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9 Best Fourth of July Fishing Destinations

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Independence Day is upon us. Traditionally, people spend the holiday admiring fireworks, watching parades, and barbecuing with their loved ones. But how about starting a new tradition? There isn’t a more fitting Fourth of July celebration than fishing, if you ask us! You’ll be honoring this long-running American holiday while creating long-lasting memories with your friends and family at the same time. It doesn’t get better than that!

A photo featuring two anglers standing on a charter fishing boat and facing the ocean while one of them is fishing on a sunny summer day near the Fourth of July
Photo courtesy of On the Swing

Or does it? With the following nine locations we’ve handpicked for you, your Independence Day will be unforgettable. We haven’t only included destinations that offer incredible fishing opportunities but also places that pride themselves on family-friendly activities and Fourth of July events. So, without further ado, let’s see where you should honor thise old traditions and start some new ones.

Cleveland, Ohio

It’s only suitable to kick off this year’s fishing destinations list with the largest city on Lake Erie - Cleveland. If we were to use only one word to describe Cleveland, it would be diversity. This Ohio beauty promises not only various fish species and numerous bodies of water for exploring, but also an array of activities to do this Independence Day. That’s why Cleveland is the perfect Fourth of July getaway location.

A photo featuring two proud and happy anglers standing on a charter fishing boat and posing with a Walleye each after their Fourth of July fishing trip, with their Walleyes in their hands, facing towards the camera mouths open
Photo courtesy of 22 Sport Fishing Charters

July and an impressive Walleye catch rate go hand in hand. After all, Lake Erie is the “Walleye Capital of the World!” If Catfish are more of what you’re after, check out the Rocky River. The deeper pools of this body of water are also home to Smallmouth Bass, while Largemouth Bass can be spotted in Lake Erie’s harbors and state park ponds. There’s no doubt you’ll be in for a treat if you come fishing in Cleveland this Independence Day.

But what about something other than fishing? Well, the city’s Fourth of July fireworks, festivals, and group activities are pretty impressive. Light Up the Lake and Freedom Festival are two spectacular events you must witness. And, if you decide to extend your stay, contact Cleveland Metroparks and sign up for sailing, golfing, kayaking, or one of their many other activities geared towards younger audiences and families with kids.

Fairfield, Connecticut

Let’s go to the East Coast for a change of scenery. If you’re a history and nature buff, we recommend Fairfield as your Fourth of July fishing destination this year. Deeply rooted in our nation’s past and blessed with a rich saltwater fishing scene, this quintessential New England town has rightfully earned its place on our list.

A photo featuring a husband and wife standing on a charter fishing boat with a Striped Bass each facing away from each other on a sunny day
Photo courtesy of Endorfin Fishing CT

Fairfield is cozily nestled on Connecticut’s picturesque coastline and has direct access to the Long Island Sound. As such, the town guarantees breathtaking scenery and even better fishing opportunities. So, if you aren’t sprawling on the sandy beaches, explore the fisheries! Summer is prime time for Striped Bass, Bluefish, Fluke, and Porgy. As if the line-up wasn’t dazzling enough, Seabass rejoin them in the first half of July, too.

With 400 years of heritage under its belt, Fairfield is the perfect location to honor the day when the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. After you’ve fished your heart out, learn more about its past at the Fairfield Museum and History Center or regale your spirit with the firework display at the Jennings and Penfield Beaches. Either way, Fairfield guarantees a proper celebration of nationhood.

Seward, Alaska

Our destination-hopping trip brings us to Seward, one of the oldest communities in Alaska. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains (yes, even in July), lush greenery, and prolific waters, this city is a match made in heaven for all outdoor enthusiasts. Add its unique wildlife and vibrant underwater world to the mix, and it’s easy to see why we recommend Seward as a top Independence Day fishing destination. But why should you visit it this Fourth of July?

An aerial view of Seward in Alaska featuring colorful buildings and houses posing against snow-capped mountains in the background in the distance during a summer day

Apart from being home to the aptly named “Fourth of July Creek” and its namesake beach where you can unwind, Seward ushers in the beginning of Lingcod fishing season come July. So, if you’re a Lingcod fan, there isn’t a better time to fish for them than around the Fourth of July. You can also target Resurrection Bay Salmon from the shore during summer.

