11 Ultimate “Bucket List” Saltwater Fishing Trips In America.

By: Joseph Simonds on June 15, 2016
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saltwater fishing bucket list trips

Here at Salt Strong, we exist to teach the world how to fish…

We do this through weekly saltwater fishing tips, how-to videos on our popular Salt Strong YouTube Channel, our fishing blog, and even fishing trips.

But not the kind of fishing trips you might be thinking… I’m not talking about charters or taking people out on our boat.

I’m talking about blogs like this which reveal the best fishing trips, where to go, and what to look for.

In this blog post, we compiled 11 U.S Based ultimate bucket list saltwater fishing trips that every angler should shoot for in his or her lifetime.

How many of these places have you fished? Any cities or places you would add?

Let us know in the comments.

Note: The term Bucket List came from the movie, “The Bucket List,” where two terminally ill men played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman decided to go on a road trip to do all the things they wanted to do before they die. Hence, the term bucket list.

Here are the 11 Bucket List Saltwater Fishing Trips in America.

11. Virginia Beach, Virginia

virginia beach fishing

Virginia Beach doesn’t get the credit it deserves for saltwater fishing.

Why should it?

Because Virginia Beach it is located where the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, and other freshwater waterways all meet together, and the amount of different species that you can catch in a weekend of fishing Virginia Beach is staggering.

Marlin, tuna, cobia, bluefish, amberjack, and mahi all swim in and around the Virginia Beach area, accessible to most anglers. From fishing the boardwalk, to the beach, to offshore, Virginia Beach is a place that all anglers should fish at some point in their life.

10. San Diego, California

san diego fishing

Not only does San Deigo have a well-known pier, but it is also home to all kinds of different saltwater species, even bonefish!

Because of its world-class yellowfin and bluefin tuna, San Deigo has been called the “Tuna Capital” of the west. Likewise, San Diego Bay rewards anglers with a haul of spotted bay bass, yellowtail, calico bass, halibut and even bonefish.

And while hitting up San Diego’s awesome piers or fishing from the beach, you can catch perch, corbina, leopard sharks, barracuda, bonito, and mackerel.

But the main attraction that put San Diego in the list is the ability to head offshore fishing for giant tuna. Don’t miss your chance to fish beautiful San Diego next time you are there.

9. Crystal River, Florida during scallop season

big scallop

Image source: Wikipedia

Every summer the area around Crystal River and Homosassa, Florida gets a surge of new visitors in search of taking home their share of scallops.

The water in the Crystal River area is incredibly clear, the scallops can be found in super shallow water (so even the kids can enjoy it), and it certainly is something every angler should enjoy and experience at least once.

Once you have your days limit of scallops, it’s also a blast to head over to the natural springs and do some diving and exploring. A really neat area indeed.

And if you really want a unique scalloping experience while “going back in time” in terms of an old Florida town, go visit Steinahactchee during summer. Another “bucket list” place in Florida for sure.

8. Galveston, Texas

galveston texas fishing

Galveston Bay, known to produce extra large kingfish and red snapper, is also an abundant source of redfish, speckled trout, sheepshead, black drum, and flounder, to name a few. And because of the unique beach/fishing feel that Galveston has, it made it a no-brainer to get this unique Texas town on the list.

And if you want to leave the inshore fishing and hit offshore for a day, the neighboring Gulf waters offer anglers a plethora of world-class sailfish, king mackerel, cobia, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, dolphin and marlin.

If you want to book a charter, make reservations and get ready to depart from either Galveston Yacht Basin, Pelican Rest Marina, Pirate’s Beach Marina, Kemah or in Seabrook.

7. South Florida During “The Mullet Run”

ft lauderdale fishing

If you visit places like Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, or Miami, you will be amazed by the marinas, the amazing boats, the megayachts, and the annoying water taxis… But the biggest amazement in South Florida is seeing the famous “Mullet Run” come through in the fall for the first time.

