will make it last far longer than less expensive reels. You can pair it with your favorite bass stick or inshore rod, too.

Quick Specs
  • Reel type: Spinning
  • Sizes available: 1000, 2500, 3000, 4000
  • Number of bearings: Seven – Six stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing
  • Drag material: Felt drag washers
  • Body material: Reinforced carbon fiber
  • Drag strength: 20 lbs (3000)
  • Gear material: Hagane cold-forged gear
  • Gear ratio: 6.0:1 (3000)
  • Retrieve rate: 35″ per turn (3000)
  • Line capacity: 170yds/8lb mono; 200yds/10lb braid
  • Reel weight: 6.7 oz (3000)
  • Intended use: Freshwater and saltwater

Finding Your Best Spinning Reel

When it comes to catching more fish, your gear can make all the difference. Although lure selection is important, to land a fish, the right reel makes it easier and less tiring, too. This review should help you find the best spinning reel for whatever fish you want to catch.

Best Fishing Locations in South Carolina

Are you an avid outdoorsman? In this article, we cover the best fishing locations in South Carolina. Tarpon, trout, and red drum are plentiful!

South Carolina is a southeastern state in the U.S. that’s known around the world for its beautiful subtropical coastline, sandy beaches, and sea islands. The picturesque coastal city of Charlestown with its pastel-colored houses, Old South plantations, and historic Fort Sumter is well-worth stopping by. You must also visit the north of the state where you’ll find a breathtaking 60-mile beachfront, golf courses, and the pretty vacation town of Myrtle Beach.

A Little Bit about South Carolina

No matter where you visit South Carolina, spectacular fishing awaits you. With winding back-country rivers, stunning scenic spots along the ocean shore, and freshwater lakes teeming with fish, you’re guaranteed a fun time no matter where you choose to wet your line.

And you don’t need to take a boat if you want to get into fishing the deep water. Fishing piers abound across the state, offering anglers who prefer to keep their boots on dry land a solid platform for casting and plenty of ready-made structure that attracts shoals of baitfish and their attendant predators. The coastal piers have restrooms, seating, bait shops, and lighting, and most inland piers include shaded docks overlooking tranquil lakes where you can enjoy the relaxing scenery while waiting for a bite.

So, what fish species can you expect to catch in South Carolina?

Fish Species

The list of freshwater species that you’ll find in South Carolina is almost endless! Here are just a few of the fish you’ll find in the Palmetto State’s inland waters:

  • American shad
  • Atlantic sturgeon
  • Crappie
  • Catfish
  • Bowfin
  • Trout
  • Chain pickerel
  • Carp
  • Bass
  • Longnose gar
  • Pumpkin seed
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • Perch

There’s no shortage of saltwater action either! Fishing the coastal waters off South Carolina could see you landing some of these species:

  • Atlantic croaker
  • Atlantic spadefish
  • Drum
  • Black seabass
  • Cobia
  • Jack Crevalle
  • King mackerel
  • Sheepshead
  • Flounder
  • Kingfish
  • Spotted sea trout
  • Tarpon

And you’ll undoubtedly come across South Carolina’s designated state fish, the striped bass.

Licenses

To fish legally in all South Carolina’s waters, you’ll need a valid fishing license if you’re aged 16 or over.

You can obtain a license over the phone or online from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. You can also purchase a license from an official license vendor; you’ll find a list of outlets at this link.

10 Best Fishing Locations in South Carolina

With such varied and bountiful waters to fish, it’s hard to know where to start! We’ve picked out ten of the best freshwater, coastal, and pier fishing destinations that South Carolina has to offer.

So, pack your gear, get yourself a license, and get ready for the fishing vacation of a lifetime!

1. Lake Murray

This is one of the best fishing locations in South Carolina hands down. Lake Murray (here) in Columbia County is one of the most productive lakes in the southeast for striped bass and largemouth bass. This 50,000-acre reservoir has a shoreline extending for roughly 500 miles and provides hydroelectric power to South Carolina. Public access to the lake is via public boat ramps, marinas, and public parks near to the dam.

Fish species you’ll find in the lake include:

  • Striped bass
  • Largemouth bass
  • White bass
  • Catfish
  • Perch
  • White crappie

This Midlands reservoir holds the current state record for white bass, white crappie, white catfish, and white perch, so you’re in prime trophy fish territory if you come fishing here.

Look out for buoys that mark the location of fish attractors. If you’re after big stripers, head to the back of the big creeks and use freelining with live bait.

You’ll find camping, lodgings, and other amenities in nearby Dreher Island State Park.

2. The Old Pitt Street Bridge, Mount Pleasant

The Old Pitt Street Bridge in Mount Pleasant offers the visitor some stunning views of South Carolina’s Intracoastal Waterway and Charleston Harbor.

This spot is also a favorite hunting ground for anglers targeting flounder, bluefish, redfish, sea trout, and whiting, all of which are abundant in the shallow waters around the bridge. If you have a cast net, you could also catch some delicious shrimp and blue crabs to go with your fish!

The most productive time to fish this spot is when the tide is beginning to come in, creeping into the grass and flats, or at high tide. You can still fish here at low tide with the creek to the left side of the road adjacent to the kayak launch point being your best bet for success.

Access to the water is excellent from any part of the bridge, but one-person-wide turrets reach out like fingers from the dock, giving crabbers and fishermen easy access to the bounty below. Admission is free here, but parking is limited.

3. Beaufort Marshes

Beaufort Marshes’ (here) vast expanse and drastic tides offer ample angling opportunities. The marshes provide the perfect habitat for juvenile sea life and play host to a long list of hunter species on the prowl for an easy meal.

Fish species that are commonly found here include:

  • Cobia
  • Sheepshead
  • Drum
  • Snapper
  • Flounder
  • Spot tail bass
  • Redfish
  • Spanish mackerel
  • Jack Crevalle

Against the breathtaking backdrop of endless tidal rivers and marsh grass, there’s some unexpected and exhilarating fly-fishing and fly-casting to be had here. The tidal currents of this saltwater environment increase the difficulty of the sport, but the challenge only sweetens the pot when you’re successful.

At low tide, cast into schools of fish that are hunting in the mud flats around the oyster beds. High water presents the opportunity to float into the grass to sight-cast for redfish.

During April, May, and June, you’ll find big, brown cobia, coming inshore to spawn, providing the angler with a hard-fighting challenge.

To get the most from this fabulous habitat, you might want to check out one of the many guide services that operate trips from Columbia to Hilton Head Island.

4. Cherry Grove Pier

Cherry Grove Pier is (here) in Myrtle Beach. The 1950s 1,000- foot pier is one of the oldest and most iconic in the state and offers some of the very best fishing along the whole of the Golden Strand.

If you visit the pier in the spring, you find large, mature fish becoming active. Use cut shrimp and minnows to encourage a strike from drum, croaker, flounder, and whiting. May sees bluefish and Spanish mackerel migrating to the pier. Brightly colored plugs and jigs will draw fish onto your hook.

During the summer, the action at the pier hots up. You’ll find a good number of bottom feeders, including perch, croakers, whiting, red and black drum, as well as Spanish mackerel and a few bluefish. King mackerel are also abundant throughout June, and you’ll also find spadefish, sheepshead, and pompano here at this time of year. If you’re targeting bottom feeders, be sure to use enough weight to combat the current that flows around the pier’s pilings.

5. Pee Dee River

Pee Dee River (here) is a wild, scenic waterway that’s catfish heaven for lovers of the whiskered wonder.

So, why are there so many catfish here? Well, some 30 years ago, flathead catfish that stocked in impoundments in neighboring North Carolina further upstream escaped and were flushed downriver. Consequently, locals reckon that over fifty percent of the catfish in the Pee Dee are flatheads, while the other half are monster-sized blue catfish.

A good spot to start your catfish campaign is at Cheraw at the Laney boat ramp. Fish the ten mile stretch above the landing where you’ll find pools that harbor some huge cats. Fish the drop-offs and steep banks to locate cats hiding out, but beware of the rocky terrain. Even in times of low water elsewhere on the river, there are numerous sandbars to navigate. Because of the river’s topography, you’re best to use a jet-drive motor or a paddle craft.

Below Cheraw the river bottom is sandy, and there are plenty of blowdowns and log piles along the bank, providing the perfect place to set up for catfish. Look out for structure that breaks the current; that’s where you’ll find catfish. Use fresh bait from the river such as mullet and bream to tempt a trophy cat to bite.

Catfish fanatics will want to stay awhile. Check out nearby Little Pee Dee State Park for well-provisioned campsites, and while you’re there, take a break from the river and fish 54-acre Lake Norton for bass and bream.

6. Lake Jocassee

Lake Jocassee (here) is a beautiful man-made impoundment that is fed by crystal clear Appalachian Mountain streams. To get the most from a visit to this stunning location, you need to spend more than just a day here. There are some great campgrounds nearby; walk in on the day, or make a reservation in advance to be sure of securing your spot.

The upstate reservoir is the only Lake in the Palmetto State to offer both smallmouth bass and trophy trout.

The lake’s deep, clear waters provide the perfect habitat for many species of fish, including:

  • Rainbow trout
  • Brown trout
  • White bass
  • Bluegill
  • Redeye bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Spotted bass
  • Brook trout
  • Sunfish
  • Catfish

Anglers come to fish Jocassee because it offers something for everyone, regardless of your skill level. You can troll the lake for deep-water fish, cast with rod and reel, or fly-fish the streams for trout and bass.

The lake has four main fishing streams:

  • Whitewater
  • Thompson
  • Horsepasture
  • Toxaway

To access Horsepasture and Toxaway, you’ll need a boat, but these are the most scenic of the areas and are the best for trout fishing during the summer months. Thompson and Whitewater are best during the fall and the winter. Note that Whitewater is only reached by hiking, which can be a pain unless you’re traveling light.

Check out Jocassee Outdoor Center for fishing reports, bait, tackle, boat hire, and for guided fishing services.

7. Whitewater River

The Whitewater River (here) is a freestone river that originates near Cashiers in North Carolina. The river flows south through South Carolina where it empties into Lake Jocassee. This remote area has some breathtaking scenery, including two spectacular waterfalls, each over 400 feet high.

The Whitewater River crosses over into North Carolina, and anglers should buy a fishing license for both states, as the dividing line is not clear.

The two-mile section of the river between the Upper and Lower Falls offers some excellent brown and rainbow trout fishing. There are deep pools, runs, and riffles, making it perfect fly-fishing territory. This part of the Whitewater is periodically stocked with fingerlings by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Further up-river, State Route 281 from North Carolina crosses the river, providing access via a small, poorly-maintained trail. This part of the Whitewater River is gentle and easily waded with small falls, pools, and gentle riffles.

Summer is the best time to fish the Whitewater River thanks to the cool mountain water and ample shade. Light Cahills and Yellow Stoneflies are excellent choices, and streamers should be effective too, thanks to the abundance of small fish in the stream.

8. Mount Pleasant Pier

There’s a reason why this is in our list of the best fishing locations in South Carolina. Mount Pleasant Pier is (here) in the Memorial Waterfront Park in Mt. Pleasant. The 1,250-foot pier stretches out into the Charleston Harbor near the mouth of the Cooper River. Here you’ll find picnic tables, bench swings, rod rentals, tackle sales, and a handy snack bar.

The fishing here is great and very popular with anglers of all ages! Fish species you’ll catch from the pier include:

  • Southern flounder
  • Whiting
  • Red drum
  • Bluefish
  • Black seabass
  • Spotted sea trout

Although the most popular times for fishing Mount Pleasant Pier are spring and summer, you’ll find some excellent cold-weather sheepshead action here too, including plentiful numbers and lunker sizes! Also, the pier isn’t as heavily fished during the winter as it is in the summertime, so there’s more space to find your spot.

The fishing here gets going just before or just after the tide changes. Fish the two hours before low tide on the Cooper River side of the pier, and switch to the harbor side to catch the outgoing tide. The best time to snag sheepshead is close to high tide, although low tide can be profitable if you choose a spot from the middle to the end of the pier. Find the deepest water and fish in the direction of the current as it flows under the pier.

Your best choice of bait for sheepshead is fiddler crabs, clams, oysters, or mussels. There’s no need to cast because the sheepshead tend to hang around the pilings. Drop your bait down beside a pier support and wait till it touches the bottom, then reel in your rig about a foot and hold it there. You’ll definitely need a pier net to land your catch, especially if the fish you’ve hooked is a big one. Lower your net into the water, work the fish over the net, and then pull the net back up.

