Spring Break is the ideal excuse to get away and cast a few lines. This is when you get to shake off those winter blues, and more importantly, have some outdoor fun with friends and family. As the bite heats up, all you’ve got to do is pick the perfect venue for your outing. With that in mind, we put together a list of the best Spring Break fishing vacations for 2020.
To make our list, we picked locations that offer awesome angling, as well as loads of opportunities for fun. Some of the locales on our list are party meccas, while others are ideal for families. One thing’s for sure, though: these places have “fishing of a lifetime” written all over them.
1. Myrtle Beach, SC
Sitting amidst South Carolina’s Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach is one of America’s favorite vacation getaways. This place sees a whopping 20 million visitors each year, many of whom come here precisely during spring break. What most spring breakers don’t know however, is how amazing Myrtle Beach’s fishing scene is.
In March, the change of temperatures brings inshore angling to a buzz. The nearby creeks, bays, and oyster bars come alive with the likes of Red Drum and Speckled Trout. If you prefer open waters, you’ll be glad to know that Bluefish season is in full swing.
To get away from all the noise, head south to the nearby Pawley’s Island, a local secret hotspot. Alternatively, you can hire an experienced fishing guide, and let them show you all the honey holes.
And when the reeling is over, head to the Strand for some well deserved fun. The iconic oceanside boardwalk is home to endless attractions, including high-end restaurants, packed beach bars, and giant amusement parks. The town’s signature landmark, the iconic SkyWheel, offers scenic views of the Strand, as well as the endless blues of the Atlantic.
Joints like Senor Frog’s and Malibu’s Surf Bar keep spring breakers coming back year after year. Wild party scene aside, Myrtle Beach offers plenty of attractions for families, too. If you’re visiting with kids, don’t miss the Myrtle Beach Safari.
2. Lake Havasu, AZ
Located right on the Arizona-California border, Lake Havasu is one of the best spring fishing spots in the nation. It also happens to be the epicenter of the western Spring Break party scene. Easily accessible from both states, Lake Havasu City is where most visitors decide to set up camp. Lying on the lake’s eastern shore, this former army rest camp has its own airport, which welcomes thousands of spring breakers each year.
Fishing-wise, Lake Havasu offers all the bounty you could imagine. From Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, to Stripers, Bluegill, and Catfish, this place has a fish for every type of angler here. When it comes to finding your spot, the lake offers multiple public docks and piers, as well as a number of boats for hire.
Angling is such a big deal here that every part of the year has a fishing tournament or two. During this year’s spring break, you’ll be able to watch pro anglers go for Bass, or try your own luck in one of several kayak fishing competitions.
And once you’ve caught your fill, it’s time to party. The fun starts on the beaches, where music and watersports highlight the action. Gather your crew and hit one of the many beach volleyball courts. And if you’re up for a stroll, the town itself has a number attractions to see. From performing arts, to breweries and restaurants, the city has a lot to offer.
While you’re here, check out the London Bridge, Arizona’s second most visited landmark. Did you know that in 1968 this bridge was actually shipped stone-by-stone all the way from London?
3. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
If you like your spring break fishing warm and sunny, head down to Playa del Carmen. The beachside resort town makes our list for a second year in a row, and there are plenty of reasons to why this is.
As one of Mexico’s hottest vacation destinations, Playa definitely knows how to make you feel at home. Tropical paradise aside, this place makes every angler feel like they can find exactly what they need.
Reef fishing is on fire during spring break. The waters are full of Barracuda, Jacks, and Wahoo. The best part is, all of them are just a few miles from the coast. Those who like a challenge can head to one of the many coastal lagoons. This is prime fly fishing territory, and during this time, Bonefish action is at its best.
For all the fun it offers, Playa’s not as swarmed by spring breakers like some other tourist hotspots (looking at you, Cancún). Be that as it may, we could probably write a book on what you can do around here.
The whole place seems like a giant Indiana Jones movie set. Whether its exploring ancient Mayan ruins, snorkeling in underground caves in the Yucatan jungle, or barhopping through the colorful cobblestone streets of La Quinta, Playa’s got your number.
4. Daytona Beach, FL
They call Daytona Beach the Festival Capital of Florida. Take one look at the town’s jammed event calendar, and you’ll see that the moniker is more than adequate. But if the town seems action-packed, that’s nothing compared to what’s going on offshore. Fishing in Daytona Beach is an angler’s dream, and the best part is, spring break is precisely when the action is at its hottest.
Groupers, Flounder, Black Drum, and Speckled Trout swarm the inshore waterways. From the mangroves of Halifax River, across Ponce Inlet and out into the Atlantic, inshore fishing is as good as it gets.
However, if you’d like to catch something bigger, Daytona Beach won’t disappoint. The reefs are full of Jacks, Barracuda, and Cobia. And if you’re in it for a meal, the Gulf Stream will serve you with a healthy dose of Mahi Mahi.
Back in town, Daytona’s famed beach awaits. This white-sand expanse boasts all kinds of watersports, volleyball courts, jungle gyms, and bars. The town’s beautiful boardwalk is dotted with colorful gift shops, snack bars, and restaurants. Around town, you can experience calmer activities like golfing or hiking.
