Home For Travelers "Best of" Lists Best Destinations for Fishing Charters in the USA

Best Destinations for Fishing Charters in the USA

A day spent on the boat with family, the warm sun on your back, fishing rod at the ready – what could be better?

Of the thousands of charter fishing spots around the globe, a few stand out. Our picks have ideal offshore habitats for big game, along withwarm waters gorgeous scenery, and tropical weather.. We’ve included two of the best charter and guide services in each location to help you plan and book your trip.

Get your line in the water year round in these top fishing destinations:

Deep Sea Fisherman

Fort Lauderdale, FL

For Lauderdale beaches offer 23 miles of golden sand and sunshine. Sail the blue-green waters on a chartered catamaran. Then, dive beneath the surface to meet-and-greet the local sea life. With Fort Lauderdale’s geographic proximity on the Atlantic coast, the gulfstream current passes just two miles offshore. If you have ever dreamt of catching marlins, sailfish, tuna, or even barracuda, Fort Lauderdale is for you.

Top Area Charter: Lady Pamela II

“I have fished many charters and this was one of the best. The price was competitive, the boat was great, 14-foot bow which handles the waves incredibly well. The crew of Mark and Joe couldn’t have been nicer. Joe was energetic, never stopped moving. Captain Mark took us to where the fish were and was quick to spot line releases. Now the fish: we caught 14 tuna, two king mackerel, a silk shark, bonito and ramona. Probably a fish every 15 minutes! Great day!” – TripAdvisor review

Top Area Charter: Fishing Headquarters

“Most AWESOME time had today. Captain Rod and Ashley were both very attentive to all passengers needs. Captain Rod was SUPER great. He made sure that everybody caught a fish to go home with. He took us to spots where the moment I dropped my line, 5 seconds later I pulled up a fish! … Going back again in a couple of days to try night fishing! Highly recommended!” – TripAdvisor review

See all Fort Lauderdale rentals

Fishing charter departs

Florida Keys, FL

The Florida Keys are a wonderful vacation spot for families in search of relaxation or adventure. Take scenic U.S. Highway 1, known to locals as “The Overseas Highway” to get there. The area offers a unique fishing environment due to the structure of the islands. Edible, big game fish can be had year round. Florida Bay is referred to locally as the backcountry, home to five of the sought-after game fish among recreational anglers: bonefish, tarpon, permit, redfish and snook.

Top Area Charter: Robbie’s

“I recently had the opportunity to go fishing with a large family group at the end of April on the Captain Michael. It happens that I was getting married the next day and we were looking to accommodate ~20 people fishing without having to pay for multiple boats, captains, split everyone up, etc. The party boat was the perfect solution. The mates Brett and Anthony were excellent, gave expert advice, and helped out significantly on the back of the boat keeping everyone baited up and moving. Even the captain, Ed, made sure everyone had a good time just by talking to individuals that were along for the ride and hanging out upstairs. We did include three kids in our party (4, 6, and 8 years old) who had a great time and all caught fish! I highly recommend it and will be going back. Thanks guys!” – TripAdvisor review

Top Area Charter: Bud ‘n’ Mary’s Marina

“My son and I stayed at Bud n Mary’s over the holiday break. My 10 yr old son and I made arrangements to fish with Captain Rick Stanczyk…. By far this was the BEST charter that I have EVER been on. We had 20 Jacks, 10 Mackerel, and 2 huge cobias by 10:30 am! Our arms and hands were tired from reeling in fish after fish after fish… It doesn’t stop there. My son caught a 300 lb bullshark shark and a black tip shark. I caught a rare Sawfish. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND RICK!!!! 5 Stars!!” – TripAdvisor review

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Outer Banks, NC

This stretch of barrier islands extends along 200 miles of the North Carolina coast. They protect the state’s mainland from Atlantic swells and provide beaches and vistas. Charter fishing is one of the biggest draws for vacationing anglers, mainly due to the Outer Banks’ proximity to the Gulf Stream. In some areas, like Cape Point on Hatteras Island, the Gulf Stream is a just a 15-mile boat ride away. Hundreds of blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish are caught and released in their waters every year.

