The San Joaquin Delta, California, United States

Crisscrossing northern California from Sacramento to Stockton and spreading west to the Suisun Bay is the San Joaquin Delta, an angler’s paradise thousands of miles in size. Often hailed as the premier place to fish in California, the San Joaquin Delta has something for everyone. Striped Bass transit through the region in May and November each year as they migrate, but numerous other species call the delta region home and can be found year-round. These include bass (small and large mouth), bluegill, bullhead catfish, channel catfish, crappie, redear sunfish, salmon, shad, steelhead,  sturgeon, yellow perch, white catfish and numerous others.

Fish Species

Catfish

Three distinct catfish can be found in the San Joaquin Delta year-round; bullhead, channel, and white. Summer is the peak season for catfish in the region. Preparation is vital to success so have 15-20 pound test line. As far as bait goes, there’s a long list of things that work, but they may also attract other fish as well, like striped bass. The best baits for catfish include anchovies, bloodworms, chicken liver, clams, dough baits, nightcrawlers, sardines, stink baits, and turkey livers.

The best areas to look for catfish vary in depth from 3 to twenty feet with the deeper waters more productive in the winter. Some example areas include Franks Tract State Rec Area, Georgiana Slough, Middle River, Miner Sloughs, Old River, Sacramento River, San Joaquin River, Sevenmile, Sherman Lake, Threemile, and White Slough. The best strategy is to try a spot for around 30 minutes and then move on to another nearby area.

Bluegill

Bluegill stick to the quieter parts of the San Joaquin Delta so look for them where the water is slow and the weeds are thick. Smaller bluegill can be found under the cover of shade trees, docks and other shadow-casting objects. The larger ones prefer to hang out in deeper water during the day but can be found feeding in the shallows in the mornings or evenings.

Striped Bass

Striped Bass can be found in a wide range of areas in the delta. Some general areas include Franks Tract State Rec Area, Middle River, Old River, the San Andreas shoals on the San Joaquin, and White Slough. If fishing from shore also try the Mokelumne River from the San Joaquin to Hwy 12 and near the Cross Delta Channel.

There area also specific zones that many have had success with striped bass. If fishing from a boat try any of these areas:

  • Sherman Lake – water depth of 5 feet or less
  • Power lines on the Sacramento River – Best to try within 2 hours of incoming or outgoing tides (high/low)
  • Threemile Slough – where it meets the Sacramento River or the San Joaquin River
  • Decker Island – west side, north end near Threemile, and on the south side where the two forks of the Sacramento River meet.
  • Dairy on Brannan Island – About 1.5 miles north of Brannan Island State Rec Area entrance, across from Sandy Beach County Park. East side of the river about 50 yards offshore near where the river widens.

For bait, Striped Bass enjoy anchovies, bloodworms, crayfish, ghost shrimp, grass shrimp, mudsuckers, sardines, sculpins, shad, and threadfin. Cut bait should have the fresh side exposed and nylon netting can be used to keep the bait on the hook. Lures can also see success with some of the best being Rebels and Rapalas in 3 to 7 inch sizes. The line needs to be in the 10 to 30 pound test range.

Striped Bass run in spring and fall. Spring is spawning and the striped bass run up the main arteries of the Sacrament and San Joaquin rivers. The fall run is also good and one can find a lot of larger striped bass during the season. Fishing for striped bass is good from September through June as the two seasons run into each other.

Sturgeon

Sturgeon can be found in a range of areas in the San Joaquin Delta. Some of the best areas are the deepest ones, 14 to 80 feet in depth – the deeper, the better. These areas include the Isleton and Rio Vista bridges, the Sacramento River, Threemile Slough where it meets the Sacramento, and near the old dairy on Brannan Island. Larger areas include the Mothball Fleet, and the San Pablo and Suisun Bays. Less successful but still good fishing areas include the Cache Slough and near Liberty Island. The best time of year to fish for sturgeon in the region is winter as the water gets muddy through until the beginning of summer.

While white sturgeon can reach 12 to 20 feet and up to 1,300 pounds, but that’s uncommon. The best documented big white sturgeon was in 1983 and was 468 pounds. However, state regulations allow white sturgeon only between 40 and 60 inches in order to improve the severely depleted population. Green sturgeon are also a large fish with lengths between 4 and 7 feet and weights up to 350 pounds at maturity. However, their population has been decimated worse than their white sturgeon cousins.

Many sturgeon anglers are using sensitive-tipped heavier rods (medium to heavy) equipped with a conventional or bait casting reel. Some are using spinning reels but all are using a 30 to 50 pound line. Tackle setups include wire leaders, sliding sinkers with single or double hooks.

Salmon

Salmon populations have been threatened in the area and some even reached the endangered species list. However, through state regulation, many of the populations have improved in recent years. There are several good salmon fisheries in the delta including the American River, Mokelumne River and the Sacramento River on the southern end and upstream from the city of Sacramento.

American Shad

American shad are best found in spring, when they spawn, and peak from late April through early May. The best areas in the San Joaquin Delta for shad are on the American River, Mokelumne River and Sacramento River. For the Mokelumne River try above the New Hope Landing. Two areas on the Sacramento see the most success, near the Four Seasons Marina, and below the Freeport Bridge.

The most common tackle are shad jigs. They’re most commonly caught in the 1 to 3 pound range and will take a bit of work as they like to fight. Bump-netting is still used by some at night. It’s a lot of work as you’ll be hanging over the side of the boat with a cone-shaped net on the long pole, dragging it through the water. When it bumps into a fish, turn the net straight up and pull it out of the water. They say it’s not for the faint of heart, but one can net a good amount of shad in a short time.

 

 

Lake George, Florida, United States

Just 20 minutes northwest of Deland and 30 minutes east of Ocala sits one of the preeminent largemouth bass fishing destinations in central Florida. Lake George is Florida’s second largest lake (roughly 46,000 acres) with portions of the lake in both Putnam and Volusia counties. The lake is part of the St. Johns River system (also see Lake Monroe) and contains fairly extensive vegetation providing an exceptional habitat for a wide variety of fish.

Public access is available from Blue Creek Road to Lake George Road off of Highway 40. Private / paid launches are also available, check out our map which includes details about both the public and private launches. Pine Island Fish Camp (386-749-2818) and Georgetown Marina & Lodge (386-467-2002) are two popular private launches. Lake George is also accessible by a fishing pier located along the east side of the lake at the end of Nine Mile Point Road.

