The first part of the winter in the northern states is novel and charming. The middle months of December through February are barely tolerable, but when March rolls in like a lion, anglers that are buried in snow are losing their sanity. Cabin fever cures, like the ones we suggested in January, are no longer enough. Here are ten spring break fishing trips you can take to escape the end-of-winter blues. From largemouth bass to tarpon to tuna, we’ve got the perfect adventure for you, because T.S. Eliot was right about April, it is the cruelest month.
- The striper season may not be open in the Chesapeake until April, but you can still catch and release the big spawning fish that fill the bay in late March, in both the Bay and rivers like the Potomac.
What to Target: Spawning striped bass. There are few places where you’ll have a better shot at 30-, 40- and 50-pound striped bass than in the early spring in the Chesapeake. These fish are fattening up for their long trek north, but they haven’t left just yet.
How to Fish: Check the most current regulations, as some baits, such as eels, are illegal to use during this time of year. However, traditional striper lures that work along the coast, including big swimbaits, plugs, jigs and baitfish imitations will all take big bass in the Bay. Find out the most prevalent bait in the area that you’re fishing and have an imitation on hand. Sebile Lures makes a wide variety of realistic hard and soft-plastic baits that have taken their share of big bass. Hint: The bass are likely gorging on herring in the spring.
Off-the-Water Drinks: The Boatyard Bar and Grill in Annapolis throws a party on the opening day of striper season every year. How can you beat that? Get an oyster shooter and crab cakes after landing your striped bass. By the way, you’ll want to start calling them ‘rockfish’ once you get south of Jersey.
Photo: Mike Bailey took this monster striper on the Potomac in April.
Where are you going fishing for your spring vacation? Share with us in the comments!