Nothing is better than waking up in the morning and throwing your worm out there. Waiting patiently for your rod to bend and line to run has a unique way of calming the mind. Fishing is an old skill that was once used for survival and has evolved into sport across the world. People like the challenge and test of patience that fishing provides, although there are often little opportunities for success. The US is covered with all kinds of bodies of water that are filled with a wide variety of marine life, anxiously waiting to get caught. Whether you are noodlin’, fly fishing or sitting on the shore, these fish are looking for an excuse to be late to their fish friends. Head to these freshwater spots to get your hands on some trophy worthy catches.

Toledo Bend Reservoir, Louisiana/Texas
Toledo Bend is one of the hottest spots around the country for bass fishing. Rated in the top 10 by Bassmaster, Toledo Bend has over 180,000 acres of freshwater habitats that are prime housing for the white, striped and largemouth variety. This fisherman’s dream lies between Louisiana and Texas and offers much more than just bass fishing. Second popular are crappie and catfish including channels, blues and flatheads. See if you have the angler skills to beat the 33-pound striped bass record of the Bend.

Lake St Clair, Michigan
Just East of Detroit lies the lake of the beasts called Lake St. Clair. This natural pool is full of +40” muskie ready for the taking. Whether trolling over miles or casting in the sweet spot, these slender beauties are plentiful in this lake. Muskie are patient fish and it may take hours for one to hit your line, so pack a cooler and be prepared for a day of waiting. If the west side doesn’t provide any luck, make sure you have your passport because this lake is shared with Canada! I’m sure one of them would hook a muskie for you and hand over the pole. “Bring her in, eh!”

Lake of the Woods, Minnesota
Located in Baudette, Minnesota, Lake of the Woods has been known as the walleye capital of the world. Summertime trips or long winter days of ice fishing will bring scores of walleye into your life. Various fishing charters offer guided fishing trips where you will be escorted where the fish are. If all the walleye are getting boring, switch up the bait and target some northern pike or lake sturgeon. No matter what you are aiming for, all of these mammoth fish will put up a fight.

Clackamas River, Oregon
When you head Northwest, Salmon fishing becomes very popular. The Clackamas River runs near Portland and offers some of the best salmon fishing around. From late spring to early summer, you can experience the full force of the chinook and bring in some monsters. When you hit the summer months, the salmon decrease but the trout and steelhead are still plentiful. Year round this river provides all kinds of opportunity to test your fly fishing skills with the best of them.

Santee Cooper Lakes, South Carolina
If you are looking for a real challenge, Santee Cooper Lakes are home to one of the strongest fish around: catfish. Getting one of these on your line means you are in for a battle with one solid swimmer. These balls of muscle can be found in murky rivers or clear lake waters and weigh in at over 100 pounds! Santee Cooper Lakes offers all kinds of fishing charters that have experts on catfishing as well as fishing for largemouths and stripers. Taking on these beasts means you have to get dirty, so grab your stink bait and tie down for a fight!

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