Mount Pleasant is a pretty place, and you might want to stay for a couple of days to enjoy the sport and the location. There are plenty of nice hotels and lodgings to choose from in the town.

9. Darwin H. Wright Park, Lake Hartwell

Darwin H. Wright Park (here) has a fishing pier that allows visiting anglers the chance to fish the bass-rich waters of 56,000-acre Lake Hartwell. As well as the pier, there are numerous bank locations, and you can fish from a boat too. The only restriction for anglers is the lake’s bridges, where fishing is prohibited.

There are a large number of fish attractors placed throughout the lake, composed of sunken trees and other structures, which attract large shoals of fish. Fishing structures have also been constructed around the piers to draw fish in. You’ll find parking areas around the lake, often designated by “Fishing Area” signs. Local bait and tackle stores have maps showing where the fish attractors sit.

Fish species you’ll find here include:

  • Bluegill
  • Bream
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Large Mouth Bass
  • Small Mouth Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Lake Hartwell hosts fishing tournaments throughout the year, and some striped bass trophy fish landed that weigh up to 60 pounds!

10. Lake
Warren

Lake Warren is (here) within Warren State Park. Surrounded by woodlands of moss-draped oaks and pines, this fishing hole is ideal if you’re in search of a tranquil spot with pretty scenery to wet your line.

Located in Hampton County, 200-acre Lake Warren has a large fishing pier, offering anglers access to a variety of fish species, including:

There’s also a floating dock that overlooks a two-acre pond from which large bass have been landed in the past.

Access to the lake is via two boat ramps. You can rent Jon boats with trolling motors, or you can use your own craft, so long as the motor doesn’t exceed 10HP.

Lake Warren is shallow at only four to five feet deep, although its two creek beds can reach a depth of 20 feet.

When you’re done fishing, check out the local birdlife; swallow-tailed kites, ospreys, bald eagles, and several species of owls and hawks live here. There’s also an impressive range of wildlife in the park. Don’t be surprised if you see wild turkey, deer, coyote, bobcats, and even alligators!

Seasonal Tips and Other Helpful Information

Summer

The warmest months of the year are when most individuals are planning to go fishing because it’s hot and college is out. There are loads of seasonal tourists to the marsh (tarpon, flounder, ladyfish, sharks, etc.). Early summer tends to be more effective than late summer because the water weather has not reached its peak. Hot water is going to make the fish sluggish. We’re trying to fish the summer dog days in the early morning and evening hours. The flood-tide days we encounter during the full moon stages are favorite summer season times.

This is a great time to catch a fly or artificial bait summer redfish. Check with your captain or tide chart to find out when the flood tide has a chance to fish. Summer’s best thing–there’s always something ready to put a tug in your line.

Fall

Autumn is another great time to go fishing in the marshes of Carolina. The shrimps are fully cultivated. Together with cooler temperatures, this triggers the fish to put on their “feed bags” and give the wind warning. September, October, and November offer great possibilities for sight-casting and fly fishing. If you want action, this is the fishing time of the year!

Winter

While many people count winter out, it’s the time to stalk big redfish schools. Redfish will be the main target between November and March. This year alone, you will fish with artificial baits and fly tackle. Winter is a very interesting time of year for fishing because on any given journey you can expect to set your eyes on hundreds of redfish. In the hotter months, the water becomes very evident, and the fish tend to collect in big schools (10-100 +), making it a prime time for sight fishing. It is not unusual to have a day catching more than 20 redfish per individual because of the concentration of fish in a tiny region.

Spring

Come March,  the marsh is a transitional period. This year’s fishing is weather-dependent. We have a secret bait, however, which makes fishing in the spring months almost too simple. To find out, you’ll have to fish with us. In the spring, we will continue targeting redfish, but the flounder and trout will also start making an appearance.  The action begins to construct as the water warms up. You’ll never have a bad time fishing in the marshes of South Carolina. We love spending on the water every day and offer a fresh adventure and challenge every season.

Red Drum

Redfish are the number one species we target in the marshes of Georgetown. This is mainly because of their abundance and readiness to consume twelve months a year. Not to mention growing up to 20 pounds in the shallows (up to 100 pounds offshore) and putting up a fight you won’t forget quickly. Redfish will be eating live bait, cut bait, plastics, lures, and flies.

Speckled Trout 

These fish can also be captured throughout the year in the marshes of Georgetown. Spring and fall are usually the best time to follow trout, but during the summer and winter months, they can be captured. Trout will bring plugs from the topwater and other artificial baits easily.

In the early spring, Flounder Flounder invades the creeks and stays through the fall. They’ll eat artificial baits like grubs easily, but they’re suckers for tiny minnows of mullet and mud. We catch lots of flounder while chasing redfish, but specifically at the request of the customer, we can target flounder. Flounder are heralded for their outstanding flavor, making great meals at the table. Here in the low-country marshes, catching a Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder in one day is regarded an “inshore slam.” Spring, summer, and fall are fantastic times for a slam.

Black Drum 

These fish are abundant in the marshes and inshore waters of Georgetown as well. They are near to redfish and sprinkled trout and prefer to consume shellfish and crustaceans. Black Drum can expand to 100 pounds, but usually, the drum discovered in our inshore waters is in the range of 2-10 pounds. 

Bonnethead Shark 

Sharks like the Bonnethead usually travel in groups of 5-15 and late spring they migrate back to the inshore waters. They’re not dangerous to people, and they’re putting up a big battle. Typically, they feed on crabs, shrimp, and tiny fish and can be an excellent species to target on hot summer days. 

Tarpon

Every year, Tarpon appears as the water warms in the summer and stays here through the winter. South Carolina tarpon’s first thing is they’re BIG. Many of the tarpons captured weigh over 100 pounds in these waters. South Carolina is not Florida’s renowned tarpon destination, but it can be successfully pursued here in our waters.

Best Fishing Locations in South Carolina: Wrapping it Up

We hope you enjoyed reading our article on the best fishing locations in South Carolina. This beautiful state has a wonderfully diverse range of opportunities for the leisure angler who chooses to take a fishing vacation in the Palmetto State. Take on colossal gar and monster catfish in the state’s inland waterways or head out to the endless coastal marshes to sight-fish redfish. If you’re up to a challenge, make for a scenic coastal pier in search of rod-bending sheepshead and bluefish, or while away an afternoon filling your creel with crappie and sunfish on a peaceful lake.

Whatever your angling preference, you’ll be delighted with what South Carolina has to offer!

Best Fishing Locations in South Dakota

Are you looking for the best fishing locations in South Dakota? We’ve got them right here. South Dakota is a sparsely populated state in the Midwestern region of the U.S. Here you’ll find rolling prairies extending to the horizon before finally giving way to the dramatic Black Hills National Forests.

If you take time out to visit the Black Hills, you’ll find two historical monuments carved deep into the towering granite peaks; Mt. Rushmore’s carving depicting four revered former U.S. presidents, and the Crazy Horse Memorial that was made in tribute to the fabled Native American tribal leader.

A Little Bit about South Dakota

The Mount Rushmore State is also a great fishing vacation destination. Come here during the summer months and relax with the sun on your face, or wrap up against the cold in winter and experience the thrill of pulling a sparkling treasure from a hole in the ice. In South Dakota, almost 98% of the state’s waters are open for fishing and publicly accessible.

There are creeks, lakes, and rivers, not to mention the state’s 56 state parks and recreation areas to choose from. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a pro angler, a weekend leisure fisherman, or a newbie who doesn’t know the difference between smallmouth bass and fish fingers, The Mount Rushmore State offers year-round fishing opportunities for everyone. Whatever your pleasure, a fishing vacation in South Dakota will surely have you hooked!

Fish Species in South Dakota

South Dakota’s designated state fish is the walleye. But there’s plenty more to cast a line for, including:

  • Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Trout
  • Catfish
  • Chinook salmon
  • Largemouth bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern pike
  • Paddlefish
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Redear
  • Sauger
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Walleye
  • White bass
  • Yellow perch

Before you grab your gear and head off on your fishing trip, you’ll need to get yourself a license.

Licenses

A valid fishing license is required to fish legally in South Dakota if you’re aged 16 or older. The state offers annual, one-day, and three-day licenses. If you’re taking your family, including your spouse and kids under 16 years of age, you can buy a family fishing license, which works out cheaper.

In South Dakota, you can buy a fishing license online from the South Dakota Fish Game & Parks website at this link.

If you prefer, you can purchase a license from one of over 400 license agents at retail stores and County Treasurer offices right across the state.

10 Best Fishing Locations in South Dakota

The relaxed, laid-back vibe and friendly folk of South Dakota will soon have you chilling-out with your rod, a chair, and a cooler for some excellent shore-fishing or taking to the water in search of bigger prey in the deeper water.

The best fishing locations in South Dakota are the perfect place to do exactly that! Who knows, you might even land a trophy specimen!

1. Iron Creek Lake

This is one of the best fishing locations in South Dakota, hands down. The 24-acre Iron Creek Lake is located (here) around ten miles to the south of the town of Spearfish. There’s a fishing pier, excellent shore access, a restroom, and a campground.

The primary fish species that you’ll find in the lake are rainbow trout, which are stocked regularly. Although you can use kayaks and canoes on the lake, this is a no-wake body of water and motorboats aren’t permitted.

Iron Creek Lake is a perfect spot to spend a summer afternoon, winding down and soaking up the pretty scenery while you’re waiting for a bite.

2. Curlew Lake

Curlew Lake is located (here) in Meade County, eight miles to the north of New Underwood.

Fish species you’ll find in the lake include:

  • Walleye
  • Largemouth bass
  • Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Yellow perch
  • Black bullhead
  • Northern pike
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Channel catfish
  • Common carp

Fishing access at 126-acre Curlew Lake is good for boat and shore anglers alike.

The lake has a gravel road leading to a boat ramp with a dock. You can fish from a kayak, canoe, or motorboat. Check out the dock and other lakeside structure that provides a great habitat for bass.

Shore access is excellent with trails around much of the lake, including the dam face. Be aware that when conditions are wet, trails around the lake can be soft and slippery. Typically, emergent and submerged vegetation are sparse around the lake, offering shore anglers ample opportunity to find a quiet spot to cast a line.

3. Horsethief Lake

Here is another great pick for the best fishing locations in South Dakota. Horsethief Lake is situated (here) close to Keystone in Pennington County. The lake is roughly two miles to the northwest of historic Mount Rushmore and is the closest lake to the great monument. Be sure to take time out to visit the site, and don’t forget your camera!

A few years ago, the lake was dredged to clear out excessive sediment, improving water quality and restoring the depth.

Fish species in the lake include:

  • Brown trout
  • Rainbow trout
  • Perch
  • Walleye
  • Crappie

Horsethief Lake is especially popular for ice-fishing during the winter but is also well worth a visit year-round for the excellent trout fishing that’s on offer here. The lake is easily accessible by car and can be fished from the shore and on the water. There’s also an ADA accessible fishing pier.

Fly fishing is best during September, October, and November. Overcast days are perfect for trout fishing, but mornings and evenings always provide ideal conditions thanks to low light levels and increased insect activity.

If you want to extend your visit to this spectacularly scenic location and productive fishery, check out the nearby campsite.

4. Angostura Recreation Area

Angostura Recreation Area (here) is located ten miles to the east of Hot Springs. This water-lovers’ paradise is a favorite destination for water sports enthusiasts and is brilliant for swimming, boating, and, of course, fishing.

The 4,700-acre reservoir boasts a fishing pier, a marina, and a boat ramp. It’s a healthy fishery that’s home to several popular game fish species, including:

  • Walleye
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Crappie
  • Northern pike
  • Largemouth bass
  • Perch
  • Bluegill

The most popular target here is walleye. When high water levels flood the surrounding shrubs, trees, and bushes along the shoreline, perch, shad, and panfish hide amid the cover, accompanied by hunting walleye.

Try trolling with bottom bouncers or crankbaits, or pitch jigs and crankbaits as close to the brush as you can. You’ll find walleye lurking amid flooded brush at depths of 12 feet throughout the summer months. When water levels drop, and the shoreline brush is exposed, baitfish become concentrated in dense shoals with no hiding places. That’s a great time to go after walleye!

