Top Sport Fishing Destinations in North America
What exactly is sport fishing? Like the name suggests, it’s fishing that is done for sport or recreation, rather than with the primary goal of catching fish for sustenance. Although many sport fishers do keep some of their catches for eating, many more fish are let go by what’s known as “catch and release.”
It’s the quest to catch the biggest and best fish, combined with the joy of being out with friends and family perfecting your cast and baiting techniques, that is the true lure of sport fishing. There are many different species out there, each offering its own particular challenges and own particular satisfaction when you finally land the big one.
Below, we look at some of North America’s best sport fishing destinations—and their best catches.
Southern United States: Best Catfishing
Many of America’s Southern states, from Alabama to Louisiana to South Carolina, offer sport fishers a chance to get down and dirty on the hunt for a catfish. Though noodling (grabbing the fish out of a hiding hole with your bare hands) may be the most famous tactic for catching these tasty fish, rod and bait is a more traditional option.
Located in the path of salmon migrating south from Alaska, the islands of Haida Gwaii offer prime real estate for catching Sockeye, Pink, Chum, Coho, and the mighty Chinook, also known as King Salmon, which grow to over 100 lbs. You’ll find Escott Lodge on the northern tip of Graham Island, right in the middle of the action.
East Coast of Canada: Best Tuna Fishing
Taking a fishing trip to Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island means you’ll have a chance at hooking a Giant Bluefin Tuna. Though one of these monsters could make up the filling for your next several hundred sushi rolls, they are on the conservation watch list, so it’s catch and release only.
Los Cabos, Mexico: Best Marlin Fishing
Los Cabos, on the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, may be best known for being a holiday destination for sunseekers, but it’s also the Marlin Capital of the World. If you ever get the urge to battle one of these feisty giants—which can reach over 1,000 lbs—this is the best spot to do it.
Minnesota, USA: Best Ice Fishing
Unlike the balmy fishing trips offered by Los Cabos, the best fishing in Minnesota happens in the dead of winter. Ice fishing is such a big deal in this Midwestern state that each year in Brainerd, there’s an Ice Fishing Extravaganza that offers $150,000 in prizes. Just don’t forget your earmuffs.