Another compelling reason to visit Seward on Independence Day is its Mt. Marathon Race, traditionally held on July 4. This grueling climb promises plenty of thrills for passionate sportsmen and sportswomen who want to test their limits. For those more into typical festivities, Seward organizes a 3-day festival featuring games, live music, pie sales, boat parades, a BBQ, and fireworks.

And, last but not least, Seward offers a raw tent-only camping experience when you visit in summer. Clear your mind in Kenai Fjords National Park and spend the night at Exit Glacier campground. Thank us later!

Astoria, Oregon

While it seems difficult to top the above-mentioned locations, you should know that we’re just getting started. And the following Fourth of July fishing destination is a must-visit on the West Coast. Meet Astoria, a port city in Oregon dotted with historical remnants. It’s also your gateway to a stellar Albacore Tuna fishing experience.

A photo of a proud angler leaning over the side of a boat while struggling to hold a big Sturgeon with both hands that was caught during a Fourth of July fishing trip;
Photo courtesy of Lance Fisher Fishing

Astoria really comes to life in July. The Albacore Tuna season starts to heat up, and ocean Salmon, Halibut, and Lingcod fishing is going strong. And the closer you are to July 4, the better the Sturgeon action seems to be. One thing’s for sure - Astoria doesn’t lack headliners around Independence Day!

The same goes for its celebrations. The entire Astoria-Warrenton area lights up with events honoring this national holiday. The festivities start with a free concert featuring patriotic music and proceed with parades, car shows, and parties the following day. They then conclude with fireworks that set the sky ablaze.

If you’re looking for an authentic local flavor, Astoria boasts a perfect blend of heritage, entertainment, and nature. Be it untold stories from Lewis and Clark’s expedition and the Oregon Coast Film Trail, or impressive outdoor recreation, Astoria is the place to be this Independence Day.

Port Arthur, Texas

We’re midway through our Fourth of July fishing destinations list, and it’s high time we spiced up the lineup. As your next getaway, we recommend a hotspot in the South - Port Arthur. This Texas favorite can brag about sun-kissed beaches, historical sites, unspoiled nature, and trophy catches.

A photo featuring a happy kid wearing a baseball cap, posing with a Redfish caught on a Fourth of July fishing trip out of Port Arthur in Texas
Photo courtesy of Captain Steve Force

Port Arthur is famous for its beautiful sandy shoreline, productive marshes, and incredible wildlife. If these natural wonders are on your radar, spend quality time with your family at Sea Rim State Park where you can compete in sand castle-building competitions! You can also admire the feathery kingdom in the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge. More into historical sites? Don’t miss out on the Sabine Pass Battleground.

However, if you have to choose only one activity to do in Port Arthur during Independence Day, pick fishing. Whether beach casting, kayak fishing, or charter angling, fishing in Port Arthur yields enviable Redfish, Trout, and Flounder specimens. And if you want your kids to get the hang of it, bring them to Sea Rim State Park on July 6 for a shore fishing class. Last year, Port Arthur even hosted the S.A.L.T. Summer Classic tournament for kids, so we’re crossing our fingers that they’ll repeat that.

Sebago Lake, Maine

The following Fourth of July fishing destination is a true must-visit spot. Not only is this freshwater heaven the deepest inland fishery in New England, but it’s also the second-largest lake in Maine. It’s so famous that locals and regulars call it simply “The Lake.” Dear anglers, meet Sebago Lake.

A photo featuring beachgoers on a sandy shoreline of Sebago Lake in Maine, with swimmers in the water refreshing during summer

Sebago Lake is a safe haven for swimmers, boaters, campers, hikers, paddlers, anglers, and all vacationers looking for a place to recharge their batteries. The lake never feels overrun and promises peace and quiet even during the high season. If you want to explore the surrounding area as well, check out these ideas on how to spend a weekend in the wider region.

Need more inspiration on what to do? We wholeheartedly recommend going fishing. Sweltering summer temperatures are best met on the water, outsmarting your target fish. Come July, this premier Landlocked Salmon and Brown Trout fishery turns into a Bass and Togue (Lake Trout) playground.

And here’s one more event that might spark your interest. If you’re planning on staying a bit longer, wrap up your Fourth of July holiday at Sebago Days. This 3-day festival infused with music, dancing, racing, contests, shows, BBQ, and fireworks guarantees fun for the whole family from July 18.

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

No place on this list radiates a one-of-a-kind feel more than Glenwood Springs. And no, we aren’t exaggerating. We’re probably selling it short, if anything! Fascinating history, hot springs, enchanting caves, adventure parks, fine dining, scenic golf courses, and spectacular angling - Glenwood Springs in Colorado has it all!

