BlogJune 2020

Tips for Planning Summer Fishing Trips

Tips for Planning Summer Fishing Trips

By Debbie Hanson

Jun 03, 2020

List of helpful summer fishing tips to plan family adventures close to home. How to decide where to go, what gear you’ll need for summer fishing trips

Days of sunshine and warm weather are right around the corner, which means it’s time to start planning your summer fishing trips. You might be surprised by the number of fishing adventures you can plan within just a short drive from home. Wondering where to go and what you’ll need? These summer fishing tips can help.

Decide on a Target Species

One of the first and most important summer fishing tips is to decide on the target species that you and your family want to catch. The fish species you choose to target will dictate the type of fishing tackle and gear you should use as well as which waterways you should fish. For example, you can use the Places to Fish and Boat Map to find out which fish species you can catch in your state’s waterways (you can zoom into an area on the map and click on the “fish species” icon in the lower left corner of the screen).

Make a Fishing Trip Checklist

Put together a checklist of the tackle, gear, bait, and fishing trip essentials you’ll need to have a successful day out on the water. If you need help figuring out which items to include, use the fishing resources pages to find a list of everything you need to start fishing.

Explore Spots Close to Home

Research fishing destinations close to home that offer opportunities to incorporate other outdoor activities, such as hiking or camping. This way, you can explore new natural settings and make the most of your time. For example, I enjoy summer bass fishing and bluegill fishing in Highlands County, Florida, because it’s only a 2-hour drive from where I live. In addition, hiking and camping are offered at Highlands Hammock State Park, so there are plenty of other ways to relax in the great outdoors after a morning of fishing.

Have a Back-Up Destination

Another one of the summer fishing tips that often gets forgotten is to have a back-up destination in mind. In other words, be sure to have a “Plan B” when planning any family summer fishing adventure. This way, if a boat launch is shut down or weather conditions make your original plan less favorable, you have another option. You may want to consider a destination that has multiple types of waterways (lakes, rivers, streams, ponds) within a close radius.

Once you’ve considered these tips, buy your fishing license and put your summer family fishing plans into motion.

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.