The Best East Coast Fishing Destination In The USA For 2023

East Coast boating and fishing are as varied as it gets, covering more than 2,000 miles, with warm and cold water, inshore and offshore alternatives, a variety of ports, and marine life. 

Some of North America’s most significant estuaries and hundreds of barrier islands may be found within this wide area, contributing to a coastline that stretches for more than 100,000 miles. There will always be a lot of boating to enjoy on the East Coast.

The ideal locations to reel in their prized fish are sought after by anglers who trek the length of the shore. Both smaller, freshwater species and a variety of large game fish may be found offshore in this area.

Related Read: Best Fishing Spots in the United States

Find out which locations on the East Coast are best for fishing by reading on.

South Carolina Hilton Head Island 

Susan Melony, a digital nomad, fishing enthusiast, and CMO of Freepeoplesearch states: “The seas at Hilton Head, a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina, are among the top fishing locations on the East Coast. 

From Calibogue Sound to the Intracoastal Waterway, there are several inshore waterways to discover. The inshore seas around the island are also renowned for their fantastic tarpon fishing; once hooked, these fish are known to leap and put up a fight. 

In fact, one of the most thrilling and physically taxing sorts of fishing is tarpon fishing. I advise scheduling a fishing trip with an experienced skipper who can teach you the many methods used to capture tarpon in the region if you want to try your luck at pulling in one of these fantastic fish.

The Gulf Stream is around 60–80 miles off the island’s coast for those who want to go farther and experience some offshore fishing. 

The Gulf Stream is reported to include a large number of fish. During an all-day excursion here, you may anticipate catching a large range of big game fish.

The neighboring May River, which winds 15 miles through Hilton Head Island and Old Town Bluffton, is a fantastic choice for people who like river fishing. 

Fishing for redfish, speckled trout, black drum, flounder, and other species is very enjoyable. Not to add that, if fly fishing is your thing, the nearby marshes and rivers are excellent!”

Virginia, Maryland, or Chesapeake Bay

The Mid-Atlantic region’s Chesapeake Bay is a popular location for many kinds of fishing. 

According to Kyle Kroeger, travel expert and founder of ViaTravelers: “The ideal months to fish here are April through August since it is a bit farther up north. Striped bass, bluefish, and Spanish mackerel are all in great abundance in the Bay. 

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Virginia Beach, Annapolis, and Ocean City, Maryland, are a few of the locations I highly recommend seeing. 

These locations provide fantastic bay fishing as well as the option if requested, to go offshore to the numerous reefs.

Numerous large game species, including as white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, mahi-mahi, and wahoo, may be found offshore of Chesapeake Bay. 

The biggest billfish competition in the world, the White Marlin Open, is also held every year at Ocean City, Maryland. 

So the Chesapeake Bay and its offshore waters are a terrific place to come whether you’re wanting to catch meals or enjoy trophy fishing.” 

Related Read: Top 9 Best Places to Go Kayaking in the United States


Long Island Sound is easily accessible from Connecticut’s rivers and uneven, rocky coastline because of the state’s many inlets and bays. 

This heavily populated area is a superb East Coast boating location, with a season that runs from early March through late November, thanks to the abundance of access from the north coast of Long Island, New York. 

Prime catches include striped bass, bluefish, flounder (locally known as “fluke”), mackerel, porgies, tautog, and black sea bass.

Related Read: Most Famous Rivers in the United States


At the easternmost tip of Long Island, New York, Montauk protrudes out into the Atlantic and provides a wonderful starting point for big-water ocean boating as well as an opportunity to go up close to pelagic fish species. 

Near-shore waters that are murky and deep provide world-famous striped bass fishing opportunities along with an opportunity to catch albacore and bluefish. 

Cod and pollock are also produced offshore by ocean currents in deeper seas, along with tuna, marlin, shark, and swordfish. With a season from early spring to late autumn, this is typically big-boat water.

North Carolina’s outer banks and cape Hatteras

This is one of the most well-known East Coast boating regions since Cape Hatteras is adjacent to the Gulf Stream, the Outer Banks are a 140-mile stretch of barrier islands in North Carolina, and there are other significant rivers and sounds nearby. 

The boating season is essentially year-round inshore, where a range of vessels is appropriate but offshore is a big-boat country. Inshore favorites include seatrout, bluefish, and red drum (channel bass), while the ocean’s top catch includes white marlin, tuna, king mackerel, and albacore.

Massachusetts’s Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a hooked-shaped peninsula that extends around 65 miles from the Massachusetts mainland further into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a well-liked tourist spot. Not to add that there are many options for fishing in the region. 

Haddock, striped bass, bluefish, and other species of fish may be found in the seas along the peninsula, which is mostly noted for its profusion of cod. 

Whitecrest Beach, the Cape Cod Canal, and the Bass River are a few of the top fishing locations around. Fishing for tuna, sharks, sea bass, porgies, and other species is possible offshore.

Related Read: Deep Sea Fishing is Fun or Not?


This area is characterized by shoals, a moderate amount of marshes and tiny estuaries, a gently sloping offshore bottom, and a powerful and fruitful bay. 

The result is a variety of near-shore and offshore boating, mostly from mid-March to early December. 

Top near-shore fishing species include striped bass, bluefish, flounder (or “fluke”), tautog, and black drum, while marlin and tuna are the main summertime offshore choices.

Also, if you choose Delaware Bay, you can head to Milton and visit Dogfish Head, it offers one of the best breweries tours in the United States.

Last Updated on August 23, 2023

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