Here are the 12 best fish to catch for everyone's birthday month.
The thing is that you may not have thought much about the best fish to catch during your own birthday month.
Some states are a part of the warmer climate regions, and we may think they have the best fishing in the winter months. But seasoned anglers know better than that! The same is true for the northern states, because many of the best and biggest fish seem to only come through the ice.
The fact is, no matter when you were born, there's a North American fish species out there waiting for you during the entire year. You just need to get out there and find it.
We'll try to break it down by location and by month to help find you the best chance of catching that trophy fish on your birthday!
January: Ice Fishing for Panfish, Wisconsin
A soon as anglers break the ice in the Badger State the game is on for bucket-filling panfish.
Fishermen here routinely catch bluegill, crappie, sunfish, and especially perch, although it also has an underrated and excellent whitefish population. In my opinion, that's perhaps the best eating cold water fish there is.
February: Yellowfin Tuna, Louisiana
How do you go about catching a yellowfin on your birthday? Most anglers know to start at Venice, Louisiana and look up one of the many veteran guide services that reside there.
Yellowfin angling out of the Pelican State in February can yield as many as eight fish per day and some reach well over 100 pounds. Trolling often yields results, and there's a chance you'll end up with the famous Louisiana redfish following your bait, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
March: Brown Trout, New York
Lake Ontario tributary anglers in the Empire State can routinely catch stream run brown trout throughout the winter months any time there is open water, but by the time March rolls around the streams that feed the big lake can be full of them. I caught this one on a J-7 Rapala in a brown trout pattern.
Remember that only the tributaries of Lake Ontario up to the first impassible barrier (by fish) can be fished year round, but for the rest of the state, the trout season is closed until April 1st.
April: Rainbow Trout, Michigan
March and April ushers in the major spawning activity for resident Rainbow trout in Michigan.
Some of the best rainbow trout fishing in Michigan can be had during this month, as big belly trout gorge on Steelhead eggs this time of year. Catch fish like that on a fly rod, and you'll be hooked, literally and figuratively.
May: Tarpon, Florida
May in The Florida Keys & Key West is tarpon fishing heaven!
We wanted to consult some expert advice for Florida tarpon, and it wasn't hard to find it.
According to Fish Anywhere, "The tarpon action really starts when the waters warm up a bit in April. Plan your visit during May and June; these are the best months to fish for tarpon in the Florida Keys. Look for them in the backcountry (shallow waters to the north of the Keys) and the nearby flats."
June: Walleye, Ohio/Pennsylvania/New York
Lake Erie has one of the finest walleye fisheries anywhere in America, and anglers from three different states can join in. In fact, some fishing guides on this venerable walleye stuffed lake will tell you that the only reason you're not catching walleye is because your line isn't in the water!
July: King Salmon, Washington
The waters south of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge are the only place where it's legal to catch Salmon all year, and since July marks the start of Chinook salmon season in the Puget Sound, you may have just found the best place to visit to catch the King on the Fourth of July.
August: Channel Cats, Iowa
August is National Catfish Month!The state record channel catfish was caught in August 1993, do you know how big it was? What’s the biggest catfish you’ve ever caught?
As anglers from Iowa and neighboring states will tell you, it's best to use large-sized baits such as dead bluegill, live chubs, water dogs, crayfish, or frogs when seeking larger catfish.
Game and Fish Magazine lists several species of cats in Iowa, but "Iowa's current state-record channel catfish came from the Missouri River in 2005 and was caught by Dustin Curtis of Bellevue, Neb. The 38-pound, 40-inch trophy bested a 36-pounder caught from the Middle Raccoon River back in 1993."
September: Smallmouth Bass, Maine
In actuality, September through the month of November is an excellent time to catch big smallmouth bass on Maine's lakes and rivers. Fast moving artificial lures such as spinnerbaits and crankbaits are very effective in the fall, especially in a crawfish pattern.
October: Northern Pike, Pennsylvania
According to data from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission collected over the years, lake anglers catch more pike per hour in October than in any other month.
Deep water offers fish an escape route and acts as a staging area for big pike in fall. Ledges and adjacent shoals also attract baitfish, which big pike need to fatten up for the winter.
November: Muskellunge, Minnesota
Musky Catch of a Lifetime on Fly - IGFA's Trophy Muskellunge Club Angler Robert John Hawkins of Saint Paul, Minnesota,...
Back in 2015, Musky Hunter reported, "Minnesota's state record musky has stood for 58 years, but two muskies caught just days apart in November from Mille Lacs Lake may have toppled the mark had they been kept. Instead, Dominic Hoyos chose to release his 55-incher that carried a 30-inch girth, as did Brent Lenke, whose 56-inch musky had a 29-inch girth."
Try a large topwater popper or frog pattern, and don't forget about the effectiveness of live baits on these monster muskellunge.
December: Striped Bass, Georgia
The waters in Georgia have been known to harbor stripers weighing in at over 60 pounds, with excellent fishing in Lake Hartwell and Clark Hill in the northeast part of the state in the Savannah River system.
Game fish of all kinds are there for the taking in every month of the year, but the striped bass in the wintertime are tough to beat.
We neglected to include arguably the most popular United States game fish, the largemouth bass. Of course, bass fishing is common in almost all of the Lower 48, and the largemouth is certainly a great fish to catch. It's just that you can find them year round in so many places. We're hoping to spice things up with a little more variety.
We love to sportfish across North America, from the West Coast to the East Coast and everywhere in between. Freshwater fish or saltwater fish? We don't care as long as our line is in the water somewhere.
And if it's on our birthday, that's the best present you can give yourself!