From deep sea adventures to leisurely hikes along mountain streams, there are all kinds of ways to experience the outdoors and see the waterways of North America. For the ultimate fishing trip, the three vacations below have something for every kind of angler.
Flounder, sea trout, sheepshead, redfish, largemouth bass, and tarpon are just a few of the types of fish being caught off of Florida’s Historic Coast. From fishing piers and kayak fishing to deep sea charters, fly fishing, and everything in between, there is never a shortage of fishing opportunities when you visit St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, and The Beaches – making it a top destination for anglers from around the world.
There are dozens of local charter companies to choose from. With Captain Jacob Hardy at the helm, Fishardy Charters offers private fishing charters for beginners and experienced anglers. Choose from a half-day, three-quarters of a day, or full-day experience that includes bait, fishing licenses, and fish cleaning services. Fishardy Charters leaves from the Conch House Marina, just two miles from historic downtown St. Augustine, and specializes in coastal and inshore fishing. Another local charter company is Drum Man Fishing Charters, which is run by Captain James Dumas, and specializes in light tackle and fly fishing for fish such as redfish, trout, flounder, tarpon, and cobia. Choose from a four-hour or six-hour excursion that includes fishing licenses, fishing rods and gear, and bait and lures.
Hosted by the Ancient City Game Fish Association (ACGFA), a local nonprofit that promotes the sport of fishing in the area, the popular Kingfish Challenge offers a tournament for anglers of all skill levels and ages. From Thursday, July 13 through Saturday, July 15, events include a Kids’ Clinic, Junior Angler Tournament, and the main attraction, the Kingfish Challenge, with cash prizes up to $20,000. The weekend also includes live music, food, raffles, and more. The Junior Challenge is $25, registration for Kingfish Challenge is $320, and Backwater/Kayak Challenge is $75. This tournament takes place at Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor.
If you are looking for a way to get out on the water and learn a thing or two about fishing, but aren’t tournament-ready, there are plenty of places around Florida’s Historic Coast to cast a line. Visit the St. Johns County Ocean & Fishing Pier in St. Augustine Beach for your chance to catch everything from tarpon to king mackerel. Other fishing piers in the area include Lighthouse Park on Salt Run, the Vilano Beach Pier and Usina Boat Ramp Fishing Pier on the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Rose of Sharon Pier north of the Bridge of Lions. A few smaller fishing piers in the area include Treaty Park, Vaill Point Park, and Faver-Dykes State Park.
Head out for a weekend outdoors and catch your own dinner! Wyoming is a classic summer destination for road trips and family vacations. Star Valley is particularly perfect for fishing trips, with mountain streams, a few lakes, and a few rivers. It is the home of the native Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout.
With three rivers that run through the valley, travelers looking to fly fish in Wyoming’s Star Valley are in luck. Salt River, Greys River, and Snake River all offer prime fishing to all levels of anglers. For the best local tips, cast a line with a guide. You can try fishing guide services with Afton’s Feathered Hook Outfitters or Alpine’s Fishing with J. The idyllic rivers also make the area an ideal hiking destination. Try Little Greys River Trail just north of Alpine, Wyoming or Strawberry Creek Trail near Bedford, Wyoming.
In addition to the river fishing, there’s Cottonwood Lake, about 6 miles east of Smoot, full of cutthroat and brook trout. Swift Creek, east of Afton, features two small reservoirs that are well stocked by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department with cutthroat trout. Murphy Lake is about a half-hour trip from Alpine and stocked with some hatchery brood stock culls, and Palisades Reservoir holds trophy brown trout as well as cutthroats and some kokanee salmon.
The Yucatan is typically easy to travel to from most major U.S. cities, with many direct flights going into Cancun. Oftentimes flights are reasonably priced, which helps to keep overall costs low. Progreso is one of the most popular beach towns in the state of Yucatan. Located just 22 miles from the capital city, Merida, the town was founded in 1871 and has grown to become the main port of the Yucatan coast. Today it is a tourist hub and a border point open to commercial exchange with the states and countries on the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Due to its commercial activity, Progreso is the most-visited port in the state and a popular cruise destination for visitors from all over the world. Along the boardwalk, visitors will find both international and local restaurants, as well as shops and boutiques. The market of Progreso is a destination in its own right, selling local food, crafts, and more. The beaches are the real star of Progreso, with white sand, turquoise water, and endless activities from kitesurfing and windsurfing to water skiing and fishing.
Fishing on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula can be incredible in the late summer and into the fall. During this season, there are large numbers of resident permit, bonefish, and snook around that receive low pressure from visiting anglers. For fly fishing adventures, try the outfitters at Yellow Dog. There’s also Yucatan Snook, which offers in-shore excursions for some of the best shallow water speckled sea trout, snook and tarpon fishing in the area.