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  • Writer's pictureAline Gill

The 50 Best New Fishing Spots in America

Updated: Mar 6, 2019

We found the hottest new rivers, lakes, and streams—one for every state—to catch big bass, trout, walleye, catfish, and more. Road trip, anyone?


Water: Lewis Smith Lake Targets: Largemouth Bass and Striped Bass Alabama is home to some of the best bass lakes in the U.S., but Lewis Smith Lake wasn’t one of them until recently. The deep, clear lake that seemed lifeless for years currently has a thriving fishery thanks to the newly flourishing blueback herring population, which largemouths and stripers are chowing down on.


Water: Situk River Targets: Sockeye and Pink Salmon The Situk gets less attention than some of Alaska’s other rivers, and while it sees its share of traffic during the spring and fall steelhead runs, anglers all but disappear in the summer. Big mistake, because the Situk has strong runs of pink and sockeye salmon waiting for anyone seeking solitude.


Water: Saguaro Lake Target: Largemouth Bass A fish kill in 2005 decimated Saguaro’s largemouth population. However, with rejuvenated grass growth, clean mountain water flow, and a resurgence of baitfish, the bass population has rebounded big time. Saguaro is now a top trophy lake in Arizona, and one that the locals consider a hidden gem.

Rise and Shine: Morning on Arkansas' Lake Ouachita. Keith Sutton


Water: Lake Ouachita Targets: Striped Bass and Walleyes Lake Ouachita has seen a recent boom in its shad population, and with it came a boom in the number and size of stripers and walleyes. The state also recently lowered the minimum possession length of bass to 12 inches in an effort to urge anglers to fill their coolers with smaller fish and let the bigger ones go.


Water: Skinner Reservoir Targets: Largemouth and Striped Bass California is known for its big bass lakes, but Skinner Reservoir is a total sleeper. Local sticks refer to it as the “SoCal Clear Lake” for its similarities to the famous Clear Lake farther north. Its lunker largemouths and stripers get fat on the abundant trout.

A healthy trout from Colorado's Eagle River. Tim Romano


Water: Eagle River Targets: Rainbow and ­Cutthroat Trout Eagle River was sadly rendered lifeless by heavy metals from mine runoff in the 1980s. Eventually, the mine water was diverted to holding ponds, and after years of recovery, the populations of rainbows, cutthroats, and cutbows have made an incredible comeback.

View the complete list of states here:

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