About 15% of the U.S. population over the age of six goes fishing each year. Around 39 million Americans go freshwater fishing, which is about double the number of people who fish in saltwater or fly fish. The freshwater figure may be larger because only a handful of states are on either the Atlantic or Pacific coasts.
The range of the costs of fishing varies substantially. A simple fishing rod for freshwater activity can cost under $50. Deepsea fishing requires a huge boat, a crew and expensive rigging.
Lawn Love looked ranked all 50 states for fishing in a report titled “2021’s Best and Worst States for Fishing.” The report came out now because September 25 is National Hunting and Fishing Day.
The methodology for the study included fishing licenses per capita, the percentage of each state covered by water, marinas per 100,000 people, number of fishing trails, the number of fishing charters and guides, the cost of fishing licenses and the number of bait and tackle shops and fishing gear stores. Data was gathered from Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Field & Stream and Scheels.
The study ranked states from 1 to 50. Alaska had the best score at 46.73. The state not only has pristine lakes and rivers, but it also has a long coastline on the Pacific Coast and the Bering Sea. Fishing is one of the three largest industries in Alaska, along with tourism and oil.
Michigan, second on the list, has about 11,000 inland lakes and is also on four of the largest lakes in the world: Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Superior.
Michigan is followed by Maine, which has both an abundance of inland lakes and a long Atlantic coastline.
These are the 10 best states for fishing:
- Alaska (46.73)
- Michigan (45.60)
- Maine (45.03)
- Rhode Island (44.51)
- Florida (42.52)
- Hawaii (39.66)
- Wisconsin (38.78)
- Massachusetts (38.75)
- Louisiana (38.40)
- Alabama (37.72)