Fishing the Fifty
My Quest to Fish All 50 States
On May 1st, 2015, eight years and ten days after beginning my quest to catch a fish in all 50 states, I completed it by catching a 32.5-inch, 18-pound yellowfin tuna off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii.
It all started on April 21st, 2007. While fishing on a sunny and gorgeous day in Nevada, I decided to make it my goal to fish all 50 states. Prior to that day, I had never fished with a guide and I had only fished in my native Virginia. In fact, I had not even been to most of the states. I initially envisioned myself doing one or two states per year, but that quickly changed as I increasingly enjoyed traveling and fishing for new fish species in new places. As I gained more experience, I started planning my trips years in advance to ensure I fished at the best time for trophy fish and, preferably, in multiple states on each trip. By 2013, I was in the home stretch and had set an end goal of spring 2015.
Since starting my quest, I have caught over 90 species of fish and caught at least one trophy fish in 43 states and in 44 species. When possible, I tried to target species not found in Virginia. Learning different techniques to catch both new and familiar species of fish was an enjoyable and extremely useful experience. I have seen many parts of the country I did not know existed and, with only two exceptions, I have fished with excellent guides with whom I would definitely fish again. I’ve gotten to see tourist attractions and baseball games across the country and have met countless wonderful and interesting people along the way.
After completing my 49th state (North Carolina) and planning my 50th state trip (Hawaii), I turned my sights to compiling the disorganized and myriad notes I had scribbled during each state’s fishing trip. While assembling the site took much longer than I thought it would, I enjoyed the process as it allowed me to relive each of my trips.
Since that momentous day in May 2015, I have added eight states (WV, GA, AL, SD, MN, MA, NV, SC) to the list of states in which I have caught at least one trophy.
Thanks for visiting, and I hope that you enjoy the site!