A photo featuring lush greenery surrounding Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs in Colorado during summer

This resort city is an unparalleled fishing destination located on the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers. And July is a long-awaited month. This is the time of the year when Trout angling turns from excellent to exceptional. The odds are particularly in favor of floating anglers since summer is ideal for float fishing and dry fly action on the Fork.

As its name suggests, everything in Glenwood Springs revolves around water. Besides its mighty rivers and the magnificent Hanging Lake, the underground Yampah Vapor Caves are an unusual yet marvelous attraction. A sacred place for the Ute Indians, the vapor caves are known for their therapeutic properties and definitely deserve a visit!

Brace yourself, as there are more peculiarities. From an antique saloon and Western-themed adventure park to Ghost Walks and Doc Holliday and Kid Curry’s resting places, the captivating stories of the Wild West are still echoing through the streets of Glenwood Springs. You can’t go wrong with Glenwood as your Fourth of July fishing destination.

Huntington Beach, California

With almost 10 miles of uninterrupted coastline, Huntington Beach is a dream vacationland. Surfing, sunbathing, beach casting, pier fishing, and deep sea angling, are all in the cards if you pick Huntington Beach as your Independence Day destination. On top of all this, “Surf City” holds one of the region’s largest and longest Fourth of July festivals. We warned you that the list was heating up, didn’t we?

A photo featuring one of the most popular beaches in Huntington Beach in California called Dog Beach. The photo shows several dogs walking on the sandy shoreline with their owners during summer

As far as fishing goes, Huntington Beach embodies the typical Californian experience. In other words, angling in Surf City means tight lines inshore with Calico Bass and screaming reels offshore with royals like Tuna and Billfish. The blazing summer sun also brings Croaker, Mahi Mahi, and Yellowfin to the fore. Undoubtedly, you’ll get to test your skills against some worthy local opponents.

When you’re not on the water, check out one of the many gorgeous beaches, including the sweetest and most interesting one - Dog Beach. And if you’re neither fishing nor sunbathing, have fun and loosen up at the 6-day Independence Day festival that lasts from June 20 until July 5. From parades and races to home decorating contests, parties, and fireworks, there’s something for everyone in Huntington Beach this Fourth of July.

Brainerd, Minnesota

The time has come to wrap up our Fourth of July fishing journey. The honor of closing this year’s list goes to none other than Brainerd. This Minnesota favorite is the ultimate winter wonderland. The angling is so good when the temperatures are low that Brainerd has cemented itself as both a top winter and ice fishing destination. But what about its summer angling opportunities?

An aerial view of the Brainerd Lakes Area, with several big and small lakes surrounded by lush greenery on a late summer or early fall day

Fishing around Independence Day is as equally impressive as casting in winter. With almost 450 bodies of water under its belt and big names such as Gull Lake, Leech Lake, and Mille Lacs, Brainerd’s angling scene is nothing short of spectacular. Moreover, July is a highly anticipated month because Northern Pike fishing is off the charts come summer. And since we’re already name-dropping, keep Whitefish Lakes, Gull Lake, and North Long Lake in mind. These are your Pike hotspots.

When it comes to other activities, Brainerd doesn’t lack summer events, attractions, sightseeing, and outdoor recreation. Zipline tours, a waterpark, an amusement park, wildlife park, horseback riding, miniature golf, BIR racing… You won’t know what to check out first. And the list isn’t even close to ending!

“Stars and Stripes Day” holds a special place in the hearts of locals. Naturally, the entire Brainerd Lakes Area lights up with Independence Day events. So, if an action-packed vacation makes you tick, you’ll hit the jackpot with Brainerd.

Fourth of July: Your Cue to Go Fishing

A photo features American flag proudly blowing in the wind placed in the sand at a beach next to the ocean

Nothing screams fishing more than summer and Independence Day. Whether you’re fly casting in a remote canyon or deep sea angling on the ocean, fishing is the way to go. And these locations guarantee a memorable Fourth of July fishing vacation whether you’re heading out alone, with a group of friends, or with family. So, go ahead and have fun celebrating our nation in style. Happy Fourth of July!

Looking for more ideas on where to wet your line during Independence Day? Check out our Fourth of July Fishing Destination suggestions for 2023.

Have you fished in any of these Fourth of July destinations? Do you have any additional locations to recommend? Hit the comment button below and share your thoughts with us.

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