Entertainment

/

ArcaMax

States with the most registered fishermen

Madison Troyer on

Published in Slideshow World

Canva 1/52

States with the most registered fishermen

There are 29.2 registered anglers in the United States, with more than 49 million fishermen of all ages taking to water bodies around the country both in 2017 and 2018, according to the Outdoor Foundation’s 2019 Special Report on Fishing. In an effort to learn more about one of Americans’ favorite pastimes, Stacker referred to 2020 data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service breaking down how many registered fishermen are in each state. We then ranked states using per-capita fishing license holder numbers and population data from the 2018 census.

As schedules have become more crowded, Americans have increasingly sought out the quiet, slow activity of fishing. The sport has also proven to be a popular summer activity amid a new era of social distancing, allowing people to keep their space while enjoying the outdoors.

About 24.1% of American children fish, with popularity among kids climbing almost 2% between 2016 and 2019. Kids are not required to register as fishermen except in states requiring junior licenses. Teenager participation rose by 4% over the same time period, according to the 2019 Special Report on Fishing. And 34% of the 49.1 million Americans who went fishing in 2018 were women.

Freshwater fishing has almost twice as many participants as saltwater and fly fishing combined, making freshwater the clear favorite of American fishing styles.

Read on to find out how your state stacks up, and for more information about the best fishing holes and species in each state.

You may also like: Where every U.S. president went to college

Visit thestacker.com for similar lists and stories.

Canva 2/52

#51. Hawaii

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.003 per capita (4,468 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.003 per capita (4,580 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $23,900

More than just an outdoorsman’s hobby, fishing is deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture. There are a variety of options for fishermen in the state: deep sea fishing, spearfishing, and flats fishing for more than 550 native species, as well as freshwater fishing for a half-dozen species introduced to the islands. Hawaii is the only ocean-bordering state that doesn’t require a marine license to cast a line—although there is a licensing requirement for freshwater fishing.

Canva 3/52

#50. Washington D.C.

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.010 per capita (6,675 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.010 per capita (6,675 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $82,185

Fishing in Washington D.C. primarily takes place in the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. Plenty of bass, crappies, and yellow perch populate these rivers. In efforts to keep the numbers up, the government has regulated the number and size of these species fishermen are allowed to keep.

Canva 4/52

#49. New Jersey

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.019 per capita (168,634 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.029 per capita (260,638 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $4,846,094

Fishing in New Jersey is a very seasonal affair. In the winter, anglers flock to Lake Assunpink and Hopatcong State Park for a little ice fishing, reeling in chain pickerel and yellow perch. In the summer, deep-sea charters for pollack and blackfish are popular—as are the 400-plus lakes, ponds, and reservoirs filled with trout.

Canva 5/52

#48. Massachusetts

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.025 per capita (175,356 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.057 per capita (390,726 total) - Expenditures onExpenditures onExpenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $4,749,586

Massachusetts is known for its premier saltwater fishing. From April to November, striped bass, bluefin and yellowfin tuna, fluke, black sea bass, cod, and other varieties of fish are plentiful in the open ocean and can be caught & kept with proper licensure. Freshwater fishing is also a popular year-round activity in places like the Connecticut River, the Deerhead River, and the Wachusett and Quabbin Reservoirs.

Canva 6/52

#47. Nevada

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.034 per capita (103,916 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.073 per capita (221,610 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $3,421,218

Nevada boasts nearly 400,000 acres of fishable lakes, rivers, streams, and reservoirs for sportsmen. The state’s ecological diversity means some bodies of water are high up in the mountains, while others are low in the desert, with the majority of fishable water comprised of man-made reservoirs. Each year, the state hosts a Free Fishing Day on the second Saturday in June, when fishermen cast lines without a license in pursuit of bluegill, kokanee, green sunfish, and a variety of trout.

You may also like: U.S. Army by the numbers

Canva 7/52

#46. California

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.041 per capita (1,630,136 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.063 per capita (2,492,413 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $62,710,990

Fishing in California is as varied as the state is long. There’s plenty of opportunity for open ocean fishing, as well as fishing in inland lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Some of the most popular spots to cast a line are the San Francisco Bay Area, Lake Tahoe, Lake Shasta, and, for families with young kids or true beginners, Lake Cuyamaca in San Diego County, which gets stocked regularly.

