Give Me a Break

For students, Spring Break is rapidly approaching.  For some this means heading to the mountains, others, perhaps a trek south to Florida or Texas. These few days are associated long road trips and wild parties; however, I am not the only one who uses Spring Break as a time to get in more fishing.

For example, Bassmaster Elite angler Jonathon VanDam used to leave school in Michigan to fish Lake Okeechobee in Florida with friends. Edwin Evers was either fishing or earning money to go fishing during his breaks. Todd Faircloth likes to vacation at his parent’s place on Lake Sam Rayburn in Texas, maybe even putting down the poles long enough to water ski. Brandon Palaniuk did not need official designation on a college calendar as an excuse to go fishing; he was always fishing anyway, sometimes even towing his boat to school.

If you are planning to travel, Panama City Beach, Florida is listed as one of the most popular destinations for Spring Break. However, you don’t have to rent a condo; there are campgrounds close to the beach. Three or seven-day fishing licenses are available.  Fishing guides can do most of the work for you or for $6 a day, visitors can relax and fish from a pier. For the minimalist boating experience, perhaps you might even want to try stand up paddle boarding.

On the other hand, maybe this Spring Break you just want to stick close to home with a “staycation.” Check out the Places to Boat and Fish Map and you can find often overlooked opportunities that abound in each state. It might not be as warm yet, but there are fun outside spring break activities everywhere.

This year, my family will be enjoying the area around St. Petersburg—but not Florida. St. Petersburg, Pennsylvania. We’re going to hike some trails, scout trout streams, and maybe visit a local trophy deer farm.

And even if you “must” go skiing, while you are lying face down inspecting the snow-covered slope, consider that the snow will soon embark on its own Spring Break and in a few months, you may be fishing or boating on these same water molecules somewhere downstream.

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.