East Coast fishing and boating is as diverse as it gets! It spans over 2000 miles with both warm and cold water, inshore and offshore options, and a variety of species! Within this vast range are some of North America’s most important estuaries and hundreds of barrier islands, resulting in a shoreline that extends more than 100,000 miles. Many of these waterside spots don’t make the usual tourist lists, but there are always local boat captains out there ready to help you explore!
From Florida to Virginia and New York, here are some of the most beautiful fishing and boating destinations you need to see on the east coast!
The Florida Keys, Florida
The Florida Keys contain one of the greatest fishing venues on the east coast, including Islamorada, Marathon, and Key West. It stretches south and west bordering east of the state and tuck into the Gulf of Mexico. Shallow flats, the Gulf Stream current nearby, as well as reefs and wrecks add up to diverse opportunities for a wide range of boating and fishing interests. There are tarpon, bonefish, sailfish, assorted snappers and groupers, seatrouts, snooks, and much more popular gamefish in this place, depending on season and location.
Virginia Key, Virginia
This barrier island is located just outside of Miami and is home to a wide array of outdoor activities, like surfing, boating, and even throwing a tailgate party! You can check out one of the world’s largest collections of marine animals at the Miami Seaquarium, go mountain biking on miles of trails, or step back in time on the historic carousel, bathhouses, or concession stands at Virginia Key Beach Park.
Botany Bay, South Carolina
Located on Edisto Island, South Carolina, this stunning 3300-acre wildlife and historic preserve houses the remains of the Sea Island Plantation House and the Fig Island shell ring structures, plus beautiful and undisturbed natural habitats like maritime forests, tidal creeks, and salt marshes. With 20 registered historic sites, you should definitely go boating here with a camera in your backpack!
Outer Banks/Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
This is one of the most prominent East Coast boating areas with Cape Hatteras being close to the Gulf Stream and the Outer Banks having several major rivers and sounds. Offshore is big-boat country, but inshore a variety of craft are suitable, and the boating season is virtually year-round. It has red drum, white marlin, tuna, king mackerel, albacore, seatrout, and bluefish.
Cold Spring Harbor, New York
On the north shore of Long Island lies Cold Spring Harbor, a paradise adjacent to the Oyster Bay. This spot great for anchoring out to swim, tube, and fish. Its fresh waters are protected and regularly maintained too! The small town of Cold Spring serves as a picturesque backdrop for your day on the water; take in views of the hilly terrain and historic homes as you cruise around the former whaling town.
Montauk, New York
Jutting far into the Atlantic, Montauk has huge waters open for boating as well as a variety of fish species. The near-shore waters offer world-renowned striped bass fishing, albacore, and bluefish. Meanwhile on the offshore, ocean current and deeper waters produce tuna, marlin, shark, and swordfish, as well as cod and pollock. This is generally big-boat water, with a spring to late fall season.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
This huge big-boat locality will give you a lot of gamefish opportunities like striped bass, bluefish, and flounder. The area from Massachusetts Bay north of Cape Cod to Narragansett Bay south of it, including the Cape itself as well as the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, is the historical birthplace of America’s recreational fishing and boating