The Top 8 Fall Fishing Destinations

Fall Fishing

Fall is one of the best seasons for fishing, as many fish are migrating towards warmer waters. Not only that, but there are usually fewer people on the water, and the weather is relatively mild. So, if you still need to plan a fall fishing trip, take this as your sign to do so! 

Best Fishing Destinations in the USA

It's not uncommon for anglers to explore new fishing destinations during the autumn months. If you aren't sure where to start, we've rounded up the top eight fall fishing destinations in today's blog post. Keep scrolling to discover one near you! 

1. South Padre Island, Texas

Did you know there's an island on the southern tip of Texas? South Padre Island is situated right where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Laguna Madre, and it's renowned for its fantastic tarpon fishing. It also houses a variety of habitats, including mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and sandflats. 

South Padre Island is perfect for fishing enthusiasts looking for an unforgettable experience in a beautiful setting. The island is ideal for inshore fishing during the fall months, as the redfish and speckled trout are incredibly active during this time.

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2. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Central Missouri is home to Lake of the Ozarks, a world-class bass, crappie, and catfish fishery. This massive reservoir attracts visitors from all over. Plus, it's home to hundreds of white/hybrid bass, making for some exciting angling adventures.

Lake of the Ozarks offers diverse fishing options – from shallow coves to deep stream channels and rocky points. So, whether you're a seasoned angler or a novice, rest assured that there's something for everyone. 

3. Clearwater, Florida

Clearwater, Florida, is a fantastic fishing spot during the autumn months. With plenty of bays, inlets, and crystal-clear water, inshore fishing is incredible.

During the fall season, you can find mackerel, Spanish mackerel, big red grouper, and cobia – among other species. Plus, it's a great time to catch kingfish offshore, as they're in the middle of their annual migration.  

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4. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Fall fishing in Cape Cod is breathtaking! Around this time of year, fish increase their eating habits to prepare for migrating south or deeper waters. And you can catch plenty of striped bass and bluefish (among others) in estuaries and salt ponds. Plus, you can fish during the day and at night!

Cape Cod anglers love fishing during the first week of October, as it's the perfect time for the autumn run. As Thanksgiving approaches, fishing tends to slow.

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5. San Diego, California

San Diego (and Southern California as a whole) is a great place to fish in the fall. The water temperatures are steady, and there are plenty of fish to reel in – including yellowtail, bonito, calico bass, and more.

The high season winds down in early September, making it a great time to catch bluefin tuna and marlin. They'll start moving closer to shore, making them more accessible for fishing enthusiasts. October officially marks the start of the bottom fishing season, where you can find plenty of yellowfin tuna and halibut.

6. Venice, Louisiana

Venice, Louisiana, is a popular spot for fall anglers looking to catch fish – most notably the prized yellowfin tuna. Located at the end of the Mississippi Delta, Venice offers easy access to deep water, the weather is mild, and the fish are plentiful.

This is a great fall fishing spot for new and experienced anglers alike. The fall and winter months are a phenomenal time to catch red and black grouper, cobia, redfish, flounder, speckled trout, and sheepshead.

7. Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

The arrival of the first cold front in the Chesapeake Bay sparks fishermen's pursuit of rockfish. In fact, many local anglers will refer to October fishing as "Rocktober." In addition, as the temperature drops, fish like striped bass, bluefish, and perch head into deeper waters, which is ideal for fishermen. 

8. Casper, Wyoming

Are you interested in exploring some of the best fall fishing in the western United States? Casper, Wyoming, and the North Platte River is the place to be.

The Miracle Mile is a famous fishing spot for large brown trout, best visited from October to early December. Additionally, Kokanee salmon, rainbow trout, and walleye can also be found in this region around this time. 

Must-Visit Fall Fishing Destinations

Thought fishing was merely a summer sport? Unfortunately, you'd have to think again. With more fish migrating to warmer waters (and fewer anglers on the water), the autumn months are ideal for reeling in big ones. 

If you need help determining where to fish in the fall, we hope this article offers some inspiration. For more fishing guides, angler tips, or excursion ideas, head to the Fishing section of our Discover Boating blog. 

Freshwater Fishing
Saltwater Fishing