Fish Species

Largemouth Bass

The lake’s fairly extensive vegetation provides a great habitat for bass. Your best bets are around deeper structures such as the jetties at the south side of lake, old pilings found at numerous locations throughout the lake as well as docks, partially sumerged tree trunks (dead-heads) as well as other submerged obstructions. Live bait such as shiners as well as deep diving crank baits are going to be your best bets in these areas. Other options include fishing in areas of eel grass with top-water baits such as buzz baits or even plastic worms fished on the surface. In the cooler months as well as in early morning and late afternoon of warm months fishing live baits near the edges of the eelgrass beds gives you a great opportunity for success. Hot spots on the lake include the areas near Juniper Creek, Salt Springs and Silver Glen Spring Springs Run. During the cooler months of the year fishing the jetties on the south side fo the lake can also be very productive.

The lake also plays host to variety of other species including: Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, Black Crappie, Striped Bass and Brown Bullhead. Striped bass tend to move to deeper areas. Crickets are a great bait option for Bluegill; worms usually work better for Redear Sunfish.

 

 

Lake Monroe, Florida, United States

Lake Monroe is a 9,406 acre lake situated just about half way between Orlando and Daytona Beach. The lake is part of the St. Johns River chain bordering both Seminole County and the city of Sanford to the south as well as Volusia county to the north.

Public access is available at the south side of the lake at the intersection of the I-4 and 17/92 in Seminole county (Lake Monroe Wayside Park) as well as the north side of the lake in Volusia county off of Lake Shore Drive (Lake Monroe Boat Ramp). Numerous private / paid launches are also available, check out our map which includes details about both the public and private launches.

Fish Species

Black Crappie
The lake is known for quality size crappie and being a popular spot during the cooler months of the years. Crappie exceeding twelves inches and two pounds are not at all uncommon. Drifting or trolling near the river channel as well as off of the northwest shore near the power plant are popular options though schools of crappie can be found nearly anywhere on the lake. During the late winter and into early spring crappie tend to more inshore for spawning and seem to prefer the bulrush under the right water conditions and if the water depth suits.

Largemouth Bass
Lake Monroe contains very sparse vegetation meaning finding offshore underwater structures such as pilings, docks and other drop-offs are keys to success in terms of finding bass. In some cases bulush may yield results but the overall probability is low.

Bluegill & Redear Sunfish
Both bluegill and redear sunfish will spawn throughout the spring months as long as they can find vegetationa and a structure sufficient to support such activity. If fishing nearshore, try to fish earlier before the sun heats up the water and the fish swim out looking for cooler, deeper locations.

 

 

Everglades, Florida, United States

When it comes to fishing the Everglades, you can catch fish year-round. Most anglers come here to catch snook, tarpon and redfish. But you’re definitely not limited to those species. The fishing opportunities in Everglades National Park are vast. You can catch permits, ladyfish, jacks, sharks, redfish, tarpon, black drum and triple tail. And the best part is that you can catch tarpon 365 days a year. There is no other place on earth you can do that. It’s a fly fishermen’s dream.

Fish Species

Tarpon

As mentioned, tarpon can be caught year-round in the Everglades, with peak fishing opportunities occurring in July. From the gulf, all the way to the deepest back country big tarpons can be hauled in all day if you know how to fish for them. The tarpon here range from around 6 pounds to upwards of 150 pounds. We recommend using a 10 -12 weight rod if you’re targeting big tarpon. If you’re looking to catch juvenile tarpon then you can go with a 8 or 9 weight rod.

Snook

Fly fishing for snook at Pompano Beach is something local anglers love. They say to target the mangrove shorelines and the flats. You can catch nice size snook here —from between 3 and 12 pounds. They’re typically caught on a 6 – 9 weight rod.

Redfish

You can catch reddish in the Everglades pretty much anywhere. Fish for them along the Everglade’s Gulf Coast, and in deep backcountry waters. The reds here weigh between 3 and 12 pounds. Try using a 6 – 9 weight rod.

Where to Fish

Fishing at Everglades National Park is absolutely magical. You’re exposed to amazing wildlife, and some of the best saltwater fishing Florida has to offer. It’s one of he best places you can visit to hone your fly saltwater fishing skills and master sight fishing with light tackle gear.

The Everglades is a very diverse fishery. This area of Florida, also referred to as the “ ruler of grass “, runs from Florida Bay to Lake Okeechobee. You can fly fish for rolling tarpon, or hit the flats to catch some nice size redfish. Within the same fishing area you can catch snook, trout, redfish, grouper, snapper, black drum, trample tail and largemouth bass. Plus, Everglades National Park also has diverse wildlife. There’s a variety of birds such as wood storks, blue herons, roseate spoonbills and egrets. Flamingo is the perfect family fishing getaway.

If you want to snag some South Florida tarpon, then Ft. Lauderdale is a prime fishing destination. The channel known as Port Everglades runs from the Atlantic ocean to the Intra coastal waterway, and feeds the Ft Lauderdale fishing areas. It brings in some of the largest tarpon in Florida, weighing up to 200 pounds. Ft. Lauderdale’s offshore fishing opportunities are endless, and there’s also excellent inshore fishing opportunities as well. Near the bridges of Bahia Mar, you can catch really big snook during the fall and spring mullet run.

We highly recommend night fishing in Ft Lauderdale. There are underwater lights in the intercostal highway dock area to help anglers see. They also attract bait fish. In turn, the bait fish attract predatory fish like Tarpon, red, and snook. These well lit dock areas are the best places to use live bait. We suggest trolling the shadowy perimeter of these dock areas to catch giant tarpon.

The natural structures in Ft Lauderdale waters help you catch fish as well. We suggest setting a drift tide approach. This means casting your lure or bait towards drift structures like bridges or pilings, and letting them drift to areas with the most fish. Tarpon, reds, and snook sit and wait at the shadows, and will gladly bite your lure once it reaches them. Target the bridges proximal to the inlets. They tend to hold the most fish.This technique is the best way to night fish at Ft. Lauderdale.

