Top 5 National Parks in America for Fishing Enthusiasts

Fishing One of These 5 Great Parks Should Be on Your List

Forget going down to the usual local lake or pond for a day of fishing. If you live in America, the thought of wasting precious leisure hours re-hooking bait and anxiously waiting for a tug is painful, especially when you have some extraordinary fishing destinations at your fingertips. With close to 60 national parks, the U.S is full of preserved sects of the great outdoors that can be reached in a matter of miles from all locales of the country. If you are a fishing enthusiast and you haven’t yet enjoyed the sport in one of these meccas of pristine nature, the time has come. Grab your tackle box, get your gear and start your journey towards one of the best fishing trips of your life. Here are 5 of the top American national parks that you need to drop your fishing line into today.

Fishing Glacier National Park Montana

Lake McDonald Glacier National Park

 Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

It’s America’s first national park and although mostly known for its thermal pools and hot springs, it is also widely notable for its wildlife. Besides the moose and bears, Yellowstone is home to a much sought after cutthroat trout. Fishermen travel from far and wide to try to score one of these beauties in the cool and plentiful streams that run all throughout the park. Since fishing has been a main activity in the park for over century, it is still allowed today and even helps the park with its mission to preserve the natural habitat. With lake trout slowly wiping out the cutthroat population, successful fishermen are welcome to try to help the population find a balance.

Memorial day marks the beginning of the Yellowstone fishing season which then ends on the first Sunday of November. Anglers 16 years of age and up must purchase a 3 day permit for $18, 7-day permit for $25 or a season permit for $40. These permits can be purchased at the visitors center, ranger stations or general stores within the park. Fishing boats can be rented at the nearby Xanterra Parks and Resorts or you can use your own boat after it has passed an inspection and you have paid the permit fee ranging from $7-$20 depending on the amount of days you wish to use it.

Be careful to properly clean your gear as to stop the spread of invasive bacteria and keep a look out for the bears who may want to challenge you for a catch. The park is absolutely stunning and diverse so enjoy fishing among some of the most secluded and scenic landscapes.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina

At this mountainous park, which was dedicated by president Franklin Roosevelt in 1940, anglers can enjoy fishing all year round. The grounds are abound with rivers and streams that support trout and smallmouth bass among other varieties. Here you’ll find are over 2,100 miles of streams housing one of America’s largest wild trout populations. There are a large variety of places to fish – from isolated, tributary trout streams to larger cool water runs containing smallmouth and rock bass (aka rock perch).

Fishing is allowed starting a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset each day in all of the streams that are located within the park. In order to fish, you must possess a fishing license from either the state of Tennessee or North Carolina if you are 13 years of age or older and no trout stamp is required of you. Make sure to purchase your license in nearby towns outside the park as they cannot be obtained once inside. Anglers are able to obtain a limit of 5 trout and a limit of 20 rock bass during their fishing day. Great Smoky also happens to be the only major national park where admission is completely free.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Made up of alpine meadows, snow peaked mountains and pristine lakes, this national park is a paradise for hikers and fishermen. The main purpose of this park is to preserve the eco-system and the animals within it so fishing here can often times be restricted. However, when the season allows, the fishing opportunities are fantastic. From the third Saturday in May through November 30th, fishing season is open with the exception of the non-restricted lakes which are open all year round. There are however a few different areas that will be closed off during the season as to protect the fish population during spawning. Within the waters you can find cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish, northern pike and Kokanee salmon. There are limits put on the amount of fish you can catch and keep however, certain fish such as the  lake trout and whitefish have no limits in certain areas. With an almost magical backdrop of glaciers, mountain goats and bears, fishermen can forget about the outside world.  Another benefit of the park, the availability of ice fishing!

Everglades National Park, Florida

The Everglades is special for more than just its alligators as it is America’s largest subtropical wilderness. It is crawling with rare and endangered species including the alligators, manatees and even the Florida panther. It has been deemed a World Heritage site and an International Biosphere Reserve making it renowned both internationally and at home. With around one third of the park covered in water, there are endless opportunities for boating and fishing within the park. Fishermen will be happy to know that within the diverse waters of the Everglades they can find redfish, snapper, bass and bluegill. There is both saltwater and freshwater fishing available and each one requires a different license. Although fishing from the shore is restricted, there are plenty of opportunities to take a boat out to one of the water flats, mangrove keys or channels.

