A fishing rod with hook over the edge of a boat in water
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The Best Fall Fishing Spots Across America

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A fishing rod with hook over the edge of a boat in water
Akchamczuk/istockphoto

Fishy Business

Even if you live somewhere warm enough to fish all year long (without having to freeze off your behind in an ice shanty), fall is still a prime time to get out and enjoy the sport. Fish are ready to fatten up for winter, which is good news for you, and there are many fishing spots that boast gorgeous fall colors and crisp, clean air. Here are the best places to fish this fall. 


Related: Best Fishing Spots in All 50 States


Lake Guntersville, AL, USA
HildeAnna/istockphoto

Lake Guntersville, Alabama

As the largest lake in Alabama, Lake Guntersville is a sought after fishing spot year-round. However, when fall hits the calendar, things just get better. The fall colors are gorgeous and the temperatures finally cool off. Summer temperatures can soar into the 90s, but the weather becomes much more pleasant in the fall. 


Related: Gift Ideas for Men Who Love to Fish

The Verde River in Camp Verde, Arizona
skibreck/istockphoto

Verde River, Arizona

Fall is one of the best times to fish the Verde River. Catfish and bass are both in feeding mode around October, meaning they are ready to bite. Trout restocking also occurs in October according to the Sportsman’s Warehouse Fishing Report

Autumn On The White River
Autumn On The White River by Mark Moschell (CC BY)

Bull Shoals-White River State Park, Arkansas

October is peak time for trout fishing in the Ozark Mountains, which is home to Bull Shoals-White River State Park. Not only can you catch quite the haul, but you can also take in the fall colors. Those are usually at their most beautiful around the same time as the trout are biting, making for a true win-win scenario. 


Related: The Best State Park in Every State


Long Exposure from pier in Fort Meyers Beach,Florida,USA.
AdventurePicture/istockphoto

Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Fort Myers offers fishing year-round. With affordable pricing for visitors and free fishing for residents, you can’t pass up a chance to cast your line. Fall anglers can catch a variety of fish, including tarpon and snook as they migrate. You’ll also enjoy warmer temperatures here than in northern states. 


Lake Okeechobee Sunset at Port Mayaca
Lake Okeechobee Sunset at Port Mayaca by Kim Seng (CC BY)

Lake Okeechobee, Florida

Why stop at saltwater fishing in Florida? Florida’s largest lake has large mouth bass, black crappie, and catfish galore. According to the anglers behind Okeechobee Bass Fishing, fall is considered to be a “bass bonanza.” Mid-October is typically when the first wave of the bonanza begins and large mouths are there for the pickin’. 


Golden Isles of Georgia
©TripAdvisor

Golden Isles, Georgia

Late summer into fall are a fine time for fishing anywhere in and around the Golden Isles. In the fall you can surf cast for massive redfish and fly fish in the tidal rivers. If you choose the latter, you can expect to catch redfish, Spanish mackerels, trout, cobia, tripletail, jack crevalle, and tarpon.

My Public Lands Roadtrip: South Fork of the Snake River in BLM Idaho
My Public Lands Roadtrip: South Fork of the Snake River in BLM Idaho by Bureau of Land Management (CC BY)

Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, Idaho

For Idaho anglers, Henry’s Fork of the Snake River is one of the best fall fishing spots. The water tends to be a bit lower making it wade accessible in many areas. According to Henry’s Fork Anglers, October is the ideal time to catch brown trout as they become more aggressive prior to spawning. 


Lake Macbride State Park
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Lake Macbride, Iowa

Enjoy the fall colors and fall fishing before the water turns cold in Iowa. Since the lake is stocked, you can enjoy a nearly endless supply of hungry fish. Walleye, bass, and catfish are just a few of the fish you might be lucky enough to snag on your fall getaway. 


Barkley Lake in Autumn
Barkley Lake in Autumn by George Pankewytch (CC BY)

Lake Barkley, Kentucky

As the water temperatures drop, bass begin to feed more actively in schools, bass fishing guide Dave Stewart told Explore Kentucky Lake. Although seasonal changes are hard to predict, October and November tend to be prime time for hungry bass. This gives anglers plenty of time to fish, even later into the fall. 

 

Related: Serene and Secluded Lakes Worth the Drive

Venice
©TripAdvisor

Venice, Louisiana

Venice, Louisiana. is a fishing mecca at any time of the year. For Home Run Fishing Charters, October is a favorite time of year. If you opt for a charter, you can take advantage of shrimp boat fishing in the fall to get even more action. Yellowfin, tuna, shallow water grouper, and cobia are some of the catches you may be able to make in the area. 


