While a lot of people stick with cherry pie, fishing is also a valid way to celebrate President’s Day. From John Quincy Adams to George H.W. Bush, a number of US presidents have also been avid fishermen. It just goes to show that fishing has and continues to be a popular pastime for people from all walks of life. As Herbert Hoover once wrote, “All men are equal before fish.”
And if you’re looking to mark the occasion with a bit of fishing, we hope you find this article useful. We’ll take you through our pick of the eight best places where you can have an unforgettable day of fishing on the third Monday of February. For those of you who can’t make it on the actual day, you can also keep them in mind for your future fishing plans – they’re all well worth the trip!
Seeing as it’s President’s Day and all, it only makes sense for our first featured destination to be from the home state of George Washington. Thanks to having one of only two urban Trout fisheries in Virginia, Waynesboro is an excellent year-round destination for all your freshwater angling needs, President’s Day included.
The South River flows directly through the city, making it super easy to go after a trophy Rainbow or Brown Trout. To the north you’ll find the mountain streams of George Washington National Forest and Shenandoah National Park where you’ll find a good deal of Brook Trout. And if that’s not enough, local guides also provide trips to the nearby James and Jackson rivers.
Fly fishing is also a big deal in this part of Virginia. A part of the South River near the community of Lyndhurst has a special fly fishing-only zone that’s home to solid numbers of trophy Trout year after year. But even if you’re not a fly enthusiast yourself, you’ll be impressed with what Waynesboro has to offer.
Lake Jocassee, SC
Another freshwater favorite, Lake Jocassee is the only lake in South Carolina where you can go after both trophy Trout and Smallmouth Bass. You can access the lake through Devils Fork State Park, making it a perfect option for that family trip you’ve been wanting to do for ages. As far as President’s Day fishing goes, you should brace for a world-class Trout fishery.
Why are we so excited about this lake that sits on the border with North Carolina? For starters, it holds state records for Redeye, Smallmouth, and Spotted Bass, as well as Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout. That’s quite a cover letter if you ask us. Add to that some beautiful sights from the Jocassee Gorges, and you’ll be coming back here every year.
Fort Myers, FL
If you’re more of a saltwater kind of angler, then the Fort Myers area should be up there at the top of your President’s Day fishing list. From quick inshore trips to longer offshore excursions, you have the freedom to find a trip that’s right up your alley. If anything, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
President’s Day comes along right in the middle of Florida’s peak fishing season, so expect scores of other anglers with the same goal as you – reeling in a prized catch! Check out the inshore mangroves for Snook, Redfish, Sheepshead, Mangrove Snapper, and more. For a hassle-free experience, you can hit the local beaches or the pier and fish to your heart’s content.
For the bigger catches, you’ll want to hire a charter boat and hit the offshore waters. Out there you can target the likes of Kingfish, Groupers, Spanish Mackerel, and Sharks. These trips tend to be longer because it takes a bit to reach the fishing grounds – but we can confidently say it’s more than worth the price of admission.