Nothing screams “Vacation!” louder than Spring Break. Spring Break is the perfect excuse to leave the winter slumber behind and kick off your friends and family bonding season in style. But what’s the ideal way to spend quality time with your loved ones? By going fishing, of course. And no, we’re not biased! Spring fishing is ranked high on every angler’s list. So, how about you check it off this year, too?
We always pick true gems for Spring Break fishing destinations, but this year we selected the most refined jewels for you. Without false modesty, we can say that this year’s list surpassed previous ones. From top-tier locations to secluded oases, we’ve handpicked something for everyone.
So without further ado, let’s see what the 2023 Spring Break fishing list looks like. Should you crave more suggestions, our past recommendations may also offer some inspiration.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
We’re starting strong. No place on Earth is as synonymous with Spring Break as Florida. Millions of visitors flock down to the Sunshine State between February and April, making Florida the ultimate Spring Break epicenter. You could hit any spot during spring and be in for a treat. But Fort Lauderdale is the one city to rule them all.
Fort Lauderdale established itself as a go-to Spring Break destination in the early 1960s when it was featured in the movie, “Where the Boys Are“. Ever since gaining that fame, Fort Lauderdale has never ceased to amaze spring breakers. The subtropical climate, miles of golden shoreline, otherworldly beaches, and vibrant underwater scene are just a few of the reasons why Fort Lauderdale should be your next Spring Break fishing haven.
Fort Lauderdale is home to an impressive number of fish species. Inland canals, inshore waters, and bluewater fisheries are simply brimming with life. From Peacock Bass to Snook, Permit, Cobia, Barracuda, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, and Sailfish, Fort Lauderdale guarantees an action-packed day for both freshwater and saltwater enthusiasts.
Since the coastline is overflowing with beachgoers during Spring Break, we recommend you book a deep sea fishing pursuit and see what fishing in Fort Lauderdale is all about. Unlike some other cities in Florida, Fort Lauderdale doesn’t lack five-star hotels, either, so you can continue your escapade in a luxurious ambiance. Long story short, there’s no doubt that Fort Lauderdale should be your Spring Break fishing adventure.
You didn’t think that our Florida journey ended with only one suggestion, did you? With an almost endless number of go-to Spring Break fishing grounds, it’s impossible to do Florida justice. But we had to mention at least one more destination.
If you’re hooked on the idea of fishing in the Sunshine State this Spring Break but you’d rather see what the Gulf Coast has in store for you, Sarasota is your promised land.
Sarasota’s motto sets the tone for what you can expect when vacationing (and fishing) here – “Where Urban Amenities Meet Small-Town Living.” This means you’ll enjoy all the perks of a metropolitan area while peacefully absorbing the small-town vibe. This is also what sets Sarasota apart from the stereotypical college Spring Breaks. But how exactly does it apply to angling?
No place in Florida combines record-breaking opportunities and a laid-back atmosphere with such ease as Sarasota. Friendly local guides will help you experience first-class fishing. Whether you’re after inshore superstars or offshore headliners, Sarasota won’t disappoint with its world-renowned species. Snook and King Mackerel dominate the fishing scene in spring, but Redfish, Snappers, Groupers, and Tuna aren’t lagging far behind either.
Once you fish your heart out – and you will! – treat yourself to everything else Sarasota has to offer. Be it fine dining, nightlife, outdoor recreation, breathtaking sunsets, beaches of unparalleled beauty, or rich cultural heritage, visit Sarasota this Spring Break and feel it to its fullest.
Corpus Christi, Texas
Before we move towards the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, we couldn’t help but stay a bit longer in the Gulf. After all, the entire region is world-famous for its superb angling opportunities and incredible coastal cities. Now, since we’re about to recommend a Texas Spring Break favorite, your first instinct might be to think about South Padre Island.
South Padre Island has a long-running tradition of being one of the best Spring Break destinations in the Lone Star State, but what if we tell you that there’s an even better one? A bold statement, we know. But we’re so sure of Corpus Christi‘s Spring Break qualities that we placed it among our top destinations with confidence. But let’s dive into why.
