Don't Overlook These 5 Places to Fish

You may think that big cities and landlocked locations don't have the same types of productive fishing opportunities that coastal areas do. If that's the case, it's time to change your thought process when considering new places to fish. Check out the below five places to fish across the U.S. that are worth further investigation. Each place mentioned was voted into the 2015 list of America's Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots.

  1. Tropical Park, Miami, FL. Families who enjoy freshwater fishing should plan to visit Tropical Park in Miami (number 70 on the list of "America's Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots") and "test the waters" at Tropical FMA, the northernmost of three lakes located within the park. The lake is twelve acres in size with clear water and a shellrock bottom. The abundant native and exotic vegetation create habitat for fish such as channel catfish, sunfish and largemouth bass. The park is easy to access by taking the Florida Turnpike to the SW 40th Street exit, and then traveling east to Tropical Park, which is on the south side of the road. For additional information about fishing in Tropical Park call 954-791-1025.

  2. Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks Echo Park Lake (number 23 on the list of "America's Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots") with rainbow trout from winter through early spring, and with catfish during the summer months. There are also populations of largemouth bass, carp and bluegill in the lake. As with any new places to fish that you decide to try, be sure to check the state regulations in advance of your visit. Echo Park is located NW of downtown Los Angeles. From Highway 101, exit on N. Alvarado Street and go north to W. Sunset Boulevard. Turn right and then right again on Glendale Boulevard. Turn left on Park Avenue and follow Park Avenue to the park entrance. Call the city of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks at 213-847-0929 for details.

  3. Inks Lake State Park, Burnet, TX. You and your family can fish for sunfish, catfish and several species of bass at Inks Lake State Park in Burnet, Texas (number 64 on the list of "America's Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots"). Not only does the lake offer a variety of cover and structure for fish, the scenery at the park makes an ideal backdrop for all of those #FirstCatch photos. There are two fishing piers, fish cleaning stations, and a boat ramp at the park, making it easy for visitors to fish by foot or by boat. The park is located nine miles west of Burnet. Take State Highway 29 to Park Road 4. Go south three miles to the park headquarters. Visitors can call the Texas Parks and Wildlife District Fisheries Office at 512-353-0072 for more information.

  4. Johnson Sauk Trail State Park, Kewanee, IL. Johnson Sauk Trail Lake is a 58-acre lake in Kewanee, Illinois, that is located within Johnson Sauk Trail State Park (number 75 on the list of "America's Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots"). The lake boasts high populations of species such as largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish and bullhead. There are a number of fish attractors that have been installed on the lake to enhance the fishing experience. In fact, even muskellunge and northern pike have been released in recent years. Fishing at Johnson-Sauk Trail Lake is permitted by boat (electric trolling motor only) and along the shoreline. For more information, call 309-853-2425.

  5. Two Rivers State Recreation Area, Waterloo, NE. Trout fishing is the main attraction at Two Rivers State Recreation Area (number 73 on the list of "America's Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots"), located southwest of Venice. The 622-acre recreation area features 320 acres of water in several sandpit lakes. When the family is ready to take a break from fishing, there is also an unsupervised swimming beach and concession stand. Call 402-359-5165 for additional information or details.

Now that you have five new suggestions on places to fish across the U.S., make sure that you have a current visitor or resident fishing license in the state where you plan to fish. Be prepared for your trip by purchasing your daily, short-term, annual or lifetime fishing license today.

Photo Credits: Tropical Lake Park, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; Johnson-Sauk Lake, City of Kewanee, PhotoPicks

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Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.