You’re sure to want to spend more time at this beautiful location, so check out the nearby campground and book your spot.

5. Pactola Lake

Pactola Lake (here) is located 11 miles to the north of Hill City. It’s famous for the fabled town of the same name that’s reputedly submerged beneath the lake’s deep waters. Pactola is an 800-acre reservoir; the largest and deepest in South Dakota, created by the construction of the Pactola Dam.

The lake is a gloriously scenic area that’s located deep in the Black Hills. If there’s a more pleasant way to spend an afternoon than fishing for trout on the deep blue water of this idyllic spot, we haven’t found it yet! Fish species that are found in the lake include:

  • Rainbow trout
  • Brown trout
  • Lake trout
  • Largemouth bass
  • Black crappie

Record-breaking lake trout are caught at Pactola every year, from the water and spots accessible from the 14-mile shoreline. The lake offers plenty of facilities for the visiting angler, including a full-service marina, gasoline and oil, food service, showers, and laundry.

There’s camping, picnic areas, a swim beach, and a paved accessible hiking trail, as well as some exceptional fly-fishing below the spillway. For more information about the dam and management of the surrounding forest, check out the National Forest Visitor Center on the southern side of the dam.

6. Spearfish Canyon (Spearfish Creek)

Spearfish Canyon is located close to the town of Spearfish (here). Beautiful Spearfish Canyon is a must-fish location for all those who love the great outdoors. There is a great reason why Spearfish Canyon is named as one of the best fishing locations in South Dakota.

Spearfish Creek is the second-largest stream in the Black Hills, supplying some of the best and most diverse fishing in the area. In the town of Spearfish, you can fish for wild brown trout. In the canyon, close to the confluence with Squaw Creek, you can catch wild rainbow trout and brown trout. Move upstream from Cheyenne Crossing, and you’ll find numerous brook trout streams scattered among the limestone cliffs.

There are a few freshwater streams and lakes nearby that are home to walleye and largemouth bass, as well as trout.

The best time to fish the creeks and streams is in the morning and evening. Note that many of the access points require hiking to get to, and some wilder parts of the creek are strewn with boulders, making the going strenuous at times.

Experienced anglers will relish the challenge of the varying conditions and types of fishing that the creek demands; you’ll find rapids, pool, and lazy ponds, all offering a different experience.

If you want to stay awhile and enjoy the scenery as well as the fishing, there are several nice campgrounds nearby.

7. Lake Vermillion Recreation Area

Lake Vermillion State Recreation Area is located (here) in McCook County, close to the town of Canistota. The park is open all year-round for recreational activities, including swimming, hiking, boating, and camping, as well as some great fishing action on Lake Vermillion.

The 513-acre lake contains a nice variety of game fish, including:

  • Bluegill
  • Channel catfish
  • Largemouth bass
  • Northern pike
  • Walleye
  • White crappie
  • Yellow bullhead
  • Yellow perch

There’s a handicap accessible fishing dock, a boat ramp, and a fish cleaning station where you can process your catch ready for the pan. When you’re done fishing for the day, chill out on the beach, take a tip in the lake’s refreshing, clear waters, or maybe play a game of sand volleyball to work up an appetite for your fish supper!

You can fish from the easily accessible shoreline or rent a kayak or canoe and take to the water if you prefer.

8. Belle Fourche Reservoir

Belle Fourche Reservoir is located (here) on Owl Creek, roughly eight miles to the east of the town of Belle Fourche. The reservoir is also known as Orman Dam and was created in 1911 as a reservoir for supplying agricultural needs to the immediate area. Today, the 8,000-acre body of water is a favorite leisure boating, swimming, picnicking, and fishing getaway spot. There’s also good camping nearby.

You can fish from the water or the easily accessible 58-mile shoreline around the lake. Fish species you’ll find here include:

  • Yellow perch
  • Channel catfish
  • Black crappie
  • Channel catfish
  • Smallmouth bass
  • White bass
  • Tiger muskellunge

In winter, the ice-fishing here is not to be missed and makes a great family day out.

9. Grace Coolidge Creek

Grace Coolidge Creek is close to the town of Custer (here). Access to the creek is by a short, non-strenuous hike that’s well worth the effort. Once you’ve found your spot, sit back and enjoy a peaceful day’s fishing surrounded by the serenity of the forest.

Along the trail, you’ll encounter around 16 creek crossings that are aided by fallen trees or carefully placed rocks when the water is low. The creek contains six low-head dams, where you’ll find excellent trout fishing in several regularly stocked pools.

Upstream of Center Lake, you’ll find some outstanding brook trout fishing, especially if you’re after numbers. Below Center Lake at the walk-in fishing area, you’ll find rainbow trout that can easily reach 18 inches. Mid to late summer sees reduced water flow, and the fishing below Center Lake can suffer for it, but earlier in the year, the action is excellent.

Try using hair caddis patterns in for success in any of the park’s streams. If nothing is happening at the surface, try using pheasant tail nymphs or hare’s ears. In late summer, hoppers will get you some fast action.

10. Lewis and Clark Recreation Area

Lewis and Clark Recreation Area is located six miles to the west of the town of Yankton (here).

This 31,000-acre body of water is perfect for any form of water-based activity, including boating, sailing, swimming, and fishing too. There’s a fully serviced marina, a restaurant, and a campground for tents and RVs for those wanting to extend their stay.

Fishing from a boat can be more effective than shore-fishing here, and the lake has no horsepower restrictions. There are boat ramps and plenty of parking space for vehicles and trailers. The recreation area also has a boat rental facility, docks, a fish cleaning station, a fishing pier, and easy shore access.

The reservoir straddles South Dakota and Nebraska borders, and its productive waters provide some of the best fishing in either state. Fish species in the lake include:

  • Walleye
  • Sauger
  • Saugeye (a walleye-sauger hybrid)
  • Flathead catfish
  • Channel catfish
  • Largemouth bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Crappie
  • Northern pike
  • White bass
  • Bluegill

Walleye and sauger fishing peaks in spring when the fish move to sandy flats and rocky reefs close to shallow water. Live minnows are the most effective bait, along with jigs and diving crankbaits tipped with bright plastic lures.

Best Bass Spots

If you’re after bass, fish the lake in the early summer around the weed beds for largemouths. Smallmouth bass like to hang out around reefs, channels, drop-offs, and other rocky structures. Lures including spinners, crankbaits, jigs, and soft plastics can all do the job for snagging bass.

The whiskered wonders of the lake are found in deep water from spring right through fall. However, some of the best catfishing takes place on the shallow flats during warm summer nights. Catfish will strike at natural baits such as cut bait, live shad, chicken livers, or bluegills.

Fishing Tips for Beginners

Are you a beginner? Don’t sweat the small stuff. We have listed twelve tips from the experts on how to get started, build confidence, and practice what really counts.

1. Learn How to Cast

Here’s the first thing you need to know. Learn how to cast a spinning rod and bait caster correctly–most of the time you’ll have to bring the bait in a few feet of the strike area where adverse casting outcomes in missed chances and lost lures as well.

Do not jerk when using plastic baits such as worms, Senkos or craws-I see this happening all the time, beginning anglers have difficulty distinguishing between a bite and a snag resulting in the bait being moved from the strike zone.

Holding the rod steady with a little friction is the best way to determine a bite. Usually bass holds on to the bait for a few seconds when using plastics–enough time to find out if it’s a fish or a snag.

2. Use Cheap Lures to Catch a Fish

Never use lures or rigs that you are scared of losing while fishing to maximize achievement. If you’re fishing baits, you’re worried about losing; you’re never going to endanger them, where the fish reside, and where they can work for you. In the correct fields, cheap lures operate better than costly baits fished in “secure regions.” 

3. Confidence is Key

Here is one of the best tips for beginners. You should always trust 200 percent in what your throwing is; trust is essential to assisting someone fishes a fresh bait effectively. 

4. Learn about Your Lures

 It will take a while to get the hang of it and build trust in it by using a fresh lure. Going fishing with just that lure is an excellent way to do this. This forces you to use the bait and learn how to capture fish.

5. Use a Fishing Kayak

Try kayaking fishing for new fishers who want to go out on the water but don’t have a ship. Kayaks are inexpensive, simple to transport, lightweight. 

6. Be Prepared for Anything

When you go fishing, the most important tip I can offer to anyone is to be ready for anything. You never understand what the fish will do. . The more prepared you are, the more likely you are to be a good fisherman. 

7. Know the Difference Between Saltwater and Freshwater

The distinctions between freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing are therefore quite evident to most, but there are some science points to consider about the simple comparison of “Lake vs. Ocean.” Freshwater fishing occurs when a fisherman fishes in a body of water with a salinity of less than 0.05%. It’s distinct from fishing for saltwater because the fish species are entirely distinct. 

One thing to keep in mind is that there will be creel restrictions on lakes, such as ponds, rivers, and all other water bodies. A creel limit is the quantity of fish you are permitted to remove from the lake per day and the size of the fish. If you’re like me and live inland, you don’t always have the chance to fish with salt water, but the alternative can be just as fun and rewarding! 

8. Pick up Some Freshwater Fishing Tips

 You’ll want to get a topographical map of that body of water when you fish in a freshwater lake or pond. This will let you understand what and where the lake or pond’s distinct depths are. Besides, it can also demonstrate you sunken human-made fish crib sites. 

Bait Matters! Live bait is the best kind of bait! Worms, minnows, wax worms, and smooth shell are good ways to get started. You’re going to want to use live bait for the fish species you’re attempting to capture. Some other live bait kinds that are also used are leeches and frogs or anything else you believe the fish is going to go for! Artificial bait also operates, with spinners and crankbaits being the typical choices. 

9. Don’t Forget to Check the Water’s Temperature

Most species of freshwater fish have particular water temperatures and climate they prefer. The warmer it gets, the deeper you’re going to have to fish. Fish tend to like cold temperatures, and as the outside temperature increases, they migrate to deeper, more chilled water. Fish will come to feed more shallow water during dusk and dawn. You’re going to want to investigate the particular fish you’re attempting to catch to find out the best times and depths of water to snag a catch.

Apart from clearly needing a rod and reel, a tackle box, needle-nose pliers, a net, and maybe an ice chest would be other items that you will ultimately
need. A good couple of polarized sunglasses will not only block the sun’s UV rays and the glare of the sun on the water. It will also assist you to see the fish a little better in the water. 

10. Practice Smart Safety Tips

You know how the old saying goes – safety first!  If you’re wading in a river, pond, or lake, make sure you’re using a wader belt to avoid rushing water into your waders. Take a life jacket when on a ship. Having handy and essential by law in most locations is always great. Make sure to drink water and frequently reapply sunscreen to exposed skin.

11. Remember These Lake Fishing Tips 

Like humans, fish like particular temperatures and usually hang around lake regions that are comfortable to discover. In general, places where water enters or drains from a lake, will be much cooler and more favorable for fishing — baitfish and the gigantic fish that consume them like to hang around these fields.

Find Sunken Junk and Treasures 

Fish like hanging around constructions that make them feel secure and give them the chance to hang other fish. Structures like sunken trees, branches, and man-made fish habitats are an excellent fishing spot. It’s a secure place, or so they believe like in saltwater coral. 

The Wind is On Your Side

You can expect the baitfish to be pushed closer to the coast on days with a powerful wind, which means that the large fish will come nearer to the coast to feed. Watch and follow the drift lines; they will lead to baitfish, leading to the large fish you’re looking for.

Scout for Weeds

There’s a lot of large fish like northern pike and largemouth bass stalking their prey from a beautiful, comfortable weed bed. Locate some weed beds in the lake where your fishing takes place and attempt to get your bait and/or lure to see if you can coax a biting fish. The best places are weed beds, which lead to deeper water and generate a broken line! The best fishing locations in South Dakota have a lot of weeds, so this tip helps a ton.

12. Stay Within Your Budget

Remember, hundreds of dollars don’t have to be spent on fishing equipment. It should be enjoyable, simple, and inexpensive to fish freshwater. Approximately 90% of the market tackle is intended to attract the fishermen, not the fish.

The Best Fishing Locations in South Dakota: Wrapping It Up

If you’re looking for somewhere to kick back and spend awhile contemplating gloriously wild scenery and wetting a line in peace and tranquility, it’s listed here. The best fishing locations in South Dakota are plentiful.

