The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and its Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar campaigns have released the 2016 Top 100 Family-Friendly Places to Fish and Boat. Florida's Everglades National Park snagged the No. 1 position as the best place to fish and boat in the U.S. for the second consecutive year. The news comes just ahead of National Fishing and Boating Week, June 4 - 12, 2016.
Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar brought back America's Top Family Fishing and Boating Spots Instant Win and Sweepstakes for its third consecutive year, with the goal of finding great family-friendly fishing areas and getting more families out on the water. More than 300 sites representing all 50 states were pre-selected from across the U.S. and entrants were able to vote daily for their favorite places.
Criteria for the Top 100 included having a public body of water within driving distance of a major city, good fishing opportunities and family-friendly amenities. Nearly 35,000 different anglers and boaters cast nearly 650,000 votes to support their favorite fishing and boating locations.
Top 10 Places to Drop a Line in 2016:
- Everglades National Park, Fla.
- Bahia Honda State Park, Atlantic Ocean, Fla.
- Blue Springs State Park, St. Johns River, Fla.
- Kissimmee State Park, Lake Kissimmee, Fla.
- Clear Lake State Park, Clear Lake, Calif.
- Brannon Island State Park, Sacramento River, Calif.
- Dockweiler State Beach, Santa Monica Bay, Calif.
- Hanging Rock State Park, Hanging Rock Park Lake, N.C.
- Guntersville State Park, Guntersville Lake, Ala.
- Lake James State Park, Lake James, Ala.
Other Interesting Facts:
- Places in North Carolina and Alabama moved into the coveted Top 10, displacing Texas and Pennsylvania.
- In 2016, 29 states are represented in the Top 100, four more states than in 2015.
- Florida and California are the only states to have placed in the Top 10 three years in a row.
"The best way to enjoy fishing and boating is to find a special place to fish with family and friends, so we're thrilled that so many people shared their favorite place to engage in this national pastime," said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. "With so many states represented in the Top 100, we're encouraging everyone to get out on the water and enjoy these family-friendly locations. It's a great way to enjoy, conserve and restore our nation's aquatic natural resources."
With National Fishing and Boating Week starting June 4, check out these opportunities to help consumers enjoy fishing and boating this summer:
- Free Fishing Days 2016 - Most states will offer free fishing days for everyone to fish on public bodies of water without a fishing license. These days are the perfect opportunity for beginners to try fishing for the first time.
- #ReelFun Fishing Events - Kick-off events will be hosted at more than 1,000 Walmart® stores across the U.S. June 3 - 5. All ages and skill levels are invited to learn fishing tips from expert anglers, purchase a fishing license, and test their casting skills.
- #FirstCatch - Create and capture moments fishing with family and friends, then share them with others online using #FirstCatch. #FirstCatch is Take Me Fishing's initiative to help anglers come together and revel in the joys of fishing and boating by sharing their first fishing and boating memories - first catch of the day, first fish of the season or even the first catch of a lifetime.
For additional details on National Fishing and Boating Week, including your state's Free Fishing Days, visit TakeMeFishing.org. The site, along with its Spanish language counterpart, VamosAPescar.org, is a one-stop resource for fishing license and boat registration information, fishing and boating locations nationwide and how-to information to help plan fishing and boating adventures.