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USA Freshwater Fishing

Updated on November 24, 2014

Freshwater Fishing of the USA

This page has American freshwater fishing tips, techniques, art, gifts, photos, links to species profiles and other information.

Each year, freshwater fishermen contribute millions of dollars to the U.S. economy. Anglers spend money on food, lodging, transportation, camping, rods, reels, lures, hooks, lines, bait, boats, fuel, electronics, fishing guides, outfitter services, fishing clubs, conservation organizations, books, DVDs, and more.

In the USA, public access for freshwater fishing is available at many national wildlife refuges, state parks, wildlife management areas, county parks, and city-maintained properties.

In some areas, property owners offer fee fishing on private ponds. Many of these areas feature well maintained ponds that are stocked with largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill sunfish, catfish, landlocked striped bass, white bass, carp, or other fish species.

For more freshwater fishing information, follow links for sunfish, bass, crappie, trout, salmon, char, walleye, pike, pickerel, musky, white bass, catfish, sturgeon, and other freshwater fish.

bluegill sunfish
bluegill sunfish

American Sunfish

The sunfish family (Centrarchidae) includes many of the fishes familiar to Americans, including largemouth, smallmouth and rock bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and crappies. The family's 27 species are native only to North America.

royal coachman freshwater fly
royal coachman freshwater fly

Fly Fishing in the USA

Fly fishing is extremely popular in the USA. Freshwater anglers use fly fishing gear to catch trout, salmon, bass and other species.

USA State Fishing Records

Most American states maintain detailed records for the largest catches of freshwater fish caught by rod and reel.

In addition to traditional records of fish, some states maintain categories for “alternative methods”. Alternative methods vary by state, with some states recognizing trotlines, throwlines, limblines, banklines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing or archery.

Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program

The Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program funding comes from excise taxes and import duties on sport fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels, and pleasure boats. No State may receive more than 5 percent or less than one-third of 1 percent of the total apportionment.

Sport Fish Restoration funds are available to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. States receive funds through a formula based on the land and water area of the state or territory and its total number of paid fishing license holders.

Fish and Wildlife agencies use the funds to pay for stocking sport fish; acquiring and improving sport fish habitat; providing aquatic resource education opportunities; conducting fisheries research; maintaining public fishing access, administering the aquatic resource education program, and constructing boat ramps, fishing piers, and other facilities for recreational boating access.


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