Night fishing yields the the most snook and tarpon. This is because tarpon and snook are night feeders. They prefer low light conditions. Since night fishing is not always possible, we suggest fishing for tarpon and snook early in the morning or late in the evening. During these times, the light levels are low to moderate.

When it comes to inshore fishing at Ft. Lauderdale, there are many advantages. For starters, you won’t get sea sick. Since you’re in shallow waters, there will be no bumpy ride, plus the weather won’t be a big factor. Hitting bays, canals, and estuaries is a great way to catch lots of fish without going offshore. Plus you can fish with light tackle in these areas. Giant snook thrive in these areas, which makes it exciting!

If bass fishing is your forte, then fishing the Florida Everglades is a dream come true. On a really good day you can catch 100 bass or more using a fly and spin tackle. All you need is a fly rod and pretty much any type of top water bug. Just ask around, you’ll hear stories of anglers watching bass swim up and explode on their top water fly. If you’re a beginner fly fisherman, go with a longer rod. It will help with the accuracy and distance of your casts.

If you’re fishing for largemouth bass in the Everglades, you’ll need to bring the best fishing gear. We recommend using a 5 – 8 weight rod. Going with a lighter rod, such as a 5 or 6 weight makes it more fun to catch bass. But to catch Everglade lunkers you will want to go with a 7 or 8 weight rod. Use top water lures like gurgles, poppers, or various types of water flies. If you want to fish deeper, go with clousers. We also recommend using a 25 – 30 pound tippet when fishing for bass in dense cover. This helps if you get caught on a lily pad. And there a lot of lily pads in the Everglades.

 

 

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, United States

When it comes to fishing the Everglades, you can catch fish year-round. Most anglers come here to catch snook, tarpon and redfish. But you’re definitely not limited to those species. The fishing opportunities in Everglades National Park are vast. You can catch permits, ladyfish, jacks, sharks, redfish, tarpon, black drum and triple tail. And the best part is that you can catch tarpon 365 days a year. There is no other place on earth you can do that. It’s a fly fishermen’s dream.

Fish Species

Tarpon

As mentioned, tarpon can be caught year-round in the Everglades, with peak fishing opportunities occurring in July. From the gulf, all the way to the deepest back country big tarpons can be hauled in all day if you know how to fish for them. The tarpon here range from around 6 pounds to upwards of 150 pounds. We recommend using a 10 -12 weight rod if you’re targeting big tarpon. If you’re looking to catch juvenile tarpon then you can go with a 8 or 9 weight rod.

Snook

Fly fishing for snook at Pompano Beach is something local anglers love. They say to target the mangrove shorelines and the flats. You can catch nice size snook here —from between 3 and 12 pounds. They’re typically caught on a 6 – 9 weight rod.

Redfish

You can catch reddish in the Everglades pretty much anywhere. Fish for them along the Everglade’s Gulf Coast, and in deep backcountry waters. The reds here weigh between 3 and 12 pounds. Try using a 6 – 9 weight rod.

Where to Fish

Fishing at Everglades National Park is absolutely magical. You’re exposed to amazing wildlife, and some of the best saltwater fishing Florida has to offer. It’s one of he best places you can visit to hone your fly saltwater fishing skills and master sight fishing with light tackle gear.

The Everglades is a very diverse fishery. This area of Florida, also referred to as the “ ruler of grass “, runs from Florida Bay to Lake Okeechobee. You can fly fish for rolling tarpon, or hit the flats to catch some nice size redfish. Within the same fishing area you can catch snook, trout, redfish, grouper, snapper, black drum, trample tail and largemouth bass. Plus, Everglades National Park also has diverse wildlife. There’s a variety of birds such as wood storks, blue herons, roseate spoonbills and egrets. Flamingo is the perfect family fishing getaway.

If you want to snag some South Florida tarpon, then Ft. Lauderdale is a prime fishing destination. The channel known as Port Everglades runs from the Atlantic ocean to the Intra coastal waterway, and feeds the Ft Lauderdale fishing areas. It brings in some of the largest tarpon in Florida, weighing up to 200 pounds. Ft. Lauderdale’s offshore fishing opportunities are endless, and there’s also excellent inshore fishing opportunities as well. Near the bridges of Bahia Mar, you can catch really big snook during the fall and spring mullet run.

We highly recommend night fishing in Ft Lauderdale. There are underwater lights in the intercostal highway dock area to help anglers see. They also attract bait fish. In turn, the bait fish attract predatory fish like Tarpon, red, and snook. These well lit dock areas are the best places to use live bait. We suggest trolling the shadowy perimeter of these dock areas to catch giant tarpon.

The natural structures in Ft Lauderdale waters help you catch fish as well. We suggest setting a drift tide approach. This means casting your lure or bait towards drift structures like bridges or pilings, and letting them drift to areas with the most fish. Tarpon, reds, and snook sit and wait at the shadows, and will gladly bite your lure once it reaches them. Target the bridges proximal to the inlets. They tend to hold the most fish.This technique is the best way to night fish at Ft. Lauderdale.

Night fishing yields the the most snook and tarpon. This is because tarpon and snook are night feeders. They prefer low light conditions. Since night fishing is not always possible, we suggest fishing for tarpon and snook early in the morning or late in the evening. During these times, the light levels are low to moderate.

When it comes to inshore fishing at Ft. Lauderdale, there are many advantages. For starters, you won’t get sea sick. Since you’re in shallow waters, there will be no bumpy ride, plus the weather won’t be a big factor. Hitting bays, canals, and estuaries is a great way to catch lots of fish without going offshore. Plus you can fish with light tackle in these areas. Giant snook thrive in these areas, which makes it exciting!

If bass fishing is your forte, then fishing the Florida Everglades is a dream come true. On a really good day you can catch 100 bass or more using a fly and spin tackle. All you need is a fly rod and pretty much any type of top water bug. Just ask around, you’ll hear stories of anglers watching bass swim up and explode on their top water fly. If you’re a beginner fly fisherman, go with a longer rod. It will help with the accuracy and distance of your casts.

If you’re fishing for largemouth bass in the Everglades, you’ll need to bring the best fishing gear. We recommend using a 5 – 8 weight rod. Going with a lighter rod, such as a 5 or 6 weight makes it more fun to catch bass. But to catch Everglade lunkers you will want to go with a 7 or 8 weight rod. Use top water lures like gurgles, poppers, or various types of water flies. If you want to fish deeper, go with clousers. We also recommend using a 25 – 30 pound tippet when fishing for bass in dense cover. This helps if you get caught on a lily pad. And there a lot of lily pads in the Everglades.

