One of the best things about the United States is the variety of climates and terrain contained within its borders. From deserts to snow-capped peaks and rolling grasslands, the country is a veritable greatest hits collection of natural wonders. Whether you’re going for a hike, camping out under the stars or just taking in the sights, no other country offers so many options.
There’s one group that truly understands the benefit of our country’s diverse natural beauty: fishermen. No matter what style of fishing he enjoys, a fisherman is always just a few hours from a world class fishing hole in the United States. The hard part isn’t finding a place to fish, it’s knowing what to pack. Here are three amazing locales to consider for your next fishing trip, as well as what you’ll need to bring along.
The Deep Sea Adventure - Point Pleasant, New Jersey
The long coast of the Jersey shore is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the continental United States. It’s also a busy point of departure for several deep-sea fishing and charter outfits. These boats are flexible enough to accommodate all levels of fishing skill, and they provide all of the gear you need to start landing enormous sea bass and tuna. Expert fishermen are encouraged to bring their own saltwater rods and reels. You might also consider bringing your own jigs, spoons and trollers to give yourself some extra options.
Pro tip: These companies want your business, and haggling on the price of a day trip is not out of the ordinary, especially if you have a large party. Also, avoid the larger boats, which are always cheaper but the sheer volume of lines in the water exponentially lowers your chances of catching anything.
The Quick Day Trip - Flint River, Georgia
Whether summer or winter, Georgia is a bass fisherman’s oasis. Lakes Seminole and Thurmond offer tournament-quality conditions and are well worth taking a week off of work. But if you don’t have that kind of time, head to Flint River, which starts just south of the Atlanta Airport. Shoal bass are the name of the game here, so make sure you pack a pair of durable waders in your bag.
The key to landing a lunker here is wading out into the shoals to fish with the current, casting as close to rocks and downed logs as you can. The sweet spots are those transition areas where the deeper shoals give way to shallow water. Use natural-colored cranks and spinners. This is high risk, high reward fishing at its best.
A Weekend at the Lake - Summersville, West Virginia
West Virginia is known for its beautiful mountains, but it’s also a haven for some of the best river and lake fishing in the world. You have to buy a local a cup of coffee if you really want to know where the off-the-radar fishing holes are, but the pristine Summersville Lake is a great place to start. As West Virginia’s largest lake, this man made wonder has hundreds of coves, dropoffs and bends that attract huge smallmouth bass.
When the boat traffic picks up midday, head below the dam to fish the well-stocked Gauley River. The shore is especially walkable on the east side of the dam, so you can troll for miles while enjoying the sight of white-water rafters crashing through class 4 rapids. Locals will tell you to keep it simple on the Gauley: hook a worm and let it float.