Between fishing excursions, take time out to visit some of the breathtaking natural wonders that the state has to offer. Better still, choose a tranquil, productive lake that’s close to the spectacular man-made carvings of Mt. Rushmore, or cross glittering creeks in wilderness country in search of fat, wild brook trout. Whatever your pleasure, whatever the time of year you visit, the Mount Rushmore State has something for you.

Top 7 Best Flea And Tick Prevention Products

with Nate Drescher

Protecting your furry family members from the dangers of fleas and ticks is one of the most important things you can do for them. Fleas and ticks and the threats they bring can threaten your dog’s health and wellbeing.

Good news!

There are many tricks and remedies to keep fleas and ticks away from your pup, but the most efficient and effective way is by putting them on the best flea and tick prevention products. There are several on the market and picking the best one for your dog can be daunting.

COMPARISON TABLE

Let’s take a look at the top ten best flea and tick prevention products on the market and help you pick a product that will best help your pet.

PRODUCT FAQ

Vet's Best Flea and Tick Yard and Kennel Spray | Yard...

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1. WHAT ARE THE BEST FLEA AND TICK PREVENTION PRODUCTS?

There are numerous flea and tick prevention products on the market, each coming in different forms. Some medications are directed exclusively at preventing fleas or ticks, and others protect against both. Prevention products can also be delivered in several forms, including topical oils or creams, shampoos, dips, sprays, collars, and oral medications that you deliver to the dog itself. Other products are meant to be applied to the dog’s living area, like the carpet or yard space.

2. WHAT DO FLEA AND TICK PREVENTION PRODUCTS DO?

Different flea and tick prevention products protect against different things. For example, some kill flea and tick eggs existing on the dog while others only kill adult fleas and ticks. The best flea and tick prevention products protect against fleas and ticks comprehensively. That is, they kill larvae resting on the dog’s skin, kill adult fleas and ticks living on the dog’s body, and prevent the adult fleas and ticks from laying new eggs. Flea and tick prevention products that are applied to the dog’s living space are meant to kill infestations that lurk in the shadows.

3. WHERE CAN YOU BUY THEM?

Flea and tick prevention products can be purchased from your dog’s veterinarian or from your local pet store. Many large supermarkets also carry flea and tick prevention products. Thrifty dog owners can purchase some of the best flea and tick prevention products on Amazon.com. All the products mentioned on this list can be conveniently purchased for their best price on Amazon.

HOW WE REVIEWED

Vet's Best Flea and Tick Yard and Kennel Spray | Yard...

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We reviewed all of these flea and tick repellants based on a variety of factors, their pros and cons, and their price. Features we evaluated are the ingredients used in making the products, the smell, and the overall effectiveness.

OVERALL PRICE RANGE

Vet's Best Flea and Tick Yard and Kennel Spray | Yard...

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Buying the best flea and tick prevention products for your pet does not have to break the bank.

WHAT WE REVIEWED

BENEFICIAL NEMATODES


10 Million Live Beneficial Nematodes Sc – Flea and Fly…

  • Beneficial Nematodes are a…
  • Beneficial Nematodes are…
  • Easy to apply and Harmless to…
  • Our Live Beneficial Nematodes…
  • Treats up to 4,000 Sq. Ft….

FEATURES

Beneficial Nematodes are a time-tested and natural way to eliminate backyard flea and tick infestations. When your dog’s yard is infested with fleas or ticks, the critters inevitably spread to your dog. Beneficial Nematodes are one of the best flea and tick prevention products on the market that avoid using harsh chemicals.

The product literally consists of 10 million nematodes that attack two hundred types of soil pests. The roundworms actively hunt pest larvae, entering and killing the fleas and ticks from the inside out. The nematodes multiply within the dying pests, allowing them to move on and hunt more fleas and ticks. This product is great for seasonal infestations of fleas and ticks. Pet owners can eradicate a wave of pests at the beginning of warm seasons. To use this product, wet the package of nematodes and sprinkle them across the yard. A package of 10 million nematodes can treat up to 4,000 square feet.

Pros

  • Lacks harsh chemicals
  • Can wipe out a season of pests
  • Naturally eliminates other pests from the yard as well

Cons

  • Will not kill pests on dogs directly
  • Some nematodes may die in packaging while in transit to buyer

where to buy

Check Price

FRONTLINE PLUS FOR LARGE DOGS


Frontline Plus for Dogs Large Dog (45 to 88 pounds) Flea and…

  • WATERPROOF FLEA AND TICK…
  • BREAK THE FLEA LIFE CYCLE WITH…
  • KILLS FLEAS AND TICKS:…
  • TRUSTED FLEA AND TICK…
  • LASTING FLEA AND TICK…

FEATURES

Frontline is one of the most accessible and best flea and tick prevention products on the market. Frontline Plus comes in different dosages for every weight class of dogs. Frontline Plus for Large dogs is suited for dogs 45 to 88 pounds. The waterproof topical ointment comes in a small plastic tube with an applicator tip.

The product is extremely easy to apply; owners open the applicator tip through the foil backing, part the fur between the dog’s shoulder blades, and apply the contents of the tube to that spot. This product comes with three doses and should last three months, with one tube to be applied every thirty days. The product is meant to kill fleas, flea eggs, lice, and ticks. One application should comprehensively protect your dog for thirty days.

Pros

  • Easy application
  • Products available for every weight class
  • Easily accessible

Cons

  • Topical ointment may not be desirable for owners
  • Product is said to have a certain odor

where to buy

Check Price

VET’S BEST FLEA & TICK YARD & KENNEL SPRAY


Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Yard and Kennel Spray | Yard…

  • PROVEN EFFECTIVE – Vet’s…
  • EASY TO USE – Includes…
  • CERTIFIED NATURAL OILS – Each…
  • YARD & PREMISE DEFENSE – Ideal…
  • USE FOR UP TO 5,000 SQUARE…

FEATURES

Vet’s Best is one of the best flea and tick prevention products to eliminate backyard pest infestations. This product comes in a bottle that can easily be screwed into a garden hose and sprayed across back and front yards. It is important to note that this product is only suitable for outdoor use and should only be used around dogs that are twelve weeks and older.

The product uses all natural ingredients to kill mosquitoes, fleas, flea eggs, and ticks living in the yard. Some of the natural ingredients this product uses are peppermint oil and eugenol, which keeps the product from harming the grass, trees, and shrubbery in the yard. A thirty-two-ounce bottle of this product can be used on a 4,500 square foot area.

Pros

  • Uses all natural ingredients
  • Easily application
  • Can use across the entire yard

Cons

  • Not suitable to eliminate indoor infestations
  • Does not kill fleas and ticks on the dog itself

where to buy

Check Price

NOVARTIS CAPSTAR FLEA TABLETS FOR DOGS AND CATS


Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Cats, 6 Doses,…

  • One oral tablet starts killing…
  • Tackle flea infestations fast…
  • The convenience of an oral…
  • If your pet gets re-infested…
  • Includes 6 doses for use with…

FEATURES

Novartis is a very popular flea prevention product on the market. It is important to note that this product is targeted at eliminating flea infestations on the pet but does not protect against ticks. Novartis tablets are meant to be administered orally to the pet. The tablets can be placed into the pet’s mouth directly or given to the dog or cat hidden in food.

This product is not meant for continued protection. Rather, the tablet will kill existing adult fleas on the dog within four hours of ingestion. This tablet is easy to administer and safe to give to dogs that are at least 4 weeks old. Novartis comes in doses suited for dogs under 25 pounds and doses that are suited for dogs 25 pounds and heavier.

Pros

  • Gets rid of flea infestations living on pet
  • Fast acting product
  • Safe for young puppies

Cons

  • Will not provide extended protection for pet
  • Will not eliminate or protect from infestations in the house or yard

where to buy

Check Price

JOEOR FLEA AND TICK COLLAR FOR DOGS


PUMEK Dogs Flea and Tick Collar – Flea and Tick Prevention…

  • 365 DAYS PROTECTION: PUMEK can…
  • MAKE THE DIFFERENCE: PUMEK…
  • TAKE CARE OF YOUR DOG WITHOUT…
  • SUITABLE FOR ALL WEIGHTS AND…
  • YOUR SATISFACTION IS OUR…

FEATURES

The JOEOR collar is one of the longest lasting and best flea and tick prevention products for dogs. The collar provides continuous protection for eight straight months. With the JOEOR collar, owners do not have to keep up with monthly pills or ointment applications. The collar is also very easy to use as it buckles around the dog’s neck like a normal collar.

The collar is laced with essential oils that kill living fleas and ticks that come into contact with the dog. The collar uses natural ingredients like citronella, peppermint oil, lemon oil, eucalyptus oil, and clove oil, which keep the collar safe for dogs and their owners. The collar is also waterproof, which allows for continuous protection through swims and baths.

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Long lasting protection
  • Ingredients are safe for dogs and owners

Cons

  • Will not help infestations in the yard and living area
  • Can come with a distinct smell

where to buy

Check Price

ADAMS FLEA AND TICK CLEANSING SHAMPOO


Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo, 12-Ounce

  • Kills fleas, flea eggs, Brown…
  • Breaks the flea life cycle
  • Very useful in cleansing and…
  • For dogs, puppies, cat and…

FEATURES

Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing shampoo is a product that kills fleas, flea eggs, ticks, and lice infestations living on the dog. This product is safe for dogs, puppies, and kittens. Adams is one of the best flea and tick prevention shampoos on the market. The product is meant to be lathered into the pet’s fur during its regular bath time, making it easy and convenient to apply. The shampoo does not only kill off flea infestations—it also cleans and deodorizes the pet’s fur. One bath with the Adams shampoo will protect your pet for thirty days.

Pros

  • Easy and convenient to apply
  • Can cleanse just like a regular shampoo
  • Kills fleas, flea eggs, ticks, and lice

Cons

  • Will not eliminate indoor or outdoor infestations
  • May not be a desirable scent

where to buy

Check Price

VIRBAC KNOCKOUT E.S. AREA TREATMENT CARPET SPRAY


Virbac Knockout E.S. Area Treatment Carpet Spray, 16-Ounce

  • Can prevent flea infestations…
  • One 16 oz. can covers 2,100…
  • Reaches fleas hidden in…
  • No mess; Leaves no unpleasant…

FEATURES

The Virbac Knockout treatment spray is one of the best flea and tick prevention products for indoor use. One sixteen-ounce can will work for up to around 2,100 square feet of space. The product can be used on the carpet, the drapes, upholstered furniture, and rugs, which can eliminate the majority of indoor flea infestations. The grave fact of flea problems in dogs is that eliminating fleas on the pet itself is only half the battle. If fleas infestations persist in the dog’s living area, owners will never truly kick a flea problem.

By eliminating the presence of fleas through the dog’s entire living area as well as on the dog, owners can eliminate fleas for good. Virbac spray can keep flea infestations from cropping up for up to seven months, which can be more than enough to last through warm seasons that attract pests. This product comes in an aerosol can that contains chemicals like pyrethrin and permethrin.

Pros

  • Knocks out indoor infestation
  • Provides seven months of protection
  • Covers large spaces

Cons

  • Ingredients include chemicals that may be harmful
  • Not suitable for outdoor use

where to buy

Check Price

THE VERDICT

Vet's Best Flea and Tick Yard and Kennel Spray | Yard...

Image via Amazon

The best flea and tick prevention product will protect against adult fleas, flea eggs, and ticks. The product should be harmless to the dog and its owner. What one may consider the best product for their dog is subjective from owner to owner.

For example, if a pest issue stems from a flea infestation in the backyard, Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Yard & Kennel Spray may be what is best for you.

If the infestation stems from your living room carpet, the Virbac Knockout E.S. Area Treatment Carpet Spray will be your best bet.

If you are just bringing your pet home from the shelter or pet store or pet sitter, Adam’s shampoo or Novartis tablets that eliminate an immediate pest presence on the dog may be the best way to go. The most responsible way to go is to eliminate indoor or outdoor infestations in addition to using a product that kills existing pests and protects from future pests.

The product we have picked as the best flea and tick prevention medication is Frontline Plus. This product provides a month of protection and comes in packaging that lasts for three months.

What’s the Best Braided Fishing Line? Top 10 Revealed

​Determining which is the best braided fishing line is not that easy, especially considering the abundance of choices we have before us today.