Canva 8/52

#45. Connecticut

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.042 per capita (151,007 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.062 per capita (220,385 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $4,091,736

Long Island Sound is an estuary, where saltwater and freshwater meet, making it an essential ecosystem for more than 1,200 species of invertebrates, 170 different kinds of fish, and dozens of migratory bird species. There are more than 100 kinds of fish inhabiting Long Island Sound, which makes for prime fishing all along the 332 miles of Connecticut coastline bordering the estuary. For inland fishing, check out the Farmington and Housatonic Rivers, or one of the 11 bodies of water that the state regularly stocks with trout from local hatcheries.

Canva 9/52

#44. New York

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.045 per capita (886,624 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.062 per capita (1,207,995 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $20,908,120

New York is home to more than 165 species of fish swimming through the state’s 7,500 lakes and 70,000 miles of rivers and streams. Whether fly fishing in the Catskill and Adirondack state parks, ice fishing in the Thousand Islands, or deep sea fishing off the coast, New York is a veritable angler’s paradise.

Canva 10/52

#43. Maryland

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.048 per capita (287,471 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.071 per capita (428,574 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $8,320,634

Maryland’s lakes, reservoirs, and rivers are popular fishing spots for shad, bass, catfish, and perch, among many others. While many states have free fishing days where one can fish without a license, Maryland also has free fishing areas in tidal portions of the Chesapeake Bay, where licenses are never required.

Canva 11/52

#42. Illinois

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.052 per capita (667,750 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.062 per capita (793,261 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $8,917,009

Those looking to land a sizable catfish in Illinois would be best served by casting a line in the portion of the Mississippi River that flows through the state. This section of the river is second only to Louisiana when it comes to jumbo trophy catches. Lake Michigan is a popular option for those seeking a wider variety of species; it holds the most diverse fish population out of any Illinois lake.

You may also like: Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about literature?

Canva 12/52

#41. Arizona

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.060 per capita (428,360 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.062 per capita (446,542 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $12,947,715

Arizona’s fish populations have dwindled due to invasive fish species and habitat destruction. One species of fish in the state has already gone extinct, leaving Arizona with 35 native species. Of those, 20 are listed as endangered or threatened, while 34 are marked as species of Greatest Conservation Need. Throughout the state, government agencies including the Arizona Game and Fish Department, volunteers, and various conservation and outdoor organizations have worked to bring those numbers back up through a variety of restoration projects. Those efforts are paying off: Arizona has plenty of great spots to cast a line in the landlocked state, including the Colorado River (Lee’s Ferry at Glen Canyon is the most easily-accessible portion of the river) and the Alamo Lake in Wenden.

Unsplash 13/52

#40. Rhode Island

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.061 per capita (64,687 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.083 per capita (87,839 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $858,595

While everyone is required to obtain a license for freshwater and saltwater fishing in Rhode Island, the state has different rules when it comes to shellfish, lobster, and crabs. No license is required for shellfish, but Rhode Island residents only are able to obtain licenses for harvesting lobster, blue crabs, and horseshoe crabs. Narragansett Bay, Block Island Sound, and the Rhode Island Sound are the most popular spots for fishermen of all types to set up.

Canva 14/52

#39. Virginia

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.063 per capita (534,103 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.100 per capita (849,677 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $24,679,934

Virginia has more than 2,800 miles of trout streams, several of which are stocked annually by the state. Blue catfish, striped bass, flounder, and cobia are other popular types of fish that can be found in the state’s extensive tidal waters and in the Chesapeake Bay.

Canva 15/52

#38. Texas

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.063 per capita (1,819,905 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.079 per capita (2,253,496 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $59,606,326

Anglers can fish without a license in any of Texas’ 70-plus state parks. To encourage local communities to take advantage of this program, the state also often offers free learn-to-fish events. Profits from all fishing licenses in Texas go directly into conservation efforts, which include protecting the three dozen fish species classified as threatened or endangered.

Canva 16/52

#37. Ohio

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.072 per capita (835,822 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.074 per capita (867,727 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $15,649,011

Ohio is home to more than 124,000 acres of inland water offering great year-round fishing opportunities throughout the state. Lake Erie, the Ohio River, Piedmont Lake (where a number of trophy-sized fish are caught each year), and the quieter Alum Creek are all popular spots for fishermen angling after everything from walleye and perch to northern pike and catfish.

