National parks are not just about seeing wildlife from the comfort of your car. The best parks are those that you keep yourself occupied and adventurous in! Now you might be wondering, “Can I fish in a national park?” And the answer is: Absolutely!
Before packing your rods, reels, and tackle box, check the NPS website for specific fishing, licenses, bait, and tackle regulations for the park you plan to visit. Now let’s take a look at the five best fishing national parks.
1. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
The New River is teeming with black bass, carp, bluegill, perch, and more, according to Roger Wilson of Adventures on the Gorge Resort, the newest national park’s main destination for fishing trips and fly fishing, and pull a paddle fish out of these north-flowing waters. With so many species in a spectacular setting, it’s easy to see why New River Gorge is one of the best fishing national parks.
2. Yellowstone National Park
If you’re looking for US national parks ranked by quality of fishing, you’ll find Yellowstone at the top of everyone’s list, as America’s first national park is a scenic fly-fishing haven in the Yellowstone, Firehole, and Madison Rivers. Attracting waders, licking over rocks in the water and looking for trout while bison graze in the distance is the American dream embodied for anglers.
3. National Park travelers
One of the lesser-known best fishing national parks in Minnesota is Minnesota’s maze of interconnected waterways. Voyageurs is 40% water and is full of pikeperch, the tastiest freshwater fish on offer in North America.
4. Biscayne National Park
With 500 species of fish in these warm Floridian waters, this is the most diverse fishing experience in any national park! Even better, Biscayne is one of the best national parks for beginners as the courses are offered in both English and Spanish.
5. Acadia National Park
Within the rocky confines of Maine’s stunning National Park, there is an opportunity to go saltwater fish (for delicious cod and pollock) as well as freshwater pond fishing in hopes of catching lake trout, landlocked salmon, and black bass. Acadia is rugged and beautiful, and easily one of the best national fishing parks.
Do you need more fishing spots? Check out the 100 Best Family Fishing and Boating Spots in America and the 2021 Free Fishing Days in each state.
Jeff is a father to teenage daughters, avid travelers, photographers, and freelance writers. He has authored stories on family travel, outdoor recreation, the environment, parenting, and more for Fodor’s, Reader’s Digest, Parents’ Magazine, Good Housekeeping, PBS, and Esquire, among others. Find him on his blog, OWTK.com and on Instagram @OWTK. Jeff is also the editor of the quarterly literary zine Stanchion