Whether your main focus is baitcasting or spinning reel fishing, a braided fishing line will ensure that you have enough power to get the large fish you are going for. That being said, the chances are that you would be much better off deciding on a fishing line before your actual fishing trip, which is exactly why we did the research legwork for you and you can find the results of that research below.

Comparison table

FAQ

Before we move onto the actual fishing lines we reviewed, let’s look at some of the most common questions, which will help you determine what is the best braided fishing line for you and your fishing needs.

​What is a Braided Fishing Line?

​What are the Best Uses for Braided Fishing Line?

​Where Can You Buy the Best Braided Fishing Line?

​What Are the Types of Best Braided Fishing Line?

​What Are the Advantages of Using the Best Braided Fishing Line?

How We Reviewed

braided fishing line

Image source: pixabay

To come up with all the info you need, we spent hours and hours of meticulous research and reviewed a lot of interesting data. We took that data and measured it against a few factors that determine the best braided fishing line. 

​​Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

Determining the exact price range of the best braided fishing line is a rather ungrateful task, as the price will vary, depending on the length and diameter size of the fishing line you buy.

​What We Reviewed

  • ​Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line

  • ​KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line

  • ​Reaction Tackle High Performance Braided Fishing Line

  • ​SpiderWire Stealth Superline Fishing Line

  • ​Sufix 832 Advanced Superline Braid

  • ​Berkley Fireline

  • ​Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line

  • ​HOFAM Braided Fishing Line

  • ​Piscifun Braided Fishing Line

  • ​Berkley NanoFil Uni-Filament Fishing Line


Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line, Moss Green,…

  • Round, smooth, and sensitive…
  • Enhanced body technology (ebt)…
  • Constructed with spectra fiber…
  • Ez spool (on Select models)…
  • High strength-to-diameter…

Description

Key Features of this product include the ability to spool directly from the box, a built-in cutter and a package that preserves the remaining line. One of the most sensitive fishing lines PowerPro offers, the diameter of Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line varies from 0.0005 to 0.035 inches. The length of this fishing line also varies from 150 to 3000 yards, but all the variations aside – this is one great fishing line that can be used for a variety of fish, including Bass, Trout, Walleye and other.

Pros

  • ​Versatile Length

  • ​Various diameter specs

  • ​Great for a catching several fish species

  • ​Ez spool that allows you to use the line straight from the box

  • ​Built-in line cutter

Cons

  • ​Depending on where you get the line from, it might not be US-made

  • ​Doesn’t state if it can be used in saltwater

  • ​Price varies depending on the length and diameter size


KastKing Superpower Braided Fishing Line,Moss Green,15…

  • STRONG KNOT STRENGTH –…
  • LOW MEMORY – helps you…
  • GREATER ABRASION RESISTANCE…
  • ULTRA-HIGH SENSITIVITY & ZERO…
  • SMALLER DIAMETER – compared…

Description

​Key Features of this product include the ability to easily make strong knots, and an improved clinch knot, which ultimately yields in providing you with a better lure swimming action. The low memory of this fishing line is great for achieving distance on your casts. Besides that, it has great abrasion resistance features, which make it perfect for saltwater fishing. Last, but not least, the reason this is one of the best braided fishing lines you can find is that it has zero-stretch, coupled with high sensitivity that will surely increase your overall catch ratio.

Pros

  • ​Durable

  • ​Zero-stretch

  • ​Abrasion resistance

  • ​Low memory

  • ​Considerable know strength

Cons

  • ​Comes in fewer variations than most of its competitors

  • ​Thicker than most lines in the same category

  • ​Low memory is not exactly the same as no memory


Reaction Tackle Moss Green 50LB 1500yd

  • Ultimate strength, near zero…
  • 100% UHMWPE, the world’s…
  • Super thin and slick, pro…
  • Great value, high quality…
  • Whether you fish for Bass,…

Description

​Key Features of this product include a close to zero stretch, made 100% out of UHMWPE, one of the strongest materials in the world. It sports a smaller diameter than most of its peers, but the strength remains intact. This can be easily dubbed one of the best braided fishing lines out there, especially considering the fact that it even features color lock technology, which ensured that the color of the line remains intact and resists bleeding. It comes in several sizes, both of length and diameter.

Pros

  • ​Made of UHMWPE

  • ​Close to no stretch at all

  • ​Great casting capabilities

  • ​Versatile

  • ​Color lock technology

Cons

  • ​The color choice is rather limited

  • ​The lining is thick

  • ​Limited choice of low-cost products


Spiderwire SCS15G-125 Braided Stealth Superline, Moss Green,…

  • Sleek and durable braided…
  • Strong, smooth, and round…
  • Color-Lock coating technology…
  • Moss green color for low…

Description

​Key Features of this product include Teflon treated microfiber build, coupled with high abrasion resistance and the color lock technology. This combination of featured make this line one of the most resistant ones you can find on today’s market. SpiderWire was always boasting that their lines are as great as in the past days, but now they state that the new lines are even better. After testing the product, we came to a similar conclusion – SpiderWire Stealth Superline Fishing Line is something every fisherman would want in their arsenal.

Pros

  • ​Easy setup

  • ​Great options of colors and color lock technology

  • ​Great strength

Cons

  • ​Not great for rough waters

  • ​Tangles easily

  • ​Not for beginners


Sufix 832 Advanced Superline Braid, Camo, 30-Pound/300-Yard…

  • Crafted from the highest…
  • Perfect for outdoor and even…
  • Made in Taiwan

Description

Key Features of this product include unmatched abrasion resistance, tested castability improvements and TGP color resistance technology. The name of this Rapala products stands for 8 threads at 32 weaves per inch – 7 of those threads being Dyneema and 1 GORE.

Pros

  • ​TGP technology

  • ​Manufactured by Rapala – a leading fishing brand

  • ​Made out of 8 threads

  • ​Durable

Cons

  • ​Choice of color is limited

  • ​Not the best choice for baitcasting

  • ​Color fading present, especially in rough waters


Berkley Fireline Fused Original Superline 300 Yd…

  • Optimized for Spinning Reels
  • Incredibly Strong – Three…
  • Long and Fast Casting – No…

Description

Key Features of this product include the fact that it was one of the first superlines ever made and evolved into the braided fishing line for spinning reel fishing. It comes in two colors – smoke and flame green.

Pros

  • ​Smooth handling

  • ​Impeccable sensitivity

  • ​Great for spinning reels

Cons

  • ​Limited choice of colors

  • ​Not for baitcasting

  • ​Limited versatility


Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line, Moss Green,…

  • Spool directly from the box
  • Built-in cutter
  • Package protects the remaining…
  • Arbor tape included
  • Color of cartridge matches…

Description

Key Features of this product include a number of beneficial factors, but its versatility is the first thing that comes to mind. With an array of colors and length to choose from, this is easily the most versatile out of all the braided fishing lines you can find on the market. This is one of the most sensitive lines because it is made of Spectra fiber and treated with EBT technology.

Pros

  • ​Advanced strength

  • ​Minimal stretch

  • ​Enhanced Body Technology

  • ​Made of Spectra Fiber

  • ​Great versatility

Cons

  • ​Color resistance is not that good

  • ​Difficult to cut

  • ​May require additional cutting gear


HOFAM Braided Fishing Line Gray 25LB 150YDS for Lure…

  • Guaranted A Full Refund-If you…
  • Superior Performance Come From…
  • Zero Stretch&Ultra High…
  • Low Memory Anti-Curl- Helps…
  • Strong Knot Strength-Unmatched…

Description

​Key Features of this product include ultra-thin diameter, zero stretch, and high sensitivity. It is UV resistant, has low memory and strong knot strength. This is a versatile product, at least when it comes to various types of fishing, and it’s a good choice for a fisherman of any experience level.

Pros

  • ​Full refund available

  • ​Zero stretch

  • ​Low memory

  • ​Strong knot strength

  • ​Versatile

Cons

  • ​No color options

  • ​Not easily acquirable

  • ​Not ready out of the box


Piscifun Onyx Braided Fishing Line Advanced Superline Braid…

  • Superior Abrasion Resistance…
  • Strong Knot Strength -…
  • Faster Cutting Water -…
  • Highly Sensitivity and Minimal…
  • Precision Braiding and Fiber -…

Description

​Key Features of this product include the new epoxy coatings technology and high sensitivity and a minimal stretch. Add precision braiding, extreme water cutting technologies and you get the best braided fishing line for saltwater.

Pros

  • ​Affordable

  • ​Superior abrasion resistance

  • ​High sensitivity

  • ​Precision braiding

  • ​Epoxy coatings technology

Cons

  • ​Color fading with use

  • ​Not suitable for everyone

  • ​Limited freshwater capabilities


Berkley NanoFil Uni-filament Fishing Line

  • Allows effortless casting…
  • Consists of Dyneema gel-spun…
  • Designed for use with light to…
  • Zero memory virtually…

Description

​Key Features of this product include zero memory, superb sensitivity, and effortless casting, but what makes it really stand out from all the competition is that it is the first uni-filament fishing line ever made. However, keep in mind that because of that, this line has a limited knot choice available and tying a wrong knot can lead to a number of frustrations later on.

Pros

  • ​Uni-Filament fishing line

  • ​Great casting capabilities

  • ​Zero memory

Cons

  • ​Limited knot choice

  • ​Comes in one color only

  • ​Not for beginners

​The Verdict

fishing rod

image source: pixabay

​Considering all the factors, such as casting capabilities, build material, saltwater performance and versatility, we conclude that the best braided fishing line out of all the ones listed above has to be Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line, which is a great solution for a fisherman of any experience level.

Best Fishing Locations in Alabama: Bass, Trout, Fly Fishing & More

Located deep in the south east of the United States, Alabama has something for everyone. Whether you want to take in some city sights, enjoy the region’s history and vibrant culture, or you simply want to spend the time when you’re not fishing in the company of your family, surrounded by beautiful beaches and countryside, you’ll find it all here.

Alabama has plenty of opportunities for keen anglers. Whether you love to fish the challenging surf of the Gulf in search of offshore giants, or if you’re content to spend a tranquil day fishing picturesque lakes stuffed with bass, catfish, and perch, Alabama has everything the leisure fisherman needs for a truly memorable experience. Also, pier fishing is a big “thing” in Alabama, and there are plenty of great private piers to try.

Many of the locations featured in this guide form part of the famous Alabama Bass Trail. Tournament fishermen MUST check this out! The $10,000 qualifying tournament first prize will pay for plenty of fishing trips for you and your buddies!

Before you head out for a day’s sport in Alabama, be aware that at certain times of the year creel and catch sizes are imposed on both fresh and saltwater fishing locations, including deep water offshore spots.

All recreational fishermen require a license to fish legally in Alabama’s waterways, reservoirs, and offshore locations. The income from licenses goes towards the cost of supporting the enhancement and protection of Alabama’s outstanding aquatic resources.

You can find out more about how to obtain a fishing license here.

Now that we’ve looked at proper licenses, let’s  look at our favorite places to go.  Every location we’ve included in this guide is teeming with many species of fish; there’s something for every angler here, including kids!


1. Pickwick Lake

Pickwick Lake

Pickwick lake is part of a region known locally as, “The Shoals”. The lake has an impressive surface area of over 43,000 acres.

Located on the Tennessee River which also runs through Tennessee, Pickwick Lake is renowned for its smallmouth and largemouth bass population. In fact, Pickwick Lake is rated by Bassmaster magazine as number 7 of the top bass lakes in the whole southeast area of the United States.

The exact location can be found at this link in Google Maps.

A key stopover on the Alabama Bass Trail, Pickwick Lake ranks highly for trophy-size catches, as well as hours taken to catch the really big guys.

Fishing with the right gear setup at the lake is best when the dam is discharging big volumes of water, ideally when the discharge rate is around 40,000 cubic feet per second.

An afternoon’s fishing at Pickwick Lake could see you landing any of the following species, depending on the season:

In March, try using tube gigs, bucktail jigs, and curly-tail grubs if you’re after smallmouth bass. Later during the summer, switch to football jigs, deep-diving crankbaits, and plastic worms to catch largemouth.

If you have no luck with large and smallmouth bass, Pickwick Lake is also great for other species such as crappies and striped bass.


2. Lake Eufaula

Lake Eufaula

Lake Eufaula can be found on the Chattahoochee River. The exact location of this prime bass fishing location can be found at this link.