 

 

Pompano Beach, Florida, United States

When it comes to fishing the Everglades, you can catch fish year-round. Most anglers come here to catch snook, tarpon and redfish. But you’re definitely not limited to those species. The fishing opportunities in Everglades National Park are vast. You can catch permits, ladyfish, jacks, sharks, redfish, tarpon, black drum and triple tail. And the best part is that you can catch tarpon 365 days a year. There is no other place on earth you can do that. It’s a fly fishermen’s dream.

Fish Species

Tarpon 

As mentioned, tarpon can be caught year-round in the Everglades, with peak fishing opportunities occurring in July. From the gulf, all the way to the deepest back country big tarpons can be hauled in all day if you know how to fish for them. The tarpon here range from around 6 pounds to upwards of 150 pounds. We recommend using a 10 -12 weight rod if you’re targeting big tarpon. If you’re looking to catch juvenile tarpon then you can go with a 8 or 9 weight rod. 

Snook 

Fly fishing for snook at Pompano Beach is something local anglers love. They say to target the mangrove shorelines and the flats. You can catch nice size snook here —from between 3 and 12 pounds. They’re typically caught on a 6 – 9 weight rod. 

Redfish

You can catch reddish in the Everglades pretty much anywhere. Fish for them along the Everglade’s Gulf Coast, and in deep backcountry waters. The reds here weigh between 3 and 12 pounds. Try using a 6 – 9 weight rod. 

Where to Fish

Fishing at Everglades National Park is absolutely magical. You’re exposed to amazing wildlife, and some of the best saltwater fishing Florida has to offer. It’s one of he best places you can visit to hone your fly saltwater fishing skills and master sight fishing with light tackle gear. 

The Everglades is a very diverse fishery. This area of Florida, also referred to as the “ ruler of grass “, runs from Florida Bay to Lake Okeechobee. You can fly fish for rolling tarpon, or hit the flats to catch some nice size redfish. Within the same fishing area you can catch snook, trout, redfish, grouper, snapper, black drum, trample tail and largemouth bass. Plus, Everglades National Park also has diverse wildlife. There’s a variety of birds such as wood storks, blue herons, roseate spoonbills and egrets. Flamingo is the perfect family fishing getaway. 

If you want to snag some South Florida tarpon, then Ft. Lauderdale is a prime fishing destination. The channel known as Port Everglades runs from the Atlantic ocean to the Intra coastal waterway, and feeds the Ft Lauderdale fishing areas. It brings in some of the largest tarpon in Florida, weighing up to 200 pounds. Ft. Lauderdale’s offshore fishing opportunities are endless, and there’s also excellent inshore fishing opportunities as well. Near the bridges of Bahia Mar, you can catch really big snook during the fall and spring mullet run. 

We highly recommend night fishing in Ft Lauderdale. There are underwater lights in the intercostal highway dock area to help anglers see. They also attract bait fish. In turn, the bait fish attract predatory fish like Tarpon, red, and snook. These well lit dock areas are the best places to use live bait. We suggest trolling the shadowy perimeter of these dock areas to catch giant tarpon. 

The natural structures in Ft Lauderdale waters help you catch fish as well. We suggest setting a drift tide approach. This means casting your lure or bait towards drift structures like bridges or pilings, and letting them drift to areas with the most fish. Tarpon, reds, and snook sit and wait at the shadows, and will gladly bite your lure once it reaches them. Target the bridges proximal to the inlets. They tend to hold the most fish.This technique is the best way to night fish at Ft. Lauderdale. 

Night fishing yields the the most snook and tarpon. This is because tarpon and snook are night feeders. They prefer low light conditions. Since night fishing is not always possible, we suggest fishing for tarpon and snook early in the morning or late in the evening. During these times, the light levels are low to moderate. 

When it comes to inshore fishing at Ft. Lauderdale, there are many advantages. For starters, you won’t get sea sick. Since you’re in shallow waters, there will be no bumpy ride, plus the weather won’t be a big factor. Hitting bays, canals, and estuaries is a great way to catch lots of fish without going offshore. Plus you can fish with light tackle in these areas. Giant snook thrive in these areas, which makes it exciting!

If bass fishing is your forte, then fishing the Florida Everglades is a dream come true. On a really good day you can catch 100 bass or more using a fly and spin tackle. All you need is a fly rod and pretty much any type of top water bug. Just ask around, you’ll hear stories of anglers watching bass swim up and explode on their top water fly. If you’re a beginner fly fisherman, go with a longer rod. It will help with the accuracy and distance of your casts.

If you’re fishing for largemouth bass in the Everglades, you’ll need to bring the best fishing gear. We recommend using a 5 – 8 weight rod. Going with a lighter rod, such as a 5 or 6 weight makes it more fun to catch bass. But to catch Everglade lunkers you will want to go with a 7 or 8 weight rod. Use top water lures like gurgles, poppers, or various types of water flies. If you want to fish deeper, go with clousers. We also recommend using a 25 – 30 pound tippet when fishing for bass in dense cover. This helps if you get caught on a lily pad. And there a lot of lily pads in the Everglades. 

 

 

Gulf Shores, Alabama, United States

Anglers from all around come to the Orange Beach and Pensacola Florida area to catch all types of fish. Some of the most popular fishing destinations in the region include Gulf Shores, Ft. Morgan, Perido Key, Orange Beach and Pensacola Beach. 

All these places are great for family fishing get-aways, and have plenty of lodging, dining and night life. 

If you want to do some inshore fishing, you’ll want to hit Old River, Perdodo, Bay, Big Lagoon, Escambia Bay, Pensacola Bay and East Bay. Anglers come from all around to fish the grass beds and flats on the coast of Big Lagoon and Old River. They target redfish, flounder, and speckled trout in these fishing hot spots. There are literally hundreds of docks that are lit for ideal night fishing. 

The Gulf shores of Alabama are known for being the best spot for bottom fishing. There are an extensive network if manmade reefs that hold gobs of snapper an grouper —especially during the fall months. If you want to fish for cobia here, visit during spring and troll close to the coastline. If you’re looking to catch mackerel, then come during the summer. For big game action like billfish and tuna, fish during fall and winter. 

