Boatsetter’s Top 15 Fishing Destinations for 2024
A new year means new fishing opportunities for anglers. From remote paradises to well-known hotspots teeming with marine life, our top 2024 fishing destinations roundup covers it all.
- Tampa, FL
- Dallas, TX
- Charleston, SC
- Outer Banks, NC
- San Diego, CA
- Lake St. Clair (Michigan)
- Leech Lake, MN
- Raritan Bay (NY-NJ)
- Oahu, HI
- Port Aransas, TX
- Lake Okeechobee, FL
- Seattle, WA
- Cape Cod, MA
- Venice, LA
- California Delta
1. Tampa, FL
Tampa is at the top of our list because it offers excellent fishing across inshore, offshore, and freshwater, all year-round. Tampa Bay is one of the best bays for fishing in the country with plenty of reefs and mangroves. Bass anglers have a great option too with Lake Tarpon. Check our Tampa Bay Fishing Report for the latest news on what’s biting.
2. Dallas, TX
In Dallas, you can go fishing at a different lake every day of the week: Lake Ray Hubbard, Joe Pool Lake, Lewisville Lake, Grapevine Lake, Lavon Lake, Lake Worth, Benbrook Lake, Eagle Mountain Lake, and more. Plus, these lakes within a 2-hour drive of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro are considered some of Texas’ best bass lakes for catching a trophy bass: Lake Fork, Lay Ray Roberts, Lake Tawakoni, and Lake Texoma.
3. Charleston, SC
South Carolina is known for having a bountiful shoreline of subtropical beaches and sea islands to explore. And yes, a ton of fishing opportunities. If sight fishing for redfish is on your bucket list, your best bet is fishing in Charleston, where the marshes make for a picturesque background. You can head offshore too from Charleston and Mount Pleasant if you prefer hunting for species like mahi mahi, tuna, wahoo, king mackerel, sailfish, and marlin.
4. Outer Banks, NC
The Outer Banks are a span of barrier islands sitting only 30 miles away from the continental shelf, making it the closest location on the East Coast of the U.S. to the continental shelf. Marine life thrives at the shelf due to shallow water depths where abundant sunlight supports nutrient growth. This span of barrier islands is thus one of the best places to go deep sea fishing for pelagic species including marlin, sailfish, and tuna.
5. San Diego, CA
San Diego was previously known as the tuna capital due to having two of the United States’ three largest tuna canneries being based there, according to the Port of San Diego. Tuna fishing continues to be a local pastime, and yellowtail and rockfish are additional favorites. Some San Diego fishing charters offer one of the most adventurous fishing trips you can take from the United States: a trip to Mexican waters to fish the Coronado Islands.
6. Lake St. Clair (Michigan)
With the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair, Michigan is a playground for anglers. Lake St. Clair is a freshwater lake great for kayaking, water skiing, and is a world renowned fishery. Lake St. Clair gets a spot on this list as one of the best places to fish for walleye, musky, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch. The Detroit shores of Lake St. Clair are also a popular stop for top fishing leagues including the Bassmaster Elite Series and Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour.
7. Leech Lake, MN
As an angler, you have to go fishing in the land of 10,000 lakes. Leech Lake is one of the largest lakes in Minnesota, with many bays, points, structures, and varying underwater topography for targeting walleye, musky, bass, northern pike, and panfish. The lake will host a Bassmaster Open for the first time in 2024, a major recognition only bestowed on premier fisheries.
8. Raritan Bay (NY / NJ)
Striped bass fishing off the east coast is one of the most popular saltwater fishing experiences, and Raritan Bay between New York and New Jersey competes for the best place to do it when these fish are making their annual migration. In addition to striped bass, Raritan Bay offers opportunities to catch bluefish, fluke (aka summer flounder), weakfish, tautog, bluefin tuna, bonito, and sharks.
9. Oahu, HI
Oahu provides year-round fishing for anglers across all levels of experience. Fish from shore, inshore, nearshore, offshore, and deep sea for Hawaii’s unrivaled diversity of species. Catch a marlin in deep blue water, hook a bonefish on the flats, or explore the many reefs for a combo of fishing and snorkeling.
10. Port Aransas, TX
Port Aransas is another incredible year-round fishing destination. It’s one of the closest U.S. locations on the Gulf Coast to deep sea fishing grounds, and it borders bays that provide some of the best inshore fishing you can find as well. A “grand slam” here consists of catching a redfish, speckled trout, and flounder in the same day.
11. Lake Okeechobee, FL
Not only is Florida blessed with over 8,000 miles of coastline, it’s also home to the 8th-largest lake in the country. Lake Okeechobee gives bass anglers a chance at trophy catches over 10 lbs, even in the 13-15 lb range, and it’s one of the most fun competition locations due to the size of the lake and its many areas to search for a lunker.
12. Seattle, WA
An iconic Seattle sight is seeing the fishmongers at Pike Place Market tossing and catching salmon for tourists, but the reel thrill is hooking and catching salmon yourself. The Puget Sound is a migratory path for five species of salmon: Chinook, Coho, Chum, Pink, and Sockeye. You can also catch lingcod, flounder, and coastal cutthroat trout in the Sound, or fish Lake Washington for bass, and trek to scenic mountain streams for trout.
13. Cape Cod, MA
The rich fishing history of the cape is in its name. Atlantic cod and haddock are of course popular, as are striped bass running through these waters typically in the spring and fall. Sharks, tuna, bluefish, and flounder are some of the other target species, giving a range of options for anyone from first-timers to veterans of the sea.
14. Venice, LA
Take a drive south from New Orleans to another promising tuna destination. Offshore oil rigs double as structures attracting yellowfin tuna, which grow quite large with plenty to feed on in these gulf waters. Give yourself at least two days here if possible, to also take advantage of offshore fishing for other species including wahoo, red snapper, grouper, amberjack, mahi mahi, swordfish, cobia, and marlin, or inshore fishing for redfish, black drum, flounder, speckled trout, and sheepshead.
15. California Delta
The Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers converge to form the California Delta between San Francisco and Sacramento. This creates a nutrient-rich habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife and endless estuaries and bays to explore. Salmon, bullhead catfish, striped bass, steelhead trout, and even the prehistoric sturgeon can be caught here. Trophy largemouth and smallmouth bass are also abundant in both the delta and Sacramento-area lakes such as Folsom Lake. Hot summers and mild winters make this another prime location for fishing action year-round.
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About Boatsetter Fishing
Boatsetter offers over 50,000 boats to rent or charter — for anglers, that means everything from bass boats or pontoons to fish freshwater to center consoles or skiffs to fish saltwater from inshore to offshore. Your next personal best or bucket list catch is here.