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Best Memorial Day Fishing Destinations for 2024

Photo taken by High Class Hooker Charters

Written by Tanya – 9 Minute read

How will you honor this year’s Memorial Day? If you haven’t made any plans yet, our list of top 10 Memorial Day fishing destinations is here to give you some inspiration. There isn’t a better way to spend the last Monday in May than to wet a line with your loved ones and remember those who gave their lives for us.

A photo featuring a wind-borne American flag on a charter while the boat is moving away from the shore on a Memorial Day fishing trip

From angling epicenters to quiet corners, there’s something for every type of angler on this list. But that’s not all. Along with fishing hotspots, we’ll include some additional Memorial Day activities you can check out. Be they festivals, shows, observance events, remembrance ceremonies, or outdoor recreation, there’s no doubt you’ll spend some quality time with your family and friends wherever you go.

For more inspiration on where to go this Memorial Day, check out our suggestions from last year.

Faith Based Events

San Francisco, CA

Visiting the Golden City is always a good idea. Whether you’re a food lover, a tech fan, or a nature buff, San Francisco is the place to be. But fishing in San Francisco during Memorial Day weekend takes a special place in the hearts of many anglers. So, if you’re a fishing enthusiast, this is your must-visit Memorial Day destination.

A photo featuring the National Cemetery in Presidio in San Francisco with a view of the water in the distance

Fishing in May is synonymous with screaming reels, tight lines, and Striped Bass and Halibut stealing your bait. But Sharks and Flounder aren’t lagging far behind either. From piers and beaches to the bay and deeper waters, you’ll be spoiled for choice with spots to cast from. But if you have to choose one hotspot, don’t miss out on the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf and its fishing platforms.

San Francisco isn’t only about fishing on Memorial Day, though. The city also holds events in honor of our military personnel, becoming the commemoration epicenter of the Bay Area. One of the largest and longest-running ceremonies takes place at the National Cemetery in Presidio (pictured above). Speaking of tradition, the San Francisco Giants will kick off their home series on Memorial Day with specially designed uniforms for the occasion, so don’t forget to support them as well.

Montauk, NY

Montauk is famous worldwide for its stunning beaches, enviable oceanfront, breathtaking sunsets, gorgeous parks, historical landmarks, and superb angling opportunities. There’s no wonder it’s a favorite destination for countless visitors each year. But why should Montauk be your go-to Memorial Day choice?

A photo featuring an angler wearing a cap and a pair of sunglasses while standing on a charter boat and posing with a decent-sized Fluke caught on a Memorial Day fishing trip in Montauk
Photo taken by Kopis Charters

Montauk is brimming with tourists from June to September, and Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial season opener. However, it’ll still be quiet enough for you to relax before the high season skyrockets. You’ll be able to unwind on its sandy beaches and stroll to the Montauk Point Lighthouse without bumping into a sea of people.

As Memorial Day marks the beginning of the fishing season, you’ll get to experience the inshore angling scene in bloom. Expect to catch anything from Stripers, Bluefish, and Seabass to Fluke and Flounder. Stay a bit longer, and June will also reward you with offshore big game, such as Tuna.

Long story short, Montauk wakes up inland, inshore, and offshore on Memorial Day, and you can witness its awakening before the hustle and bustle hits hard.

Nashville, TN

For our next Memorial Day fishing destination, we’re moving inland to the capital of Tennessee – Nashville. Blessed with the Cumberland River, Percy Priest Lake, and numerous streams and ponds, Nashville is one of the few metropolitan areas that can brag about having major fisheries in its urban vicinity. It’s needless to say, then, that the angling is excellent, especially around Memorial Day.

A photo featuring buildings, a bridge, and a river flowing through downtown Nashville on a bright and sunny day

If Striped Bass makes you tick, cast your attention toward the Cumberland River. Anglers say that the river never fails to produce monster Stripers. Catfish devotees, on the other hand, should head to Percy Priest Lake. Memorial Day marks the beginning of the jaw-dropping Catfish angling action, which lasts until mid-June.

If you’re into your music, Nashville is a no-brainer for you this Memorial Day.  Known as the “Music City,” Nashville will live up to its name and organize multiple concerts to honor our American heroes. If you’re more of an athlete, however, join the 24th Annual Memorial Day Dash 5k Run, which will take you past the city’s most historical places.

Lake City, MN

Freshwater fishing enthusiasts will fall head over heels for the next Memorial Day fishing destination. Situated on the Mississippi River, on the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin, our next suggestion is a true angling paradise. Meet Lake City, the birthplace of waterskiing and a match made in heaven for all water-based activities.

A photo featuring three elderly anglers sitting on a charter boat and posing with a Walleye each during their Memorial Day fishing trip in Lake City
Photo taken by Kujawa Outdoors

Lake City taps into the largest natural lake on the Mississippi River, Lake Pepin, which is home to almost 90 fish species! In other words, the chances of you returning empty-handed are almost non-existent. And as if this isn’t impressive enough, Lake Pepin has so many enviable Walleye specimens that it hosted the 2021 MWC World Walleye Championship.

But there’s more. This year’s Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener celebrates its 76th anniversary precisely on Lake Pepin just two weeks before Memorial Day. This confirms that Lake Pepin’s reputation as a prime sportfishing destination is well deserved and is worthy of your time this Memorial Day.

Park City, UT

It’s high time you saw what the West hides. As your top Memorial Day fishing destination in Utah, we picked Park City. Cozily nestled between a couple of mountain ranges, Park City is an elevated oasis tailored for outdoor recreation. So, if an unplugged getaway is on your mind, then Park City is your pick.

A photo featuring scenic city of Park City dotted with colorful buildings and houses surrounded by mountains at dusk

May brings a long list of activities, with fly fishing being the most popular one. And how could it not be a favorite pastime when Park City is surrounded by Blue Ribbon fisheries stocked with trophy fish? The Provo River is an excellent spot for targeting Brown and Rainbow Trout, whereas the Jordanelle Reservoir also brims with Bass and Perch. Meanwhile, Deer Creek Reservoir adds Catfish and Walleye to an already mixed bag of fish species.

Besides fishing, we recommend going for a hike. Nothing resonates better with our bodies and minds than a day spent in nature. And Park City boasts lush forests, pristine waters, and fresh alpine air that will help you recharge your batteries. Apart from a soul-invigorating hike, don’t miss out on a heartwarming meal by signing up for the Santa Maria BBQ at Mindful Cuisine.

Continue Fishing

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This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.