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Urban Kayak Fishing Exploration

Take a new look at kayaking. . . from the middle of the urban jungle. You might be tempted to believe that kayaking is only a sport for those surrounded by wilderness or residing on the oceanfront. But that simply isn’t the case. You don’t have to drive for hours to get to the action. There is a growing community of kayakers - in a perhaps overlooked locale - on urban waterways.

Many cities are built on rivers, lakes, and coastlines that you can take advantage of from the comfortable seat of your kayak. In fact, when other motorized craft aren’t permitted, kayaks often still are. So, br

Why Choose Urban Kayak Fishing?

When the daily grind keeps you chained to your desk and a multi-day kayak camping adventure is out of reach, feel free and stay a little closer to home. Launch your vessel right into the waterways of the city for a few hours of recreation and fishing. And it may give you a fresh perspective - both figuratively and literally - on the hustle and bustle of your urban home as you float past sites not seen by most.

Oftentimes, kayakers can go where motors can’t. This opens up unexpected venues, even places that can feel overwhelmingly crowded. Jim Peterson, an avid urban kayak fisherman, says kayak anglers even in urban environments can expect to find largemouth bass, different types of sunfish, crappie, and catfish. You might even land walleye, freshwater drum and trout.  But the joy of being out on the water might be the best payout. “A few stolen hours of kayak fishing can make the work week or overbooked weekend more bearable,” says Peterson.

Of course, the opposite can also happen, and you will find yourself transiting extremely busy waterways. Make sure to practice safety. Be aware of those around you, wear your PDF, and have signaling equipment handy. But don’t let it scare you away from an urban kayak fishing exploration.

Where to Go Urban Kayak Fishing?

Here are some surprising urban centers in the US with excellent fishing. So, get ready to drop a line under iconic landmarks and towering skyscrapers.

  1. Washington DC - Drop a line in the Potomac right in the shadow of America's capital. You might find yourself going toe-to-toe with a huge rockfish or wily bass.
  2. Tampa, FL - Believe it or not there are a couple of bass fishing hot spots that you don’t want to miss. Not to mention the star of the show - Tarpon. This is the best place on earth to make those dreams come true.
  3. Savannah, GA - Combine your love of history and your love of fishing in this urban environment. With both inshore and offshore fishing, you are bound to find yourself with stories to tell. The surrounding waters boast black sea bass, flounder, and bull reds.
  4. Corpus Christi, TX - This city has a prolific fishing life. You can start in this urban center, but a quick paddle through Aransas Pass will have you in the gulf. Texan staples like redfish, speckled trout, and flounder are waiting.
  5. St. Louis, MO - Grab your rod for some great trout fishing. And some seriously big catfish to wrestle. Don’t miss this fly-over state or you will miss out on some fabulous kayaking opportunities.
  6. Duluth, MN - As one of the largest ports on the Great Lakes, you can imagine this is home to some great fishing. The St. Louis River feeding into Lake Superior makes this a prime spot for catching salmon and trout (and walleyes and muskies, too).
  7. Sacramento, CA - California is known for its cities and its natural wonders. When you jump on the waterways for Sacramento you get to enjoy both. This capital of the Golden State is home to spectacular fisheries - a true Mecca for freshwater fishing. Reel in some steelhead, chinooks, stripers, sturgeon, bass, and even kid-friendly crappie, sunfish, and perch.
  8. Seattle, WA - The Emerald city has been one of America's fast-growing cities for nearly a decade. So, it is no stranger to urban sprawl, but it is also home to breath-taking natural beauty. Jump on the waterways to experience the joy of the Pacific Northwest, as well as the stupendous fishing. Chinook and trout are stars of the show, but there is no end to species to fish around here.


Whether you team up with a guide or go it on your own, let yourself think outside the box and make your next adventure an urban kayak fishing adventure.

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