Species Distribution in the USA

We have included this page so you can click on each species and see their distribution throughout the US.  It is not intended to be a complete distribution list of the US and Canada.  

Saltwater Lures:    

  • Alewife:  Distribution:  This a species of North Atlantic herring that begins its life in freshwater and then moves through freshwater estuaries into the western North Atlantic, then returns to freshwater in order to spawn.  Although, some are known to live their entire lives in freshwater.  They are well known in the waters of the Great Lakes and surrounding waters, including Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Hopatcong, and Watauga Lake. They are used to catch various species of Pacific salmon (first Coho, and later the Chinook salmon) and lake trout. 
  • American Shad:  Distribution:  This species spends most of its life in the Atlantic Ocean but swims up freshwater Rivers to spawn.  They were also introduced into the Northwest Pacific Ocean.  They are prey for striped bass, bluefish, and freshwater bass.
  • Bay Anchovy: Distribution:  The Bay Anchovy is native to the western Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.  It is one of the most common fish species along the coastlines of the western Atlantic. It can also be found over bare substrates at the ocean floor and in tide pools and surf zones.  It can live in muddy, brackish waters.  It rarely enters waters deeper than 25 meters. It is an important prey item for a variety of larger fish, including Weakfish, Striped bass, Chain Pickerel, and Bluefish.
  • Gulf Menhaden:  Distribution:  The range of Gulf menhaden encompasses the entirety of the Gulf of Mexico nearshore waters, with the exception of the extreme eastern Yucatan and western Cuba, but its distribution is patchy.  The center of distribution of the species appears to be the Northwest/North central Gulf, particularly in Louisiana and Texas where populations are very large and numerous.  They are prey for Mackerels, Bluefish, white and spotted Seatrout, blue runner, Ladyfish, Longnose and Alligator Gars, Striped Bass, and Red Drum.
  • Striped Mullet:  Distribution:  It is found in coastal tropical and subtropical waters worldwide.  Striped Mullet is a mainly diurnal coastal species that often enters estuaries and rivers. It usually schools over sand or mud bottoms.  The Atlantic Striped Mullet's predators are larger predatory fish – Striped Bass, Bluefish, and Atlantic Mackerel.
  • Silverside:  Distribution:   The Atlantic Silverside, also known as Spearing in the north east of the United States, is a small species of fish from the West Atlantic, ranging from the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada to northeastern Florida in USA. It is one of the most common fish in the Chesapeake Bay and in the Barnegat Bay.  The Atlantic Silverside’s predators are larger predatory fish – Striped Bass, Bluefish, and Atlantic mackerel.

Freshwater Lures:

