I have spent a ton of my life around the water, fishing and failing, fishing and catching. Two things have been consistent on every fishing trip, I either catch fish or I don't. These two things happen to everyone while they are fishing. For me the way that I judge whether or not I am a good angler is by catching fish everywhere that I go.
I am not one of those guys that you will find with a fishing pole with him everywhere he goes, but I really enjoy the opportunity to catch a new species of fish that I may never get to fish for again. Sometimes I wish that I had brought a pole when I cross some water, imagining the possibilities, has that ever happened to you? Well, I want to lay out a bucket list of sorts to recommend to you for some fish that you should really try and catch as you see the states.
This could really go on forever, I really believe that every fish is worth catching, but if I had to choose ones that I could not go without and could pursue without paying someone to put me on them, these are the ones I would go for.
These are in no order as they are all on the list. I'll start with small mouth bass, these guys fight at least twice their size. Sure largemouth are a lot of fun, but those bronze backs are even better and often more ferocious. Smallmouth are found in colder climates from west to east, they are relatively easy to locate and I have not found a place where they wont hammer a small lure.
Next, i'll go with more of a trifecta of fish that reside in the inshore waters of Florida, the snook, red drum and gator trout. All three of these fish plus a ton more swim in the same, easy to access water, especially if you're talking about kayak fishing in those waters. It is very unique to be able to catch absolutely beautiful quality fish like these all in the same place. All three of these species can reach grow at least the length of your arm, just watch out for sharks from time to time, trying to poach your trophy.
Another great species that everyone should pursue is the Stiper, they get massive, larger ones caught in even fresh water are tipping 60 pounds, now that is a trophy sweet water fish in my book. Most people wont catch one that big, but it is safe to say that one up to 10 pounds is a reachable goal for the everyday guy and gal. Fishing for these guys is pretty close to fishing for largemouth bass, with them also eating cut bait.
The last two that I want to highlight is the walleye and the muskie. Walleye are very good eating and a lot of fun to catch. They eat aggressively, consistently, and are not hard to fool into a bite. Muskie can be touch and go, and on this list, maybe the hardest to just go out and catch. However, these guys are known as the wolf of their waters, they are absolutely amazing predators and beautiful too.
I know that I missed a lot of fun fish. As I said earlier, every fish is worth catching at least once. These are the top species I would go after considering things like rate of catch, ease of access, and knowledge that I takes to catch them.
Go ahead, let me know what ones you would either add or exchange, we all have our preferences and experiences. Let the fun begin!