Best and Worst States for Fishing – Explore Them One-by-One

Do you love fishing yet you don’t know where to go and fish? Actually, there are lots of fishing destinations which cater to varieties of fish species that make fishing a fun activity. However, you may also find some places that may waste your time fishing or rather disappoint you by not giving you a good catch. Luckily, we have here the list of the best and worst states for fishing which may guide you to locate a perfect fishing destination.

How to find the perfect spot for the best states for fishing?

Well, you are generally ready with your fishing activity with all your equipment packed. But, do you already have a great location in mind to do the fishing? Actually, the moment you get into the river, it is not that easy to find the perfect fishing spots. Some anglers need years of experience in order to find the perfect spot for the best and even worst states for fishing. 

Below are helpful tips in order to locate the perfect spot to have a good catch.

The basic – don’t be too shy to ask

Actually, researching can really help a lot. However, it needs more time to check the location of bait shops and ask around. Keep in mind that the smaller and older the bait shop is, the more information you can get from it. Basically, they are the best source of local information within the place you decide to do your fishing.

Moreover, another great plan to implement is to be familiar with your fellow anglers. They may generally assist you to get more than you know. 

However, if this is not a thing for you, another best option to try is to browse online. Generally, good-sized lakes already have a website or online platforms which are open for those fishing lovers.

In addition, always remember that anglers are very discreet to tell their fishing strategies. That’s why it is very important to be polite and give them some respect.

Try your own strategy

If you are creative enough, you may have all the time and resources to find an excellent fishing area within the lake. You can generally do this even without the presence of a local guide.

However, it is important to be familiar with the kind of fish residing on the lake. Remember, trout, perch, bass, and other fish species may come from various areas, depths and temperature.

  • Plants and weeds:

Plants and water-dwelling weeds are actually the common vegetation for fishes. Basically, they need to eat through these vegetation sources. Once you see these plants within the lake, expect to see big fish there. Typically, weeds are the basic buffet for fish. 

  • Fallen trees and branches:

Algae usually grow on overhang branches, fallen trees, and other shady spots. So, it is better to search for these things around as the growth of algae there typically produces food for the fishes. Moreover, predatory fish also want to make these overhangs as their hide-out. They usually wait under here to catch their prey. Look for these as they are perfect spots for fishing.

  • Water droppings:

Generally, the different edges of the lakes are very attractive for fishes. Basically, water drops off under the shallow deep water are the excellent areas to catch deep water fishes. So, it is better to look for this spot in order to have a great catch. 

Use of fishing sonar

Fishing sonar is actually a game-changer within the fishing industry. It was generally used for recreational fishing when it was launched around a decade ago. Nowadays, there are various brands that offer interesting and fast ways to search deep down the water to have a good catch. 

best and worst states for fishing actual

Make trial and error

One of the traditional methods to find the perfect fishing spot under the best and worst states for fishing is basically trial and error. Explore the lake and fish there. Being familiar with the lake’s inlet may basically lead to more fun. 

Moreover, in case you want to monitor your success in catching a good fish, try to use a topographical map of the lake. It is typically important to mark where the big catches are and locate those hot spots.

The List of the Best and Worst States for Fishing

Here are some of the best and worst states for fishing that you must know:

10 of the Best States for Fishing

Going on a vacation and deciding to go fishing may lead you to a hard time looking for the best states for fishing. Not unless you are already doing this as a hobby and you are already familiar with those places. But, if not, there’s no worry as we have here the list of those best states for fishing. Check them out below!


Guntersville Lake in Alabama is the main reason why this state belongs to the list of the best states for fishing. It is actually surprising how Alabama makes it to the spot. However, due to the wealth of Guntersville Lake water which offers a population of 10-pound largemouths, this state becomes a favourite angler destination.


The Peach State which basically resides in Georgia has lots of big fishes. Aside from this, amazing fishing spots and towns line up around the best states for fishing. In fact, here is where the world-record largemouth bass was caught. Moreover, there are plenty of fishing tournaments that exist within Georgia every year.


The San Joaquin Delta and the Clear Lake are definitely the two bodies of water which bring California into the spotlight. Another reason that makes California the best states for fishing is the big fishes like the 15 to 20 pounds largemouths that hub here. Generally, if there is one state that would beat Georgia for the world largemouth record, California would definitely be the answer.

You may also read Best Fishing and Camping in Southern California – 8 Amazing Spots to Explore


Best and worst states for fishing Florida

Florida is also another best state for fishing to go and generally ranked as a paradise for bass fishing by many anglers. This state is the house of Lake Okeechobee which is the bass hub within the state of Florida. 

Moreover, another thing that makes Florida the best states for fishing is its seven lakes which settle on the top 100 of the Bassmaster list. This includes the Lake Seminole, Everglades, and the Lake Tarpon. Additionally, it also boasts the Sunshine State which offers too much for anglers during the warm season.


If you are looking for the best states for fishing, always assume that Michigan would probably be included on the list. With the inclusion of the Great Lakes which are abundantly rich in many kinds of fishes, this state became really famous for fishing.

Also, add to this the Lake Erie where plenty of smallmouths reside. Generally, within this lake in Michigan, you can have a good catch of smallmouths if you would go here at the best time of the year. Aside from that, you can also find numbers of lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds within this best states for fishing. 


Minnesota is very famous for its name as “the Land of 10,000 Lakes”. Additionally, this best state for fishing is generally the location of the great bass lakes. Because of this, Minnesota became the paradise of every fisherman.