Although bass fishing is the prime draw for anglers, there are many other species available too, especially catfish. It’s not uncommon to see blue catfish over 40 pounds landed at Lake Eufaula.

Species you can expect to catch here include:

  • Black crappie
  • Channel catfish
  • Blue catfish
  • White catfish
  • Flathead catfish

Try rigging your line with jigs, minnow, and jigging spoons to hook crappie. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, and swimbaits are your best bet if you’re after spring bass. Use crankbaits for fishing ditches and creeks that lead to spawning flats.


3. Joe Wheeler State Park

Joe Wheeler State Park

 Joe Wheeler State Park resort sits on the banks of Wheeler Lake. The beautiful 2,550-acre park offers a stunning waterfront lodge, complete with convention facilities and a restaurant. There’s an 18-hole championship standard golf course, a full-service marina with overnight and permanent docking slips, modern and basic camping, cabins, a rustic group lodge, and lakeside cottages.

Wheeler Lake is a wonderful place for bank fishing. There are also opportunities for pier fishing and boat fishing; either rent a craft or bring your own if you prefer. Other facilities include accommodation. It can be deep in areas, so you’ll want to have equipment that will help you track fish and measure depth.

Joe Wheeler State Park can be found in northern Alabama, close to Athens. The exact location can be viewed at this link.

Wheeler Lake is a popular location for fishermen hoping to land a giant catfish. It’s not unheard of for blue and flathead catfish to grow to over 100-pounds here.

In addition to catfish, you can fish for bass here too.

The best time to fish Wheeler Lake is when there’s lots of water flowing through the dam that was built to dam the Tennessee River and create the lake. Trolling with skipjack herring or shad is the way to go if you’re after catfish. Skipjacks can be caught for bait beneath the dam.

Concentrate on fishing deep-water overhangs if you want to land a really enormous catfish. However, you must note that anglers are encouraged to practice catch-and-release with the monsters that dwell here, so as to preserve a productive fishery for the future.


4. Lay Lake

Lay Lake

Lay Lake on the Coosa River was created in 1914 and is one of the USA’s oldest impoundments. Covering some 12,000 acres and with a shoreline around 289 miles long, you’re almost assured of total peace and quiet when you fish here.

Lay Lake is located 65 miles to the south of Birmingham. You can find directions to the lake at this link.

The recreational lake is home to many different species of fish, including:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Spotted bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Catfish
  • Striped bass
  • White bass
  • Hybrid striped bass

If you visit the lake in the summer months, make for the shallows at the lower end of the water to find largemouth bass. Try using a weedless frog and a swim jig to land a monster. You’ll find largemouth bass where the river turns onto the main lake. Fish in 18 to 25 feet of water if you want to catch summer schooling shad.

Another profitable location for bass is upriver towards Logan Marin Dam. When the current is flowing, use a jig-and-pig. When the water is slower, try a crankbait or topwater.


5. Gulf State Park Pier

Gulf State Park Pier

Gulf State Park Pier, located at this link, is a glorious spot if you want to try your hand at fishing Alabama’s coastal waters.

The pier is 1,540 feet long, 20 feet wide, and boasts an impressive 2,448 feet of clear fishing space. This is the largest pier on the Gulf of Mexico and it’s also the only public pier on the Gulf in Alabama. The pier has covered seating, an indoor retail area stocking tackle and souvenirs. There are comfort stations at the pier’s midpoint, and there’s wheelchair accessible rail fishing here too. You can buy fishing licenses and permits on-site.

There are saltwater fish in abundance here, including:

  • King mackerel
  • Tarpon
  • Cobia
  • Speckled trout
  • Flounder

For those who prefer fishing closer to the shore, you’ll have luck catching speckled trout and flounder. You might even find a sailfish in the deeper water off the end of the pier.


6. Lewis Smith Lake 

Lewis Smith Lake
By QuintapedOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

An hour north of Birmingham, you’ll find tranquil Lewis Smith Lake. For directions, check out this link.

Surrounded by deciduous woodland and rocky limestone outcrops, Lewis Smith Lake presents an interesting challenge for those more used to fishing stained water. The naturally filtered waters of the lake are deep and crystal clear. This makes it much tougher to fish, but the satisfaction and reward when you’re successful is well worth the extra effort.

The major game fish that you’ll find in Lewis Smith Lake include:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Spotted bass
  • Striped bass
  • Speckled trout

You might want to downsize your tackle if you’re on the lookout for bass. Try 8-pound test for spotted and largemouth bass to get strikes in the clear water.

If the bass aren’t biting, the tailrace down below the dam supports Alabama’s only year-round trout fishery. The tailrace is formed by the Sipsey fork of the Black Warrior River, and although trout don’t actually reproduce here, they do sometimes stay there from year to year. If you’re lucky, you might land an 18 to 20 inch trout using live bait (redworms are good for this), or by fly fishing if you prefer a more traditional technique.


7. Mobile-Tensaw Delta

Tensaw Mobile Delta

The Mobile Delta is a vast jungle wilderness where myriad river channels intertwine to form hundreds of islands. Many of those islands and channels are home to a diverse range of wildlife, including bears, bobcats, alligators, bull sharks, and several species of venomous snakes. In the spring when the Delta floods, the land vanishes under 10 feet of water.

Within this primeval waterworld, you’ll find some great fishing. Check out the marina, located here.

Because of the rains and spring flooding, fishing begins earlier in the year in the Delta than in other fishing spots elsewhere in the state. In particular, the Delta is fantastic for bream fishing.

You can expect to find big shellcrackers and bluegills here. Use light tackle and bait with nightcrawlers for shellcrackers and redworms or crickets if you’re after bluegills. Shellcrackers can be found lurking in weedy cover, while bluegill favor cleaner banks. Note that if you smell ripe watermelon, you’ve found a bluegill spawning bed!

One tip to note: It can be easy to get lost in the maze of backwaters and creeks while you’re engrossed in fishing. Take a GPS unit with you to ensure you make it back to the marina!


8. Fort Morgan Peninsula

Fort Morgan Peninsula

If you enjoy surf fishing, you really must visit the Fort Morgan Peninsula, located here.

Located on beautiful Dauphin Island, Fort Morgan Peninsula offers lots of exciting action for those anglers whose favorite challenge is surf fishing. The water is home to the following species:

  • Spanish mackerel
  • Redfish
  • Speckled trout
  • King mackerel
  • Shark
  • White trout
  • Cobia
  • Dolphin
  • Pompano
  • Flounder
  • Sheepshead

Choose your moment and head out to the Fort Morgan Point next to Dixey Bar on the falling tide for the best chance of landing something truly impressive.  Try using mullet, big blue crabs, large pogy, and croaker as bait. Depending on what’s in season, you might also encounter red snapper.

More adventurous anglers may want to charter a deep water fishing boat and go in pursuit of more sizeable quarry, including billfish.

If you don’t fancy cooking your own catch, there are plenty of good fish restaurants in the area.


9. Escambia County Lake

Lake Stone Escambia

Escambia County Lake (located here) is also known locally as Leon Brooks Hines Lake. The 184 acre body of water is one of 23 public fishing lakes that are managed by Alabama State and is one of the largest.

Escambia County Lake is well-known for producing big largemouth bass, some up to 14 pounds in weight, but it’s perhaps more popular as a fabulous bream fishery.

Species you can expect to land here include:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Redear sunfish
  • Bluegill

For the best chance of success, visit the lake at the beginning of May through August, around the full moon. At this time, huge schools of bream make for the banks to spawn, making them more accessible to fishermen than at any other time of the year. Spawning beds are usually found in three to five feet of water, and bluegill and shellcracker bed right next to each other, offering nonstop action for anglers.

Although the beds are often accessible from the fishing pier or from the bank, you’ll probably have more luck if you fish from a boator even a kayak. Try using crickets or worms fished under a float, close to the bottom, using a small weight to hold the bait down. Light spinning tackle is the best outfit to use for bream fishing, making this an pastime for kids to get involved in.

You can purchase different kinds of suitable bait from the on-site tackle shop.


10. Guntersville Lake

Guntersville Lake in Alabama

Guntersville Lake is located close to the town of Guntersville. The 69,100-acre lake sits on the Tennessee River, and its stable water levels, fertile environment, and good cover make it the perfect habitat for giant bass. Fish in the three to five pound range are regularly landed here.

If you’re fishing for trophy bass, the best time to visit the lake is from February through April, although you can land bass all year round. Use jerkbaits, swimbaits, and football gigs early in the year, and switch to topwaters or a 6 to 12 inch Texas-rigged plastic worm during the summer months.

And it’s not just bass that make the waters of Guntersville Lake their home. You can also expect to find several species of trout, catfish, and sunfish here too.

Alabama offers a huge variety to choice for fishermen. Whether you’re seeking the challenge of a bracing day’s surf or deep water fishing, or if you prefer the peace and tranquillity of a well-stocked lake, Alabama offers something for everyone.

A trip to Alabama is an absolute must for both leisure fishermen and serious, competitive anglers. In addition to making the most of the area’s wonderful fishing opportunities, you can wind-down and relax surrounded by gloriously diverse scenery, take-in some of the local history, and finish your day with a delicious dinner at one of the regions many fish restaurants.

Fishing in Iowa: From Coralville Lake to Coldwater Creek, Our Favorite Spots

Iowa is a Midwestern U.S. state that shares a border with Illinois and is located between the mighty Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. As well as offering fabulous fishing, Iowa is an excellent location for a family vacation. You can enjoy many family-friendly activities throughout the year. Trek out into the wilderness and get back to the Stone Age with a trip to one of Iowa’s many State Parks and ancient geological sites. But if your an avid angler, here are the 10 best fishing locations in Iowa.

You can also enjoy birding and wildlife watching amid the dramatic mountains, gorges, and woodlands. And for the more adventurous in your family, check out the mysterious Spook Cave or go geocaching for a day. And when you’ve tired of countryside activities, head into one of Iowa’s vibrant cities to take in historic landmarks, art collections and museums. Film buffs of the older generation might enjoy a day trip to the “Field of Dreams” movie site, while the kids play baseball on the actual film set.

Iowa is a land of endless cornfields and rolling plains and sunshine (so bring your shades), as well as seemingly endless waterways. In Iowa’s lakes, reservoirs, and ponds, you’ll find crappie, bluegill, muskie, Northern pike, and walleye. Head to one of the State’s many interior streams or rivers in search of trophy-size catfish, walleye, and smallmouth bass. Or you can try your luck in the Missouri River for sauger and blue catfish.

Fishing Licenses

If you want to enjoy any of the 10 best fishing locations in Iowa, you must have a valid license that you can produce for a Conservation Police Officer. So, remember to put your license in your tackle box before you cast a line. And if you’re over the age of 16, you will need a valid license to fish in this state. However, there are some exemptions, so the details are available on the IDNR website. You can buy a license online here too.

If you prefer, you can buy an Iowa fishing license from any of the authorized retailers on this list. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources manages fishing in Iowa and sets all the regulations surrounding angling. Note that you must have a separate permit if you wish to use trotlines. And if you don’t buy a third-line permit, you’ll be restricted to using no more than two lines. So each line may contain a maximum of two hooks.

Eating Your Catch

There are few things more satisfying than gathering around the campfire with your family to cook and eat your day’s delicious catch. If this sounds like fun, you’ll be pleased to hear that the majority of lakes, rivers, and streams in Iowa contain high-quality fish that’s safe to eat.

The IDNR and the Iowa Department of Public Health both provide helpful online information about fish consumption, together with a current list of fish consumption advisories for waterways within the State. So why not pack your toasting fork and some marshmallows too?

10 Great Fishing Spots in Iowa

Iowa boasts an impressive variety of fishing locations to appeal to the freshwater angler. so whether you’re a dedicated bass fisherman who enjoys trolling from a boat or you prefer the challenge of fly-fishing for wild trout from the bank or by wading, Iowa has something for everyone. And when the temperatures plummet in the winter, the Hawkeye State has some fantastic ice fishing opportunities, too.

And don’t forget Iowa’s officially designated State fish, the channel catfish, some of which are trophy-size. So here are the 10 best fishing locations in Iowa. Here’s what you can expect at each one on your next memorable fishing trip to this stunningly beautiful and diverse state.


