Fishing can be one of the best ways to social distance outdoors this summer, but it’s important to practice responsible recreation by finding multiple options for good fishing and camping spots.
You might be asking yourself, “Are the fishing and camping spots near me going to be busier?” The answer is that some spots might be busier than usual because more people are spending time outdoors than ever before, but if you use tips like these to locate “good fishing spots near me,” you’ll have more options available for you and your family.
- Use the “Places to Fish and Boat” Map. This interactive map can help you scout out new local fishing spots by showing you where to boat and fish in your area, it can make pre-trip research easier by using the map’s satellite view to find structure or depth changes, and help you find nearby boat ramps or camping spots.
- Check the most recent fishing reports online, or listen to local fishing reports on outdoor radio or television shows. Fishing charter captains, guides, and avid anglers often provide weekly reports for local fishing lakes or waterways that can include which species are biting, the areas that are most productive, and which lures or baits to use.
- If you want to find prime saltwater inshore fishing spots, marine or nautical charts can be good resources. Charts can provide a lot of useful information including structure, depth changes, bottom characteristics, points and cuts. When researching freshwater lakes and rivers, you can usually find a bathymetric map or chart that shows depth changes and contours.
- Use the National Park Service as a resource. Many of our national parks offer fishing and camping opportunities. If you are searching for “good fishing spots near me” and “camping spots near me,” don’t forget to consider some of the national parks in your area. Be sure to check on guidance from the CDC and recommendations from state and local public health authorities in consultation with NPS Public Health Service Officers before you make plans to visit though, some national parks and facilities may have temporarily closed or changed hours due to COVID-19.
- Check your state agency’s website for suggestions on where to fish for certain species. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website, for example, has a list of Florida top spots for bass that is broken down by region. Many state agencies release stocking schedules for various waterways as well, which can give you an idea on when the best fishing spots and times will be.
- Find out which state parks in your area offer fishing, boating, and local camping access. Many state parks offer amenities, such as fishing piers and boat ramps, which help make access to family-friendly fishing spots easy. Be sure to check with each individual park regarding safety updates during COVID-19 phased re-openings, some parks may have limited hours, capacity and amenities. As part of the phased re-opening of limited overnight accommodations, measures may also be in place to reduce camping density.
- Time on the water. In other words, do your homework. Sometimes the best way to find good fishing spots is to simply spend time on the water exploring. You can search online for “good fishing spots near me” or read articles on fishing in your local area, but don’t forget that weather and other environmental influences (wind, water clarity, baitfish, water temperature) can play a big role in successfully finding fish. When you spend time doing some first-hand research on the water, and pay close attention to areas where you see signs of fish, you can find less pressured fish and learn a lot in the process.
- Don’t rule out small local ponds, creeks, or rivers. While you might want to find larger local lakes for boating, consider small ponds and creeks that can be ideal spots for kids or beginners. These spots may offer fantastic opportunities for catching from the shoreline or from a canoe or kayak. These types of fishing spots can often be overlooked at campgrounds too, and keep you socially distanced from crowds. Remember that it can pay if you do a little exploring.
Use these tips to find a good fishing spot near you, make sure you buy your fishing license, and then get out with the family to catch a few while practicing responsible recreation. The water is open!