You may also like: Major cities most at risk of rising sea levels

Canva 17/52

#36. Florida

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.072 per capita (1,523,634 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.098 per capita (2,096,592 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $38,513,377

With over 1,300 miles of coastline (second only to Alaska), Florida provides the ultimate saltwater fishing experience in a warmer climate. In the Gulf Stream, you can find awesome sportfishing opportunities including battles with blue marlin, sailfish, swordfish, and even sharks. While this kind of fishing obviously requires access to a boat, those who prefer to stay on land can still cast from a pier or along the beach and reel in a variety of gamefish like snook and redfish.

Canva 18/52

#35. Indiana

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.077 per capita (513,510 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.068 per capita (456,453 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $7,481,127

While not generally viewed as one of the best states for fishing, Indiana does boast a handful of hidden gems for fishing. Monroe, Patoka, and Worster Lakes are all popular spots, as is the Geist Reservoir. Throughout the state, bass and crappie are far and away the most popular fish for anglers.

Canva 19/52

#34. Pennsylvania

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.082 per capita (1,043,895 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.110 per capita (1,408,057 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $24,572,146

Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle Bay, the oldest harbor on the Great Lakes, provides a very family-friendly experience, with access to nearly a dozen varieties of fish. For more-experienced fishermen, Slippery Rock Creek—while not easy to access—is a favorite for fly fishing.

Canva 20/52

#33. Washington

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.085 per capita (641,060 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.203 per capita (1,531,954 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $34,803,285

Washington state offers amazing fly fishing opportunities in the Cascade Mountains, crabbing in the Puget Sound, and salmon fishing along the open coastline. Abundant salmon and steelhead populations in the state are co-managed by local and tribal governments; the two groups are working together to maintain population levels and restore natural habitats in an effort to combat overfishing.

Canva 21/52

#32. Georgia

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.086 per capita (907,294 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.129 per capita (1,352,896 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $13,373,523

Georgia is widely considered the “bass capital of the world.” Lake Walter F. George is the most popular spot to catch these fish, but several other state parks also offer solid opportunities for netting bass, crappie, and catfish. Lake Allatoona, Lake Lanier, and Lake Seminole are just a few of the other spots worth checking out next time you want to while away an afternoon in the Peach State.

You may also like: 30 foods that are poisonous to dogs

Canva 22/52

#31. Kansas

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.087 per capita (252,010 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.092 per capita (267,126 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $6,395,277

Despite the fact that it has only several hundred acres of fishable waters (many of which are on private land) Kansas still has more than 250,000 licensed anglers. The 84-acre Cowley State Fishing Lake is one of the most popular spots available to the public. Kansas also has the Fishing Impoundments and Stream Habitats (F.I.S.H.) program, which offers compensation to landowners who allow people to fish on their land. By 2019, that effort has made more than 1,900 acres of ponds and 70 miles of streams available to the public.

Canva 23/52

#30. Delaware

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.091 per capita (87,727 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.115 per capita (111,359 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $1,575,566

In this tiny state, saltwater fishing along the state’s 28 miles of coastline tends to be a more popular pastime than freshwater fishing. Along the Delaware Bay, for example, you can catch a variety of fish, including trout, spot, kings, and croaker. If crabbing and clamming are more your speed, check out Holts Landing State Park, which has the only pier in the state built specifically for these purposes.

Canva 24/52

#29. South Carolina

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.104 per capita (527,171 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.132 per capita (670,406 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $6,580,263

South Carolina offers the same varieties of river, lake, and open ocean fishing as many other coastal states, but it’s the unique fly fishing experience provided by the salt flats in the Lowcountry that draws many experienced anglers. The tidal currents in these salt flats increase the challenge of getting a bite from a redfish, sea trout, or Spanish mackerel. Additionally, another popular attraction for anglers takes place in April, May, and June, when cobia fish swim into the Broad River to spawn—one of only two places on the East Coast they do this.

Canva 25/52

#28. Mississippi

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.107 per capita (318,070 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.129 per capita (383,989 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $5,727,559

The eponymous Mississippi River is one of the most popular places to fish in this southern state. There are hundreds of species that call this river home, but at the bottom of the river catfish are the most common. At Tunica Lake, anglers can reel in more catfish and crappie than they could ever dream of eating.

Canva 26/52

#27. Michigan

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.111 per capita (1,112,109 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.117 per capita (1,166,148 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $28,813,612

While states like Kansas offer very little in the way of fishing spots, states like Michigan—with more than 11,000 inland lakes and 3,000 rivers—offer plenty of variety. Try Saginaw Bay, one of the biggest lakes in the United States; Union Lake, which is best known for its walleye fishing; or Lake St. Clair, which offers plenty of charters and fishing guides for deep-water fishing.

