When it comes to finding a place to go fishing, it’s hard to beat a state park. Some states will let in residents for free or charge only a nominal fee for residents and non-residents alike. On the other hand, state parks tend to be less crowded than their national park counterparts. This means state parks favor better fishing because they aren’t as attended as other fishing hot spots. Yeah, there’s nothing like a state park for a nice outing. Here’s a list of eight of the best state parks if you’re interested in doing some fishing this summer.

1. Square Lake State Park – Washington

This spot has great bass fishing and is a day trip from Seattle or Tacoma, Washington. The lake isn’t the best swimming option, but it’s great for fishing or even canoeing if that’s your preference. The bass numbers in the lake are high enough to more or less guarantee the kids will get some action, so this is a good option for the young ones. With seven acres at your disposal, there are countless species to target aside from bass. Such as bluegill, yellow perch, and various bullhead catfish species that are frequent throughout the lake. It’s important to note that Square Lake State Park does not permit overnight camping.

2. Henry’s Lake State Park – Idaho

Located just 15 miles from the Yellowstone National Park, Henry’s Lake State Park is a hidden gem when it comes to trout fishing. An angler can seek the elusive cut-bow hybrid trout out on these waters. However, of other trout species, the cutthroat, and brook trout variations are plentiful. This park has a nice, big lake and is a great option if you want to bring your boat and RV along. Or enjoy a camp and cook at one of the available cabins or tent campsites. The setting is fantastic, and the rather out-of-the-way location keeps the crowds to a minimum. This is a fine choice if you like sagebrush and relatively easy fishing, but above all enjoy the solitude.

3. Seven Lakes State Park – Michigan

a pelican in Florida

Image credits: 9436196 via Pixabay

This one is a real sleeper, but if you find yourself in the neighborhood, it’s well worth checking out. The park is a combination of lakes that make up 230 acres of different bodies of water. Seven lakes is notable to anglers because hardly anyone fishes the place, but partakes in other activities. The state park is used recreationally for paddle sports, but often for kayaking. Among target species, anglers can take their chances at a rare tiger muskie. With bluegill, walleye, pike, yellow perch, channel catfish, and various bass species commonly caught.

4. Blue Spring State Park – Florida

This park is located right where the springs run into the St. John’s River. The setting is awe-inspiring, and you might even see some manatees floating around making use of the warm springs. It really is a sight to see. It’s essential to note that there is a fishing dock along the  St. Johns River and that there is no fishing within the Blue Spring Run. The uncommon Suwannee bass can be found here; which adds to the appeal of this popular fishing spot. Other notable species include Gulf sturgeon, striped mullet, golden and coastal shiners, and various varieties of bullhead catfish.

5. Bear Head Lake State Park – Minnesota

The lake has plenty of trout and crappies, and it’s set in the great north woods: how can you go wrong? In addition to trout, Bear Head Lake State Park is renowned for its bountiful walleye fishery. Although, there is an abundance of largemouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, and other panfish. Just don’t forget your bug spray.

6. Chugach State Park – Alaska

snow covered mountains

Image credits: Paxson Woelber via Unsplash

Chugach State Park is nearly 500,00 acres in size and presents anglers with an expansive and untouched wilderness. If you can’t find a place to catch some fish with that much room, you’re doing something wrong. The cool thing about Chugach is that it’s a wilderness near civilization in the form of Anchorage. Thus, it is best known for its cold water species of salmon, trout, and delicious grayling.

7. Fishing Rock State Recreation Site – Oregon

This one is interesting mostly because it’s a rarity. There aren’t too many state parks that border the ocean, but this is one of them. Get in some saltwater fishing from the rocky basalt ledge. Due to its small size; and sought-after for gray whale watching, there is a lack of other anglers. This means the action is usually pretty good. Anglers have reported catching striped rainbow perch, surf perch, and rockfish.

8. Fontainebleau State Park – Louisiana

Formerly a sugar plantation, Fontainebleau State Park is a National Registrar of Historic Places. It’s found on Lake Pontchartrain, which presents anglers with 630 square miles of brackish water between 12 – 14 feet deep. There’s a covered pier to keep you out of the weather and the facilities are immaculate. However, anglers may opt to wade into the water if it’s calm, just watch for gators. Alternatively, this state park permits crabbing, if that’s something you would like to try.

There’s a State Park for Everyone

There are more than 6,000 state parks in the US, that cover 14 million acres of land and water. This list is merely a light insight into the remarkable public green spaces available to all. Of these dedicated areas, wildlife is presented with a stable habitat, which in turn advocates healthy ecosystems for fishing and hunting. It even promotes tourism to smaller towns that are widely regarded as gems among their communities. That said, this list is only scratching the surface of the best state parks to fish in.