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Top 5 Midwest States for Fishing: Missouri Leads the Pack

Bull Shoals Lake of Missouri and Arkansas
Bull Shoals Lake of Missouri and Arkansas

The Midwest is renowned for its vast and diverse fishing opportunities, with numerous lakes, rivers, and reservoirs teeming with a variety of fish species. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a casual fisherman, the Midwest offers some of the best spots for fishing in the country. Here, we explore the top five states in the Midwest for fishing, with Missouri taking a prominent place on the list.

1. Missouri: The Show-Me State Shines

Missouri is a paradise for anglers, boasting an array of fishing destinations that cater to all types of fishing enthusiasts. The state's diverse waterways include everything from large reservoirs to crystal-clear rivers and serene lakes.

  • Lake of the Ozarks: Known for its largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish, Lake of the Ozarks is a premier fishing destination. The lake's extensive shoreline provides ample fishing spots, whether you prefer bank fishing or boating.

  • Table Rock Lake: This deep, clear lake is famous for its bass fishing, particularly smallmouth and largemouth bass. It's also home to spotted bass, crappie, and catfish, making it a versatile fishing spot.

  • Trout Parks: Missouri's trout parks, including Bennett Spring, Montauk, and Roaring River, offer exceptional trout fishing. These parks are stocked regularly and provide a scenic and productive fishing experience.

2. Minnesota: Land of 10,000 Lakes

Minnesota is synonymous with fishing, thanks to its vast number of lakes and its robust fishing culture. Anglers flock to Minnesota for its diverse fish species and stunning natural beauty.

  • Lake Superior: The largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior offers excellent fishing for salmon, trout, and walleye. Its rugged shoreline and deep waters make it a favorite for serious anglers.

  • Lake Minnetonka: Located near the Twin Cities, Lake Minnetonka is a popular fishing destination for bass, northern pike, and panfish. Its many bays and channels provide varied and productive fishing grounds.

  • Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness: This remote wilderness area is a dream for anglers looking to catch walleye, smallmouth bass, and northern pike in a pristine, untouched setting.

3. Wisconsin: A Fisherman's Dream

Wisconsin's rich fishing heritage and abundant water bodies make it a top destination for anglers of all skill levels. The state offers a mix of tranquil lakes and challenging rivers, catering to a wide range of fishing preferences.

  • Lake Michigan: Wisconsin's portion of Lake Michigan is known for its excellent salmon and trout fishing. Anglers can also catch perch, walleye, and smallmouth bass.

  • Chequamegon Bay: This bay off Lake Superior is a hotspot for smallmouth bass, walleye, and northern pike. Its sheltered waters provide a productive fishing environment.

  • Door County: With access to both Green Bay and Lake Michigan, Door County offers diverse fishing opportunities for bass, trout, salmon, and more.

4. Michigan: The Great Lakes State

Michigan's extensive coastline along the Great Lakes and its numerous inland lakes and rivers make it a fishing haven. The state's varied fisheries cater to all types of anglers, from those seeking trophy catches to those enjoying a peaceful day on the water.

  • Lake St. Clair: Known for its world-class muskie fishing, Lake St. Clair also offers excellent opportunities for bass, walleye, and perch.

  • Au Sable River: This famous trout stream is perfect for fly fishing enthusiasts. The river's clear waters and abundant insect life create ideal conditions for trout.

  • Lake Huron: The lake's rich fishery includes salmon, trout, walleye, and perch, attracting anglers from across the region.

5. Ohio: A Hidden Gem for Anglers

Ohio might not be the first state that comes to mind for fishing, but it offers some outstanding fishing opportunities, particularly along its Great Lakes shoreline and numerous inland lakes and rivers.

  • Lake Erie: One of the best walleye fisheries in the world, Lake Erie is a must-visit for serious anglers. The lake also offers excellent smallmouth bass, perch, and steelhead fishing.

  • Ohio River: The river's diverse fishery includes catfish, bass, sauger, and walleye, providing a variety of fishing experiences.

  • Mosquito Lake: Known for its crappie and largemouth bass fishing, Mosquito Lake is a favorite among local anglers.


The Midwest is a treasure trove of fishing opportunities, offering a wide range of species and fishing environments. Missouri, with its rich diversity of fishing spots, stands out as a premier destination for anglers. Whether you're fishing in the deep, clear waters of Table Rock Lake or the scenic trout parks, Missouri and its neighboring states in the Midwest provide unforgettable fishing experiences for all.


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