When Does Fishing Season Start?

You can go fishing anytime; however, to make sure you get the best catch, you should make sure it is fishing season. So, when does fishing season start?

In most places, the fishing season begins in Spring or March. This is when the water becomes warmer and spawning starts, making it easier to catch fish even in shallow waters. However, the start of the fishing season varies from one place to another.

Read on to learn more about when fishing season starts in various U.S. states and Canadian provinces. We will look at the best time to fish and what type of fish you can expect to catch for Michigan, Alabama, Texas, Florida, California, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Wyoming, Louisiana, Ontario, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia.

When Does Fishing Season Start? 

Throughout the United States and Canada, you can go fishing any time of the year. Whether it is spring or winter, there is always somewhere to go.

So there’s no definite date as to when fishing season starts as it varies by region. The kind of fish you would like to catch will also dictate when it is time to start fishing. 

Below, we’ll talk about some of the best and most popular fishing states in the US, and we’ll also let you know the best month to visit to increase the chances that you will be taking home a fresh catch.

When Does Fishing Season Start in Michigan?

Home to more than 145 species of fish, Michigan is one of the favorites amongst anglers. Whether you are into river or lake fishing, you will have plenty of options on places to check out.

Like in the other parts of the country, many places are open throughout the year. You can technically fish when you want, as long as you have the necessary license or permit.

This is especially true if you plan to catch and release. On the other hand, for catch and keep set-up, you have to fish at the right season or time.

Here is a quick summary of the start of fishing season in Michigan depending on the fish you would like to catch: 

  • Northern Pike: April
  • Walleye: April 
  • Salmon and Trout: April 
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: May or June 
  • Muskellunge: June 

When Does Fishing Season Start in Alabama?

From reservoirs to ponds, Alabama has a long list of places worth checking out when planning a fishing adventure. With its abundant waterways, almost any day is a good time to go fishing in Alabama

Spring is the best time to go fishing in Alabama. During this time of the year, the water is warm. As the sun rays begin to warm the water, fish will come out and spawn. This will increase your likelihood of getting a catch. 

Depending on what you intend to catch, below is a summary of the start of fishing season in Alabama: 

  • Crappie: February 
  • Largemouth Bass: February 
  • Bluefish: March
  • Flounder: April 
  • Bluegill: May

When Does Fishing Season Start in Texas?

You have more than 1,100 public lakes to explore in Texas if you want to go fishing. It has community fishing lakes, coastal paddling trails, and artificial reefs worth a visit. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is the agency that sets fishing season in the state. 

The most popular fish to catch in Texas is largemouth bass, which you can catch throughout the year, although they are most abundant in the spring. 

Here’s a quick look at when you should go if you want to catch the start of the fishing season in Texas: 

  • Largemouth Bass: March
  • Crappie: March 
  • Channel Catfish: April 
  • Flounder: March 
  • Speckled Trout: February 

When Does Fishing Season Start in Florida?

When you think of the sun, sea, and sand in the United States, Florida is one place you will picture. It has a vast blue ocean that is a favorite amongst many people who are into saltwater fishing. 

Aside from saltwater, Florida also offers plenty of freshwater fishing opportunities. From sturgeon to largemouth bass, its rivers and lakes are teeming with aquatic life. The most popular destination is Lake Okeechobee, which holds over one trillion gallons of water. 

Thinking of when to head to Florida to go fishing? Depending on the fish you want to catch, here’s a quick look at the start of Florida’s fishing season: 

  • Largemouth Bass: February
  • Barracuda: March 
  • Bluegill: March 
  • Mackerel: October 
  • Grouper: November 

When Does Fishing Season Start in California?

With its mild climate throughout the year, hundreds of miles of Pacific coastline, and a diverse selection of lakes and rivers, California is one of the best fishing destinations. Being the country’s third-largest state, expect diversity when it comes to what you can catch. 

Fishing experiences are different depending on which part of the state you are in. In Northern California, some of the most popular catches are chinook salmon, striped bass, and white sturgeon.

On the other hand, when you head to Southern California, expect to catch tuna, halibut, and amberjack. 

Make the most out of your California fishing trip and know the right time to visit. Below is a look at the start of the fishing season in the Golden State: 

  • Sturgeon: January 
  • Halibut: April 
  • Trout: April 
  • Tuna: May 
  • Chinook Salmon: May 

When Does Fishing Season Start in Minnesota?

With almost 12,000 lakes, it is not surprising that Minnesota is a favorite amongst anglers in North America. It also has lots of frozen waterways, so you can go fishing even when the temperature is freezing. 

While it is most popular for its walleyes, it is abundant with other species as well. Your Minnesota catch can include largemouth bass, northern pike, lake trout, sturgeon, bluegill, and crappie, among others. 

when is fishing season

Clueless about when to go fishing in Minnesota? Here’s a quick summary of when the fishing season starts depending on what you intend to catch: 

  • Stream Trout: April 
  • Walleye: May 
  • Northern Pike: May 
  • Sauger: May 
  • Muskellunge: June 

When Does Fishing Season Start in New York? 

New York is often described as a concrete jungle, so many people often think of towering buildings and busy people walking its streets. Nonetheless, if you love fishing, it is surprising to know that New York has a lot to offer. 

Whether you would like to catch warm-water or cold-water fish, the city has diverse species.

From smallmouth bass to brook trout, you can catch plenty of fish in its over 70,000 miles of streams and rivers and more than 7,500 ponds and lakes. Not to mention, its coastline stretches hundreds of miles. 

