Best Places to Fish and Boat | Quimby's Cruising Guide

Country music star Luke Bryan likes J Percy Priest Reservoir in Tennessee, while fellow singer Justin Moore prefers De Gray Lake in Arkansas. Bob Jenson, TV host of “Fishing in the Midwest,” picks Clear Lake in Iowa. Columbia Sportswear athlete and professional angler Cindy Ngyuyen? Texas City Dike in Texas.

What exactly are we talking about? The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) recently announced its 2017 Best Family-Friendly Places to Fish and Boat, which this year is bolstered by endorsements from celebrities and fishing pros.

“We decided to ask some of our friends and partners where they like to go fishing, and the response has been overwhelming,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson.

Bryan explained his choice: “[J Percy Priest Reservoir] is the first place I ever caught a smallmouth bass. Me and my boys love the bass fishing there.”

“I grew up fishing in Texas City Dike and the surrounding areas,” said Ngyuyen. “It’s still one of my favorite places to bring the family. It has diverse fishing opportunities and an incredible wildlife experience. We had a herd of small elk no more than 10 yards from us.”

The full list of Best Family-Friendly Places to Fish and Boat is broken down into regions — West, Midwest, South and Northeast.

In the Midwest, the top choices are:

  • Mud Lake West, Illinois
  • Worster Lake, Indiana
  • Clear Lake, Iowa
  • Green Valley Lake, Iowa
  • Glen Elder Reservoir, Kansas
  • Findley Lake, Ohio
  • Lake Mitchell, Michigan
  • Lake Itasca, Minnesota
  • Table Rock Lake, Missouri
  • Lake McConaughy, Nebraska
  • Devils Lake, North Dakota
  • Lake Oahe, South Dakota
  • Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin

In the South, the top places to fish and boat include:

  • Wheeler Lake, Alabama
  • De Gray Lake, Arkansas
  • Wells Lake, Arkansas
  • Lake Talquin, Florida
  • Webb Lake, Florida
  • Lake Patrick, Georgia
  • Kentucky Lake, Kentucky
  • Lake Cumberland, Kentucky
  • Toledo Bend Reservoir, Louisiana
  • Lake Tangipahoa, Mississippi
  • Harris Lake, North Carolina
  • Grand Lake, Oklahoma
  • Harbor River, South Carolina
  • Douglas Lake, Tennessee
  • Old Hickory Lake, Tennessee
  • J Percy Priest Reservoir, Tennessee
  • Inks Lake, Texas
  • South Padre Island, Texas
  • Texas City Dike, Texas
  • Lake Tyler, Texas
  • Lake Anna, Virginia
  • Beech Fork Lake, West Virginia

Get additional information and read more celebrity boating and fishing endorsements at