What to Fish

Surf fishing -You can catch plenty of ladyfish, redfish, flounder, sharks, and pompano

Inshore fishing -You’ll find there’s no shortage of flounder, speckled trout, sheepshead, jack crevalle and redfish

Near shore fishing – You can land lots of spanish mackerel, king mackerel, sharks, cobia and redfish

Botton fishing  – There’s and abundance of trigger fish, snowy grouper, red grouper, mangrove snapper, black snapper and amberjack

Offshore fishing – Get ready to catch sail fish, mahi mahi, marlin, tuna and swordfish

Where to Fish

Big Lagoon offers some of the best speckle trout fishing in Alabama. To catch the most trout, focus on its grass flats during the day and hit the dock lights at night. If you’re looking to catch lots of redfish, then target the rocks and bridge pilings between Perdido Key and Orange Beach. You’ll also find plenty of sheepshead here as well during winter. 

And if you’re into bottom fishing, then you’ll want to flounder fish the eastern point of Perdido Key. You’ll find public access boat ramps in Cotton Bayou on the eastern side of Orange Beach, and behind a local fisherman’s hangout called Hub Stacie’s —located off Innerarity Point. 

Gear

First things first. It rains a lot during the summer months here, so make sure to wear a light waterproof jacket. This will also help protect you from the cold gusty winds that sometimes kick up during winter.  

Bring plenty of live bait when fishing the Alabama Gulf Coast. Locals say it works best. You can find all the live bait you’ll need at Grays Tackle or Top Gun Tackle in Orange Beach.

If you’re bottom fishing, you’ll definitely need circle hooks and cut bait. Actually, bring lots and lots of cut bait. Chumming is very important. Bring thick leaders to handle the debris on the wrecks. However, make sure you reel quickly in these areas, because sharks and dolphins hang around and could come after your bait. Bring a bat as well —there are plenty of remoras. 

If you’re offshore fishing in Gulf Shores, Alabama, you’ll need a big boat with plenty of gas. While searching for blue water, you’ll burn up some gas. So heading out with a full tank is an absolute must. One of the best ways to fish offshore in Alabama is trolling for marlin. There are plenty of these big game fish in the area. So bring a wide variety of trolling rigs. 

 

 

Grand Bahama, Bahamas

At the northern most point of the Bahamas you’ll find Grand Bahama Island. It’s located about 50 miles east of Florida. It’s approximately 90 miles long and stretches 12 miles across at its widest point. Within the Bahamian chain, it’s the 4th largest Island. 

General Information

Tourism is very big here. Most of the residents live in Freeport. This city is much like Nassau, but it has a more relaxed feel. On the eastern side, you’ll find rustic scenery and deserted beaches. On the west end you’ll find a lot of old world charm.

Freeport is considered the downtown area of Grand Bahama. It’s rich in commerce, resorts and industry. It also has an international airport and an abundance of stores, hospitals and clinics. Lucaya, aka the Garden City, is a top tourist destination and has lots of hotels and beaches. The oldest part of the Bahamas is called West End. The easternmost settlement is known as McLeans’s Town. 

Grand Bahamas is renowned for its great bone fishing opportunities. You’ll have hundreds of miles of awesome bone fishing habitat to work with. You’ll find that there’s no shortage of fishing guides to help you find the best bone fishing hot spots.

It’s important to note that the tides vary a lot between the south and north shores. There are two tide tables for Settlement Point and Freeport. However, there’s nothing different for the North shore.

The northern location of Grand Bahamas is prone to cold fronts from December through early February. It’s best to fish for bonefish in the warmer months —May through September.

Fishing Gear

Bring fly sizes that are #2 or bigger. We suggest using shrimp-style flies in size #4. Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp and Bonefish Junk work well. Also, bring some large tan colored Clousers. Try using Greg’s Flats Flies, and Pop’s Bitters. If you’re planning on fishing at Crabbing Bay, lower the weight, flash and size of the fly. If you’re targeting fish that get spooked easily, then go with a # 8 or # 10 unweighted fly. Try Pink Puff or maybe Lefty Kreh’s Shallow H2O Fly. Make sure to rig it with weed guards.

Fishing Outlook

Located 55 miles east of the state of Florida, Grand Bahamas is the 4th largest island within the Bohemian chain. The island was named Gran Bajamar by the Spanish. This translates into Great Shallows. Freeport is the heartbeat of  Grand Bahama, drawing in loads of tourists and driving the economy. Lucaya is also a focal point for tourism, with lots of hotels and beaches. You can find McLeantown 30 minutes east of of Abaco. Then of course there’s Freeport. It has all the hospitals and clinics you’ll need —plus plenty of cell phone coverage.

Target Fish Species

You can catch bonefish, grouper and other reef fish at Grand Bahama. Use a 9 weight fly rod. Fish with a traditional flats flies or minnow pattern. Try a Clouser. You’ll find a lot of Blue Holes. They’re full of various fish species,. You can get to these Blue Holes by wading in the water. Remember to switch to a deep sinking minnow pattern lure when you fish these holes. Permit crab pattern lures work well, so be sure to bring plenty. 

Where to Fish

Grand Bahama is a great place for a family fishing get-away. It’s also a fun fishing destination for the do-it-yourselfer. Your best bet is to rent a boat while fishing in Grand Bahamas. It’s the only way to fish the famous white flats of the Bahamas. And if you want to shore fish, there are lots of white beaches from which you can do that. 

Plus, there a lots of creeks accessible by foot. Port Lucaya and Freeport are the top fishing destinations in the Bahamas. They are the central spot of the island, and you can find several more island fishing spots nearby. For the best location, stay in a place located east or west of Freeport. 

Freeport and Port Lucaya

This is one of the top tourist destinations in the Bahamas. There are plenty of beaches and resorts. The best times to fish this area is evenings and mornings, when swimmers and beach goers are scarce. There is some really good fishing in this area, but keep in mind that the good fishing spots are a bit scattered. 

