Everyone knows what a good old-fashioned Independence Day celebration looks like – parades, get-togethers, barbecues, and a lot of fireworks. Should you add fishing to this list? We certainly think so! After all, what better way to celebrate the spirit of this holiday than to enjoy the same activity so many patriots and frontiersmen themselves enjoyed for hundreds of years.
To that end, we’ve put together a list of the best Fourth of July fishing destinations all across the USA. We’re sure you’ll appreciate the sheer variety of fisheries, species, and angling techniques you can make use of on an important day like this. Without further ado, let’s jump in!
And what better place to start with than Myrtle Beach! Not only is there tons of variety here in terms of fish species, but July’s the best time of year to check them all out. For newcomers to the hobby, there’s plenty of Redfish, Spotted Seatrout and Flounder to be found inshore. If you’re hankering for a challenge, why not seek out Tarpon and see for yourself whether the nickname “Silver King” is well-earned.
Finally, there’s the option of heading deep into the Gulf Stream. This will have you spending most of the day on the water, but it’ll be well worth the trip. From big Mahi Mahi to Billfish and Yellowfin Tuna, it’s the real test of your angling skills and stamina. Good news is, you’ll be back in time to enjoy the evening fireworks even after a 12-hour offshore adventure. The big ones start at 10 p.m. giving you plenty of time to rest up after your big day.
The variety Myrtle Beach offers is tough to beat, but Jacksonville is certainly going to give it a shot! With over 20 species of saltwater and freshwater fish to catch across the city, it’s safe to say you’ll have your hands full. From diving near the Coppedge Tug Wreck and marveling at the schools of brightly colored fish to bottom fishing at Blackmar’s Reef for big Snappers, there’s no time to be lost hanging about.
Planning on sticking around after the festivities are done? As it happens, you can look forward to one of the largest fishing tournaments in this part of the country. The 42nd Annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament will take place from July 14–22. A big event with an even bigger tradition, it’ll also include a junior angler tournament, a food festival with live entertainment, and more. Come for the fireworks, stay for the pro fishing!
Speaking of tradition, do you like steamboats? Those of you who do won’t want to miss the Steamboat Katahdin Fireworks Cruise on Independence Day. This 1914-era steamboat is a perfect way for anyone to become immersed in the history of Moosehead Lake. But what about fishing? Sadly, you won’t be able to fish from a steamboat, so you’ll need a different type of boat for that sort of thing.
Fortunately for you, the Maine Highlands area in general and Moosehead Lake in particular are teeming with fish this time of year. These waters are famous for their landlocked Salmon, Brook Trout, and Lake Trout fisheries. All you fly anglers out there will surely have a blast! And if you’re looking for a more relaxed family experience, there are plenty of shallow bay spots where you can take it easy while fishing for Smallmouth Bass.
4. Redding, CA
So far it’s all been about the East Coast, so let’s shift gears for a moment. We’ll now be talking about one of the best destinations for Fourth of July fishing on the West Coast. Fun fact, Redding is the only West Coast town to make it on Forbes.com’s list of North America’s Top 10 Trout Fishing Towns. With easy access to the Lower Sac and some of the most powerful Rainbow Trout in the world, we certainly understand the appeal.
Rainbows are just the start, though. Trinity River is less than an hour’s drive away and has some great Chinook and Coho fishing on offer. Or head east to Lassen Volcanic Park and explore the local creeks and lakes while also making time for boating, hiking, and other ways of navigating this breathtaking wilderness.