Nestled between Lake Corpus Christi and Corpus Christi Bay, this proud Texas locale boasts top-tier freshwater and saltwater fisheries. This entails prominent game fish such as Largemouth Bass, along with Texas’s “Big Three” – Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder. Venture further offshore into the Gulf, and you’ll be up against some serious big names. Yes, that means testing your skill against Mahi Mahi or playing tug of war with Tuna.
When you fill your daily quota of brag-worthy catches, try fresh seafood in one of the town’s many excellent restaurants. Should you crave more outdoor activities, try kiteboarding – the wind in March and April hits differently here! And if you feel like sunbathing peacefully, just sprawl on the beach because, unlike South Padre Island, Corpus Christi has the luxury of not being jam-packed during Spring Break.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Speaking of luxury, Cabo San Lucas is it! So, if you want to spoil yourself this Spring Break with premier angling, high-end resorts and spas, award-winning restaurants, and outstanding outdoor recreation, look no further than Cabo. Nothing radiates splendor brighter than the tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.
Yes, we’re fangirling over Cabo San Lucas and we won’t be able to stop. Once you realize what awaits you here, you’ll be obsessed with Cabo the same way we and countless travel brochures are, too.
Its enviable location and insanely rich underwater world has cemented Cabo San Lucas as one of the best sportfishing headquarters in the world. The southern tip of Baja California taps into the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California’s waters. With such powerful fisheries at its doorstep, fishing in Cabo San Lucas is as good as it gets. And that’s exactly what you need this Spring Break!
Ok, enough of the hyperbole, eyes on the prize. Early spring explodes with migratory species and trophy catches such as Tuna and Sailfish. It’s also the prime time for unlocking a Striped Marlin bonanza. Though out of season, it’s not uncommon to experience a stellar Blue Marlin bite, either. Those interested in Shark fishing might stumble on Shortfin Mako in April. The list goes on and on, but one thing remains – Cabo San Lucas is the Spring Break fishing capital!
Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica
Let’s keep on talking exotic. Our next tropical destination is Tamarindo Beach. This Costa Rican paradise is synonymous with water-based fun. Be it surfing, cruising, paddleboarding, snorkeling, diving, or angling, Tamarindo Beach is the place to be. But if you were to choose only two activities to do this Spring Break in Tamarindo Beach, go surfing and fishing.
Apart from being one of the most visited towns in Costa Rica for surfing, Tamarindo Beach is a big game fishing playground, too. This means that you can clash with the deep sea titans and cool off by riding the waves on the same day. It doesn’t get any cooler than that. Or does it?
Guess when the best time to surf and fish in Tamarindo is? That’s right – spring! If you’re a first-time surfer, February, March, and April will welcome you with smooth seas. As for fishing… ’tis the season to be jolly. Some of the largest Roosterfish are caught out of Tamarindo in March. Spring is also peak time for Snook and Tarpon here.
And if you want those giants, you can reach some of the most prolific offshore fishing grounds in the world only 15 miles out. So, what do you say? Do you see yourself conquering the seas in Tamarindo Beach this Spring Break?
Freeport, The Bahamas
Here’s one more turquoise-inspired destination before we head off to more secluded Spring Break corners inland, we promise. This list simply wouldn’t be complete without Freeport. As the second-largest city in the Bahamas, Freeport is your perfect Spring Break getaway. Any place where lush greenery and pristine beaches meet azure and emerald-hued waters is bound to give you the time of your life. And Freeport is exactly that!
The colorful surface matches the vibrant world underneath the water. The Bahamas are home to an incredible number of species and even more record-breaking fish. It comes as no surprise then that sportfishing here is an integral part of life. So, when in Freeport, do as the locals do, and go after Marlin, Tuna, and Wahoo. Spring Break really brings out the best in Freeport’s angling scene.
Big game fishing isn’t the only thing that’s spiced up with a pinch of local flavor. The food is equally authentic and unique. So, treat your palate with minced lobster, broiled fish and grits, or conch prepared in the Bahaman way, and thank us later. And idyllic weather paired with the fine-sand shore is made for idling away. Don’t worry, even if Spring Break attracts the crowds, Freeport has enough calm beaches for you to relax.
