A fun family fishing trip doesn’t have to be complicated.
The key is to stick to fishing in shallower waters, such as marshes, coastlines, inlets, bays, harbors, and even the edges of rivers.
When a fishing excursion doesn’t require a long boat ride, you won’t have to worry about spending all day in the direct sun, weathering possible seasickness, and packing up all the extra safety and fishing supplies required for boating and fishing in deeper water. Plus, shallower water often means smaller fish, which can be much easier to catch and haul in.
These lower maintenance trips are perfect for when you want to include kids and grandkids.
Here are just a few places in the Southern U.S. that offer great in-shore fishing opportunities.
The Florida Keys
Let’s start with perhaps the most perfect fishing spot in the U.S.: The Florida Keys, a 100-mile stretch of thin islands off the coast of Florida surrounded by beautiful beaches and clear waters.
Within the keys, there are plenty of famous fishing towns to visit, including Key West, Islamorada, and Marathon.
Although many are drawn to the deep-sea fishing opportunities, The Keys also offer plenty of in-shore fishing opportunities. Backcountry fishers can choose from among habitats such as grass flats and reefs to get a wide variety of fish.
Pickwick Lake in Alabama
Pickwick Lake, created by dams on the Tennessee River, is well-known as a bass fishing spot, and part of the “Alabama Bass Trail.” Here, anglers can catch largemouth, smallmouth, and even spotted bass.
In the summer, this lake provides nearly 48,000 acres of water surface, but also 490 miles of winding shoreline for those who are interested in fishing from the shore.
Here’s how FishAlabama.org describes the lake: “From the embankments to the tail waters of the dam, Pickwick has sweet spots for many different species. The lake hosts several large tournaments each year and has gained quite a reputation among anglers of all skill levels.”
The Louisiana Bayous
The Louisiana Bayous’ combination of saltwater and freshwater opportunities make it possible to target almost any type of fish you want to catch.
As this article from Karl’s Bait & Tackle sums up: “There is nothing quite like stalking the inshore bays looking for a red to break the surface. Once you spot one, cast to it, and then it’s only moments until all heck breaks loose when you hook up.”
The site Fishing Booker lists Venice, Louisiana on its top Gulf Coast summer fishing spots. They write:
“Check out grassy flats and marshes and you will be pulling in 12 lb Redfish. It’s a perfect way to spend the day for both hardcore anglers and families with kids. You can also get Flounder, Speckled Trout, Black Drum, and Tripletail.”
For in-shore fishing, they suggest using spinning reels in-shore to target bull redfish using shrimp under a popping cork. You can also try sight fishing with live bait, top water plugs, spoons, and soft plastics.
The Indian River in Florida
The Indian River stretches along the Atlantic Coast in Florida from Ponce Inlet to Jupiter Inlet.
Along the river, there are miles of flats to pick and choose from, and a huge variety of fish.
Here’s how veteran captain Jim Ross describes the Indian River’s fishing opportunities in the Orlando Sentinel:
“The Indian River Lagoon is the most diverse estuary in the world. A lot of offshore and inshore fish breed in the river. You can find snapper, grouper and tarpon as well as the normal species.”
This post on FishingBooker also suggests wade fishing on the shores of the Indian River.
The areas around the river’s many bridges are popular with on-foot fishermen.
Lake Guntersville in Alabama
Lake Guntersville, the largest lake in Alabama at nearly 70,000 acres, is well-known as one of the South’s top fishing spots. The lake is located within Lake Guntersville State Park, so visitors can enjoy plenty of amenities including free launch sites, private marinas and guide services for their visit.
The park is about a 5-hour drive from Mobile, and the lake is home to big bass that lure anglers from all over. According to FishAlabama.org, the lake was recognized by Bassmaster magazine in 2015 as one of the top 10 bass fishing lakes in the nation.
Lake Guntersville makes for a great destination in late autumn thanks to the still-warm weather and gorgeous fall foliage.
Tybee Island, Georgia
If you’re looking for saltwater fishing with a calm, lake-like vibe, you have to try the inland salt waters on the Georgia Coast.
Georgia’s tidal waters off of Tybee Island just off the coast of Savannah are home to the highly sought after fighting Redfish and other various inshore fish, such as the Speckled Sea Trout, Flounder, Lady Fish, Sheepshead and Black Drum.
You can also head out with the help of a fishing charter to nearshore reefs to locate even more species of fish.
An Amazing Spot to Enjoy the Water
It can be fun to explore new places. But there’s something special about returning to the same place year after year, really getting to know a town and a natural environment through each season of the year, and creating lasting memories with your loved ones.
If you’re looking for a new property with access to plenty of great fishing spots and family-friendly entertainment, you should definitely check out the homes of Upper East River in Savannah, Georgia.It can be fun to explore new places. But there’s something special about returning to the same place year after year for vacation. Click To Tweet
These luxury homes are being developed in a modern live-work-play community on the last remaining piece of riverfront property in beautiful historic Savannah. World-class beaches such as those of Tybee Island, Daufuskie Island, and Hilton Head Island are within less than an hour’s drive of Upper East River homes.
Even better, residents of Upper East River homes in Savannah’s brand new Eastern Wharf neighborhood can enjoy access to a nearby marina, as well as full use of a boating concierge who can retrieve your boat and bring it right to you at Upper East River’s dock.