4 Best Places to Fish in the Southeast

4 Best Places to Fish in the Southeast

Calling all anglers in the Southeast! If you’re searching for a great place to cast your line, there are a few spots you need to check out, PRONTO. From deep-sea fishing excursions to fishing in freshwater lakes and rivers, there’s a bevy of fishing opportunities around the Southeast that are sure to LURE you in (see what we did there?).

It’s not just the large variety of fish that’s a huge draw for fishers, It’s also how dang aggressive the fish are around the Southeast. Seriously, they’re like your last Tinder date level of aggressiveness. But in this case, you actually want the fish to go home with you. 

The point is that the Southeast is truly an angler’s paradise. There’s trout, redfish, flounder, grouper, trophy-size bass—the list is endless!

So, are you ready to hook a big one? Whether you’re fishing with your friends or casting your line solo, here are some of the best places to fish in the Southeast that will have you coming back for more.

Best Places to Fish in the Southeast from Southern Tide

The Florida Keys, Florida

Florida is dubbed the “Fishing Capital of the World,” and for good reason. Though you’ll find plenty of incredible fishing spots across the Sunshine State, The Florida Keys, in particular, are one of the most highly sought-after places to fish for recreational and serious anglers alike. The 125-mile-long arc of islands that make up The Florida Keys offers world-class fishing year-round and is home to coveted big game fish such as marlin, sailfish, and swordfish.

With easy access to the state’s buzzing nightlife and cultural attractions, The Keys are also an amazing vacation destination for fishermen and women who like to have a little fun on the side (bachelor party fishing trip, anyone?). With so much to offer, it’s almost enough to make us forget about Florida man and all the weird headlines that come out of the Sunshine State—almost. 

Notable Fishing Spots

- The Marquesas Keys
- Key West flats
- Sugarloaf Key Island’s backcountry fisheries
- Islamorada

What to Wear & What to Bring

Every Southerner knows that the weather in Florida can be brutally hot for much of the year, and The Florida Keys are no exception. If you’re heading out on a charter boat, you’ll look every bit the Floridian fisherman wearing a performance polo shirt and a pair of men’s shorts or casual khaki pants. 

Keep in mind that you want to catch fish, not UV rays. Remember to pack lots of sunscreen and wear UPF clothing, like our Intercoastal Performance Pants with UPF 50+ protection. After all, you don’t want to get back from your fishing excursion looking like a sad, sunburnt lobster.

Lake Guntersville, Alabama

For anglers, Lake Guntersville is considered nothing short of L-E-G-E-N…wait for it…D-A-R-Y. Why is that, you ask? Because the 75-mile-long lake is stocked with bass and hosts some of the best bass tournaments below the Mason-Dixon line. 

Bass isn’t the only thing you reel in at Lake Guntersville. You can also fish off the docks or from a boat/kayak for redear sunfish, crappie, sauger, catfish and other fish species, all while taking in an Instagram-worthy sunset.

Best of all, you don’t need some fancy-schmancy boat to land a huge hog. Just sit on your Yeti cooler (stocked with Natty Light, of course), set up your bait rig (pro tip: Use floating worms for shallow spots) and enjoy some of the best bass fishing in the Southeast.

Notable Fishing Spots

- Brown’s Creek
- Pine Island
- Little Mountain Park

What to Wear & What to Bring

What you should wear fishing at Lake Guntersville largely depends on the season and the time of day. If you’re heading out early for stellar, topwater action, bring a water-repellent jacket to fend off the biting chill and potential rain (many of our men’s jackets are up for the task).

For summertime outings, be sure to dress in light-colored clothes with helpful tech features like a performance t-shirt and bring plenty of bug spray. It’s also not a bad idea to wear a hat to protect your scalp from the sun. DON’T FORGET BUG SPRAY. A pair of polarized sunglasses and a sunglass strap to keep them in place will come in handy, too. Did we mention bug spray? Seriously, bring it.

4 Best Places to Fish in the South East from Southern Tide

Kentucky Lake, Kentucky/Tennessee

If you’re searching for a great fishing spot to take the family, check out Kentucky Lake, a man-made reservoir stretching along the Tennessee River in Kentucky and Tennessee. There are plenty of marinas and boat ramps where you can take the kids out on the water to fish for largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and redear sunfish.

There are also several campgrounds with full hookups and amenities, cozy cottages and traditional cabins near the lake. Skip the hotels and motels, though-It’s about time the kids learned how to rough it. *steps into humongous RV with flat screen TV*

Notable Fishing Spots

At Kentucky Lake, fishing hot spots change dramatically throughout the year. You may want to check out the latest fishing reports to get a better idea of what people are catching and where.

What to Wear & What to Bring

The best time to visit Kentucky Lake depends on what you’re angling for. If you’re fishing for trophy-size bass at Kentucky Lake, the best time to go is in late spring and summer. This is when bass will be at their most active. 

Weather-wise, late spring is also one of the more pleasant times to take your boat out on the lake. With temperatures hovering in the 60s, you can easily get away with wearing a lightweight vest (super-handy for holding your fishing pliers) over a t-shirt and a pair of quick-drying active shorts.

Dare to brave the icy, winter waters? Although we don’t envy your chilly bum (pro tip: Hand warmers can serve as butt warmers if necessary), the wintertime is a favorite for crappie anglers. Keep extra clothes in your boat and wear plenty of layers while you stealthily cast your line close to shallow flats, where winter crappie are known to dwell.

Another thing you should bring with you to Kentucky Lake? A fishing partner! A fishing buddy is especially important during the colder months when conditions can be precarious. Just don’t bring that one chatty coworker of yours who never stops talking.  Trust us, you will regret it. 

Chattahoochee River, Georgia 

Where are all our trout people?! While the bass may be the cat’s meow (catfish’s meow, rather) down in the South, trout fishing in Georgia is nothing to scoff at. Chattahoochee River is a designated trout stream flowing through the Atlanta metropolitan area. It offers superb fishing opportunities for both rainbow trout and brown trout, as well as bass and catfish. 

Chattahoochee River boasts plenty of spots for bank, wading and boating access. Not only that, but the trout can be HUGE, with some as long as your arm. 

Of course, we’re not saying you’re guaranteed to catch a big one. We’re just saying that you can, which is all most anglers need to get them stoked. Cue Lloyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumber: “So, you’re telling me there’s a chance…” 

Notable Fishing Spots

-Abbots Bridge to Medlock Bridge
-Medlock Bridge to Jones Bridge
- Jones Bridge to Azalea Drive (one of the best sections for trout fishing)

Awesome Places to Fish in The Southeast

What to Wear & What to Bring

If you’re going to be wading into the river in the wintertime, insulated trousers underneath a good pair of waders are a must. Bring gloves to keep your hands warm and a cozy pullover sweater you can wear until mid-morning.

For spring and summertime fishing, dress in lightweight fabrics and lighter colors. A performance polo is a great choice because it will keep your skin cool and offer protection from the sun. While we normally don’t condone popping the collar of your performance polo, we’ll admit that doing so can help protect your neck from UV rays. So, we’ll allow it. Just this once. 

Before you head out for some Peach State fishin’, don’t forget to bring along your fishing license and a parking pass. Oh, and maybe bring along some noise-canceling headphones for your teenage son. The last thing the fish want to hear is his raging death metal. 

Gone Fishin’

As you can see, there are plenty of worthy fishing spots to check out in the Southeast. If you’re tired of casting your line in the same old stream or lake, you owe it to yourself to take a fishing trip to one of these exciting locales.  Just be warned: You may never want to leave.


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