Basically, there are lots of best fishing spots within the state. Based on general consensus, Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota’s stretch of Mississippi, and the St. Croix River are the best places for fishing within Minnesota. 

But, some bit of information here, the actual number of lakes in Minnesota is around 13,000 compared to the 10,000 being advertised. Moreover, lots of these lakes are nesting places of greatly abundant populations of largemouths and smallmouths.


Generally, the Empire State offers various excellent fishing activities if only you know where to go. Compared to Minnesota and Michigan, there is a narrow list of lakes within the state. Yet, New York ranks on the list of the best states for fishing due to its diverse and overall fishing quality. In addition to this, the Lake Champlain together with Vermont is one of the greatest lakes suitable for fishing. 


Why Washington becomes the best state for fishing is because it has thousands of lakes and miles of coastlines. Here is where the Pugent Sound resides which is a comprehensive estuary environment. You can actually find Salmon species here.

Additionally, there is also Lake Washington where largemouths, rainbow trout, salmon, perch, and chinooks can be found. There is also the Lake Roosevelt in which caters walleye and kokanee in addition to the trout and bass.


It is not really surprising that Texas is included in the best states for fishing. In fact, this state came out on the top spot for two consecutive times already way back 2012. Texas already claimed the number one slot because of its popular Falcon Lake. And, generally, this lake becomes the most anticipated lake to fish by every angler.

Meanwhile, Texas cradles lakes, streams, and rivers. Also, give many thanks to its popular fishing reserves as well as to its hidden ponds. Because of these various forms of water, Texas made it to the spot being the best states for fishing.


Another inclusion on the best states for fishing, Wisconsin contributes some great fishing features of Michigan and Minnesota. The Sturgeon Bay, Chequamegon Bay, and a part of the bay on Lake Michigan and Green Bay are the popular fishing spots within the state. Aside from that, its wealthy inland lakes and streams share their abundance to the state’s fishing popularity.

10 of the Worst States for Fishing

There really exist the best and worst states for fishing. Generally, if we have the top ten best states for fishing, there are also states where getting a good catch is actually impossible. Even though each state contains a large population of fish varieties, the following states below offer basically low fishing capabilities. Here are the worst states for fishing that you must be familiar with:


Basically, Arizona is a desert and no one can actually live there. Usually, there are the trouts of the Apache and Gila species, but because of the little water at the heart of the state, it is better to try looking for somewhere else. Moreover, Arizona is generally susceptible to the drought that’s why it is one of the worst states for fishing.


Honestly, Illinois is one of the worst states for fishing. However, there are vast fishing opportunities available in this state. And there are actually abundant species of panfish, bass, and even muskie. Yet, good fishing is not really a thing here.


Indiana is really famous for bringing tourists every year due to concerts, sports events, conventions, and many other activities. Generally, Indiana is an awesome state to live into. However, when it comes to catching a good fish, Indiana state is basically one of the worst states for fishing.

Best and worst states for fishing Indiana

Actually, in Indiana, they have a lousy program in terms of handling and managing the fishery. You can basically find numbers of boaters that cover public waterways 24/7. The fishing activity within the worst states for fishing is generally a total heck.


Kansas can actually boast its basketball and deer hunting activities. Generally, tourists are happy with these when they go to Kansas. But, when you go here for fishing purposes, well, sad to say, Kansas is a great disappointment.


Actually, there are two lakes to visit in Kentucky – the lake Barkley and the Kentucky lake. However, aside from that, the other bodies of water within the state are small and hardly accessible. Additionally, the large and easy access waterways are penetrated by boaters, fisherman, and pressure. That’s why Kentucky has become the worst state for fishing. 


Actually, New Mexico has a vast population of trouts. However, it is incomparable to other American states with trouts. But, trouts here are really decent. Basically, New Mexico is a state that doesn’t have much to offer in terms of fishing making it the worst state for fishing.


There are actually many things that you can do while in Nevada. It is basically a beautiful desert where Las Vegas resides. Moreover, it sits right next to Idaho, Utah, and Oregon. 

Best and worst states for fishing nevada

Actually, you can see the Pyramid Lake there which is the nesting place of most of the largest cutthroat trout. However, if you’d think to catch a good fish here, never mind that, it is not generally possible. Basically, Nevada is one of the worst states for fishing.


Don’t expect too much with North Dakota when it comes to fishing. Actually, it becomes one of the worst states for fishing due to the vast area of farmland surrounding it. Aside from that, the insufficiency of water makes fishing activity difficult in this state. Moreover, the water reservoirs have strong pressure which makes fishing not a fair thing.


In Ohio, basically, you can find the Erie lake which offers a lot of fishing activities. However, the place is too crowded and there are lots of people fishing here which leads Ohio to be the worst state for fishing. 


It is actually the Missouri river which smoothly flows through the state of South Dakota. But, you may struggle a lot before you would have a good catch in this state. Basically, South Dakota is, no doubt, included in the worst states for fishing.

Final Thoughts

The best and worst states for fishing really do exist. Getting familiar with these fishing destinations is basically a factor for having a good catch. Actually, looking for the best fishing locations may give you a one-of-a-kind fishing experience. Yet, it is also worth-knowing the worst states for fishing as it may help you not to waste your time and avoid any disappointments in the end.

Moreover, to locate the perfect spots where the finnies basically reside, it is better to ask the locals or try different strategies all by yourself. Aside from that, you may use a fish sonar or make a trial and error approach. All these techniques contribute to excellent fishing activity.