You may also like: Popular fashion trends the year you were born

Canva 27/52

#26. New Hampshire

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.115 per capita (156,000 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.132 per capita (178,380 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $6,018,982

In New Hampshire, ice-fishing is just as popular as fresh and saltwater fishing. Ice fishing season typically runs from December-April, although it can vary depending on temperature and ice safety. The most commonly-caught species are perch, pickerel, black crappie, and bass. Salmon is not allowed to be pulled through the ice.

Canva 28/52

#25. Iowa

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.118 per capita (373,209 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.131 per capita (413,222 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $8,595,058

Much of the fishing in Iowa—to the tune of more 1.6 million trips—is done in small, often privately-owned, ponds that have higher-than-average fish populations compared to ponds throughout the rest of the U.S. Crayfish, bluegills, and bass are the most commonly-caught fish in the state.

Canva 29/52

#24. New Mexico

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.119 per capita (249,321 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.263 per capita (551,854 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $5,548,720

The state of New Mexico raises and stocks more than 2 million fish each year in an effort to increase opportunities for recreational fishing. These efforts have been especially impactful for Rio Grande cutthroats, Gila trout, Kokanee salmon, and tiger muskie, all native species who have seen an increase in numbers over recent years thanks to these conservation efforts. Popular spots for catching these species, as well as several others, include the upper Rio Grande, San Juan, and Pecos Rivers.

Canva 30/52

#23. Nebraska

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.124 per capita (238,558 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.218 per capita (419,914 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $7,549,362

Although it is now more easily identifiable as a great plains state, Nebraska was once loaded with streams and rivers. That water has largely been dammed into lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, creating a suitable environment for 78 breeds of native fish. Seven of these species—pallid sturgeon, lake sturgeon, sturgeon chub, northern redbelly dace, finescale dace, blacknose shiner, and Topeka shiner—are now at high risk for extinction, as their native habitats have been all but decimated.

Canva 31/52

#22. Alabama

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.125 per capita (608,912 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.128 per capita (627,616 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $9,289,049

Another state known for its bass fishing, Alabama is home to the Bass Trail Tournament Series, a fishing competition with a $50,000 grand prize. Eleven of the state’s lakes are included in the tournament: Lake Guntersville, Wheeler Lake, Pickwick Lake, Lewis Smith Lake, Neely Henry Lake, Logan Martin Lake, Lay Lake, Lake Jordan, Alabama River, Lake Eufaula, and the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. Whether you’re enrolled in the competition or prefer a more laid-back fishing experience, these bodies of water provide excellent opportunities.

You may also like: U.S. Air Force by the numbers

Canva 32/52

#21. Kentucky

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.126 per capita (563,706 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.135 per capita (604,301 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $9,627,037

Kentucky is home to some incredible fishing opportunities. From Cave Run Lake (“the Muskie capital of the south”) to Dale Hollow Lake (home of the world-record smallmouth bass catch), there are plenty of trip-worthy fishing destinations. Overall, the state boasts more than 62,000 miles of fishable streams and 40 lakes 100 acres or bigger in size.

Canva 33/52

#20. Missouri

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.127 per capita (775,328 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.208 per capita (1,275,421 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $12,799,375

Anglers in Missouri never have to worry about getting a bite, as the streams in Bennett Spring, Montauk, and Roaring River state parks are freshly stocked with trout each night. For those who prefer other types of fishing, Lake Wappapello State Park provides an excellent chance to catch largemouth bass, and Pomme de Terre State Park offers the only muskellunge fishing opportunity in the state.

Canva 34/52

#19. Tennessee

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.127 per capita (860,884 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.114 per capita (769,008 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $19,952,374

As in many other southern states, bass fishing in Tennessee is a favorite pastime. The state shares Dale Hollow Lake, a bass hotspot, with Kentucky, and also boasts the Chickamauga Reservoir, which is known for its record-setting bass fish. Another popular fishing hole in Tennessee is Pickwick Lake, three lakes in one, which offers bass fishing year-round.

Canva 35/52

#18. North Carolina

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.128 per capita (1,330,544 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.090 per capita (934,996 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $22,053,028

North Carolina is home to some of the best saltwater fishing in the world. From May to August, anglers can catch speckled trout on Bald Head Island, flounder on Wrightsville Beach, and Spanish mackerel from any of the state’s abundant piers. The most-patient fishermen can also try their luck at catching tarpon just off the shore.