Ohiopyle Falls
Ohiopyle Falls by R.A. Killmer (CC BY)

Youghiogheny River, Maryland

Fall is considered an excellent time of year to fish for brown and brook trout. Cooler waters and spawning coming soon means the fish are just waiting to bite. If you time your fishing trip right, you will also be there for the peak fall colors which dot the riverbanks with red, orange, and yellow. 


Provincetown, Cape Cod
DenisTangneyJr/istockphoto

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Since Cape Cod was named after a fish, you can bet it should be on every angler’s must-fish list. According to the fishing experts at Salty Cape, fishing on Cape Cod in the fall can be a truly unforgettable experience. All the fish are feeding aggressively as they prepare for migration, leading to what is known as fishing blitz. Mid-October to November is the ideal time to hit up this destination. 


Lake Michigan
©TripAdvisor

Southern Lake Michigan, Michigan or Illinois

If you’re looking for great fishing, look to this Great Lake. The southern portion of Lake Michigan is abundant with Chinook and coho salmon and steelhead swimming closer to the shoreline come fall. In fact, fall is one of the best times of year for Lake Michigan anglers according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Lake Superior’s North Shore
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Lake Superior’s North Shore, Minnesota

A visit to Lake Superior’s North Shore should be on everyone's bucket list. For anglers, the draw is even greater. You get to enjoy the stunning views and have some of the best fishing around. Take advantage of fishing the tributaries or hit the deeper waters. Either way, you’re in for trout and salmon galore. 


Jersey Shore
©TripAdvisor

Jersey Shore, New Jersey

Striped bass migrate south past the Jersey Shore as fall rolls around. With more fish moving, you’re much more likely to land a catch. Since the fish stick close to shore, you can fish from the beach or one of the many piers along the coast. Give cut bait like clams or herring a try for the best results. 


Rio Chama, aka Chama River
Rio Chama, aka Chama River by Larry Lamsa (CC BY)

Chama River, New Mexico

New Mexico’s outdoor adventures abound but they are often overlooked thanks to the popularity of its neighbor to the north. Fishing is no exception. That’s good news for you, though, because you won’t have much competition on the river. The diversity of the river also means you can almost always find a place where the fish are biting this fall. 


Lake Ontario Tributaries
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Lake Ontario Tributaries, New York

Lake Ontario tributaries abound in New York, and so do the fish. Jefferson County offers outstanding salmon fishing from September to November. You may also snag some brown trout in the area. The tributaries also have plenty of Washington steelhead with the best time of year being late October to November. 


Beautiful Lake Erie
Beautiful Lake Erie by Sue Thompson (CC BY)

Lake Erie, Ohio

You don’t want to miss yet another Great Lakes fishing destination. Come fall, fishing season here is just ramping up rather than winding down. When you consider that Lake Erie has about half of all the fish in the Great Lakes, you really can’t go wrong here. 

Nehalem River
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Nehalem Bay, Oregon

The north fork of the Nehalem River is one of the best places to fish in the state. The good fishing doesn’t stop there, though. The bay is a prime location for anglers in the fall. As migration begins, so do the big catches of salmon, perch, sturgeon, and trout. If you want to switch things up, you can even try your hand at crabbing. 


Tidal creek at Barn Island
Jennifer Yakey-Ault/istockphoto

Wood River, Rhode Island

Fall is a wonderful time to fish in Rhode Island, and you may have better luck this time of year than during the summer. That’s because the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management stocks the state’s ponds and some dams on Wood River in October.


my favorite tree on lake murray
my favorite tree on lake murray by Jelene Morris (CC BY)

Lake Murray, South Carolina

Stipers are abundant in Lake Murray in the fall. As the water cools, the fish begin to move about larger areas of the lake. If you strike out on stripers, there's a perfect backup: October is one of the best times of year for large-mouth bass in Lake Murray.


Chickamagua Lock Construction 10312010 09
Chickamagua Lock Construction 10312010 09 by Lawrence G. Miller (CC BY)

Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee

According to the angling pros at Fish Lake Chick, fall is the best time of year to fish at Chickamauga Lake. Bass flock to the vegetation at this lovely fall fishing spot. For the best catches, you might want to try using a frog for bait. 


Logan River 472
Logan River 472 by photo61guy (CC BY)

Logan River, Utah

Fly fishers won’t want to miss a chance to fish the Logan River. Fall fishing at this blue ribbon trout river is about as good as it gets. Brown trout spawn in the late fall and early winter making this a prime time to fish. You also can’t beat the fall colors on the mountainside. 


Harbor
Harbor by Michaela Pereckas (CC BY)

Milwaukee Harbor, Wisconsin

Don’t scoff at this urban fishing destination, as it has some of the best brown trout fishing around. According to the outdoor experts at Step Outside, fall is one of the best times for Midwest fishing. The trout are in their pre-spawn period, which means they are hungry and more likely to bite.