If you have no idea about the start of fishing season in New York, here are some of the months to watch out for: 

  • Trout: April 
  • Striped Bass: April 
  • Muskellunge: May 
  • Northern Pike: May 
  • Hickory Shad August 

When Does Fishing Season Start in Pennsylvania?

Gifted with over 85,000 miles of rivers and streams, Pennsylvania is another great fishing destination. It has active programs for fish stocking in key areas, increasing the chances that you will be taking home a bountiful catch as long as you visit at the right time. 

While there are many destinations, Presque Isle Bay is one of the most popular, known for its walleyes, crappies, and northern pikes. Meanwhile, if you want to catch smallmouth bass and trout, Slippery Rock Creek is worth checking out.

On the other hand, for catfish and panfish, visit the Susquehanna River, East Coast’s largest river. 

Heading to fish in Pennsylvania? Take note of the start of the fishing season in the state as listed below: 

  • Walleye: January 
  • Sauger: January 
  • Largemouth Bass: January 
  • Trout: April 
  • Salmon: April 

When Does Fishing Season Start in Alaska? 

If you are looking for one of the best and most exotic fishing destinations, it is hard to go wrong with Alaska. One of the best ways to experience Alaska fishing is through fishing charters, which will let you visit the most remote places with the pros’ guidance. 

From freshwater to saltwater, fly to ice, you will experience many types of fishing in Alaska. There are more than 600 fish species that you can find in the state. It has more than three million lakes and 12,000 rivers, so you will never run out of options on places to visit. 

Visitors in Alaska spend more than $650 million annually in fishing, which speaks of how lucrative the industry is. 

Thinking of when to go fishing in Alaska? Below is a summary of the start of fishing season in Alaska: 

  • Salmon: May
  • Halibut: May 
  • Northern Pike: May 
  • Rainbow Trout: June 
  • Rockfish: July 

When Does Fishing Season Start in Wyoming? 

While it may not be as popular as the other states in this list, Wyoming is also worth visiting anglers. It has more than 27,000 miles of streams and rivers. You can choose from over 4,200 lakes. It is home to more than 22 fish species. 

Some of the best fishing destinations in the state are in its wilderness areas. Make sure to check out the Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and the Bighorn Mountains, among other popular places adorned with lakes, streams, and rivers teeming with fish. 

Before heading to Wyoming to fish, make sure that you know the state’s fishing season’s start. 

  • Rainbow Trout: February 
  • Crappie: April 
  • Streamer: June 
  • Mountain Whitefish: September 
  • Brown Trout: September 

When Does Fishing Season Start in Louisiana? 

Whether you are into inshore or offshore fishing, Louisiana offers exceptional experiences for all levels. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, this southeastern state has shorelines that span over 3,000 miles and are gifted with marshes, rivers, and lakes.

In Northern Louisiana, some of the best fishing destinations include Cross Lake, Toledo Bend, and Caney Lake. On the other hand, if you are in southern Louisiana, make sure to check out Bogue Chitto State Park, Bayou Black, and Tangipahoa River. 

start of fishing season

If you are thinking of when to go fishing in Louisiana, below is a list of the start of the fishing season: 

  • Tuna: January 
  • Trout: April 
  • Amberjack: May 
  • Red Snapper: July 
  • Speckled Trout: October 

When Does Fishing Season Start in Canada? 

Whether you are starting or an experienced angler, regardless if you prefer freshwater or saltwater fishing, Canada is a great destination. This country has more than 200 fish species. It has blue oceans, pristine lakes, and rolling streams, abundant with diverse aquatic life. 

Just like in the United States, fishing season in Canada varies. It will differ from one region to another and depending on the fish you would like to catch. 

Ontario 

  • Atlantic Salmon: April 
  • Brook Trout: April 
  • Northern Pike: May 
  • Muskellunge: June 
  • Largemouth Bass: June 

British Columbia

  • Chinook Salmon: April 
  • White Sturgeon: April 
  • Halibut: April 
  • Sockeye: August 
  • Steelhead Trout: November 

Nova Scotia 

  • Rainbow Trout: April
  • Chain Pickerel: June 
  • Atlantic Salmon: June 
  • Bluefin Tuna: August

The Importance of Knowing the Start of the Fishing Season

It is crucial to know the start of the fishing season for two reasons – to do it legally and increase the chances of taking home a catch. 

Many states have their respective fishing regulations. These laws are present to protect the fish population. Check the local laws to know when the fishing season starts. This will prevent you from running into issues and getting in trouble with the authorities. 

More so, knowing the start of the fishing season will spare you headaches and frustrations. It isn’t delightful to travel to a specific fishing destination to know that fish is nowhere to be found.

Additionally, knowing the start of the fishing season is also important to know when to apply for a fishing license. The requirements will differ from one state or country to another. Most licenses are only valid for one season. 

Conclusion – When Is Fishing Season? 

Now that you are done reading, you are probably aware that there is no definite answer to when the fishing season is. It varies from state to state, fish to fish. Although, in most areas, it starts in the spring, a time when the water is warm enough for you to catch a fish easily. 

Again, here’s a quick list of fishing season for some places in the United States:

  1. Michigan
  • Northern Pike: April
  • Walleye: April 
  • Salmon and Trout: April 
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: May or June 
  • Muskellunge: June 

2. Alabama

  • Crappie: February 
  • Largemouth Bass: February 
  • Bluefish: March
  • Flounder: April 
  • Bluegill: May

3. Minnesotta

  • Stream Trout: April 
  • Walleye: May 
  • Northern Pike: May 
  • Sauger: May 
  • Muskellunge: June