Winter’s here, but that doesn’t mean you should put away your fishing rod just yet. Every serious angler knows that winter brings fishing opportunities that you can’t experience during the warm months. With that in mind, we decided to put together a list featuring some of the best winter fishing destinations in the US.
Fishing during the colder months means different things to different anglers. Some like to walk on thick ice, while others prefer heading down south in search of sun, sea, and fish. For this list, we looked for destinations that offer amazing reel-spinning action, specific conditions that occur during winter, and cool activities to top it off.
Without any further ado, let’s dive in. Here are the seven best winter fishing destinations in the US!
When we say Brainerd, we mean ice fishing! It’s no surprise that Brainerd topped our winter fishing destinations list. Located in central Minnesota, Brainerd is home to the biggest ice fishing event in the world. The Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza takes place every January on Gull Lake’s Hole in the Day Bay, 15 miles north of the town.
The species you can expect to catch here are Walleye, Northern Pike, and Perch. By participating in the tournament, you’ll not only be in for a lot of fun, but you’ll also be contributing to charity. In recent years, the event has raised $150,000 for charities annually.
When you finally decide to get off the ice, there are plenty of other activities you can take part in. Brainerd is nothing short of a winter outdoor paradise. Name your winter outdoor adventure, and Brainerd probably has it. From skiing to winter biking, we’re 100% sure you won’t get bored.
If you happen to get tired of the cold weather, visit some of the town’s galleries. Brainerd is a small town, but you wouldn’t know it from the number of art galleries! Here, you’ll find photography, jewelry, pottery, stained glass, copper and other metalwork, and much more made by 40 artists from all around the US and beyond.
Stuart is known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World.” It lives up to its nickname during the cold months, making it a great winter fishing destination! Sailfish season is in full swing from November to February and many anglers head to Stuart to experience its famous deep-sea fishing.
The Gulf Stream can be reached within ten miles from shore, meaning you can catch a Sailfish during a 4 or 5-hour fishing trip. Other species you can expect to catch during the colder months are Blackfin Tuna, Wahoo, Kingfish, and Barracuda. January is also a good time for targeting inshore species like Speckled Trout and Redfish.
There are many more reasons to visit Stuart during the winter, besides its Sailfish season. Wintertime takes on a whole new meaning in the Sunshine State, and it won’t take you long to see why. South Florida is warm, and the days are sunny and breezy.
Take a stroll down Martin County’s beautiful beaches, look for shells, and get yourself a nice winter tan! If you really want to make the most out of the mild temperatures, head out to the woods and enjoy miles and miles of hiking trails.