Fortune Beach 

This is the best location to catch bonefish on a low tide. It’s a beautiful area located east of Freeport on Fortune Bay. Fortune Beach is known as a romantic fishing get-away, and is ideal for married couples or families. There’s a really good restaurant called Banana Bay Restaurant Bar and Grill. You can fish from the restaurant’s deck. Just make sure your line is strung up against the railing. You don’t want to get caught off guard with a fish on the line while you’re eating. 

Xanadu Beach 

This beach is easily accessible from Dundee Bay Drive and Mall South Road. It’s within close proximity to Freeport. There are plenty of bonefish. But, it’s also a hot spot for sunbathers and swimmers. So it’s best to fish at Xanadu beach early in the morning or late in the afternoon. 

Taino Beach 

This is a very busy beach. It has lots of swimmers and sunbathers. You can catch lots of fish here, but you’ll have to fish around lots of active people if you’re day fishing. It’s probably best to hit Taino, Lucaya and Silver Point Beach for night fishing. There are fewer people there at night. 

Grand Lucayan Waterway Jetty

You can find the entrance to the Grand Lucayan Waterway east of Fortune Bay. There’s plenty of hot spots for catching bucket fish and snapper along the jetty that protrudes from the shore. If you want to catch lots of bonefish, then hit the western corner. There’s a small cove there renowned for holding lots of nice size bonefish. 

Airport Flat 

If you follow the Grand Bahama Highway and head west of the airport, then take Queen’s Cove Road, you’ll hit Airport Flat. This creek system is a prime fishing hotspot for people vacationing in the Bahamas. You’ll find that the vast shoreline offers lots of fishing opportunities. 

East of Freeport, South Shore

You’ll find amazing beaches on the south shore, great for saltwater fishing. There are numerous access points to the beaches. Fishing is best during low and incoming tides. Fishermen come from all around to fish its miles of shore stretches and catch lots of bonefish. 

Barbary Beach 

You’ll find a great fishing beach on the east side of Grand Lucayan Waterway. It has lots of bays that hold large numbers of bonefish at times. It’s sort of a deserted area, and is peaceful enough for a daytime family outing or fishing trip. Locals say to fish by the rocky projections to catch the most fish. If you’re driving there, remember that Fortune Bay drive ends at waterway. 

Lucayan National Park 

The region offers about 4 or 5 miles of fishable shoreline. You can walk it, and wade fish. There’s a spring creek and a huge cave system called Ben’s Cave. Plus, you’ll find Gold Rock Beach, which is one of The Bahama’s best fishing beaches. 

Bevan Town 

About a hour east of Freeport, and few miles east of the Lucyan National Park entrance, you’ll find a small community called Bevan Town. It’s very small, but it has a great hotel called Hideaway Bahamas that is highly recommended if you’re vacationing in the Bahamas. It’s a perfect location, because you’ll be in the center of High Rock and Lucayan National Park. You’ll have 2 main roads that lead to the beach. 

You can fish this beach in Bevan Town pretty much all day, and during any tide. Just avoid fishing during high tide. Whether you’re on the east or west side of Bevan Town, you’ll be able to catch fish. Try blind casting into the areas where sand meets turtle grass. Make sure you fish the blue holes as well, using a Clouser. You’ll have lots of success. 

High Rock 

When you get into High Rock, you turn on the very first road to get to the beach. As soon as the road turns to sand, turn down to the right. You can park your car by Bishops Bonefish Lodge. You’ll have a 2 mile stretch of water to fish. Work your way towards Hideaway Bahama. 

Statoil Storage Facility

You’ll find a great fishing beach east of Statoil Storage Facility. It has a 5 mile stretch of shoreline where locals say you can catch lots of bonefish. You’ll have several access roads. The fishing is not crowded, so you’ll have plenty of peace and quiet. 

West of Pelican Point

There’s a perfect small flat where you can catch saltwater fish. It’s where the creek empties into the bay. Be sure to fish this spot at low tide. 

Pelican Point

You’ll find access to the beach a little ways past the settlement. There are plenty of flats and shoreline within close proximity of parking. You can take fishing refuge here when the winds of the north shore are fierce and you cant fish at the point. 

Crabbing Bay

Before you make it to McClean’s Town there will be a road that takes you south towards the Crabbing Bay Cemetery. Once you hit Crabbing Bay you will discover that it’s a prime bone fishing spot. You can also target tails in the late evening. It’s important to note, Crabbing Bay gets a lot of fishing activity so the fish are smart and are harder to trick into biting. 

East of Freeport, North Shore

This spot is famous for having the best bone fishing in the Bahamas. It has gorgeous habitat for miles and miles. You’ll find plenty of boat guides for this area. Take into consideration that North Shore can be buffeted or protected. This will impact your decision on where you want to fish. Locals say to use a skiff to fish North Shore. If you don’t have a skiff you can use a kayak. Also, you may want to bring along some printouts of the area from Google Earth so you don’t get lost. 

Dover Sound Boat Ramp

You’ll find this road east of the airport. When you view it on Google Earth, it looks like a crisscross of canal systems. It offers excellent fishing opportunities. You cam hop in your kayak and access all the creeks and fish the shoreline. You can drop your kayak in at the boat ramp to hit the east side shorelines and creeks. Or, you can drop in near the little first road to enter in the west. The Grand Bahama Highway stops at Grand Lucuyan Waterway. So take take the Easy Sunrise Highway to Casurina Drive to get to Grand Lucuayan Waterway, then head west onto the highway. Take the very last road heading north to hit Dover Sound. 

Water Cay Boat Ramp

This fishing area is popular and has many guides that offer their fishing expertise. Hop on the dirt road heading north to hit the ramp once you’re at the highway bend about 7 miles west of Lucayan National Park. The bottom tends to get very soft in these areas, so it’s a safe bet to drop your kayak in about a mile away on either direction. 

Boat Launch Opposite Statoil

You can get to the boat launch by taking the dirt road across the street from the entrance. It’s about 2 miles ’til you reach a curve, and from there it’s another 3 miles to the ocean. You can hit the west side of the launch with a kayak to reach good fishing waters. Or you can go east and head out a little less than a mile to find good flats and creek systems. Make sure you seek out the best places to wade fish, where the ground is most firm. 

North Riding Point Pier

Jump on the Grand Bahama Highway and head east for a few miles. You’ll pass Stateoil entrance and see a dirt road that leads to North Riding Point Pier. You’ll find great fishing spots on the north and south shores. Locals say to wade fish for the most success. You’ll find a creek system there. great for kayak fishing. 

