SAFC Pro Staff - Dan February 8th, 2016
If you’re anything like me, one of the first things you do when you start to think about a fishing trip is hop on the internet to see what other anglers might have to say about the fishing in an area and, if you’re lucky, maybe even get a few pointers about where to start.
Online forums can be really hit or miss. Sometimes the people on the forums are friendly, helpful and always willing to supply a tip or two, especially if you ask nicely, while other places can be full of people who grumble about people these days not being willing to do the work themselves. This can make it tricky to find a forum or, worse, make you hesitate to post questions to begin with. Never let the grumpy ones turn you off from posting, though. For every grouch who wouldn’t share his fishing tips with his own mother, there’s at least three guys willing to help you out. If you can get past the ogre at the door, you’ll almost always find the information you were looking for and then some, heck, you might even make a friend or two along the way.
The following forums are not only full of the topics that you’re interested in, but are full of people who respond to questions and help out fellow anglers.
The go-to site for many anglers if there ever was one. The great thing about this site is they have a forum or section devoted to almost everywhere you can fish in North America and a few other locales around the world. They have forums dedicated to all manner of fishing—fly, gear, freshwater, saltwater—and everything is sectioned off into regions, to make narrowing down where to post a little easier. What’s even nicer is that you don’t have to be a member to search through the database, meaning you don’t have to post or sign up if you’re just looking for information and don’t really feel like having a discussion.
Like BDoutdoors, this site is divided into region-specific sub forums for anglers who are curious about other regions in the US. There’s a little bit of everything on this site, from fishing reports to help finding a fishing buddy to a handy section to report stolen gear or questionable deals.
An excellent starting point for anglers heading to the northwest and looking to do some fishing in the waters around Washington and Oregon. There are a bunch of sub-forums to explore and a really great feature that highlights hotspots from other anglers. The hotspots are a mix of fresh and saltwater, but it’s easy to figure out once you spend a bit of time with them. This is a nice touch, since I’ve read forums that are so tight-lipped about fishing holes that they have rules against posting them.
This forum is dedicated to the waters around North Carolina and provides an excellent set of sub-forums for anglers to ask any and all questions they may have. There’s a great section for introductions, which is a nice thing to do when you’re new to a site and you plan on asking for information. A little, “Hello, my name is Todd and I usually enjoy fishing in such and such an area for mahi mahi,” goes a long way to getting answers (some forums even require an introduction).
This site has it all. Saltwater, freshwater, conversations about boats, classifieds and sections for all of North America—including the Great Lakes. There’s even a section where you can arrange meet ups with other members. I like forums that encourage other members to get together because it builds a really good sense of community and when that happens, people are a lot more likely to answer the questions of a new comer, which is good because we’re all new to an area at some point or another.
Dedicated to all things fishing in the state of California this site is a wealth of information for people looking to fish out that way. Their forum is nice and active, and filled with people looking to help out and, not only that, but the site itself has everything from weather reports to fishing maps with GPS waypoints—in other words, everything you need to go fishing besides a boat!
Our own fishing forum might be new, but every great community has to start somewhere. Currently, the best feature on the forum is that it allows you to look for others to share a fishing charter with. Since our site allows you to the exact amount of spots you need (or the full boat), you can post about your new shared charter and find like-minded anglers to split the cost with you. It’s a great way to meet up with folks and get to know them a little before you hop on a boat with them for a day of fishing. There’s also a handy section featuring bite charts, so you can plan your trip according to the fish you’re looking to target. Expect to find tons of great information and tips as this community grows and comes into its own as one of the first places you’ll look for information about saltwater game fishing.
Your one stop shop for fishing in the Northeastern U.S. This site offers a lot of everything for anglers looking for information on fishing in the Northeast and all that information is broken down into many sub-forums that really make it easy to figure out where to post your question. The thing I like the most about this forum is their section on gear repair, building and maintenance. Being able to fix your own gear or make your own lures might not save you any money, but being able to customize your lures to exactly what you find works best for you is a great way to ensure you’re always fishing your ideal setup.
Billed as Alaska’s outdoors supersite, this site is a great resource for anyone looking to do anything in the Alaskan wilderness. Some sections of this site are way more active than others, but people are always willing to provide answers for anglers looking to get into some of the many amazing fishing opportunities that Alaska has to offer.
A wonderful starting point for anyone looking to figure out the Great Lakes, which is no easy feat. There’s a handful of great sections on here—like the section offering up tips and recipes for preparing the fish you catch and a section to help folks find a fishing partner.
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