We get asked countless times to recommend fishing vacation destinations for couples or families. What people are really asking for is a way to sneak in more fishing by combining a fishing trip with a family vacation. A fishing vacation hybrid. The fishing should be fantastic since you will be spending money on travel, a guide, and possibly some new gear. The amenities should offer something for families and non-anglers to enjoy, and be more than an afterthought. Here are the top places that will please everyone.
1. Western North Carolina
Western North Carolina might be the most unexpected place on this list. There is an abundance of happy fat brown trout in tail waters and mighty small mouth willingly eating poppers and frogs. There is fishing almost year-round and the Asheville Fly Fishing Company will get you dialed in. For the non-anglers, Asheville is a surprisingly rich urban experience. Asheville is known for its offbeat culture, cutting edge food scene, and the original artists and musicians. The non-anglers will love visiting the Biltmore Estate, driving the blue ridge parkway, strolling downtown, visiting the local shops, the locavore food movement, the art galleries, and listening to live music.
Yellowstone National Park has long been a family vacation destination. The iconic road trip destination. Modern-day visitors to Yellowstone still enjoy watching the geysers, like Old Faithful, and the colorful hot springs. The bears, wolves, bison, eagles, moose, and other wildlife will inspire awe in even the hardest to impress family members. Other highlights of a trip to Yellowstone is the hiking, rafting, and camping. When it comes to the fishing, Tim Wade’s North Fork Anglers has you covered. Featured on ESPN, TNN Outdoors, and other shows, North Fork Anglers is a courteous group of experienced guides that will make your day on the water much more rewarding. The cutthroat trout fishing is world class and anglers can work on their Cutt-Slam! Add Yellowstone to your fishing vacation destinations short list.
3. Southern Florida
From West Palm Beach to the keys, South Florida has something for everyone! Miami has the big city shopping, sports, theater, and arts scene covered. A little more relaxed, but still urban, is West Palm Beach where vacationers love the outlets, botanical gardens, the Zoo, and the downtown area. Lastly, the Keys offer visitors a place to truly unwind. It is the perfect place to read a book, unwind with your feet in the sand, and take in the natural world. Top activities include visiting the nature parks, snorkeling, touring the Hemingway House, and visiting the southernmost point of the continental US. Southern Florida is also famous for the weather. With year-round fishable weather and a year-round presence of gamefish , there is no mystery why South Florida is a fisherman’s dream. Target species include tuna, wahoo, marlin, dorado, reef fish, tarpon, permit, and bonefish. Anglers can fish offshore, inshore, in the backcountry, and on flats. If you want to try saltwater fly fishing you won’t find a better place. Check out these boats and guides to get you started:
4. Outer Banks, NC
The Outer Banks is a barrier island on the coast of North Carolina. The area is covered in resorts, small towns, beaches and boardwalks. Visitors enjoy touring the lighthouses, the wildlife refuge, the Lost Colony play, shopping on the boardwalk, enjoying the beach, world class spas, horseback riding, seafood restaurants, and all the colonial history. The Outer Banks also has an extended fishing season. Anglers will find that the Outer Banks is a tale of two fisheries. The offshore fishery is dominated by tuna, marlin, and dorado in the gulf stream. These warm water currents bring bait and game fish close to shore and within easy access for the fleet in Manteo, NC. There is also an inshore fishery that is fun for anglers of all skill levels including kids. Inshore fish include sea trout and redfish.
5. Ocean City, MD
Last and certainly not least on our list is Ocean City, MD. Ocean City is the perfect Mid-Atlantic getaway for the fishermen in the family and the non-anglers alike. Everyone will enjoy the boardwalk in the daytime and again at night when the rides and arcades come to life. Ocean City restaurants are famous for serving fresh local seafood including Maryland crab cakes. Between the boardwalk, the outlets, and the many fine resorts, a day of shopping can be capped off by a visit to a spa. While the non-anglers are enjoying the city, the fishermen can take advantage of Ocean City’s famous fleet. Ocean City is known as the white marlin capital of the world and it is the home of the White Marlin Open each year. The game fish action offshore is fast and furious and white marlin are the tip of the iceberg. Anglers will have the opportunity to battle white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, wahoo, dorado, and shark while fishing offshore. Inshore waters are home to bluefish, tautog, striped bass, flounder, and sea trout. Add Ocean City to your fishing vacation destinations list and fish on one of these great boats:
- Husevo Offshore Sport Fishing
- No Quarter Sportfishing
- Restless Lady Charters
- Foolish Pleasures Big Game Fishing
- Game Changer Sportfishing
- White Marlin Outfitters
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