By: Shayne Benowitz
In Miami, spend the day fishing for sport, food or fun.
From the shallow flats of Biscayne Bay and Everglades National Park to the depths of the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean, Miami is an angler’s paradise.
With such a diverse ecosystem supported by mangroves, coral reefs and that warm, fast-moving current, Miami’s water is teeming with sport fish and pelagic species that make for a delicious dinner or a great mount.
Whether you’re a newcomer to fishing or your vacation revolves around the sport, you’ll find ample opportunity to reel in a big one in Miami.
Deep Sea or Flats Fishing
Depending on your interest, decide on either a deep sea or flats fishing charter. A deep sea trip typically involves heading into the blue of the Atlantic Ocean in search of the big fish that skirt the Gulf Stream, while flats fishing is done in the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay or Florida Bay, accessed through the Everglades. Flats fishing usually involves fly fishing techniques, while deep sea fishing involves trolling your line at great depths.
What You’ll Catch & Fishing Seasons
Deep sea fishermen are after pelagic species, such as tuna, grouper, cobia, kingfish, amberjack, snapper and mahi-mahi. Exciting sport fish also include marlin, sailfish and giant tuna.
Flats fishermen are typically on the hunt for permit, bonefish, tarpon, snook, redfish and even sharks.
While fishing conditions are typically best late fall through late spring, fishing is a year round sport in Miami. Conversely, some fish are strictly regulated to specific seasons for sustainability purposes. A knowledgeable guide will know all of this like the back of his hand and will have you in the right spot at the right time of year for a great catch.
For the serious fisherman or, simply, someone who wants a personalized fishing experience, a half (about four hours) or full day (about eight hours) charter with an experienced guide aboard a fishing boat approximately 33-feet long is the most popular option. These private charters typically accommodate up to six anglers (aka six of your closest friends) with prices starting around $700 for a half day. Night trips through Biscayne Bay’s flats are also popular as certain species, like swordfish or tarpon, are more active then.
For those who simply want to give fishing a whirl, “party” boats are larger vessels of about 70-feet that are designed to accommodate 100 anglers. In this case, you’ll have less personalized attention from an individual guide, but you’ll be assisted by a team of crewmembers ensuring everyone is having a good time and getting their bait on the hook. At roughly $50 per person, it’s a great introduction to fishing or an economical option for the casual angler. In both private charters and party boats, bait, tackle and equipment are typically provided.
Miami has more fishing guides and charters than can be counted. A few to consider include The Treasure Fleet, Top Gun Fishing Charters, Miss Britt Charters, Outcast Sportfishing and Bouncer Dusky 33. For party boat charters, seek out the Reward Fleet or the Kelley Fleet.
For the tech forward fishermen, you might want to consult the BoatDay app for on demand charters. You can also head to one of Miami’s many marinas to inquire about charter boat availability.
Where to Fish From Land
If getting offshore isn’t an option, you can also bring your rod and reel and bait and tackle box to a handful of different spots to fish from land in Miami.
South Pointe Park Pier – Located at the tip of South Beach at Government Cut, South Pointe Park Pier not only makes for a picturesque stroll, but it’s also a prime fishing spot for snapper and Spanish mackerel.
Haulover Inlet Jetty – Similarly, Haulover Inlet separates Bal Harbour from Haulover Beach and offers a great spot to cast your line for jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and red snapper.
Newport Fishing Pier – Located in Sunny Isles Beach and newly renovated, the Newport Fishing Pier extends a half mile into the ocean, opening up the possibilities for a wide variety of fish species.
Pelican Harbor Marina – Located at the 79th Street Causeway, the Pelican Harbor Marina allows for fishing off the backside of the boat ramp.
Oleta River State Park – A lovely park just west of Sunny Isles Beach, Oleta River State Park has a designated fishing pier where you might catch snook, pompano and redfish.
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