Acadia National Park, Maine

fishing arcadia national park maine

Shoreline of Acadia National Park

Located on the rugged Atlantic Coast, this national park has the diversity of both forests and beaches. It is home to the tallest mountain on the coast and is a favorite of nature lovers and hikers. The fishing season is in effect from April until September and licenses from the state of Maine are required for fishermen beginning at 16 years of age. However, ocean fishing does not require a license. Ice fishing season runs from January through March and there are over ten different ponds and lakes to fish from year round. The different species of fish that can be found vary widely from brook trout and landlocked salmon to mackerel and yellow perch. Enjoy the distinct features of this east coast national park as there are not many to be found on that side of the country.

There you have it, plenty of options to get you out of your same old fishing routine and into some spectacular landscapes. The country is at your fingertips and the fish are ready and waiting for you. Get out and explore our  national parks and their waters. Start planning your next fishing getaway today!

National Park Resources:

Find National Parks by State

National Park Service

Dream Fishing in Los Suenos

Fishing Dreams Are Reality in Los Suenos, Costa Rica

 

There are very few locations in the world that offer a better setting for sports fishing and adventure than Costa Rica. This tiny Central American country of barely 5 million people, with an area smaller than West Virginia, has over the years owned hundreds of sport fishing records. It currently holds nearly 2 dozen International Game Fish Association (IGFA) All-Tackle world records, including one for Dolphinfish (Mahi Mahi) set at 87 lbs back in 1976. Most recently, a Pacific Snook was landed here setting a new world record at 59 lbs 8 oz, breaking the old record of 57 lbs 12 oz set in 1991. As you might have guessed,  the old record also belonged to Costa Rica.

So it’s easy to understand why Costa Rica is widely recognized as one of the top game fishing locations on the planet. Making the country even more popular with both anglers and vacationers is the political and economic stability it enjoys. The recent increase in the ex-pat population – in particular from Europe, Canada and the United States – as well as the influx  of foreign investments, have helped to shape Costa Rica into the most wealthy nation in Central America, having one of the highest standards of living among all developing nations. This tiny country is frequently referred to as the “Switzerland of Central America”.

Today, Costa Rica also stands out in the region as the most attractive sport fishing destination. There are many fantastic places to fish within the country of course, but there are few, if any, better than Los Suenos, or “the dreams” as the English translation would have it. And dream-like it is, with its tropical rainforest backdrop, its panoramic views of the blue waters of Herradura Bay and the Pacific Ocean and its out-of-this world fishing. This place is indeed a sport fisherman’s dream.

Fishing Vacation Hotspot and Billfish Capital of the World

Located on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, about an hour from the capital of San Jose, Los Suenos is billed (pun intended) as the “billfish capital of the world”. It is also home to the internationally famous Los Suenos Resort & Marina, a sprawling 1100 acre vacation and fishing destination featuring a 5-star hotel, a mixture of luxury homes and condos, a full-service 200 slip marina, a world class 18 hole golf course and an array of other amenities. Thousands of happy vacationers flock to this resort annually for fishing and fun.

And speaking of fishing, Los Suenos is also the site of the Los Suenos Signature Triple Crown billfish tournament, an annual event where a little over 3 dozen boats caught and released 5078 and 5732 fish during a 9 day period in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The tournament runs from January to April with the winner receiving a $100,000 cash prize.  The tournament, which was launched in 2014, continues to grow and attract sponsors and the top billfishing teams in the world. No wonder they call Los Suenos the billfish capital of the world!

If billfish fishing is not your cup of tea or you just want some variety, you’ll find it here also. The Pacific coast of Costa Rica has long been known for its variety of species and for their size. Ten to 20 miles out from Herradura Bay you’ll find fishing that can only be described as pure nirvana: Dorado, Amberjack, Wahoo, Grouper, Bigeye Tuna and Trevally big enough to leave you tired. Inshore, you’ll have a blast catching 30 – 50 lb Roosterfish, world-class Pacific Snook and Red Snapper pushing 30 lbs. In areas of shallow water, you can even try your hand at saltwater fly fishing for great fun. Your angling opportunities are almost endless here.

Plenty of Charters, Fishing Packages and Great Catches

Fishing tournaments aside, charter fishing is extremely popular in Los Suenos, and boats ready to take you to prime fishing grounds can be found at the Resort & Marina, where you will find the finest sport fishing fleet in Central America, as well as other locations nearby. Prices can range from a few hundred dollars for a half day of inshore fishing for a small group in a 26 ft center-console  to over $2500 for a full day’s offshore charter with a larger group in a 50 ft Hatteras. Lunch and beverages are often included in the cost. Language is usually not an issue as many of the charter owners and captains are American ex-pats.

