Fishbrain's 2022 fishing bucket list

A new year is here and we are already thinking of our dream destinations and those magical species that top our bucket list. Check out some of the species the Fishbrain staff dream of catching one day.

Fishbrain's 2022 fishing bucket list

A new year means new hopes, new dreams and all new fishing adventures. Every January, before the new fishing seasons kick off, we at Fishbrain love to dream about our bucket list species, while constantly adding new fish and destinations to our ever growing list.

We asked some Fishbrain employees which species, or destination have made it to the top of their bucket list for 2022. Whether these are plausible conquests, or dreams of exotic locations far away, below are the top species the Fishbrain team cast for every night in our dreams. 

The Fishbrainer: Nate Roman

Position: Partnership Manager

The Bucket List Species: Muskie

Nate Roman probably has the best chance of cashing in on his dream fish before anyone else.

The fish of 10,000 casts haunts the dreams of those who live on other continents, as well as those who live in its backyard. Ohio resident Nate Roman, like many anglers, is still on cast 9,999. 

While many of us dream of far off beaches and rivers, there is a good reason Roman longs for the monster living next door. Musky can easily reach over five feet in length, weigh over 20 pounds and are an apex predator with a lot of fight in them. 

Muskies will eat everything from baitfish to small ducks, which gives you a wide array of lures to choose from. Not that it matters, though, because they will most likely turn their nose up at everything you throw at them. These notoriously picky monsters are known for follows, but not for takes, often requiring anglers to work a jig in figure eight patterns all the way back at the side of the boat. 

As far as destinations go, you may not be wading in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, but the vastness of the Great Lakes are a wonder to behold. Even if the muskie aren’t biting (they probably won't be) the picturesque waters of the upper midwest offer other great opportunities, like smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, pike and more. 

The prospect of setting the hook on a muskie may be difficult but when you finally make that 10,000th cast, all your effort, dreams and nightmares will be rewarded with the fish of a lifetime.

The Fishbrainer: Edward Holm

Position: E-Commerce Content Manager

The Bucket List Species: Arctic Char

As a Scandinavian fishing guide, Edward Holm has caught and landed more northern fish species than most, but the Arctic char still eludes him. The large predatory fish lives specifically in cold rivers and oceans and is similar in size to salmon.

Often defined by its fire-orange belly during spawning times, the Arctic char often grows over 20 pounds and provides excellent aerial acrobatics when hooked. The habitat you find yourself casting for these fish has to be half the joy, as well. The chase for char will have you wading into icy rivers with a backdrop of untouched forests and mountain peaks, while wandering the same paths as grizzlies, wolves, caribou and even polar bears. 

Catching char by either fly, or conventional tackles offers exceptional opportunities and many different options for lures and flies. The fish often consume sculpin and small cod in the salt and eggs, underwater insects and other small fish. Everything about catching these beautiful species, from the location to the fight, will make any trip a trip of a lifetime.

The Fishbrainer: Adam Lindhoff

Position: Social Media Manager

The Bucket List Species: Giant Trevally 

From Hawaii and into the Indian Ocean lives one of the most savage predatory fish you will ever find on the end of your line. In the jack family of fish, the giant trevally (GT) is second only in size to the amberjack, but makes up for that second place with a first place in exciting fights and takes.

Fishing for the GT will take you to crystal blue waters in some of the most pristine islands anywhere in the world.The real excitement that comes with fishing for GT is sight fishing in shallows. Wading in the warmest waters you can imagine in the Indo-Pacific oceans, you can watch these aggressive fish chase prey species into shallow water while you strategically cast at them. 

Because of the GT’s propensity for eating gulls and other shore birds off the surface of the water, this is one of the few species on this list with a real opportunity for popper fishing, as well.

Setting the hook on any species with a mouth hard enough to eat crustaceans and seagulls can be difficult. Once your rod bends, though, all you can do is hold on for dear life and navigate through the salt water as your GT will take several powerful runs on you.

The Fishbrainer: Cavan Williams

Position: Content Specialist

The Bucket List Species: Siberian Taimen 

The king of all the salmonids appropriately lives in some of the most rugged and inaccessible terrain the world knows. Taimen lay claim to the remote rivers of Mongolia and Siberia, which often require days of overland horsepacking and river floats as well. The giant fish appears like a prehistoric brown trout growing up to six feet long and 100 pounds. 

Like the GT, the taimen will feast on whatever is accessible. Their diet includes smaller fish (which is about any fish) birds, rodents, even beavers. 

These fish are transient in nature traveling miles up and down rivers, so catching requires covering lots of water. Lures and flies should be large, mimicking substantial species the taimen eats and offering them a juicy opportunity to feed. Also like the GT, because of the fish’s ability to eat rodents and birds, topwater action is a viable strategy for setting the hook on one of these beasts of northern Asia. Everything about these fish, from the destination to the travel to the species makes them an important fish for any hardened angler’s bucket list. 

The Fishbrainer: Austin Buck

Position: Business Development Specialist

The Bucket List Species: Roosterfish

Another warm water species, the roosterfish is often found from the beaches in Central and South American countries. The presence is often betrayed by the protruding spines that they get their name from. The spines stick out of the water resembling a rooster’s comb. 

Large roosters can grow up to 100 pounds, reaching lengths of five feet, but those are few and far between. A 20 pound rooster is considered average among anglers. The fish prey on sardines, mullet and other baitfish and livebait is the preferred method for catching a good sized rooster. Fly anglers will often target them in the shallow surf where they hunt, but the largest are caught by trolling through deep water and reefs.

The size of the fish easily translates into their power as once they are hooked they will take you for several long runs. Once your rooster is boated smile wide and don't be afraid to crow about the major fishing accomplishment you can check off your list. 

Whatever fish is taking the top slot of your bucket list, we hope you all get your chance to set the hook this year. Even if you don’t get the chance to chase the fish of your dreams (most of us Fishbrianers won’t) the important thing is to go out and fish. Whether it's across the world, or the pond in your backyard, don't forget to tag Fishbrain in your catches on the app.

Now let’s go fishing.

Fishing spots near you