Asheville, North Carolina
As promised, we continue our Spring Break journey inland. We’re taking you to Asheville, in a tucked-away corner of western North Carolina, globally recognized as a seriously scenic region. The fact that not one, not two, but more than a dozen movies were filmed here, testifies to Asheville’s allure. But apart from being a utopia for filmmakers and aficionados, Asheville is absolute bliss for fly fishing enthusiasts.
Cozily settled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville taps into top-rated creeks, rivers, and lakes. Newberry Creek, for example, is a Brook and Rainbow Trout haven, while the Davidson River is an unsurpassed Trout epicenter. The river is so good, that it sealed its place on “Trout Unlimited’s Guide to America’s 100 Best Trout Streams”! Impressed? We are.
Lake James, on the other hand, can brag about being the only lake on the Catawba River chain where you can land Bass, Musky, and Walleye. And the best thing is that spring is the ideal season for fly fishing on these fisheries. So, ready, steady, go!
Actually, wait. You can’t visit Asheville without popping into Crooked Creek Holler. Founded by a keen angler, this local store celebrates the fly fishing lifestyle. And if you still crave fish after an entire day out on the water, Jettie Rae’s Oyster House and Session Café will rock your world with their specialities like raw oysters and smoked trout sandwiches. OK, now you’re ready.
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Just when you thought we got tired of talking in superlatives, here we are swooning over central Missouri. Are you ready to be blown away by our next Spring Break fishing contender? If you are, then get ready to meet the Lake of the Ozarks, one of the largest man-made reservoirs in America. This enchanting dragon-shaped lake has more than 1,100 miles of shoreline, spans almost 55,000 acres, and hosts over 500 tournaments each year. And there’s more…
The “Missouri Dragon” has been repeatedly voted the “Best Recreational Lake” in the Nation. And for good reason. Besides its impressive size and cool shape, the lake is dotted with restaurants, bars, golf courses, attractions, lodging options, and outdoor activities. Our favorite activity, of course, is fishing.
With five tributaries and 64 billion gallons of fish-filled water at its disposal, Lake of the Ozarks is every angler’s dream destination. There’s no shortage of trophy catches. Largemouth Bass, Spotted Bass, White Bass, Hybrid Bass, Striped Bass, White Crappie, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Walleye, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Blue Catfish, Paddlefish – just name the fish, and Lake of the Ozarks has it!
If you’re visiting Lake of Ozarks in April, enroll in the Spring Big Bass Bash and show them what you’ve got. Tight lines!
Madera County, California
You know what goes well with fish? Wine, of course! That’s why we saved the best for last. Our 2023 Spring Break fishing special ends with the County of Madera. Madera County brings its fisheries and vineyards together to make your Spring Break vacation unforgettable. So, if you’re up for serious freshwater action and delicious wine tasting, then Madera County is exactly where you should be.
Engulfed in greenery and surrounded by lakes, Madera County will bless you with the local flavors. From the Madera Wine Trail to the Bass Lake Fishing Derby, this grape-growing region will convince you it’s praise-worthy. Whereas the Wine Trail is open year-round, the Bass Lake Fishing Derby takes place near the end of April and registration is already open. So, hurry up!
Bass Lake isn’t the only body of water offering fun. You can wet your line in Hensley Lake, Millerton Lake, and Eastman Lake. All three fisheries feature Bass, Crappie, and Trout angling opportunities. And if you become weary of fishing (as if that’s possible), you can recharge your batteries in the world-famous Yosemite National Park. With easy access to the park, lakes, and wineries, Madera County will give you what a small number of places can – a completely unplugged Spring Break vacation!
Spring Break Fishing: The Only Vacation You Need This Season
So, what do you say? Did you find your Spring Break vacation destination for this year? We hope that we managed to pass on our fishing enthusiasm to you and that you’ll kick off the spring season in style with at least one of the above-mentioned locations. If that’s the case, our work here is done and it’s your turn to have fun. Tight lines!
To see the past Spring Break fishing suggestions, visit our Best Spring Break Fishing Vacations for 2020 blog.
Have you visited any of the locations we suggested in the article? What’s your ideal Spring Break fishing destination? Where will you go this year? We’d love to hear from you so don’t be shy – drop us a line or two in the comment section below.