Last but not least, the city of Orlando is only 60 miles from downtown Daytona Beach. If you’re in town with your family, that means that a visit to Disney World or SeaWorld is less than an hour away.
5. Laguna Beach, CA
A quintessential California beach town, Laguna Beach looks like it got stuck in an old Hollywood movie. We don’t know about you, but to us, ‘50s vibes and California sunshine sound like the perfect spring break combo.
The waters just outside of Laguna Beach belong to the Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve and the Laguna Beach State Marine Conservation Area. Fishing in these two protected zones has been under a ban since 2012.
However, Laguna lies right next to two of California’s most iconic fishing towns – Newport Beach and Dana Point. That means that awesome fishing is never more than 10 minutes away. If you’re looking for something even closer to home, wet your line from the beautiful Crystal Cove State Park.
Spring break brings a healthy dose of Groundfish to the area, meaning that you can catch Rockfish and Lingcod right off the shore. Sheepshead and Spiny Lobster are also on the bite. Head out to sea, and get yourself a tasty Halibut or Yellowtail. Spring is a great time for dolphin watching. Ask your captain to make a little detour so you can enjoy these beautiful creatures.
Back in Laguna Beach, there’s no shortage of cozy accommodation options. From romantic cabins to de-luxe hotels, there’s something for everyone around here.
The town’s got an unmistakeable artists’ charm to it, as vouched for by the many galleries dotted around the place. Beach lovers will enjoy every second on the scenic Main Beach, as will the surfers who come to catch its rolling waves. But if you just want the views, the oceanside restaurants have you covered.
6. Tybee Island, GA
Another returning spring break fishing destination, this one’s for you fishing purists out there. If your idea of spring break includes awesome fishing, but without the crowds and alcohol, Tybee Island is the place for you. This place offers more outdoor fun than you could possibly fit into a week-long vacation, making it perfect for families, too.
On Tybee, spring break is all about inshore fishing. You can hop on a charter and explore the abundant waterways of Wassaw Sound and Wilmington River. Here, Red Drum is the star of the show, but you can also catch Speckled Trout and Sheepshead.
For those of you who like to end your outing with a tasty dinner, Flounder and Black Seabass are just a cast away. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time here but still want to catch loads of fish, head to one of Tybee Island’s fishing piers.
With miles of scenic tracks to hike and cycle around, Tybee Island is an outdoors enthusiast’s heaven. Heck, who wouldn’t like to picnic on the edge of the Atlantic? And if you’re not afraid to get wet, give the local watersport activities a try. Hit the beautiful Savannah Beach and hop on a jet ski, kayak, or paddleboard. You won’t regret it.
To officially kick off spring break, Tybee Island holds its traditional Irish Heritage Parade, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re in town with kids, visit the Marine Science Center. And if not, hit one of the local wine distilleries for some of the finest vintages Georgia has to offer.
7. Orange Beach, AL
You could say that we saved the best for last. College students and families come from all over the country to thaw in the warm Alabama sun. But Orange Beach isn’t just America’s favorite spring break destination, it’s also home to one of the largest fishing charter fleets in the Gulf.
Angling is a big deal in Orange Beach. Part of the reason is that the town lies right next to the largest artificial reef system in the country. This allows Orange Beach and its sister town of Gulf Shores to enjoy a year-round bite. And we’re not talking small fish here.
From Bull Redfish, to Black Drum and Sheepshead, inshore fishing is on fire. A little further out, Pompano and feisty Cobia run the action. Spanish Mackerel start showing up towards the end of the month, too. But the real stars of the show lie offshore.
If you want to land the biggest and tastiest catch this spring break, Orange Beach offshore fishing has just what you need. These trips will take you deep into the Gulf, on a hunt for one of the most sought-after fish out there. This is Yellowfin Tuna territory, a place where true angling experts are made. The trips can run from anywhere from 12 to 48 hours, but the chase is definitely worth the catch.
When the time comes to enjoy the spoils of your outing, bring your catch to one of the seafood restaurants in Orange Beach. Have your fresh catch prepared just the way you like it, and enjoy. Once you’re happy and full, spend the extra calories down at the Wharf. This place is the entertainment epicenter of the town, offering fun activities for people of all ages.
Unlimited Angling – Unlimited Fun
We all have different ideas on what the ideal spring break fishing destination is. Thankfully, there’s plenty of beautiful locales out there, each offering its unique blend of awesome fishing and limitless fun. Wherever you live, you can find some amazing fishing spots and start making memories!
And now we turn it over to you. What’s your favorite spring break fishing destination? What will you be fishing for this spring? Let us know in the comments below.
Sean is an optometrist who left his day job to write about fishing. He calls himself a lucky angler because his favorite fish, Mahi Mahi, can be found almost anywhere – even though he’s lost more of them than he’s willing to admit. Obsessed by all forms of water sports, you’ll find him carrying one of three things: a ball, a surf board, or his fishing rod.