Best Kayak Fishing Destinations In America

Best Kayak Fishing Destinations in America

Kayak fishing is a hobby that can be described in many ways – a sporting activity, an exciting adventure, a relaxing trip, or an exhilarating challenge. Imagine catching a fish without several people and heavy machinery helping you pull it in – it's quite the accomplishment. It's a tug-of-war between you and the fish. The simplicity is also what makes kayak fishing beautiful. You're surrounded by nothing but water and gorgeous, natural,  unspoiled scenery.

Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania

The Susquehanna River is perfect for fishing. It's largely famous for its large mass of smallmouth bass. The river is also filled with catfish and smaller panfish. Musky, northern pike, pickerel, American shad, and many more are found within the bases of the river, according to Visit Central PA. The smooth flowing water helps for Susquehanna's rank among the top of rivers in the state.

Devils River, Texas

Devils River is not for the inexperienced or the fisher who needs high-end accommodations. This is a wild and remote spot for people who are ready to spend at least three days on the river. It is one of the most ecologically intact waterways in the state. Everything you bring with you, you must take when you leave. The best times to go are spring and fall to catch small mouth bass, largemouth bass, catfish, and carp.

Shelter Cove, California

California's remote Shelter Cove hosts the annual "Gimme Shelter" Kayak Fishing Derby, which draws more than 200 participants every May. Anglers are lured because the Cove is an almost pristine, picturesque location with little fishing pressure, numerous big rockfish, salmon and Pacific halibut, according to Kayak Fishing Magazine.

Caney Fork Watershed, Tennessee

Regardless of what your kayaking style is, you won't make a mistake with the lower Caney Fork River trout fishery, and especially for trout. The 28-mile run from Center Hill Dam to Carthage offers plenty of opportunities to catch fish as the cold water is a strong fishery for bass, stripers, stripe, walleye and other game fish, according Fishing Tennessee.

Panama City Beach, Florida

This is Florida so any water-related activity is likely to be best done here. Panama City Beach offers an exceptionally rare venue featuring three very distinct kayak fisheries, each against stunning scenic backdrops, according to Visit Panama City Beach. There are shallow shorelines and bayous that are packed with spotted seatrout, redfish, and flounder. Another positive is that you'll come across few fishermen there.

Chesapeake Bay, Virginia

Kayak fishing here is a thrilling experience. During warmer months you're likely to catch perch and both white and black crappie along the Northwest River. Largemouth bass, chain pickerel and catfish show up more often when the water of cooler. Schooling yellow and white perch  are also in abundance in the winter months, according to Visit Chesapeake.

Okmulgee Lake, Oklahoma

This no frills kayak fishing spot has it all—lots of lake, beautiful scenery and plenty of fish. Reel in catfish, sunfish, spotted bass and largemouth and smallmouth bass, among others. You can easily access the lake from a small dock on the east side of the lake and campsites afford you a multi-day trip.

Kona Coast, Hawaii

Nicknamed "the Land of the Giants," kayak fishing on the Kona Coast is an experience like no other. When you're ready to step up and fish some huge tuna and grey snapper, come prepared. There are also tiger sharks in the area. For experienced paddlers, though, the Kona Coast offers big rewards and incredible scenery.

Indian River Lagoon, Florida

When it comes to saltwater kayaking fishing, it's tough to beat the great spots in Florida and the Indian River Lagoon is a prime example. On Florida's east coast, this national scenic byway offers access to tarpon, speckled trout and the popular redfish. Lively year-round, there are campsites and attractions all around this awesome spot.

Lake Guntersville, Alabama

Kayak fishing on Lake Guntersville is a unique adventure. There are more than 900 miles of shoreline and several park and recreation facilities. The Appalachian foothills make the scenery absolutely stunning. This spot may just be the ideal combination of flat water paddling, nature watching and fishing. Most anglers go for the largemouth bass, but you can also catch crappie, sauger and catfish.

Deer Creek Conservation Area, Maryland

This serene spot is off limits to motorized boats and perfect for anglers that are just getting started or those looking for a relaxing day out on the water. Teeming with trout, largemouth bass and other species, this clear, calm reservoir makes for a great trip. 

Pine Island Sound, Florida

Pine Island Sound was named one of America's 25 best Fishing Spots by Field & Stream Magazine. The island's 54,000 acres of submerged lands are a state Aquatic Preserve. It supports extensive seagrass habitats and it's home to over 100 invertebrate, 200 fish, many sharks and over 150 bird species.