Spring Break Hotspots

When March and April roll around, temperatures that climb into the 60s tease us into believing we will soon see the sun and feel its warmth on a regular basis. And we will, just not soon enough! That's why millions of people worldwide, from students to cabin-fever-fighting adults, take to traveling and soaking up tropical rays and reveling in irresponsibility. If you're an angler, warming temps inspire images of huge fish bursting with eggs and shaking off the cold-water lulls of winter to fight with every ounce of passion they possess. To celebrate the coming season of sun, fun and fishing, we've assembled the top-ten spring break hotspots that a globetrotting angler could visit for the best party and angling scenes on the planet. 10. Cape Town, South Africa Party Scene: An old harbor town, Cape Town's nightlife boomed after the end of Apartheid. Today there are nightclubs, discos, live music venues and massive themed parties. Fishing Scene: Sharks, tuna, huge rays, marlin, sailfish, broadbill swordfish, giant trevally, wahoo, dorado, kingfish and various bottom fish inhabit the waters around South Africa. The world renown Billfish 1500 Tournament takes place here every year and stands as testimonial to the incredible blue, black and striped marlin fishing. Great white shark fishing has been outlawed across the globe, and South Africa was one of the hottest spots on the planet to catch the meanest fish on earth. However, it's not the only shark species worthy of fighting with rod and reel. Try tying into a mako, bull or hammerhead to test your stamina and durability. Must Fish For: Sharks, tuna and marlin.
9. Seychelles Islands Party Scene: The wild and crazy nightlife wasn't what landed Seychelles on this list. It was the fishing. However, while this Indian Ocean paradise is a laidback, relaxing getaway more suited for those appreciating nature and peace and quiet then rocking parties, it does have somewhat of a scene at bars, pubs and nightclubs frequented by locals. It's a laidback scene but that doesn't mean sloppy. Dress smart and enjoy international, current and local music hits of the clubs that are usually open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Fishing Scene: There's one fish in particular that landed this island on the list, and one reason in particular. That would be the best bonefishing in the world. Any place that can top the Bahamas for bonefish is worthy of making any top-fishing list. Bonefish swarm the warm Indian Ocean flats in huge numbers and have seen such little pressure that they'll swallow just about any thrown at them. This is a great place for a beginner flycaster to tie into a bone. Additionally, the clear waters hold huge trevally, barracuda, milkfish, sailfish and wahoo.
Must Fish For: Bonefish or hard-fighting milkfish.
8. New Orleans, Louisiana Party Scene: As home of Bourbon Street, there's always a party in this world-famous city. If you go in the pre-Lenten season, which is of course prior to most spring breaks, you can partake in the Mardi Gras celebration. No fear, however, if you miss that timeframe as the tourist town known mind-numbing, rum-infused Hurricanes always has an all-night party going on somewhere.
Fishing Scene: While hurricane Katrina decimated the area, it revitalized the fishing. The largemouth bass fishing in the brackish and freshwater around New Orleans is so good that ESPN held the Bassmaster Classic here. Perch, speckled trout, redfish, black drum, stripers, porgy, snapper, snook, tarpon, jack crevalle, amberjack and flounder are available to inshore angler. Offshore anglers can test their tackle with blue and white marlin, sailfish, wahoo, dorado, king macks, cobia, grouper, albacore, yellow and bluefin tuna, as well as bigeye and skipjack tuna.
Must Fish For: Tuna in the blue water and redfish inshore.
7. US Virgin Islands Party Scene: St. Thomas is the most visited of the US Virgin Islands and offers a great jumping off point for partying, fishing and exploring that island as well as surrounding ones. Some areas aren't safe for tourists after dark (but hey! This is a travel-adventure piece, so don't be a wuss!), although they contain some famous bars tucked away along pirate-like narrow and winding streets. Many of them can be visited during the day, and the resorts and hotels used by tourists offer almost compound-like qualities. Inside their grounds are clubs, bars and entertainment all offered under the safe protection of corporate-world U.S. business.
Fishing Scene: Known as the blue marlin capital, St. Thomas provides incredible fishing for the hard-fighting species. Wahoo, yellow and blackfin tuna, dorado, white marlin, sailfish king fish and shark all provide a mix-bag opportunity offshore. For inshore anglers red snapper, grouper, bonefish and tarpon are available.