1. Coralville Lake

Best Fishing Locations in Arizona: Rim Country, Sedona & More

You’ll find the desert State of Arizona in the south west of the US. Arizona is perhaps most famous for the Grand Canyon, the mile-deep gorge that was carved out over millennia by the flow of the Colorado River. Tourists come to this sun-bleached State from around the world to marvel at the spectacular scenery and incredible nature-made sculptures that are its trademark feature.

But it’s not just Arizona’s beautiful landscapes and natural wonders that attract visitors. Fishing enthusiasts also come to the area to fish the lakes and reservoirs of Arizona’s State Parks. There’s year-round fishing aplenty here and an astounding range of habitats and fish species to enjoy.

Arizona offers fishing opportunities for beginners and experts alike. So, whether you’re a fly fishing devotee in search of Arizona’s official State fish, the Apache trout, or if you’re after catfish and bass, Arizona’s waters have both in abundance.

Arizona’s waterways are home to no fewer than 27 fish species. Eight of these are cold water fish, and 19 are species that prefer warmer waters. The State has 160 stream management reaches across 1,500 miles and approximately 80 natural lakes and 21 urban lakes that are actively managed by the Arizona Fish and Game Department for different species of trout.

Under Arizona Fish and Game Department regulations, if you’re aged over ten years, you must have a valid fish or combination license to fish the publicly accessible waters in this State. Children under ten do not need to possess a license, but they should be under the adult supervision of a license holder.

You can obtain a license online before you make your trip to Arizona. You can pay by Visa or MasterCard. Once you’ve completed the form and paid the fee, simply print the license off and take it with you.

Note that most of the popular fishing locations in this State do NOT have a facility for visitors to buy fishing licenses, so it’s advisable to obtain one before your trip and bring it with you.

We’ve put together a list of 10 of the most popular fishing locations that this surprisingly fish-rich desert State has to offer. If desert camping is not your bag, we’ve included some locations that are close to hotel accommodation and other facilities.


1. Roosevelt Lake

Lake Roosevelt

Roosevelt Lake is found in Tonto National Forest and is the go-to spot in this State if you’re into bass fishing. There’s a Visitor Center where you can find all the information you’ll need for a memorable visit here, including camping guides and important fire risk alerts.

The 20,000-acre lake has warm waters, and its shores are lined with submerged trees and brush coves that provide plenty of perfect nutrient-rich forage that bass love.

Fish species you’ll find in abundance here include:

  • Striped bass
  • Largemouth bass
  • White bass
  • Catfish
  • Large Carp

The perfect spots for shoreline bass fishing are Salt Arm, Tonto Arm, and Salome Cove where you’ll find drop-offs and rocks where the fish congregate. Check out the place where Tonto Creek enters the lake too. You’ll find largemouth bass hiding where the waters are cold and deep, close to the dam and the aptly named Bass Island. When the weather is warm and sunny, the fish will move into shallower, warmer waters close to the drop-offs.


2. Patagonia Lake

Lake Patagonia Tucson

Patagonia Lake State Park is ideal for those who enjoy fishing from a boat, as well as from the shoreline. The Park is found about one hour’s drive from the city of Tucson. If you want to stay in the Park itself, tent and RV camping are both permitted.

There’s plenty to do here. As well as casting a line for catfish and bass, you can enjoy some time soaking up the sunshine on pretty beaches, venture out on the lake by boat, or take in a guided wildlife watching tour.

The lake is carefully managed to create healthy populations of several different varieties of fish. Christmas tree bundles, lush water vegetation, and shoreline brush provide ample cover for the large bass population.  You can see the location right here.

You can expect to find the following species in numbers here:

Fishing this 265-acre man-made lake during the winter months will also yield a catch of rainbow trout.


3. Lake Havasu State Park

Lake Havasu Fishing

Lake Havasu State Park is located right alongside Lake Havasu City. The 450 miles of shoreline make up this area, and there’s a 25-mile long lake to fish too. The Park’s location is perfect for those who prefer the comfort of a hotel and plenty of amenities to the bare necessities of wilderness camping.

Fish species that can be caught in the Park’s waters include:

In fact, the Park is widely regarded as an outstanding largemouth impoundment and boasts the reputation as one of the very best smallmouth lakes in the whole country. Four to five-pound largemouth catches are the norm here. While you can claim that your fishing skills are responsible for a trophy fish catch, the hundreds of bundles of brush that are placed throughout the lake to offer prime bass habitat may also have something to do with your success!


4. Big Lake

Big Lake Fishing

If trout fishing is your bag, you have to take a trip to the northeast of the State up into the White Mountains. Here you’ll find Big Lake, located just a few miles to the south of Greer. Described as “Arizona’s best-kept secret”, this location is widely regarded as one of the best trout fishing opportunities in the whole world!

Species you can expect to find here include:

  • Rainbow trout
  • Brook trout
  • Cutthroat trout

If you’re planning on making your visit to trout fishing heaven an overnight one, there are several campgrounds right on Big Lake. Remember this is a mountain location, and it can get chilly at night here, so come equipped accordingly.

The on-site store sells fishing licenses, bait, and tackle, and you can rent boats here too.


5. Riggs Flat Lake

Riggs Flat Lake

Riggs Flat Lake is a reservoir that is located in the spectacular Pinaleño Mountains, about 40 miles southwest of Safford. This is a beautiful spot for a day’s fishing, with stunning views and a man-made lake that’s just teeming with various species of trout.

Located at the end of the Swift Trail, Riggs Flat Lake is only 11 acres in size, and it’s usually very quiet here. Chill out and enjoy a peaceful day’s fishing the cold waters in solitude, surrounded by meadows and alpine forests. Most visiting anglers like to fish from the shoreline, but small boats are permitted on the lake if you prefer to fish on the water.

During the summer months, you’ll find the following species of fish in abundance in this lake:

  • Rainbow trout
  • Brown trout
  • Brook trout

You’ll find the exact location of Riggs Flat Lake at this Google Maps link.

There’s a small campground here, but RV access is limited to vehicles less than 22 feet in length, due to the switchback road that leads to the site. Note that there is no fresh, drinking water available here, so you’ll need to bring your own supply.


6. Lees Ferry

Lees Ferry Grand Canyon

A visit to Lees Ferry is an absolute essential for all keen fly fishermen. Lees Ferry is a 13 mile stretch of the Colorado River, which lies within Marble Canyon just outside of Page.

There’s a well-equipped campground, offering drinking water, flush toilets, fire pits, bathroom sinks, and trash collection. Note that there’s no natural shade here, and days can be blisteringly hot from spring through fall. Shade cover is provided on the campground.

You’ll find the location of Lees Ferry at this link.

The very best time to come fishing at Lees Ferry is during the spring runoff season. However, at any time of year, you’ll find an abundance of rainbow trout, some measuring in at 22 inches! The waters here are clear as crystal. Fish the shallows surrounded by towering cliffs of red, orange, and pink, take a boat or hire a licensed guide who will show you around hidden jewels in deeper blue water.


7. Oak Creek

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon is another extremely popular fly fishing location in Arizona, especially during the summer months, and is also wonderful for beginners and kids to try their hand at the sport.

The location has lots of catch-and-release spots in Oak Creek Canyon, as the Oak Creek River itself (just on the outskirts of Sedona) is well-stocked with rainbow trout. It’s a good idea to hire a guide to show you the prime fishing places.

Other fish species that abound here include:

  • Brown trout
  • Largemouth bass
  • Bluegill
  • Walleye

Make your journey to Oak Creek Canyon via the Scenic Drive, a 14-mile journey along Route 89A between Flagstaff and Sedona. As well as the great fishing at Oak Creek, the scenery is breathtaking. The road winds through oak and pine-forested hills, taking you some 4,500 feet to the top of the Mogollon Rim and its amazing backdrop of red rocks and cliffs.


8. Lake Mead

Lake Mead

Located between Arizona and Nevada, Lake Mead National Recreational Area is home to a 290 square mile body of water. The 700 miles of shoreline that surround the largest reservoir in the US is the perfect place for a peaceful, undisturbed day’s fishing.

There are numerous species of fish to hunt here, including:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Striped bass
  • Channel catfish
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie

You’ll also find rainbow trout in Lake Mohave, which is nearby. If you want to pursue
the really big specimens, check out Willow Beach from where fresh stocks of fish are released from the hatchery every Friday!

Cottonwood Cove and Katherine are the perfect spots for those in search of bass. Trophy fish over 40 pounds have been landed here!

The resort is open for fishing 24/7. You can choose from shoreline angling, fishing from a boat, or from one of the area’s three piers if you prefer.

For those wishing to camp overnight, there are several campgrounds around the reservoir, but always check the website when planning your trip, because certain camping areas are sometimes closed due to flood risk.


9. Lake Powell

Lake Powell

Lake Powell (located here) is one of Arizona’s northern reservoirs and is also a very popular year-round fishing hangout. This jewel of the Colorado River is teeming with large specimens for the angling enthusiast to treasure.

The shoreline extends for over 1,800 miles, surrounded by spectacular red-rock mountains. When the reservoir is full, it’s almost 86 miles long and has over 90 side canyons to explore. You can spend many enjoyable hours fishing from the shoreline, or rent a powerboat if you want to explore further afield. For an informed fishing excursion, hire one of the knowledgeable guides.

Fish species you can expect to reel in here include:

Although the fishing is good here all year, spring and summer are likely to be the most productive times for all these species.


10. Dogtown Lake

Dogtown Lake

Dogtown Lake (located here) is a quiet, medium-sized body of water seven miles southeast of the town of Williams. This peaceful, uncrowded location is a really good place to fish for trout, especially during the fall.

This spot would make a great place for a family vacation trip. There’s plenty to do here – hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking through the location’s tree-clad hills and stunning natural scenery are all popular pastimes. It’s also not far to the Grand Canyon from here.

As well as trout, you’ll find crappie and channel catfish in numbers here. Fish from the shady tree-lined shore, or take to the water by kayak, canoe, or motorboat (single motors of one horsepower or below are allowed.)

There are no fewer than 50 campgrounds in the area. All the sites are readily accessible and are level with back-in and pull-through options for RVs. Water faucets, garbage bins, and restrooms are provided, but there is no dump station at the facility.

Arizona offers a unique combination of good fishing and stunning scenery, making it the perfect destination for family vacations. Much of the fishing action happens in man-made reservoirs or lakes, but there are opportunities to fish natural waterways from the shoreline or a small boat or kayak.

Note that Arizona is a desert state, and temperatures typically exceed 800F during the summer months. Many of the fishing locations and their neighboring campgrounds do not have much natural shade, so be sure to bring plenty of fresh water and a fishing umbrella or shade sail.

Arizona’s well-stocked fishing grounds and truly spectacular scenery make this State one destination that should be on every leisure angler’s bucket list.

Fishing in Missouri

Missouri is located in the Midwest of the U.S. The Show Me State is covered by grassy plains and bordered by the heavily-forested Ozark Mountains.

Jefferson City is Missouri’s capital city. Check out Kansas City for jazz clubs, museums, and impressive sculptures. The City of St. Louis sits on the Illinois border and is worth a visit to see its famous 630-foot Gateway Arch that overlooks the mighty Mississippi River.

Missouri has lots of offer the keen leisure fisherman too. The State has some superb lake and river fishing to enjoy and is home to a wide range of freshwater species, including sunfish, some large northern pike, huge largemouth bass, brown and rainbow trout, some decent sized walleye, different types of crappie, bullheads, to name a few.

Missouri’s bountiful waters are also home to the State’s two official state fish, the channel catfish, and the paddlefish. So, what are you waiting for?

Fishing Licenses

To fish legally in Missouri, any visitor over 16 years of age must have a valid recreational fishing license. Kids under 15 are limited to using the following fishing methods:

  • Pole and line
  • Gig
  • Bow
  • Crossbow
  • Snaring
  • Grabbing
  • Nagging

You must be prepared to present your license to an agent of the Conservation Department for inspection, so be sure to carry it with you whenever you go fishing within State lines.

If you’re after catching trout, be aware that you will need to buy a trout freshwater fishing permit. Note that some locations allow you to purchase a daily trout fishing tag instead, so always check before you plan your trip.

Missouri fishing licenses can be bought online at the MDC website.

Top Fishing Spots

Missouri has so many great fishing spots it’s hard to whittle them down to just ten!

