Top 5 Popular Freshwater Gamefish In The US

We are all casting and hooking a lot of fish every season. So I think we should at least know the popularity of our catch.

In this article, we're gonna discuss 5 of the most popular freshwater and fish across the US. Now we all can assume which fish could take the top position in the freshwater realm. But not so certain how things are in the saltwater world.

Let's find out a few details about your favorite catch, shall we? And for more fishing tips and useful information, head out to We publish a couple of times a week so you will be in for a treat. 


Top 5 Popular Freshwater Gamefish

Did you know that over 750 miles of vast inland freshwater is available from West to the east? These great lakes are the largest surface freshwater ecosystems.

1. Largemouth Bass

Every angler in the US and Canada has caught bass. They can be easily found in lakes, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, and streams. Most popular bass fishes are largemouth, striped bass, black bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, etc.

Although the largemouth bass has become the most popular recreational sport fish across the US. Even after caught nationwide, tried number flourishes over to years. It's because of the responsible act of catch and release from the angling community.

Habitat: Look for them in these following spots:

  • Lakes with clear water and vegetations
  • Ponds
  • Swamps
  • Backwaters of pools, rivers, and Creeks

Range: These awesome and tasty game fish are plentiful within North America extends from the great lakes, St. Lawrence River, the Mississippi River basin and into the Hudson.

Before jump to number 2, have a look at these awesome bass fishing rod.

2. Black Crappie

The black crappie is considered more popular in the angling community of the US. They hold a distinctive difference against the white crappie. Black Crappie has 7-8 spines in their dorsal find whereas white crappie has only 6 of them. 

Habitat: You can easily hook some crappies in these following places.

  • Lakes
  • Ponds
  • Sloughs
  • Backwaters pools and streams
  • Dense vegetations, underneath a fallen tree or boulders in the water

Range: In North America, their habitats extend from Virginia to Florida along the Atlantic coastline and Southwest of Mexico. They are also available at the western part of Florida and across the great Texas state.

You will also find them in numbers at the great lakes and the basins of Mississippi River. 

3. Bluegill

This one is also the most popular freshwater sport fish. You can find them in numbers in the late fall. Bluegills are not very large in size. The last recorded size was 4.8 lbs.

This kind of fish is very to use as bait for bigger game fish. But don't take them lightly. Oh no, they can put up a serious fight.

Habitat: Let's see if where we can find these fish shall we?

  • Weed beds
  • Off deep points or in the creek channels
  • Lagoons of small & medium lakes
  • Gentle streams
  • Ponds
  • Tree shaded shorelines
  • Submerged aquatic vegetations
  • Underwater dense bushes

Range: You can find them in North America. Also from Canada up to northern Mexico. This means they have a vast habitat.

4. Channel Catfish

When I first thought about writing this article, I was so sure that catfish would top the most famous Freshwater gamefish. But to my surprise, I've found the stats lower than I anticipated.

The channel catfish can grow larger. The last recorded large catfish was 57.9 lbs. Almost 60 pounds. During the month of April, they go frenzy on mating female catfish. These spawning will continue up to July. An ample opportunity for anglers to hook up some giants to the shore.

Habitat: They are mostly available in rivers and streams. Especially those big heavy ones. But in the juvenile stage, most of them inhabit ponds and reservoirs. They prefer to stay in clean and oxygen enriched water to develop into the monster you want it to be.

Range: These species are found in Southern Canada to all the way up to Mexico. You can easily find these channel catfish into the central drainages of the US too.

5. Trout

How can we forget this name! This delicious fish bless the freshwater across the US and force anglers to cast again and again for a delicious meal and also a payday of course.

I like the Apache trout very much. They don't grow larger bit taste good. You can expect a bountiful catch starting in the early spring.

Habitats: These are some possible spots where you can land a trout.

  • Clear & cool mountain headwaters and creeks.
  • Lakes in the mountains
  • Low hanging tree shoreline
  • Around underwater bush beds

Range: Apache trout likes to inhabit in the cold water. You can find them in the White mountain forest land reservation. In Arizona, a number of trout can be found in the upper salt River all the way to the Little Colorado River.

In The End

There are plenty other game fish also available such as salmon, eel, shad, etc. But I choose these 5 based on their availability and popularity. Hope yo6vu have found what you are looking for folks. And as always, happy casting! 

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