Top 5 National Parks in America for Fishing Enthusiasts

Last updated on September 24th, 2020

Fishing Glacier National Park Montana

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Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park

Fishing One of These 5 Great Parks Should Be on Your Bucket List

Forget going down to the usual local lake or pond for a day of fishing. If you live in America, the thought of wasting precious leisure hours re-hooking bait and anxiously waiting for a tug is painful, especially when you have some extraordinary fishing destinations at your fingertips.

With close to 60 national parks, the U.S is full of preserved sects of the great outdoors that can be reached in a matter of miles from all locales of the country. If you are a fishing enthusiast and you haven’t yet enjoyed the sport in one of these meccas of pristine nature, the time has come.

Grab your tackle box, get your gear and start your journey towards one of the best fishing trips of your life. Here are 5 of the top American national parks that you need to drop your fishing line into today.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

It’s America’s first national park and although mostly known for its thermal pools and hot springs, it is also widely notable for its wildlife.

Besides the moose and bears, Yellowstone is home to a much sought after cutthroat trout. Fishermen travel from far and wide to try to score one of these beauties in the cool and plentiful streams that run all throughout the park.

Since fishing has been a main activity in the park for over a century, it is still allowed today and even helps the park with its mission to preserve the natural habitat. With lake trout slowly wiping out the cutthroat population, successful fishermen are welcome to try to help the population find a balance.

Memorial Day marks the beginning of the Yellowstone fishing season which then ends on the first Sunday of November. Anglers 16 years of age and up must purchase a 3-day permit for $18, a 7-day permit for $25 or a season permit for $40.

These permits can be purchased at the visitors center, ranger stations or general stores within the park. Fishing boats can be rented at the nearby Xanterra Parks and Resorts or you can use your own boat after it has passed an inspection and you have paid the permit fee ranging from $7-$20 depending on the number of days you wish to use it.

Be careful to properly clean your gear as to stop the spread of invasive bacteria and keep a lookout for the bears who may want to challenge you for a catch. The park is absolutely stunning and diverse so enjoy fishing among some of the most secluded and scenic landscapes.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Made up of alpine meadows, snow-peaked mountains and pristine lakes, this national park is a paradise for hikers and fishermen. The main purpose of this park is to preserve the ecosystem and the animals within it, so fishing here can oftentimes be restricted.

However, when the season allows, the fishing opportunities are fantastic. From the third Saturday in May through November 30th, fishing season is open with the exception of the non-restricted lakes which are open all year round. There are however a few different areas that will be closed off during the season to protect the fish population during spawning.

Within the waters, you can find cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish, northern pike and Kokanee salmon. There are limits put on the amount of fish you can catch and keep, however, certain fish such as the lake trout and whitefish have no limits in certain areas.

With an almost magical backdrop of glaciers, mountain goats and bears, fishermen can forget about the outside world.  Another benefit of the park is the availability of ice fishing! 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina

At this mountainous park, which was dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1940, anglers can enjoy fishing all year round. The grounds abound with rivers and streams that support trout and smallmouth bass among other varieties.

Here you’ll find are over 2,100 miles of streams housing one of America’s largest wild trout populations. There are a large variety of places to fish – from isolated, tributary trout streams to larger cool water runs containing smallmouth and rock bass (aka rock perch).

Fishing is allowed starting a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset each day in all of the streams that are located within the park. In order to fish, you must possess a fishing license from either the state of Tennessee or North Carolina if you are 13 years of age or older and no trout stamp is required of you.

Make sure to purchase your license in nearby towns outside the park as they cannot be obtained once inside. Anglers are able to obtain a limit of 5 trout and a limit of 20 rock bass during their fishing day. Great Smoky also happens to be the only major national park where admission is completely free.

Acadia National Park, Maine

fishing arcadia national park maine

Shoreline of Acadia National Park

Located on the rugged Atlantic Coast, this national park has the diversity of both forests and beaches. It is home to the tallest mountain on the coast and is a favorite of nature lovers and hikers.

The fishing season is in effect from April until September and licenses from the state of Maine are required for fishermen beginning at 16 years of age. However, ocean fishing does not require a license.

Ice fishing season runs from January through March and there are over ten different ponds and lakes to fish from year-round.

The different species of fish that can be found here vary widely from brook trout and landlocked salmon to Atlantic mackerel and the New England favorite, striped bass.

Enjoy the distinct features of this east coast national park as there are not many to be found on that side of the country.

Everglades National Park, Florida

The Everglades is special for more than just its alligators as it is America’s largest subtropical wilderness. It is crawling with rare and endangered species including the alligators, manatees and even the Florida panther.

It has been deemed a World Heritage site and an International Biosphere Reserve making it renowned both internationally and at home. With around one-third of the park covered in water, there are endless opportunities for boating and fishing within the park.

Fishermen will be happy to know that within the diverse waters of the Everglades they can find redfish, snapper, bass, bluegill and many other species.

There are both saltwater and freshwater fishing available in the park and each one requires a different license. Although fishing from the shore is restricted, there are plenty of opportunities to take a boat out to one of the water flats, mangrove keys or channels.

There you have it, plenty of options to get you out of your same-old fishing routine and into some spectacular landscapes. The country is at your fingertips and the fish are ready and waiting for you.

Get out and explore our national parks and their waters. Start planning your next fishing getaway today!

National Parks Info :

National Park Service 

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