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Month: November 2016

The Importance of Fishing in my Life

The Importance of Fishing in my Life

Andrew Bennett 11/30/2016 I grew up fishing. My first introduction to fishing was with my dad. He took me to many places near where we lived. Even though I was very little I still went with him. I would sit on his lap and he […]

Holiday Fishing Gift Ideas

Holiday Fishing Gift Ideas

Tom Keer 11/30/2016 We’re right in the middle of holiday shopping.  If you’re an angler then you already have holiday fishing gift ideas for your spouse, child, or buddy.  But if you don’t fish then it can be tough to find the perfect present for […]

10 Amazing U.S. Lake Boating Spots To Visit

10 Amazing U.S. Lake Boating Spots To Visit

Photo Credit: VisitRenoTahoe.com

Whether your idea of a perfect day on the water means trolling for walleye or wildlife watching from your kayak, you can find plenty of amazing lake boating spots to match your preferences. Looking for scenic views and a lake that can be explored by either motorized or non-motorized boats? If so, grab a paddle or turn the key because these are 10 lake boating spots you will want to visit.

1. Birch Lake, Alaska. It’s not hard to understand why boaters are fond of Birch Lake. Stunning mountain views and excellent fishing year-round make it one of the best lake boating spots in the Fairbanks area. In addition to the public boat launch at Birch Lake State Recreation Area, there are amenities such as picnic tables, fire pits, and restrooms.

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2. Clear Lake, California. Clear Lake was named to the Take Me Fishing™ 2016 list of Top Fishing & Boating Spots in America based on votes cast by anglers across the country. Aside from the fact that a number of professional bass fishing organizations consider Clear Lake to be the nation’s number one bass fishing lake, you’ll find no shortage of family-friendly amenities at Clear Lake State Park. There are hiking trails, campsites, a swimming beach, showers, and picnic areas.

3. Lake Dillon, Colorado. Lake Dillon is one of the most amazing U.S. boating spots due to the fact that it’s home to the world’s highest deep-water marina. Don’t have a boat of your own? No worries, there are plenty of boat rentals, charter boats, kayak rentals, and sailing tours offered here. The beautiful mountain views are an added bonus.
3-Lake-Dillion-colorado.jpg 4. Flathead Lake, Montana. Flathead Lake is the largest natural lake in the western U.S. with 160-miles of shoreline. Doesn’t matter if it’s motor, sail or paddle, boats of all types can be found on the waters of Flathead Lake. Best part? There’s plenty of room on this lake for everyone to enjoy their own personal choice of vessel. 

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5. Lake Gogebic, Michigan. Located at the far west end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Lake Gogebic covers 13,380 acres and is known as Michigan’s largest inland lake. After launching from the Gogebic County Park Boat Launch, you can troll for walleye and northern pike or just enjoy a leisurely cruise while watching bald eagles soar overhead.

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6. Lake Lanier, Georgia. Due to its close proximity to Atlanta (45 minutes north), Lake Lanier is one of the most popular boating destinations in the South. Rental boats, houseboats, fishing boats, ski boats, and kayaks all share the waters of Lake Lanier during the summer months. If you go, you may want to make a special stop at the Olympic Venue on Clarks Bridge Road. The 26-acre park hosted the rowing, sprint canoe and kayaking events of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. The venue also offers family-friendly amenities such as picnic sites, beaches, and a boat ramp.

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7. Lake Santeetlah, North Carolina. Surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest in the Great Smoky Mountains, Lake Santeetlah’s scenic views alone are worth admiring by boat. The 2,800-acre lake is an amazing lake boating spot because it offers a variety of boating experiences ranging from kayaking, sailing, cruising, canoeing, and fishing. The full-service marina on the north end of the lake offers dockage for private vessels while pontoons, deck boats, and kayaks are also available for rent.

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8. Table Rock Lake, Arkansas. Located in the Ozarks of northwestern Arkansas (the lake also extends into southwestern Missouri), Table Rock Lake is a 43,000-acre haven for boaters and anglers. In fact, Table Rock Lake is one of the top largemouth bass fishing spots in the state of Arkansas according to Bassmaster Magazine. Fall is a popular season for boating activity on the lake since the shorelines light up in a spectacular display of autumn foliage.

9. Lake Tahoe, Nevada. As the largest alpine lake in North America with snow-capped mountain views of the Sierra Nevadas, Lake Tahoe has rightfully earned a place on this list amazing lake boating spots. Lake Tahoe covers 191 square miles of water, so nearly every type of watercraft can be used or rented. Whether you want to spend the day canoeing, kayaking, cruising, sailing or fishing, you can do it all on Lake Tahoe.

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10. Lake Havasu, Arizona. Lake Havasu is known as one of the best lakes for boating in the U.S. due to consistently warm temperatures and water levels that rarely vary more than a few feet. If you want to trailer your own boat, there are more than 10 launch ramps that provide easy access to the lake. Alternatively, you can rent kayaks, fishing boats, or deck boats from a number of rental companies that are located directly on the water.

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Before you head to one of these amazing boating spots, use the Take Me Fishing™ boat comparison tool to learn about which boats are best for which types of recreational boating activities. 


Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.