West of Freeport, North Shore 

Stay on the Queen’s Highway until you hit the west end. Remember, even though the road travels in a northwestern direction, the coasts are still called the north and south shores. You’ll find some fishing hotspots on the south shore, and a few flats to fish.

Paradise Cove

This Bahama fishing honey holes is about 20 minutes west of the airport, and a ways past Homes Rock. It’s a good fishing beach, with a unique bottom. Its bottoms has all kinds of indentions and recesses where fish love to hide. It’s also quite firm and easy to walk on while wading. Fish this spot on a low, incoming tide. You’ll find a dirt road that leads directly to the beach just beyond the sign that says Paradise Cove. 

Bahama Beach 

Just Northwest of Paradise Cove you will find Bahama Beach. It’s on the south shore. It’s very scenic and is devoid of swimmers and sunbathers making it a great place to fish. There are several roads that will lead you into Bahama Beach. 

Bootle Bay

This is a good fishing spot, located northwest of Bahama Beach. You can head south  and park beachside. You’ll find miles of coastlines to fish. You can catch lots of bonefish.

Old Bahamas Beach Club 

There is a very well known upscale hotel and marina at the West End, and a beach and bay. You can catch a lot of bonefish here. You can wade fish at low tide. It is truly a hot spot for bonefish. 

 

 

Virginia Key, Florida, United States

This South Florida water systems is comprised of canals and is a massive civil works project. It was built to control water levels and move water to aid in drainage, flood control and navigation. The system also helps sustain lakes, wetlands, rivers and estuaries. It has over 1,300 water control structures and dozens of control pumps. It boasts over 2,500 miles of freshwater canals.

Everglades National Park

This is the biggest sub-tropical wilderness reserve in the US. It’s diverse with fresh and dark waters, bays, and deep coastal waters. Its habitat naturally supports a wide variety of fauna and flora. Situated on the Florida Peninsula on the East side of Cape Sable, it’s home to the biggest mangrove ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere. It also has the most massive stand of sawgrass prairie and facilitates breeding for numerous wading bird species. It offers vast fishing opportunities and is an angler’s dream come true.

Main Species of Fish 

The Everglades

Everglades National Park holds numerous fishing opportunities for avid anglers. It’s ideal for boat fishing. You can catch lots of freshwater game fish like largemouth bass, pickerel, peacock bass, bowfin, and gar. You can also find numerous saltwater fishing species like tarpon, redfish, ladyfish, jack, snapper, bonefish, grouper, permit, cobia, sharks, black drum, tarpon and seatrout.

Miami’s Urban Canals

There are lots of fish in the canals —including many non-native species. It’s unique, because many of the fish are species native to South America. You can find native and non native fish such as largemouth bass, tarpon, snook, jacks, Mayan cichild, spotted talapia, jaguar guapote, crappie, bluegill, sunfish, pickerel, knifefish, bullseye snakehead, and oscar.

Where to Fish

Offshore 

Greater Miami offers some the best offshore fishing opportunities in the country. It has a wide variety of amazing fish to catch. It’s a melting pot of awesome fish species. You can catch an array of species like tuna, kingfish, swordfish, kingfish, shark, mani mahi, and and sailfish all within a few miles radius. The best way to fish its waters are with an experienced charter captain.

The Urban Canals of Miami

Within the Broward and Dade Counties you can find excellent fishing opportunities. Peacock bass are the most popular target species in this area. They were introduced to the region nearly 50 years ago to help control the fish population. They’re very colorful and aggressive.

There are also plenty of largemouth bass, midas cichlids, pacu, clown fish, carp and spotted tilapia. You an also find tarpon, snook, and jacks. If you like kayak and canoe fishing, these canals are an ideal place to fish. There are even ideal places to fish from the bank.

Everglades National Park 

Flamingo Camping Center is a key access point within the Everglades National Park. It has a marina, boat launch, and camping center. From there, you can gain access to The Gulf of Mexico and Florida Bay —plus other remote backcountry areas.

Flamingo offers multiple hiking trails and canoe trails as well. It boasts over 300 species of birds. You can also see crocs and manatees in the marina. You can rent camping supplies, boats, plus there is a small aea in the marina as well. Keep in mind that there’s currently no lodging options at Flamingo during this time —although RV and tent camping is allowed.

The fishing opportunities here a plentiful. Take your pick from the mangrove islands, shallow bays, creeks, and flats. Flamingo is also a great place to fish with a kayak or canoe.

You can paddle into Florida Bay, or into Coot Bay. And if you’re an opportunist, then feel free to take advantage of all the places to fish along the highway. There are plenty of places to camp as well. But keep in mind that the fishing opportunities along these spots are limited.

To be smart, make sure you understand the fishing rules and regulations within the area so you can abide by the rules while fishing Ever glades National Park. They cover things like no fishing zones, poll and troll zones, and no power boat zones. And remember, the smartest thing you can do is check the Everglades National Park website prior to fishing at https://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/index.htm.

Tackle and Gear

Spinning Tackle

When it comes to the best lines, rods and reels here’s what works. Use medium to fast action rods in the 8 – 20 pound range. Make sure you get a reel with a solid drag that can easily handle 150 yards of braided line. For small to mid-size catches use a 10 pound outfit. It’s ideal for fish like baby tarpon, snook, snapper and small sharks. For bigger sharks and adult tarpon we recommend using a 20 pound outfit.

Fly Tackle

When using a fly rod you’ll want to go with a fast action ranging from 6 – 10 pounds in weight. Make sure it’s capable of holding 150 yards of backing. For small to mid-size fish like redfish, barracudas and snooks go with an 8 weight. Depending on the wind, you can opt to go wiyj a 6 to 10 weight. If you’re targeting adult tarpon and sharks, 10 – 12 weight rods are ideal. You will likely use a floating line the majority of the time. But an intermediate tip will come in handy as well.

Lures

Locals say to use soft plastics. Jerk baits, fish imitations, paddle tails, Gulp shrimp and plastics shrimp are said to yield the best results. You’ll also want to try plugs ranging from 3 to 6 inches in length. Spoons and bucktail jigs work well. Deep diving and top water lures alike will catch fish.

