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.
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.
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.
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.