Canva 36/52

#17. West Virginia

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.140 per capita (252,935 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.367 per capita (661,910 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $5,582,675

The southern end of the Potomac River in West Virginia is legendary for the quality of fly fishing it provides. If you prefer fishing from a boat, Jennings Randolph Lake and Cheat Lake are known for their walleye and bass fishing, respectively. If you enjoy night fishing, North Bend Lake is filled with a variety of native fish, and is one of the only lakes in the state to allow after-dark angling.

You may also like: Least obedient dog breeds

Canva 37/52

#16. Oregon

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.149 per capita (622,861 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.203 per capita (850,409 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $26,554,837

Steelhead, salmon, and halibut are abundant in Oregon and provide year-round fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels and abilities. While open ocean fishing for salmon (particularly Oregon’s native chinook breed) is popular in the summer months, there are also frequent closures during the season in an effort to keep the population up. Inland, the McKenzie River, Klamath Falls, the Deschutes River, and lakes in Mount Hood National Forest offer unique and varied experiences for all types of fish.

Canva 38/52

#15. Colorado

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.149 per capita (849,532 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.235 per capita (1,337,120 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $20,809,483

Whether you’re a fly fisher, an ice fisher, or a classic rod-and-reel type of angler, Colorado is certain to have something for you. The state is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the premier fishing destinations in the world. Cast for trout in the Fryingpan River or the Rocky Mountain National Park, or drop a line for a little bit of everything in the Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area or Lake Meredith. There are 14 species of fish native to the Colorado River System; four of them—the humpback chub, bonytail, Colorado pikeminnow, and razorback sucker—are endangered and may not be caught by sportsmen.

Canva 39/52

#14. Utah

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.156 per capita (494,545 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.166 per capita (524,375 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $14,105,404

Throughout Utah, fishing in almost all lakes and rivers is open year-round. Trout are abundant in the mountainous regions of the state, with trophy fish weighing in at more than 40 pounds. Ferocious tiger muskie, crappie, walleye, and channel catfish are also plentiful, and the various types of bass are so common that all limits have been removed for the species.

Canva 40/52

#13. Louisiana

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.157 per capita (730,918 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.216 per capita (1,004,826 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $11,908,913

As is now true of many states, pollution in Louisiana has made it so that some native species of fish are inedible and can only be caught in select areas. Those looking for a little catch-and-release action, on the other hand, have far more places to cast a line for freshwater and saltwater fish. From large yellowfin and blackfin tuna early in the year, to cobia and red snapper during the hottest months of summer, to the smaller marsh species during the coldest months, there’s something to be caught here year-round.

Canva 41/52

#12. Arkansas

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.158 per capita (476,974 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.221 per capita (665,240 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $8,258,602

Yet another ideal destination for bass fishermen, Arkansas is home to 10 different species of the fish. Some of the best spots in the state to snag a record-breaking fish include the Arkansas River, which stretches over 300 miles; Lake Ouachita, a 40,100 square acre man-made lake; and Greers Ferry Lake, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers impoundment.

You may also like: Space discoveries from the year you were born

Canva 42/52

#11. Vermont

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.185 per capita (115,663 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.191 per capita (119,600 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $3,398,307

Bordered by Lake Champlain and the Connecticut River, Vermont has some world-class fishing opportunities for more than 90 species of fish. From the warm water panfish and chain pickerel to the cold water rainbow trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon, there’s something to be caught year-round. If you can stand the freezing temperatures, ice fishing in Vermont is among the best in the country, especially on Lake Champlain.

Canva 43/52

#10. Maine

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.201 per capita (269,316 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.203 per capita (271,531 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $8,196,578

Maine is home to a host of “gold medal” fish or rare breeds that are highly sought after by sportsmen around the country. The state’s purebred native brook trout are among the most prized fish in the U.S., and Maine contains 97% of the breed’s natural habitats on the East Coast. Other prize species include brown trout, arctic char, and landlocked salmon.

Canva 44/52

#9. Oklahoma

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.203 per capita (799,164 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.133 per capita (523,754 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $8,552,671

Paddlefish is a prehistoric fish species that can live up to 50 years. Native to Oklahoma, these fish had begun to disappear by the early ‘90s; extensive conservation efforts were put in place to ensure they don’t become entirely extinct. Today, anglers in Oklahoma can obtain a free permit to catch the unique breed, but strict reporting measures remain in place to ensure that this incomparable experience can be enjoyed by generations to come.