For those looking for complete fishing vacation packages, there are plenty of attractive all inclusive deals in Los Suenos  as well as in neighboring Playa Herradura and Jaco . Rates will vary according to length of stay and other package features. In either case, you will enjoy and experience the most amazing views and a dedicated team of fishing experts, many of whom have been involved in world record catches and will be more than happy to guide you through a day of fishing you will remember for a long time to come.

The next time you plan a fishing vacation abroad, take a good look at Costa Rica, the “Rich Coast” of Central America – and of course Los Suenos, where your big game fishing dreams turn to reality, with bold and spectacular action and colors right before your very eyes. So when you come here don’t forget your sunglasses and hat, and be prepared for fishing that is so good you’ll have to pinch yourself to make sure your are not dreaming.

Resources:

Costa Rica Fish Species Chart & Maps

Costa Rica Tourism Info

Pacific Paradise Fishing: Welcome to Hawaii

The Aloha State – Fishing’s Paradise

The Aloha State is the last state added to the United States (1959) but that is probably the only thing it is last in. When it comes to shear, breath-taking beauty this island destination has very few peers. Hawaii has been a top vacation destination for a long time now and you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who not want to spend a week or two having fun under the sun in this Pacific paradise. With its year round tropical climate, lush landscapes, pristine beaches and majestic volcanoes, what more could anyone want? Well, plenty more if fishing is in your blood. You see, Hawaii is the only one of the 50 States to be completely surrounded by water, and you can bet the fishing here is awesome!

Kauai Hawaii                             flickr photo shared by Garden State Hiker under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Hawaii, as you might have guessed offers some of the most exciting big game fishing in the world as well as some of the best fishing charter experience anywhere. For the deep sea thrill seeker, it’s all here – from Marlin fishing, big Tuna, Wahoo and Mahi Mahi fishing and everything in between. You’re bound to be spoiled by the abundance here in paradise. There are number of great Hawaii fishing locations and fishing charters  to chose from- too many as a matter of fact- but we’re going highlight just a few here to wet your appetite.

Starting with the north shore waters of Haleiwa you’ll find the perfect place for anyone who enjoys sport fishing and some of the most experienced, biggest and fastest offshore boats. You can spend a full day with Chupu Charters and enjoy the all out thrill provided by deep sea fishing from one of the best locations in Hawaii. We guarantee that you will be fishing with the most experienced captains and crews in the area and on the most modern fishing boats with everything that you might need in order to enjoy the rush of fishing. Here you’ll tangle with Pacific Blue Marlin, Striped Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado and many other species that will test your mettle.

On the island of Oahu and look for the Aikane Sportfishing charter company and you’ll be sure to find an amazing  experience on board one of their 42 foot fishing machines. Their knowledge of the world of sport fishing is unsurpassed, and you can rest assured these guys will offer the ultimate big game experience for anyone regardless of skill levels. This charter outfit is managed by Sonny Rivera, a native of Oahu who has been worked in all kinds of fishing-related jobs over the last  42 years now. This means that you can expect excellent customer service and a team experienced in all aspects of deep sea charter fishing. They are also one of only a few charters that let you keep all of your catch, as sharing the catch with the boat is normally the Hawaiian charter boat tradition.

 Sport Fishing Mecca in Hawaii

Hawaii Fishing Guides & Charters

Hawaii Fishing Charters

We have saved what we consider to be one of the best for last – that is the “Big Island” fishing charters with Tom Barefoot’s Tours. They are a big fleet of charters located on the Kona Coast, a place often called by many the “Mecca” for Hawaiian sport fishing. This is in part because of its massive drop off into the ocean that immediately puts you in contact with some largest fish in the Pacific without having to get too far away from the coast.

Here you can book a whole boat for you and your friends or family at very reasonable rates with a professional captain and fishing crew who will have you in pursuit of some of the biggest and baddest fish on the Big Island of Hawaii. They offer charters of 4, 6 and 8 hours, but those who are truly serious about their fishing will certainly want to book a full day’s worth of fishing. All of the equipment, bait and licensing are provided by the charter company.

Many all over the world will have experienced sport fishing in several locations, but those who have been to Hawaii will usually agree that this is a top 10 ultimate fishing destination worldwide. The Hawaiian Islands provide the perfect vacationing spot and the ideal fishing experience suited to every skill level from the novice to the seasoned veteran.

A Hawaiian vacation that includes fishing in the deep blue waters of the Pacific is truly a one of a kind adventure. So come and enjoy the beautiful beaches, the swinging hulas, the ukuleles and the breath-taking sights, but also be prepared for fishing you won’t soon forget. What are you waiting for?