  • Brown Trout:  Distribution:  Brown trout have been widely introduced into suitable environments around the world, including North and South America, Australasia, Asia, and South and East Africa. Introduced brown trout have established self-sustaining, wild populations in many introduced countries.  Several freshwater species of fish feed upon juvenile brown trout, including Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, other species of Trout, Northern Pike, Pickerel, and Muskie.
  • Burbot:  Distribution:  Burbot have a circumpolar distribution above 40°N. Populations are continuous from the British Isles across Europe and Asia to the Bering Strait. In North America, Burbot range from the Seward Peninsula in Alaska to New Brunswick along the Atlantic coast. Burbot are most common in streams and lakes of North America and Europe. They are fairly common in Lake Erie, but are also found in the other Great Lakes.  Juvenile Burbot are preyed upon by Northern Pike and Muskellunge and other gamefish that actively feed at night. 
  • Speckled Dace:  Distribution:  Speckled Dace are only found in the western United States (where they are widely distributed) and Canada. In Canada, the Speckled Dace reaches the northern limit of its distribution, occurring in the Kettle River system (Kettle, West Kettle, and Granby Rivers) in the British Columbia Southern Interior. In British Columbia, Speckled Dace are generally found in slow flowing, shallow habitats.  You’ll be hard pressed to find a bait store that stocks Speckled Dace.  They’re fed upon by several Trout species and Salmon species, including the Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Golden Trout, Coho, Chinook, and other species of salmon.
  • Central Mudminnow:  Distribution:  The Central Mudminnow is a widely distributed species that inhabits many freshwater systems such as lakes, streams, and wetlands near the littoral zone, or near the shore, and around dense cover in central North America west of the Appalachian Mountains, including the St. Lawrence River, Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, Red River, and the Mississippi River basins from Quebec to Manitoba and south to central Ohio, western Tennessee, and northeastern Arkansas. The Central Mudminnow has also been introduced into many of the tributaries in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Cast the minnow into areas known to hold fish such as sand pot holes on flats, shallow water near drop offs and area around heavy cover. Most Game fish feeds on this common baitfish including the Grass Pickerel, Sunfishes, Northern Pike, Bass, Trout, and Catfishes.
  • Common Shiner:  Distribution:  The Common Shiner is a freshwater fish found in North America. It ranges in length between 4 and 6 inches, although they can reach lengths of up to 8 inches. The common shiner can be found in cool clear creeks and small to medium rivers, usually in the faster pools near riffles and in the shallow littoral of ponds and lakes.  Predators of the common shiner include fish such as the Smallmouth Bass, Chain Pickerel, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskies, and Yellow Perch.
  • Creek Chub:  Distribution:  A fish which can withstand many different environments, the Creek Chub's current range is the eastern two-thirds of the US and southeastern Canada.  Though populations have been declining within the Great Lakes, they have been continually documented throughout small and medium rivers and streams. Thriving in small stream environments, the Creek Chub gravitates toward areas of weeds to appear secure and avoid predation. Varying in environments containing a multitude of substrates, they have been documented over gravel, sand, silt, rubble, mud, boulders, clay, bedrock, and detritus bottoms.  The creek chub is often preyed on by Brown Trout, Bass, Sunfish, and Northern Pike.
  • Fathead:  Distribution:  Fathead Minnows can be found as far north as Canada and the northwest territories, Quebec, and Alberta. Other ranges include Alabama, Texas, and New Mexico along with portions of Northern Mexico.  They’ve been known to occupy the Delaware River and in certain areas of the Colorado River as invasive species.  They can inhabit waters that are less suitable two other fish because they can tolerate more oxygen in less nutrient rich waters.  Lakes, Ponds, headwaters, creeks, small rivers, ditches, reservoirs, residual pools of intermittent streams (where sometimes very abundant); usually in sluggish or still water with abundant floating and submerged vegetation; tolerant of high temperature, turbidity, low oxygen, and high salinity. Adapts well to pond culture. Fathead minnows are commonly preyed upon by piscivorous fish such as Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, Largemouth Bass and Walleye.
  • Golden Shiner:  Distribution:  Much used as a bait fish, it is probably the most widely pond-cultured fish in the United States.  Golden shiners have a wide range distribution throughout North America.  Native to the Eastern United States, they are found as far south as Mexico and northward into Manitoba and Quebec, Canada. Golden Shiners have been introduced west of the Rocky Mountains and are well established in California too.  Because they’re easily stressed when handled too much, it makes much more sense to have a soft plastic lure to replace a live fish; especially, when it looks exactly like the real thing. They are themselves food for all manner of game fish such as numerous trout species, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Pike, Pickerel, Crappie, Muskie, etc.. Hence their popularity as bait fish. 
  • Lake Whitefish:  Distribution:  Lake Whitefish are found throughout much of Canada and parts of the northern United States, including all of the Great Lakes.  They are found in a large number of inland lakes, and they have been known to enter brackish waters. The lake whitefish is distributed from Alaska and western Canada to the Atlantic coastal drainage of Maine and in New Brunswick north to Labrador. The lake whitefish's natural predators include Burbot, Lake Trout, and Northern Pike.
  • Largemouth Bass:  Distribution:  They are found throughout North America and Canada.  The Mississippi River Basin, across almost all the southern states including Georgia and North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Indiana, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, New Mexico, and Northern Mexico.  It is hard to find areas in the U.S. where Largemouth Bass is not found somewhere in the state’s Rivers, lake systems, and ponds.  They prefer clear quiet water, but they can survive in a variety of habitats.  Juveniles are preyed on by Pike, Northern Pike, Trout, and other large game fish species.
  • Rainbow Trout:  Striped ShinerDistribution:  Normally found in Rivers and streams along the Pacific Basin.  They’re also known to inhabit well oxygenated waters across North America and Canada.  As juveniles are preyed upon by Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskie, and other game fish found in the same northern waters.
  • Sand Shiner:  Distribution: The sand shiner is extremely widespread, known from the central part of the United States and southern Canada. The range stretches from Saint Lawrence-Great Lakes, Hudson Bay and Mississippi River basins which are part of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec to Saskatchewan in Canada. The range also stretches south to Tennessee and Texas; west to Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico; Trinity River to Rio Grande in Texas and New Mexico, and Mexico.   
  • Spottail Shiner:  Distribution:  These minnows inhabit Rivers and lakes and streams from Canada all the way down to Georgia.  Predators include Rainbow Trout, Coho Salmon, Chinook, Northern Pike, Walleye, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, and Bluefish. 
  • Striped Shiner:  Distribution:  Habitats of range from the great lakes commonly south to the Mississippi River Basin, including Eastern Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.  Common shiners are preyed upon heavily by Northern Pike, Muskies, Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass, larger Yellow Perch, and Walleyes.
  • White Sucker:  Distribution:  The white sucker minnow primarily inhabits small streams, Rivers, and lakes in the Midwest and along the East Coast of the United States.  They are fairly tolerant of polluted waters and can survive where other minnows can’t.  Larger predatory fish species such as Walleye, Trout, Bass, Northern Pike, Catfish, Muskellunge, and Sauger naturally prey on the white sucker.
  • Yellow Perch:  Distribution: They are found all over North American Continent from Alaska, the Artic, Great Lakes, Mississippi River Basin, Canada, Northwest Territories, and south to Ohio, Illinois, and Nebraska. The yellow perch is a common prey to many piscivorous (fish-eating) fishes, including Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Musky, Walleye, Bowfins, Burbot, Lake Trout, and others.