Canva 45/52

#8. Wisconsin

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.231 per capita (1,341,311 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.291 per capita (1,691,201 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $38,382,215

In April 2020, a host of new fishing regulations were enacted in Wisconsin, affecting the way anglers interact with all 160 of the state’s breeds. Important changes include a decrease in the number of walleye fishers can keep each day (down to three from five), an extension to musky fishing season, and a year-round approval of catch-and-release fishing for large and smallmouth bass. Even if you’ve fished in the Badger State before, you’d do well to brush up on the new laws in order to ensure you’re following them correctly.

Canva 46/52

#7. Minnesota

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.259 per capita (1,451,672 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.292 per capita (1,637,178 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $33,537,441

This northern state contains 11,842 different lakes that provide homes for dozens of different species of fish. The most popular species are walleye and bass, which can be caught in legendary destinations like Lake Minnetonka, Millie Lacs, and Leech Lake. Whether you want to employ the services of one of Minnesota’s 155 fishing guides and charters or strike out on your own, you’re sure to bring in at least one fish on the hottest days of summer or the coldest winter nights.

You may also like: U.S. Army history from the year you were born

Canva 47/52

#6. South Dakota

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.262 per capita (231,462 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.268 per capita (236,141 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $7,162,505

Nearly 98% of the bodies of water in South Dakota are open to the public and available for fishing. In the summer and fall, fly fishing in the streams of the Black Hills is popular with residents and tourists alike. During the long, cold winter months, the glacier lakes freeze over, turning into perfect playgrounds for ice fishermen.

Canva 48/52

#5. North Dakota

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.280 per capita (212,666 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.287 per capita (218,440 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $4,105,544

Anglers come to North Dakota for one reason: walleye. For the past several seasons, there has been an unprecedented number of the species in the state’s lakes and streams, meaning that there aren’t restrictions on the number or size of the fish you can catch. Lake Sakakawea, in the northwestern part of the state, is one of the most popular destinations for walleye fishermen.

Canva 49/52

#4. Idaho

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.285 per capita (499,500 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.634 per capita (1,112,409 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $12,660,589

Idaho has 3,100 miles of rivers, more than any other state in the country, all of which provide unique fishing opportunities. From the hallowed fly fishing grounds of eastern Idaho to the wild fishing in the middle fork of the Snake River (which rests in the largest wilderness area in the lower 48), you can catch species like sockeye and Chinook salmon, rainbow and cutthroat trout, and mountain whitefish. Ernest Hemingway waxed poetic about the fishing in Silver Creek, Idaho in many of his written works.

Canva 50/52

#3. Montana

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.403 per capita (428,507 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.834 per capita (885,481 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $17,403,899

Fishing in Big Sky Country is unlike fishing anywhere else on the continent. One of the most unique experiences an angler can have in the state is fly fishing in Yellowstone National Park. While there are strict limits on what types and how many fish each person can catch, fishing is an important part of the conservation efforts in the park, as it helps to eliminate numbers of non-native fish that threaten the existence of native species, like the cutthroat trout.

Canva 51/52

#2. Wyoming

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.404 per capita (233,174 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.615 per capita (355,492 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $6,811,359

Neighboring Montana, Wyoming is also known for its fly fishing opportunities. Anglers can cast for 22 native species of fish in the Snake River, North Platte River, and Green River, as well as in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. Those who catch a native cutthroat trout, as well as all four native subspecies (brook, brown, lake, and rainbow trout) in a single season, earn a Cutt-Slam certificate from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

You may also like: American history from the year you were born

Canva 52/52

#1. Alaska

- Paid fishing license holders: 0.581 per capita (428,578 total) - Fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: 0.869 per capita (640,587 total) - Expenditures on fishing licenses, tags, permits & stamps: $23,593,974

Finally, Alaska undoubtedly offers the best fishing experience in the entire United States. The mostly-wild state boasts 3 million lakes, 12,000 rivers, and thousands of streams that are home to more than 627 separate species of fish. From fly fishing to open ocean fishing to ice fishing, a journey to the 48th state often results in individuals catching their fill of salmon, trout, halibut, arctic char, pike, grayling, and Dolly Varden.

You may also like: Iconic products released the year you were born


© 2020 Stacker Media, LLC; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
 

Notice: ArcaMax will be switching out comment system over to Facebook comments on 6/22

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
 

Social Connections

Comics

Rudy Park David M. Hitch Nate Beeler Wumo Crankshaft Andy Marlette