Top Area Charter: Crystal Dawn Head Boat Fishing

“I live here in KDH and have gone out 3 times now! The crew is great, and it was so simple to set up. The day of our trip it was raining so they changed the hours of our trip. They held the boat for us since we were running late and they were so good about it! You can tell the captain and mate love what they do and Vanessa was so helpful with setting it up! Great atmosphere and it wasn’t crowded. Thank you and I will make sure to bring more friends and family back when they come back to visit!” – TripAdvisor reviews

Top Area Charter: Qualifier Charters

“Awesome Crew!! Our group had a great time. The Captain showed his experience level when putting in the extra efforts to get a hold on the leader of a Blue Marlin. The mate made extra efforts to show hospitality and assist when needed. We would definitely recommend the Qualifier for an offshore trip!!” – Facebook review

See all Outer Banks rentals

Striped Bass Release

Charleston, SC 

Charleston is the oldest and second largest city in South Carolina. Its waters provide abundant fishing opportunities year round. In the flats and rivers around Charleston, angler’s find Red Drum, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Ladyfish, and Bluefish. The harbors and near shore waters offer Channel Bass, Spanish Mackerel, different types of sharks, and the elusive Tarpon.

Top Area Charter: Charlestown Charter Fishing

“Had an absolute outstanding day on the water with Captain Geoff. We caught redfish non stop and they grew larger with each spot we went to. He consistently put us in the right spot and his knowledge and professionalism were excellent. I would definitely recommend him for your next charter. Geoff is the man!” – TripAdvisor review

Top Area Charter: Headshaker Charters

“Capt. Legare is a very experienced hard working guide in the Charleston area. Puts you on fish and know the tides and waterways as if he had been on these waters his entire like and guess what . . . He has! Great equipment (Hell’s Bay flats skiff) arched with a great attitude” – TripAdvisor review

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Cape Cod, MA

New Englanders consider Cape Cod a slice of heaven on Earth. Upscale seaside towns dot the 65-mile stretch of land in Massachusetts. Water sports abound, and yes, plenty of fish are just offshore for the catching. Popular species found in Cape Cod waters include striped bass, bluefish, bonito, tuna, cod, mackerel and even sharks.

Top Area Charter: Reel Deal Fishing Charters

“Starting out with Captain Ian at dawn we hoped to catch some fish but NEVER thought we would find ourselves in a pod of humpback whales off of Chatham. He keeps his boat meticulously clean and was constantly on the move to find the fish for us. In the end one striper and one blue fish as keepers but lots more that we threw back. He taught us some tricks about photographing our fish and then even filleted the fish for us on board so no guts back home. A great morning out on the water.” – TripAdvisor review

Top Area Charter: Shark Shark Tuna: Cape Cod Fishing Charters

“From reserving the charter, to fishing, to you name it, Capt. Shane was the best. He and first mate Zak did a great job getting us out to the best fishing spots for striped bass, flawlessly maneuvering the boat to drift through the throngs of fish as we pulled them in one after another. Couldn’t have been better.” – TripAdvisor review

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Go fishing

Miami, FL

Miami’s reputation and strong Latin influence is well known. By night, dance the hours away in a nightclub, or indulge in a fancy meal at one of the city’s celebrity-owned restaurants. By day, hit South Beach and get a tan. Miami is an angler’s paradise, too. The coral reefs, fast current, and warm water support a diverse ecosystem. Miami’s stretch of ocean is teeming with sport fish that make for a delicious dinner or a great mount.

Top Area Charter: Mark the Shark’s Fishing Charters

“Mark the Shark Hunter and his team are exceptional! This is a great fishing charter for a group of not “all fishermen”! … Everyone is sure to walk away satisfied! Oh yeah and I probably should mention the fish…I was first up and that King fish was amazing eating! Thanks to the entire crew for catering to us the entire day! We can’t wait to come back!” – TripAdvisor review

Top Area Charter: Nomad Fishing Charters

We had an excellent day out fishing with Orlando! He had all the right equipment, bait, and a great boat. He knew exactly where to go for whatever was the best fish to catch at that time of day. He was very knowledgeable about everything that had to do with the fish, explained everything and was very fun to be on a boat with for 5 hours! He also let us keep trying until we caught more before ending the day and once we were satisfied then we cruised back in. Bonus… we ended around 6pm so we got an amazing sunset cruise. Highly recommend Nomad Fishing Charter! Great day!” – TripAdvisor review

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Galveston, TX

Galveston, TX is home to over 30 miles of clean, sandy beaches. Visitors to the area can enjoy a variety of swimming and surfing spots. The warm Gulf of Mexico is a perfect backdrop for your fishing expeditions. Kingfish, snapper, and dorado are abundant within 30 miles of shore. Go a little farther, particularly near the oil rigs, and you’ll find grouper, sailfish, even tuna.

