North America is home to competition fishing, local competitions soon turned into international tournaments that attract the world’s best anglers. The trophy catches are scored according to the overall length of the specimen, weighing fish on board a boat proves to be quite difficult so a photograph taken with a uniform item for reference is used instead. Because the US is home to some of the world’s greatest fishing competitions, Gary’s Tackle Box has compiled a guide to some of the best places that anyone can go and catch a trophy.
Alaska plays host to the most northern of trophy style fishing. Sheefish, which resemble the tarpon, a famous trophy fish, find their home in the Selawik Valley, a remote location that budding anglers need to fly to get to. One of the greatest difficulties in catching one of these large fish is just the distance from civilisation; a guide is highly recommended when travelling out as far as Selawik.
Walleye fish are not the most attractive looking creatures but there is a chance of catching an IGFA World Record size monster at Lake of the Woods in Minnesota. Lake of the Woods also offers another great opportunity for experienced fishermen as come winter, parts of the lake freeze over and the ice fishing is beyond compare.
Bass fishing and the United States competitions are synonymous and it is impossible to pick the best bass lake in the country. However, there is one lake which stands out because of just how many large basses can be caught there. Castaic Lake, California has been host to scores of bass that weigh in around 20 lbs and most people who visit the area frequently managing to land bass 15 lbs.
Most saltwater angler’s dream of catching their first shark and Massachusetts Bay is an ideal location to catch one of the ocean’s most feared predators. Straight out of Boston, mako sharks are plentiful and are the perfect opponent for experienced fishermen. A 1000 lb mako is well known for attacking competitors however, so extra care must be taken when landing one.
Tarpons are another classic trophy fish that many saltwater fishermen aim to grab on the open water. Boca Grande in Florida is one of the best places to find the 200+lb fish which is always provide an exciting chase.
Saltwater fishing involves much more than just standing in a boat in the middle of the ocean or casting from a pier – there are so many different saltwater locations that offer unique challenges to the keen angler. From the North Atlantic to the Southern Pacific, the coastline is incredibly varied and offers a rich diversity of fish that all require different skills and techniques to land them. Beginners can work themselves up from pier fishing right up to going for the giants of the sea while in charge of a fishing vessel.
Starting off in Saltwater
Because of its ease of access and less challenging aspects, surf or pier fishing is a great entry to the sport. It is still popular with veterans however, who might just want a relaxing couple of hours’ worth of angling. As ever, it is important to grab the correct tackle and bait from Gary’s Tackle Box for the species that are likely to be encountered and determine which techniques will be most likely to catch them. Finally, pack the fishing licence and then check the tide times, fish feed at different times whether the tide is high or low so this can be crucial to a good day’s fish.
Pier fishing will prove to be a more rewarding experience, particularly as a beginner because of how many different depths that piers typically cover. Different species of fish can be found at varying depths and the pier will give the best access to all of them, requiring a range of techniques.
Surf fishing might be a little trickier, although it does give anglers the opportunity to wade out into deeper water. Finding a good spot to surf fish will be harder than on the pier, but it does have the advantage of more space so that more anglers can fish at once.
Deep water fishing requires a host of different techniques to those employed on the shore. Not least because of the weather and local topography will be an obstacle in itself to overcome. With a good guide or captain however, deep sea fishing will be a rewarding experience where the big fish like 1000 lb Marlins can be caught with some perseverance and clever baiting skills. Recommended for intermediate and advanced anglers, deep sea fishing will be a true test of a fisherman’s capabilities.
For most people, freshwater fishing is one of the easiest ways to get in to fishing. Rivers, lakes and ponds are scattered all across the country and are invariably full of wildlife. Many national parks play host to at least one body of freshwater and as much as they
provide a tourist attraction in and of themselves, these are perfect locations to take the family for a picnic and do a bit of fishing at the same time. The different habitats will provide different challenges so it can be exciting to visit as many bodies of water as possible.
River and Stream Fishing
Fishing in flowing water can prove to be a challenge to catch the wily fish that are constantly moving, looking for food or just swimming to avoid being swept downstream. It is also an ideal environment for fishing without using a boat as anglers can set up their site on the bank of the river and maybe even wait for the fish to come to them.
Rivers yield a multitude of different species of fish and some also play host to a unique event that only occurs a handful of times per year, spawning season. Watching recently spawned fish can be great fun to watch but timing it right can give an opportunity for a good haul.
Streams can be equally challenging, as they usually play host to perhaps the most famous fish for anglers, the trout. Trout fishing can be fun for beginners and veterans alike, as they are smart fish that are used to seeing the caster’s line, adding an extra aspect to the contest between man and fish.
Pond fishing is one of the best methods for getting into fishing. The still water and often, still fish in the ponds make it easy to make quick catches, and advanced anglers might return to ponds now and then to use low tech equipment to challenge their basic skills. Smaller fish tend to live in ponds too, meaning that beginners do not have to go overboard on heavy lines and complicated tackle with game fish more likely to be found in lakes.
With the growth in popularity of bass fishing, Gary’s Tackle Box and the fishing equipment manufacturers have experienced a boon for lake fishing and the equipment needed to fish for the bigger species. Lakes are good to start out on too, but some beginners might find it trickier to reel in the larger game fish.