We’ve taken time out to look over what’s on offer and bring you our favorite ten locations to wet a line in the Show Me State. Whether you’re looking for trout, bass, or muskies, you’ll find some great sport here and some stunning scenery to enjoy while you’re waiting for a bite!

So, let’s dive right in and explore the very best fishing that Missouri has to offer.


1. Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks is a 55,000-acre impoundment that’s located here, in the Lake of the Ozarks State Park.

This popular vacation destination has it all! Hikers, cyclists, and horse riders can all enjoy the many trails that wind through the park, while water enthusiasts can spend time swimming or boating. Extend your visit by staying in one of the outpost cabins, yurts, or under canvas on one of the Park’s campsites.

This is also a famous and extremely popular spot for anglers who are drawn here by the remarkable variety and numbers of fish that thrive in the Lake.

Fish species that you’ll find here include:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Spotted bass
  • Black crappie
  • White crappie
  • Catfish
  • Hybrid stripers
  • Walleye
  • Bluegill
  • Paddlefish

Prime bass fishing time here is from March to late May, especially around structure in the many quiet coves that surround the Lake.

You can fish from the easily-accessible shoreline or take to the water from one of two boat ramps. There’s also dock fishing and crappie beds. Also, you’ll find numerous marinas and bait shops dotted around the Lake area.


2. Smithville Lake

Smithville Lake

Smithville Lake in Clay County extends for around 7,190 acres and is located right here, about 25 miles to the north of Kansas City.

Smithville Lake offers plenty of recreational opportunities, including swimming, camping, hiking, horse riding, sailing, and golf.

The fishing here is excellent too from both the water and from the easily accessible shoreline. Smithville Lake is best known for its outstanding crappie fishing. These waters also produce some big bass, especially during the springtime. Also, there’s an abundant population of flathead and channel catfish, white bass, and walleye.

Largemouth bass can be found patrolling around the newly installed brush piles, standing timber, and cut trees. Try casting crankbaits, plastics, and spinnerbaits and expect to catch some nice fish. You’ll find black and white crappie in these locations too, and you’ll have success with minnows and small plastic jigs.

The Lake is stocked annually with walleye, and there are two main fishing seasons for them. Check out the spawning run to the dam and use shallow diving crankbaits for success. During the hot summer months, the fish migrate to the points and flats where you’ll catch them around the newly installed rock piles in the main lake area. Trolling crawler harnesses or deep diving cranks work best.


3. Mozingo Lake

Mozingo Lake

Mozingo Lake on Mozingo Creek is a 1,000-acre lake that’s located here, in Nodaway County, northwest Missouri. The reservoir is owned by the City of Maryville and is the city’s primary water source. The Lake sits within a 3,000-acre park and has a 26-mile accessible shoreline.

Mozingo Lake features in the “Top 100 Bass Fishing Lakes” in the U.S. by BassMasters Magazine. The excellent fishery habitat of weed beds, submerged brush piles, standing timber, and depth of up to 40 feet holds some real lunkers. You’ll also catch catfish, bluegill, walleye, and crappie in these waters.

You can fish from three paved fishing ramps or the shoreline.

During the summer months, look for crappie spread out across submerged brush and suspended over the main Lake basin where they’re busy chasing shoals of shad. You’ll have success with small minnows or jigs in the shallow timber in the spring. Use your locator to find schooling fish in deep water throughout the summer and into fall.

Walleye are stocked annually and can be found in the deep points adjacent to the main channel. Tempt them into biting with crawler harnesses, jigs, or deep diving crankbaits. Check out the north end of the lake for good populations of common carp. These feisty fish provide an excellent fight on light tackle for anglers who target them.

The Lake offers excellent facilities for anglers, including new campground sites, cabins, picnic pavilions, improved boat ramps, a covered fishing dock, and fish cleaning stations.


4. Stockton Lake

Stockton Lake

Stockton Lake (located here) is a 24,900-acre reservoir in west-central Missouri, about 50 miles to the west of Springfield.

Stockton is known as one of the most beautiful and scenic fishing spots in the State, with rocky points, crystal clear water, and steeply wooded shoreline. Stockton is especially good for walleye fishing, but that’s not all. Other fish species you’ll find here include:

  • Crappie
  • Largemouth bass
  • Bluegill
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Channel catfish
  • Flathead catfish

Largemouth bass are found in good numbers in the upper portions of the Lake. Head to the lower part of the Lake to find smallmouth and spotted bass.

Walleye school along the dam, in shallow water, and in coves during the spring and fall. In summer, when the weather warms up, fish for walleye at or around the depth of the thermocline. You’ll catch them with minnows or nightcrawlers bounced along the lake bottom. Along the shoreline, try trolling, deep-running, or suspending crankbaits or casting along windswept main Lake points.

Channel and flathead catfish are always present in the Lake. Check out large coves and the upper part of the Lake from mid-May through mid-June right before the spawning season, and fish with trotlines or jug lines and live bait.

Bluegill are found during the summer lurking around the structure and the many bridge pillars throughout the Lake. Use crickets or nightcrawlers to land a tasty 8-inch fish or two.


5. Truman Lake

Truman Lake Fishing Area Missouri

Truman Lake is a 55,600-acre lake that’s located here in Harry S. Truman State Park, west-central Missouri. The clear waters, spectacular bluffs, and glorious summer and fall colors make Truman Lake a great vacation spot. There’s plenty to do here. As well as fishing, you can spend time hiking, wildlife watching, boating, or swimming. You can camp here too if you want to extend your stay.

Fish species you’ll find here include:

  • Bass
  • Hybrid stripers
  • Walleye
  • White bass
  • Paddlefish
  • Crappie

The paddlefish snagging season runs from March 15 through April 30. Check out the upper Osage from the Talley Bend to the area above the Taberville Access to find many fish over 45-pounds!

For spotted and largemouth bass, focus on fishing the rockier areas on the lower Lake around the South Grand Arm, or the Osage Arm between Berry Bend and Talley Bend downstream to the dam.

Crappie fishing is legendary here! During spawning time, crappie fishing is excellent from the bank or boat. Vertical jig fishing or fishing with a minnow works well for suspended fish hiding in cover. Fish with minnows along timbered flats or bluffs near channels during the summer months.


6. The Black River

Black River

The Black River is located here in southeastern Missouri.

This is a beautiful location for fishing! Take in scenic limestone bluff walls, natural rock outcrops, scenic shut-ins, and plunging pools of crystal clear water as you fish for smallmouth bass.

Just to the east of the Black River, you’ll find the St. Francis River. This spot provides a memorable day’s angling for fly-fishermen and bait-cast anglers alike. Here you’ll find a tantalizing variety of fish species, including:

  • Bass
  • Crappie
  • Walleye
  • Muskellunge
  • Sunfish
  • Carp
  • Drum
  • Gar
  • Channel catfish
  • Blue catfish
  • Bullheads
  • Flathead catfish

Catfishing makes a great challenge for the angler, as these bottom feeders are strong fighters that just don’t come easily! Methods of catfishing vary. You’ll get a bite by floating the rivers, but you may prefer to fish from the bank by pole and line, throw-line, trout-line, bank-line, limb-line, or noodling. Noodling is not for the fainthearted, and entails using just your hands!

When you’ve finished fishing, why not take a leisurely float tour down the Black River? This is a prime wildlife spotting location, as well as a great fishing spot. Check out herons, osprey, bullfrogs, and the spot-handed Ozark crayfish. Aquatic reptiles make their home here too, including the protected hellbender salamander.

If you fancy extending your stay at the Black River, there are a number of well-equipped campgrounds in the area, providing accommodation at various price points.


7. Busch Conservation Area

Busch Lake Missouri

August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area is located here in St. Charles County. This 6,987-acre conservation area is managed and owned by the MDC and makes a great family fishing destination.

There are no less than 28 fishing lakes here, offering pretty much every fish species you might want to pursue. One of the smallest lakes is designated as a “kids only” fishing spot, and you must be aged under 15 to fish there. This little lake is chock-full of hybrid sunfish and bluegill, and it’s also stocked with catfish and largemouth bass, so junior anglers seldom leave empty-handed.

The other lakes offer great sport for everyone. Check out Lake No. 33 if you want to fish for big bass. In this Lake, 25 percent of the bass are bigger than 18-inches! If channel catfish are your thing, you’ll need to fish Lake No. 7, which is packed with 1-pounders just queuing up to be caught.

Other fish species you’ll find here include rainbow trout, muskies, redear sunfish, and white crappie.

Be aware that there are MDC regulations governing creel limits, size etc. For more specific information and further details on what species live in each lake, check out this link to the relevant page on the MDC site.

The park has a picnic area, several hiking and biking trails, and a pavilion.


8. Grindstone Reservoir

Grindstone Lake

Grindstone Reservoir is a 208-acre lake that’s located here, close to the City of Cameron in DeKalb County.

Here you’ll find an abundance of decent-size channel catfish in the 15 to 23-inch range; the perfect size for a great fight and some tasty eating too.

After heavy rains, the water at Grindstone can get cloudy. While that won’t trouble the catfish bite, it might affect crappie fishing. For crappie, wait until the water clears. There are lots of crappie here from 7 inches right up to an impressive and tasty 20 inches!

There are also a few largemouth bass to be had in Grindstone Reservoir.

Facilities include a concrete boat ramp, a fishing dock, and a wheelchair accessible restroom. There’s no camping here, but there are several nice RV campgrounds nearby.


9. Lake Taneycomo

Lake Taneycomo

Take in a show at one of the nearby country music theaters, and then pack your gear and head on out for a great day’s trout fishing at Lake Taneycomo. This 2,050-acre reservoir is located here on the White River in Taney County.

In this regularly stocked lake, you’ll find rainbow trout in huge numbers and some big brown trout too.

The first part of the Lake is influenced by water releases from the dam. During these periods, safe fishing is restricted to the shoreline and drifting in boats. Outside of these times, the water becomes a series of slow-moving, shallow pools with a few shallow riffles between. Anglers usually wade or fish from the bank at these times. Further downstream, you’ll find covered fishing docks and resorts.

Lake Taneycomo is also home to other fish species too, including:

  • Bluegill
  • Black crappie
  • Walleye
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Largemouth bass
  • White bass

Most of the best bass fishing happens in the lower lake where the water is warmer, mostly below Rockaway Beach. Here you’ll also find some big bluegill and black crappie in the spring and winter.

When warmer water is released through the floodgates at Table Rock Dam, white bass, smallmouth bass, and walleye can be caught below the dam.

If you want to stay overnight, there are some very well-equipped campgrounds close to the scenic, tranquil location.


10. Table Rock Lake

Lake Taneycomo

Table Rock Lake (located here) is a reservoir that’s located in the Ozarks in southwestern Missouri. The lake is impounded by the Table Rock Dam that was built in the 1950s on the White River.

This location is a happy hunting ground for bass fishing enthusiasts, with good populations of both smallmouth bass and largemouth bass thriving here. Bass fishing starts in earnest in March when the fish begin to move toward their spawning areas. Fishing along ledges and gravel banks with shad and crayfish-imitating lures will trigger strikes from hungry bass.

March is nationally recognized as the best time of year to catch some really good-quality fish of decent size at this location. Check the lower end of the lake down to the dam and Long Creek for smallmouth bass. The James arm is the best spot for largemouth bass, and you’ll find spotted bass evenly spread right throughout the Lake.

As well as bass, you’ll find other fish species here, including:

  • Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Paddlefish
  • Walleye
  • Catfish
  • Rock bass

You’ll find paddlefish in schools, feeding on zooplankton. Use a fish finder to locate them and try by trolling over the school while snagging. If you catch a tagged fish, you’re encouraged to report it to the MDC. You’ll then be entered into a prize draw!

This is a beautiful and productive fishing spot, and it’s well worth extending your visit at one of the nearby campgrounds.


Catching Your Share

Missouri might not be your first thought when it comes to choosing a destination for your annual fishing vacation. But if you pass over the Show Me State, you’ll be missing out on a fantastic angling opportunity!

Missouri’s lakes are frequently mentioned in dispatches by BassMaster magazine, and many trophy size fish are regularly caught here. If you fancy taking on a hard-fighting catfish, filling your creel with trout or crappie, or you love the idea of tracking down and doing battle with the elusive paddlefish, a trip to Missouri won’t disappoint!

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