Top Area Charter: Galveston Sea Ventures

“My two sons and I had a terrific time catching red snappers. The Captain and first mate were outstanding the whole trip, from port to snapper bed and back to port. We couldn’t have asked for better treatment. And the fish we brought back were very tasty.” – TripAdvisor reviews

Top Area Charter: Get Bent Galveston

“We have gone out with Captain Mike a few times now (trout, jetty, and shark fishing), and every trip has been excellent! Capt. Mike knows his fish! He is patience with everyone no matter what their skill level. He is great with kids or seasoned fisherman looking for a “mount worthy” catch! I would definitely recommend Get Bent! Galveston!” – TripAdvisor review

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boats in San Diego harbor

San Diego, CA

Blue skies, balmy breezes, and beautiful weather are hallmarks of the San Diego area. San Diego embodies laid-back California culture. Fishermen from around the world visit San Diego to fish the bountiful waters of the Pacific Ocean. San Diego is home to 75 state-of-the-art fishing vessels. Depending on the season, yellowfin, bluefin, yellowtail, albacore, mahi-mahi, marlin and mako can be caught offshore.

Top Area Charter: H&M Landing

“Awesome trip on the Malihini! Seriously, one of the best crews I’ve fished with, and I’ve been doing this a long time. The second captain Mike was really great, blending some humor with a lot of passion and friendliness. The captain fished really hard. Galley was great and the cook and other deckhands were also great. Seriously, can’t think of a single negative. Will go again soon.” – TripAdvisor review

Top Area Charter: Captain Clowers Charters

“If you’re looking for a relaxing and fish filled day on San Diego Bay, Captain Alan Clowers is your guy. Our party of four, three generations, caught seven species of fish including 15 hard fighting Bonefish. Alan connects exceptionally well with kids ensuring a fun-filled day for all. I highly recommend Captain Clowers Charters.” – website review

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Montauk, NY

Montauk is the small, quiet neighbor to The Hamptons. Known for its natural beauty, Montauk is surround by water on threes sides. Fishing, beachcombing, kayaking and surfing vie for your attention here. The summer season brings live music to the town’s pubs and cafes. Montauk is located over a hundred miles out into the Atlantic Ocean. All the fish from Long Island Sound and waters of Rhode Island and Massachusetts swim by on their annual migrations.

Top Area Charter: Blue Fin IV

“The Blue Fin IV is simply the best most comfortable charter boat in Montauk. Capt. Michael has no weaknesses whether inshore trolling, bottom fishing (Michael can anchor on the smallest piece there is) or off shore big game fishing. His second generation local knowledge can not be matched. Don’t make the mistake I made, bring large coolers to bring your fresh catch home, he supplied the ice for the coolers too!” – TripAdvisor review

Top Area Charter: Susie E. II Sportfishing

“I’ve been on many fishing charters down in Florida, but this was my first time going out on a charter in Montauk – Capt’n Burt and the crew were great and my friends and I had a ton of fun! Unlike some of my other experiences where the captains have been somewhat apathetic about your experience and not willing to make your time on the water unique (or successful), Burt and the crew were total opposites (plus his boat was clean – bonus!). … When we got back to the docks it was clear that we’d had a much better day compared to the other boats – most of our fish were keepers over 15-20lbs. Fishing with Burt was definitely a highlight of our trip!” – TripAdvisor review

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Seward, AK

Seward is one of Alaska’s oldest and scenic communities. Three hours south from Anchorage, this seaside village is a combo of shops, galleries, and nature. A sparkling bay for fishing and a rugged mountain flank the village. The Kenai Fjords National Park and Mount Marathon are major draws for tourists, too. Visit during August for the Silver Salmon Derby, the state’s largest. You can get out on the water and cast your line for several-hundred-pound halibut or salmon.

Top Area Charter: Crackerjack Sport Fishing

“We were on the all day combo halibut and Salmon with only 6 passengers. Neil was our captain and went out of his way to try and help everyone catch halibut and salmon. The weather was amazing that day and we also saw quite a few hump back and killer whales our boat caught 7 halibut and 3 silvers. I would definitely recommend taking a fishing trip with this outfit.” – TripAdvisor review

Top Area Charter: Fish Seward Alaska Inc.

If you want to catch a lot of fish and have a great time doing it use Fish Seward Alaska. Captains and crew are excellent and will put you on fish all day long. Service is first class! I will be back next year because it will take me that long to eat the fish we caught.” TripAdvisor review

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