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 Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to since 2011.