Fishing has long been lauded as a peaceful and relaxing pass time for anglers around the world. You can relax on the shore or in a boat, just waiting for that tug on a string that makes it all worth the wait.

As you experience fishing in both fresh and salt waters, you’ll eventually figure out what you would prefer. To get you started, here are some information and tips on how to have a fulfilling freshwater fishing experience.

What is Freshwater Fishing?

Anglers, or fishermen, fish in water that has an extremely low salinity. Think about ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams. Those are all generally places where you’ll find freshwater bodies of water.

A fresh body of water does not have to be naturally occurring to be classified as freshwater. Man-made bodies of freshwater also count as places to do freshwater fishing.

Anglers choose to go to freshwater fishing to find certain species of fish like bass and trout. As a general rule, you’ll see some species of fish only in freshwater, while others are only in saltwater.

There are exceptions, like salmon, that can be found in both salt and fresh water, but they are few and far between.

Best Bait to Use for Freshwater Fishing

A word of advice – check local regulations to make sure that you know what baits are legal for you to use. There may be bait restrictions in place, and you’d hate it if you went out to go fishing, only to find out your bait is illegal.

The best bait to use when freshwater fishing is going to be natural bait like leeches, worms, crayfish, minnows, and several others. The type of bait you select is going to be based on the kind of fish you’re trying to attract.

As an example, catfish like cut fish bait and carp are also attracted to dough ball bait. Fish like bigmouth bass also are attracted to live bait like leeches and minnows. Redear sunfish prefer earthworms to other types of bait.

Get to know the fish you’re going after to pick the best bait that will give you a better shot at catching some fish.

Where to Find Freshwater Fish

Keep in mind, too, that not all freshwater is created equal. You’ll have what is considered warm water, cool water, or cold water to choose from depending on the area you’re planning to fish.

In warm water, you’ll find catfish, crappies, largemouth bass, and sunfish more often than not. Freshwater is considered warm water if the water maintains an approximate 80 degree Fahrenheit in temperature.

Cold water is home to other types of freshwater species like trout. The best cold water places for freshwater fishing are located in northern areas, where the water maintains a range of about 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you’re looking for perch or pike, then you’re going to be looking for cool water locations to do freshwater fishing. Temperatures in these freshwater locations typically range from around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Looking for the Best Freshwater Fishing Locations

There are places to research to find the best freshwater fishing locations in your area. Some of the best resources to find locations are going to be your state parks and wildlife departments.

As an example, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has an entire section devoted to freshwater fishing. On their page, you’ll find bag and length limits, boundaries, comparison and identification resources, and instructions on getting needed licenses.

Further north, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation has similar information. They explain the regulations for fishing from the shoreline or from a boat. They also list all of the areas that are considered prime fishing locations.

Going further inland, the Nebraska Game & Parks Department also goes into great detail about the 450 lakes and streams that are available for fishing. You’ll also find fishing information regarding permits, regulations, restrictions, and events hosted by the Parks Department.

Do a quick search for your own area’s parks department to find the information. You will have a successful fishing trip for everything from the top places to fish to the regulations you need to follow so you can fish without getting in trouble for not following the laws.

Enjoying Freshwater Fishing

To enjoy freshwater fishing, you’ll want to check your local regulations and restrictions, so you stay within the confines of the laws.

Remember, they’re in place to protect the environment to ensure fishing can bring joy to future generations too!