More Resources on Hawaii fishing and travel:

http://www.gohawaii.com/en/

http://state.hi.us/dlnr/activities/

Nicaragua:  Latin America’s Hottest Sport Fishing Secret is Out

Rooster fish Nicaragua fishing                            flickr photo shared by michael.stockton under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Quietly Becoming Central America’s Sportfishing Hotspot

Just a couple decades ago very few people thought of Nicaragua while planning their next big fishing trip – it just wasn’t that kind of place. Fast forward to 2015 and things have changed dramatically. It went from being a country that was devastated by a brutal civil war in the 80’s to a democratic transition in the 90’s to an incredible transformation  that has turned it into one of Forbes most recommended destinations for tourism and retirement today. Nicaragua is on the rise and for those looking for a new and exciting fishing opportunities not too south of the border, look no further.

Four and a half hours from New York and just 2 and a half hours from Miami, Nicaragua is not a world away for most Americans. Another very important factor: Nicaragua was awarded with the title of the safest country in Central America in 2014 and it continues to be the safest in the area in 2015. Economically the future for Nicaragua is beginning to look brighter too if we consider the proposed $50 billion “Nicaragua Grand Canal” project which, not without some controversy, will create many jobs, allow it to compete with the Panama Canal, and help turn a once struggling economy into a commercial shipping power once completed.

Stretching Your Fishing Dollars in Nicaragua

“Ok”, you say, “but what makes Nicaragua a premier sport fishing destination?”. Well, there are many compelling reasons. First off, the safety factor, as mention before, can’t be overstated. In contrast to some Central American countries, you can truly relax here and focus on the fishing. The other attraction, in addition to its incredible natural beauty, is that Nicaragua has of the cheapest cost of living on the American Continent. On a budget? Your fishing dollars will go a long way here.

We want to mention that when you travel to Nicaragua you will be pleasantly surprised to know that most of the country works with the American dollar as well as the Cordoba, which is their national currency. You will be able to pay with US dollars in almost every store or gas station, but don’t expect the lady selling Churros on a street corner to be take a $20 without frowning at you.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the reason why you started  reading this article anyway and that is the fishing. We are going to start with one of the most popular locations and that is San Juan del sur. This very popular beach about  2 hours south of the capital of Managua has the largest number of fishing vacation packages, with many of the hotels and resorts in the area offering all-inclusive vacations centered around sportfishing. You could rent a very simple room with a fan instead of air conditioning and it would be as little as $10 to $20 bucks per night. While you can’t expect luxury at this price, the lodgings will be clean and have all the basic necessities. Of course, you could spend more for more upscale lodgings, but the choice is yours and it depends on the level of accommodations you want.

Sunset in San Juan del Sur fishing boats
flickr photo shared by thombo2 under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

All-Inclusive Vacation Packages for the Travelling Angler

We recommend that you head out to the San Juan del Sur Surf and Sport fishing charter. These guys have been doing this for a long time and they provide an excellent fishing experience for anyone. They offer charters as well as all-inclusive vacation packages with fishing and lodging as well as surfing. Surf and Sport also offers an array of add-on activities you can purchase such as horseback riding, snorkeling and sunset cruises. In addition, they provide free airport pickup and drop-off.

On the fishing end, they will provide all the advice and the equipment necessary to ensure that you have a great time along with all the required safety measures. They also have a large selection of equipment for the seasoned fisherman who wants to catch something large in these waters.

Approximately 49 miles (79 km) north of San Juan del Sur is Playa Guasacate where you will find another of Nicaragua’s best fishing locations. Surfari Charters offers fishing, surfing (the area is also known for its surfing) and air-conditioned lodgings with high-speed internet for up to 4 in its beach house. They provide 3 meals daily (including drinks) from their own kitchen and also offer free round-trip airport transfer. Here, as well, there will be many other activities such as spear fishing and snorkeling that can be add to your vacation package

Panga Fishing Tournaments and Other To-Do’s in Nicaragua

There are also many international fishing tournaments held in San Juan each year and you can expect to be able to catch fish ranging from Dorado, Sailfish, Rooster fish and Mackerel, to large Black Marlins and Yellowfin Tuna.

There are small boats called “pangas” and one of the most popular tournaments involve these pangas, which is truly one of the most engaging and entertaining ways to experience fishing in a beautiful setting. We recommend La Panga Rosa for fishing trips from Maderas Beach to Marsella Beach.

We also recommend you learn the word “playa” which means beach in Spanish. People will have an easier time helping you find directions to a certain beach if you say “Playa Marsella” instead of “Marsella Beach” but luckily for you, there are more than enough people who speak English and the owners of most fishing charters are either American or speak English quite well.

Now that you know the basics about fishing in Nicaragua, we invite you to take a trip to this Latin American hidden gem!