As mullet make their way through Ft. Lauderdale on their migration, it attracts game fish in from all over the place. Tarpon and snook are everywhere from the beach to piers to under the bridges running through intercoastal and downtown.

It is like Mardis Gras for sport fish!

And it truly is a sight to see (and fish).

Click here to see some of the most amazing Mullet Run footage ever caught on film!

6. Outer Banks, North Carolina

outer banks north carolina

The “Outer Banks” in North Carolina is known for being one of America’s abundant saltwater fisheries.

From catching marlin off of Cape Hatteras to landing world-record redfish just off the shore, North Carolina’s outer banks are a must fish place for all anglers.

The outer banks act like a highway for fish moving up and down the east coast, from wahoo, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, and red drum. They can all be caught here.

One of the best time to visit is between April to June and also in the fall.

5. Cape Cod, Massachusettes

cape cod fishing

A woman fishing Race Point Beach in Cape Cod, Mass

Cape Code, Massachusettes is a historic place (the Mayflower landed here for crying out load), and it is a sanctuary for migratory stripers in the Provincetown, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Buzzards Bay.

But besides the MONSTA stripers, Cape Cod has are wahoo, swordfish, cod, bluefish, and giant bluefin tuna.  During May to June, there are many

Everyone needs to fish (and visit) Cape Cod at one point in their life.

4. Montauk, New York

mantauk fishing

This place is famous for being one of the fishing capitals of the world (and probably some of the most intense surf fishing addicts in the country).

Year after year, crazy amounts of fish migrate from Long Island Sound to Maine, passing by Montauk on their way.

And although many people think striped bass when they hear Montauk, but Montauk it is also popular for deep-water trophies like big tuna.

3. Homer, Alaska for Halibut

alaska halibut

What do you when you get tired of catching mid-size flounder or fluke?

You step up your game and go after monster halibut!

With these “flat-fish” getting up into the 400lb+ range, even the “small halibut” in the 20-70 pound range (the Alaskans call them “Chicken-fish”) are pretty amazing fish to catch.

Two of the most popular places in Alaska (with easier access from Anchorage compared to the other halibut destination called “Dutch Harbor”) are Homer and Seward.

But Homer made the “bucket list” due to it’s eclectic, laid-back, and adventurous setting. The best times to visit Homer are beginning in May through the end of September. Any other time, and you will have a tough time feeling your fingers…

2. Venice, Louisiana

venice, louisiana fishing

There are two world famous rivers that collide in one place… the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River Delta.

And at the end of the rivers is one of the best saltwater fishing the world has known… Venice, Louisiana.

Venice is home to everything from speckled trout, black drum, sheepshead, flounder, redfish, tuna, wahoo, marlin, and dolphin.

With amazing offshore canyon and an inshore fishery that is one of the best in the world, every angler needs to spend a week fishing Venice in his or her lifetime.

Related: “This Louisiana Video Claims To Have Better Fishing Than Florida” (see it here now)

1. The Florida Keys, Florida

florida keys fishing

The Florida Keys is almost unarguably the best overall fishery on the planet.

There are so many hot spot fishing places inside of this scenic location like the Key West, Islamorada and Key Largo. The Florida Keys has converging currents, amazing tropical weather that can be fished year round, and crystal clear waters.

Whether it be fly fishing for world-class tarpon, going offshore for mahi, daytime swordfishing, or catching lobster, the Florida Keys has it all.

You can even shoot over to the Everglades for an afternoon to fish the unlimited mangrove lines.

What a place!

Hope you enjoyed the 11 saltwater “bucket list” fishing destinations!

Important Note: If we missed any must-visit saltwater fishing trips that should be on the bucket list, please feel free to hit the comment section so we can add them here and continually update the list, too. You can also share your unforgettable fishing stories and awesome experiences. Pa-POW!

P.S. – Which bucket list destinations did we miss? Let us know in the comment section.

P.P.S. – If you think your friends or fishing networks would like to see this, please Tag them or Share this with them. You Rock! Pa-POW!

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