Ever wondered what the best saltwater fishing spots are in the U.S.? We give you the top 15 spots based on pure popularity — the number of anglers and fishermen that go to that specific destination per year. These spots get the most visits, and for good reason! You won’t be disappointed if you plan your next fishing trip at any of these top 15 best saltwater fishing spots in America.
Best Saltwater Fishing Spots
15. Crystal River, Florida
This fishing hotspot is known for their amazing scallops. Every summer the area of Crystal River and Homosassa, FL get a lot of visitors to their famous scallop beds — just two of a small handful of cities that allow recreational harvesting of bay scallops. With a boat, mask, snorkel and fins you can experience the unique adventure of grabbing scallops out of the sea grass beds for a satisfying and quick dinner-catching trip.
After getting your fill of scallops you can head to the nearby waters both on and offshore for fantastic fishing of spotted sea trout, snook, redfish and tarpon.
14. Seattle, Washington
Seattle is the perfect destination for fishermen and anglers who want to explore the famous fishing grounds near the coast, including places like the Puget Sound or the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
In this spot you will encounter a dozen varieties of salmon, plus fish like halibut, lingcod and rockfish. While enjoying a day of angling be on the lookout for whales — these majestic creatures can be spotted in the Puget Sound between March though November.
The best part is that action is available year-round with abundant and consistent fishing opportunities no matter the season.
13. Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
North Carolina is well-known as a fishing destination and this specific spot has everything an angler desires. Cape Hatteras is an anglers paradise in the winter and you will see why is one of the best saltwater fishing areas of the Atlantic Coast.
This spot is one of the best places to catch yellowfin tuna, in the fall you see yellowfin come here in droves because the temperature. weather and bottom structure make the best environment for this type of fish. An average Atlantic yellowfin weighs between 30 and 50 pounds and, even better, yellowfin prefer to hang out in large schools above the thermocline.
The best part is that the fish are always ready for some chow so you probably won’t wait long to make a good catch. If you are not so experienced in saltwater fishing, you are going to make good catches here.
12. Kona, Hawaii
Hawaii is known for surfing, beautiful beaches, hiking adventures, snorkeling and resorts, but there is also plenty of space for fishing lovers. Kona sits in the left side of the big island of Hawaii and is a great spot for anglers, particularly between the months of May and October. This is when the water of the coast starts to warm up, and is the perfect time of the year to catch skipjack tuna, blue marlin, striped and black marlin too, shortbill spearfish, yellowfish tuna, and wahoo. It is also easy to find marlin during this time of the year, in all sizes and weights, the most common are between 100 and 1,000 pounds.
11. Homer, Alaska
Alaska is the perfect destination for the adventurous fisherman and Homer, Alaska is one of the most popular places to catch fish. With the states eclectic, laid-back and rugged setting, anglers never leave Alaska disappointed. The best time to go to this destination is from May to September, any other time of the year is dangerous and tough due to weather conditions.
Along with more than 627 varieties of fish in the water, Alaska boasts giant halibut from about 400 pounds + range, and the ever popular salmon. Salmon are always in huge herds so its easier to catch, while the halibut are near the surface of the water so you can locate them easily.
10. Miami, Florida
Miami, Florida is the best destination for sports fishers. It’s easy to go to the Gulf stream and target the Atlantic Ocean for a good variety of fish in the warm along the palm tree studded coast or out on the water.
Miami is a great destination for saltwater fishermen who prefer to cast their lines from the shore. The city boasts plenty of jetties and piers for easy access fishing spots. One famous place in particular is Newport fishing pier. The pier has a length of half a mile located on the northern side of Miami Beach.
Miami makes the list for the best spots for saltwater fishing because the bays and mangroves offer a year round a good variety of fish like the snook, yellowtail snapper, jack crevaile, bonefish, barracuda, tarpon, sailfish, mackerel tuna, dolphin and school of reef fish.
9. Outer Banks, North Carolina
Outer Banks, North Carolina offers some of the most productive saltwater fisheries. This provides anglers with easy access to a wide variety of popular fish, red drum, yellowfin tuna, sailfish and wahoo, blue & white marlin, cobia, dolphin, striped bass, trout, sheepshead, croaker, flounder, black drum, pompano, sea mullet and mackerel.
The best months to visit are from April through June, and then in fall for the tuna action.
We recommend to travel around the islands on an offshore charter boat which will make family fishing excursions pretty easy and fun. The charter boats take from 4 to 6 people to Gulf Stream Waters, beautiful sunsets and great fishing opportunities.
8. Panama City Beach, Florida
Panama City Beach, Florida is one of the best fishing destinations for a reason. It is pretty easy to catch fish by simply casting a line from the piers along the beach or from shore. The crystal clear shore waters provide a home to a variety of fishes like the tarpon, flounder, sea trout, the redfish, red snapper, grouper and hard-pulling amberjack.
