Freshwater Fishing Species

June 2, 2020

Throughout the world are lakes and rivers with bountiful fisheries. These freshwater bodies of water home thousands of fish of various species. Many areas practice catch-and-release to help maintain the populations. And because of that, many anglers can experience the joy of fishing for freshwater species.

Freshwater species spend their lives in water with less than 1.05% salinity. Water temperatures and topographies may vary, but one thing they all have in common is the type of water they thrive in.

The more you know about the different types of freshwater fish, the better angler you can become. Find out the most popular species so you can research their habitats, feeding habits and more for a great day on the water.

Largemouth Bass

Originally found in the eastern United States, largemouth bass are now located in lakes and ponds in almost every state. They are without a doubt the most popular freshwater game fish. And it’s no surprise since they are easy to find in places like open water, inlets, near pilings, and in freshwater weed beds. Plus, they’re aggressive eaters and put up a good fight, making for an exciting outing. Largemouth bass are nicknamed “hawg”, “lunker”, and “ol’ bucketmouth”. Spring season is the best time to fish for this freshwater species, as that is spawning season.

Black Crappie

If you’re a beginning angler, then crappie is a good choice to go after since it’s one of the most common fish caught by anglers just starting out. Pronounced CROP-ee, you’ll find black crappies in large ponds and shallow areas of lakes. Since they’re in abundance, crappies are easily caught by drift fishing, still fishing, fly fishing or trolling. No matter what your skill level, fishing for black crappies is a great experience.

Channel Catfish

Fun to catch, delicious to eat and plentiful, channel catfish are a popular fish species in the central US and some southern states. They like roaming clean bottoms of sand or gravel in large lakes and rivers. And don’t forget that these fish feed mainly at night in swift moving currents so look for spots that would make a good fit. Channel Catfish is just one species of catfish, there are also blue catfish, flathead catfish, bullhead catfish, and many more. Anglers will also nickname this species, sometimes referring to them as “Mud Cats” or “Polliwogs”.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout is one of our favorite fish to catch in the Pacific Northwest. This west coast native fish is known for its vivid color and markings. It’s also been widely introduced in other areas throughout the U.S. so can be found just about everywhere. While rainbow trout is an especially popular fly fishing species, anglers can also use the bait casting method to land one of these tasty delights. Early morning and late afternoon fishing trips are the time to target this freshwater species.


Walleye are a long, thin fish with yellow and green coloring. The largest member of the perch family, this common freshwater game fish can be found in abundance in lakes and ponds throughout the U.S. and is prized for its flavor. Just know that catching this line-shy species won’t be easy. They’ll put up a stubborn fight but once you land one, the walleye will make great table fare. The Great Lakes region is a popular place to land this trophy freshwater fish.

Fishing For Freshwater Species

Depending on where you are in the country, it’s quite possible to catch several of these freshwater species in one trip. They share the lakes, you just need to know whether to fish near the shores or out in deeper waters. A local guide can help you with your desired fish. Hiring a local captain means you can lean on their experience and knowledge to bring in exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t let your freshwater trophy get away!

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