Bait 

You can find live bait at the majority of tackle shops in the area. Use shrimps and crabs, they’re the most effective. You’ll catch a number of fish species using them. Also try using worms, shiners, and crickets for fresh water canals.

Flies

Flies work well for bonefish and permit. Go with the fly patterns that works best. Patterns like mantic shrimp, spawning shrimp, clousers, kwans, gotchas, and crabs also work well.

Clothing 

Make sure you wear tropical clothing made of fast drying fabrics. Stay away from cotton. Wear long sleeve shirts and pants. Bring a hat for UV protection. Also you may want to bring polarized sunglasses, sunscreen, a mosquito head net and mosquioto spray.

 

 

Key Biscayne, Florida, United States

About

Miami-area Freshwater Canal System

This South Florida water systems is comprised of canals and is a massive civil works project. It was built to control water levels and move water to aid in drainage, flood control and navigation. The system also helps sustain lakes, wetlands, rivers and estuaries. It has over 1,300 water control structures and dozens of control pumps. It boasts over 2,500 miles of freshwater canals.

Everglades National Park

This is the biggest sub-tropical wilderness reserve in the US. It’s diverse with fresh and dark waters, bays, and deep coastal waters. Its habitat naturally supports a wide variety of fauna and flora. Situated on the Florida Peninsula on the East side of Cape Sable, it’s home to the biggest mangrove ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere. It also has the most massive stand of sawgrass prairie and facilitates breeding for numerous wading bird species. It offers vast fishing opportunities and is an angler’s dream come true.

Main Species of Fish 

The Everglades

Everglades National Park holds numerous fishing opportunities for avid anglers. It’s ideal for boat fishing. You can catch lots of freshwater game fish like largemouth bass, pickerel, peacock bass, bowfin, and gar. You can also find numerous saltwater fishing species like tarpon, redfish, ladyfish, jack, snapper, bonefish, grouper, permit, cobia, sharks, black drum, tarpon and seatrout.

Miami’s Urban Canals

There are lots of fish in the canals —including many non-native species. It’s unique, because many of the fish are species native to South America. You can find native and non native fish such as largemouth bass, tarpon, snook, jacks, Mayan cichild, spotted talapia, jaguar guapote, crappie, bluegill, sunfish, pickerel, knifefish, bullseye snakehead, and oscar.

Where to Fish

Where to Fish Offshore 

Greater Miami offers some the best offshore fishing opportunities in the country. It has a wide variety of amazing fish to catch. It’s a melting pot of awesome fish species. You can catch an array of species like tuna, kingfish, swordfish, kingfish, shark, mani mahi, and and sailfish all within a few miles radius. The best way to fish its waters are with an experienced charter captain.

The Urban Canals of Miami

Within the Broward and Dade Counties you can find excellent fishing opportunities. Peacock bass are the most popular target species in this area. They were introduced to the region nearly 50 years ago to help control the fish population. They’re very colorful and aggressive.

There are also plenty of largemouth bass, midas cichlids, pacu, clown fish, carp and spotted tilapia. You an also find tarpon, snook, and jacks. If you like kayak and canoe fishing, these canals are an ideal place to fish. There are even ideal places to fish from the bank.

Everglades National Park 

Flamingo Camping Center is a key access point within the Everglades National Park. It has a marina, boat launch, and camping center. From there, you can gain access to The Gulf of Mexico and Florida Bay —plus other remote backcountry areas.

Flamingo offers multiple hiking trails and canoe trails as well. It boasts over 300 species of birds. You can also see crocs and manatees in the marina. You can rent camping supplies, boats, plus there is a small aea in the marina as well. Keep in mind that there’s currently no lodging options at Flamingo during this time —although RV and tent camping is allowed.

The fishing opportunities here a plentiful. Take your pick from the mangrove islands, shallow bays, creeks, and flats. Flamingo is also a great place to fish with a kayak or canoe.

You can paddle into Florida Bay, or into Coot Bay. And if you’re an opportunist, then feel free to take advantage of all the places to fish along the highway. There are plenty of places to camp as well. But keep in mind that the fishing opportunities along these spots are limited.

To be smart, make sure you understand the fishing rules and regulations within the area so you can abide by the rules while fishing Ever glades National Park. They cover things like no fishing zones, poll and troll zones, and no power boat zones. And remember, the smartest thing you can do is check the Everglades National Park website prior to fishing at https://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/index.htm.

Tackle and Gear

Spinning Tackle

When it comes to the best lines, rods and reels here’s what works. Use medium to fast action rods in the 8 – 20 pound range. Make sure you get a reel with a solid drag that can easily handle 150 yards of braided line. For small to mid-size catches use a 10 pound outfit. It’s ideal for fish like baby tarpon, snook, snapper and small sharks. For bigger sharks and adult tarpon we recommend using a 20 pound outfit.

Fly Tackle

When using a fly rod you’ll want to go with a fast action ranging from 6 – 10 pounds in weight. Make sure it’s capable of holding 150 yards of backing. For small to mid-size fish like redfish, barracudas and snooks go with an 8 weight. Depending on the wind, you can opt to go wiyj a 6 to 10 weight. If you’re targeting adult tarpon and sharks, 10 – 12 weight rods are ideal. You will likely use a floating line the majority of the time. But an intermediate tip will come in handy as well.

Lures

Locals say to use soft plastics. Jerk baits, fish imitations, paddle tails, Gulp shrimp and plastics shrimp are said to yield the best results. You’ll also want to try plugs ranging from 3 to 6 inches in length. Spoons and bucktail jigs work well. Deep diving and top water lures alike will catch fish.

Bait 

You can find live bait at the majority of tackle shops in the area. Use shrimps and crabs, they’re the most effective. You’ll catch a number of fish species using them. Also try using worms, shiners, and crickets for fresh water canals.

Flies

Flies work well for bonefish and permit. Go with the fly patterns that works best. Patterns like mantic shrimp, spawning shrimp, clousers, kwans, gotchas, and crabs also work well.

Clothing 

Make sure you wear tropical clothing made of fast drying fabrics. Stay away from cotton. Wear long sleeve shirts and pants. Bring a hat for UV protection. Also you may want to bring polarized sunglasses, sunscreen, a mosquito head net and mosquioto spray.