Offshore action is also available in this spot, and you can find the king mackerel, blue marlin, tuna, dolphin and cobia. Charter expedition companies abound in this area so you can easily secure a boat for a truly memorable saltwater fishing experience.
7. Florida Keys, Florida
The Florida Keys is a 125 mile long arc of islands that offer year round saltwater fishing for commercial and recreational purposes.
This popular fishing spot also attracts tourists for the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters making it the perfect vacation spot for fishermen as well.
There too many hot spots for fishing to possibly list here and you can find fish like the trophy marlin, tuna, dolphin, snook, permit, redfish, bonefish, tarpon, blue % white marlin, sailfish, swordfish, mahi and lobsters in this tropical paradise.
6. Cape Cod, Massachussetts
This fishing destination has a top-notch reputation and a lot of visitors year-round attracting anglers and tourists alike with the quaint villages, abundant lighthouses and amazing seafood.
The most important places in Cape Cod are Buzzards Bay, Martha’s Vineyard, Provincetown and Nantucket. The best time of the year to go to this spot is between June and September.
This peninsula offers fantastic inshore fishing for striped bass bluefish, lingcod, sea bass, cod, bluefin, wahoo, swordsfish stripers and the giant bluefin tuna; this are only a few types of fish you can hope to catch here.
The Top 5 Saltwater Fishing Spots
5. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach, VA is one of the best fishing spots on the east coast. The reason is interesting, because the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay and several freshwater rivers meet at this beach. For this reason many fish both from freshwater and deep sea species live here.
The best time on the year to visit this destination is during the striper-fishing season held in January. Also, you can catch another type of fish like tuna, marlin, dolphin, cobia, flounder, red drum and sea trout.
One advantage about this spot is that the bay produces more or less 500 million pounds of seafood per year, so anglers have plenty of opportunity for a great catch at Virgina Beach.
4. Venice, Louisiana
This destination is one of the best saltwater fishing spots in the US. There are two famous water bodies that collide in this place, the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River.
Venice is the place to visit after grabbing your portable fish finder and fishing book, is the destination is the jump-off point for some insane offshore and inshore fishing.
Venice is home for trout, black drum, sheephead, flounder, redfish, tuna, wahoo, marin, dolphin, deepwater grouper, oilfish, tilefish, cobia, king mackerel, red snapper, amberjack, mahi-mahi and the swordfish.
It is one of the spots an angler needs to spend a week fishing in their lifetime.
3. San Diego, California
In third place for the best places for saltwater fishing we have the city of San Diego, which is the perfect spot for both inshore and offshore fishing enthusiasts. For inshore anglers, they can stay inland at San Diego bay all day long and catch plenty of fish. For offshore fishermen, this destination is unique, because this is the perfect spot to catch giant tuna.
Being in the Pacific Coast, the percentage to catch large fish is high, and in this specific place, besides tuna you can spot bay bass, perch, corbina, bonito and leopard sharks.
Nothing comes easy, in San Diego you will need to be prepared to work for the tuna or any other fish but you will have so much fun during the experience.
2. Galveston, Texas
In second place we have Galveston, Texas. This privileged island is spotted in the Gulf of Mexico and offers some of the best saltwater fishing spots in the US. This reputation has made this Texas town to be on almost all bucket lists made by anglers.
One of the most important advantages of this place, is that as any other spot in southern US, it gives you the change to fish year-round without worrying about the weather conditions. With the cities close proximity to the large city of Houston, this spot is easy access for anglers flying in to catch the big fish
You can catch fish like the kingfish, snapper, redfish, trout, sheephead, balck drum, flounder, sailfish, king mackerel, cobia, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, dolphin, marlin and sharks.
1. Montauk, New York
The Gold Medal, the best place for saltwater fishing in the US goes to Montauk, New York. Called the “Fishing Capital of the World” it is located at Long Island’s northern tip. Montauk is the perfect destination for recreational and commercial anglers. Due to its proximity to the city of New York, the fishing spot happens to be a gravitational pull for traveling anglers.
Most anglers in this destination try to catch bass. From May to October is the perfect time to catch bass between an average weight of 30 to 40 pounds. Obviously, there are other fish to catch too, like the cod, haddock, hake, whiting, bluefish and the fluke.
Another advantage of this spot is that Montauk is one of the best areas for surf fishing in New York. Public access for surf is generally available in Montauk, but, patrol controls are often seen, remember to always act accordingly to law.
Remember to always be prepared for this kind of trips and sport. We have a variety of equipment and accessories for you to be ready to experience fishing as a pro and enjoy it to the fullest. Check them out!