Must Fish For: Blue marlin
6. Panama City, Florida Party Scene: In this panhandle party town you'll find the typical spring break experience. Complete with bars, bikini-clad coeds and ample booze. Don't miss the 2010 Mullet Toss April 23, 24, and 25. It's a fish-tossing contest like no other and contains all the beer and babes you can handle.
Fishing Scene: Redfish, speckled trout, sheepshead, dorado, cobia, Pompano, jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, snapper, grouper, amberjack all swim these Gulf Waters. Later in the summer sharks become favored targets, as do offshore species like yellowfin tuna, sailfish and marlin.
Must Fish For: Redfish and specks for a quick inshore trip and dorado, marlin and tuna offshore.
5. Negril, Jamaica Party Scene: Evoking images of pirates and Bob Marley, Jamaica's nightlife and daily social activities run the gamut from all-inclusive resorts complete with nightclubs to the aptly named Hedonism II. It comes as mild or wild as you want it. Oh, yeah, and in case you might be tempted to try certain illicit substances associated with the reggae scene and famously depicted on Marley posters and t-shirts for decades, you should know that, contrary to popular belief, the use of any mind-altering drugs is expressly forbidden.
Fishing Scene: The best offshore fishing takes place on the north side of this island nation and includes dorado, wahoo, blue and white marlin, sailfish, tarpon, barracuda and bonito. Shallow-water anglers can cast for bonefish and tarpon from either a small boat or even shore. Must Fish For: Blue marlin offshore and bonefish inshore.
4. Gold Coast, Australia Party Scene: A non-stop fishing, surfing and partying scene exists during "schoolies week," which is Australia's term for "spring break." The big difference is that down under, spring actually takes place during our fall (November, to be exact). But that's no reason to abandon hope. When waves break and fishing is as hot as it is on the Gold Coast, it's a year-round scene. Nightclubs, beach parties and music festivals are regular occurrences and offer a party-hungry angler lots of hot spots to fill their quota of beers and babes.
Fishing Scene: The Gold Coast has it all: Spanish and spotted mackerel, cobia, tuna, shark, dorado, marlin, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, trevally, snapper, sharks and even crabbing!
Must Fish For: Cobia, tuna and snapper.
3. Cancun, Mexico Party Scene: Our top-placing spring break hotspot last year slips to the third spot in 2010, but not because of a drop in its party or fishing quality. Rather, the top two spots hold bigger parties or more intriguing fishing for us.
Cancun is the quintessential spring break spot: sandy beaches, nightclubs, beautiful coeds and plenty of beer and booze to go around. No place in North America can top spring break here, and only a few places on the globe can even try to top the scene.
Fishing Scene: A perfect combination of inshore and offshore opportunities, Cancun's crystal clear, warm waters hold sailfish, marlin, blackfin tuna, mahi, barracuda, snapper, grouper, sharks and wahoo offshore. Inshore anglers can fight permit, tarpon, snook and bonefish.
Must Fish For: Sailfish are the main deal around Cancun. Count on up to 10 or more hookups per day!
2. Ibiza, Spain Party Scene: When movie stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Penelope Cruz, Sienna Miller and the UK's Katie Price frequent this Balearic Island in the Mediterranean Sea, you know there's a serious party brewing and anything under the sun is available to revelers. All-night clubs combined with European views on sex, drugs and rock-n-roll means a party scene that's unsurpassed anywhere in the world.
Fishing Scene: While the party scene puts Ibiza on the map, the fishing isn't too bad either. That's if you can crawl out of a coma-like hangover long enough to wet a line. Tuna, white marlin, barracuda, bass, mullet and bream are all available by trolling, bait or jigging.
Must Fish For: Without a doubt, you have to go for tuna and marlin.
1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Party Scene: Rio is home of Carnival--one of the biggest parties on the planet. If you miss the hedonistic free for all, you can count on world-class parties from this world-famous city. Beautiful bodies adorn beautiful and famous beaches like Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. Look, when feminine grooming techniques are named after a country, you know there's something to see.
Fishing Scene: Inshore, offshore and freshwater fishing opportunities exist around Rio. Various bottom species, dorado, sailfish, marlin can be caught around the Coastal Islands and Green Coast Bay with baits, metal jigs, trolling, casting and flyfishing. In freshwater lakes and river near Rio, you can ply the waters for bream, peacock bass and Amazon catfish.
Must Fish For: Face it, when you're in Brazil there's one target you HAVE to go for and that's trophy peacock bass! Running a close second would be the famously huge, if not monstrous Amazon catfish. Need more Spring Break hotspots? Click here!

Your guide to great fishing and parties across the globe