The Best Fishing Days: When it’s Cold?

The Best Fishing Days: When it’s Cold?

Andy Whitcomb 11/28/2016 Cooling water temperatures can make fall fishing great but also a bit tricky as fish transition to different locations and feeding moods. But cold water is inevitable. Winter is on the way, if not already here in some places.  Once the water […]

Good Local Fishing Spots

Good Local Fishing Spots

Andy Whitcomb 11/23/2016 You may be surprised to discover that some good local fishing spots may be closer than you think. When was the last time you opened a road map? There’re probably some blue areas nearby that you haven’t explored. Or have you tried […]

Tips For Finding Great Local Fishing Spots

Tips For Finding Great Local Fishing Spots

Your rods are rigged and your bait bucket is full, now all you need to do is find a few great local fishing spots. Don’t worry, it’s not hard, and you don’t have to rely on specific details from other anglers (they prefer to keep information about great spots to themselves). Just use these easy tips to find productive fishing spots on your own — no intensive questioning of other anglers is required. 

•  Inquire with your state fish and wildlife agency. In addition to providing information on fishing licenses and regulations, state agencies can provide you with a list of local fishing spots in your area. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, for example, publishes a list of freshwater sites and forecasts for each region. 

•  Use the places to fish & boat map at TakeMeFishing.org. This interactive map can help you find great local fishing spots in your area, and throughout the United States. Just read the how to use the places to fish & boat map instructions to learn the steps for finding waterways that contain specific fish species or places of interest. 

•  Stop at the local tackle shop where you purchased your fishing gear to see if they have suggestions. Your neighborhood tackle shop wants you to keep fishing, so they will more than likely be happy to give you a few tips or pointers on where to go. Besides, since anglers are walking in and out of their doors every day, tackle shops get plenty of information about who happens to be catching fish and where they are being caught.

By using these helpful tips, you can put together your own personal list of great local fishing spots. Have fun with the research process, check the state fishing regulations, and make sure you have a current fishing license. Before you know it, you’ll be the one that wants to dodge questions about where you’ve been fishing.


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Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.

How much does a fishing license cost?

How much does a fishing license cost?

Tom Keer 11/21/2016 It’s tough to give one figure for how much a fishing license costs.  In-state licenses cost less than out-of-state licenses, while a short-term license that you might buy for a week’s fishing trip costs less than an annual license.  In most states […]

Modified Catch and Release Fishing Best Practices

Modified Catch and Release Fishing Best Practices

Tom Keer 11/16/2016 Hindsight is always 20-20, and that’s what a lot of the beach rats said in the 1980’s.  Their 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s were such that if you didn’t catch a lot of big fish while shore fishing you were a terrible fisherman. […]

Best Fishing Times For Lunker Largemouth Bass

Best Fishing Times For Lunker Largemouth Bass

If your goal is to catch a lunker largemouth bass, the first thing you should do is plan to fish in waters that have plenty of them. The second thing you should do is go during the best fishing times or peak periods to boost your chances. Not sure when the best fishing times for largemouth bass will be? Learn about two of the best periods, and increase your chances of catching a big bucketmouth!

Pre-Spawn Period

Female largemouth bass are usually at their maximum weight during this period because they are feeding aggressively in preparation for spawning activity. The pre-spawn period generally occurs around February or March, but when the pre-spawn period takes place also depends on the temperatures where you live. When largemouth bass go into the pre-spawn period, it has less to do with a precise month or time of year, but more to do with water temperature. When the water temperature rises from the 40s up to the 55 to 60-degree range, big bass typically begin moving toward the shallows and feed more actively.

One key point that anglers should consider when fishing around spawning periods; however, is that proper release practices are incredibly important. Because female bass are starting to develop eggs during this time, every fish should be handled very carefully and returned to the water as quickly as possible. In addition, always check the fishing regulations for your state and the waterway you plan to fish. Some states may limit or close the season during spawning periods.

Post-Spawn Period

While some anglers dismiss the post-spawn and consider it to be challenging, it can also be one of the best fishing times because female bass will often go on a feeding binge after losing a significant amount of their pre-spawn weight. The key to fishing the post-spawn is to focus on slightly deeper water using shad-imitating baits or topwater lures. You can experiment with a variety of retrieves, but it’s best to start off working your baits or lures slowly.

Another helpful tip for fishing the post-spawn period is to monitor the water temperature where you plan to fish. Once the water temperature warms up to about 70 degrees, the shad start to spawn and become a prey of choice for hungry largemouth bass. Keep your eyes open for schools of shad that appear to be hanging out near structure — chances are pretty good that a hungry largemouth bass won’t be too far away.

Take Someone New Bass Fishing

Now that you know about two of the best fishing times for largemouth bass, check to make sure your fishing license is up-to-date and invite someone new to go along on your next trip. Fishing for largemouth bass using artificial lures or baits is always fun, but it’s even better when you have a friend or family member along to share in the experience.


Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.

Family Lake Boat Choices

Family Lake Boat Choices

Andy Whitcomb 11/14/2016 My neighbor is going through some boat growing pains. His first water vessel was a nifty kayak. It was loaded with all the bells and whistles, including an inboard electric trolling motor and a USB port! However it only had room for […]