Within sight of downtown Miami, Biscayne protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands, and fish-bejeweled coral reefs.
The fishing in Biscyane Bay can be as good as it gets in South Florida. The weather allows us to potentially be on the water everyday of the year.
Every flat in Biscayne Bay can hold tarpon, bonefish, permit, sharks, seatrout, and barricudas. The beauty of fishing Miami is there are no long runs to the fishing grounds, it is just minutes from your hotel door. If you are not a interested in fishing the flats, there are plenty of other options when fishing inshore in Miami. Alot of big trout and mangrove snapper’s are loaded up on the grass flats in Biscayne Bay.
Let’s talk a little about one of my favorite things to do “after hours.” Late afternoon and into the night can be some of the best tarpon fishing in Florida.
As the shrimp and crabs flow through Biscayne Bay with the tide, the big tarpon and snook hang around bridge pilings that lie in the Bay.
They will also stack up in the cuts by the thousands, waiting for something to swim by for a quick meal. Hooking up to 15-20 a night with most of the fish being 70-150lbs. is not uncommon.
Let’s talk about how I fish at night on a outgoing tide. Fishing in Downtown Miami is usually a late afternoon or night fishery. These fish are nocturnal feeders and feed heavily at night. During daylight hours, they are around but very difficult to catch. There is a lot of boat traffic during the day and it keeps the fish down near the bottom. At night, the traffic starts to slow down, and the tarpon become a little more active. Floating crabs and shrimp in Government Cut during an outgoing tide usually gets things going. I like to free line them and have them drift naturally with the tide. On the outgoing tide, the tide will carry shrimp and crabs from the many grass flats in Biscayne Bay through all the bridges and out of Government Cut. So naturally, Government Cut is a feeding station. A lot of fish will come into the cut and line up at the buffet station. Some nights you can hear the fish blow up all around your boat. It sounds like bowling balls being dropped in the water. It is a really cool deal. Sometimes the Cut isn’t producing, so we need to fish the bridges that connect downtown Miami to Miami Beach. These bridges at night will create a shadow line from the street lights on the bridge. That is a perfect ambush point for tarpon. They will cruise that shadow line, which most times is right underneath the bridge. On the outgoing tide, the tide will bring the bait to the fish. I will set up tide from the bridge and naturally free line our baits to these fish. Tarpon are very lazy fish and they do not want to waste a lot of energy looking for food. So this is perfect for them. A lot of the times you will hear a fish bust or see on flash and then you know they are there. I will usually look for those signs before I even set up to fish.
When I fly fish around the bridges, I will do that exact opposite. I like to hold on to one of the pilings and fish up down tide. That way you don’t spook any fish and you naturally bring the fly right to them. Since you are fishing with there backs to you, they have no idea that you are even there. The good part about that is you can almost sight fish, and pick out which fish you want to target. I like using shrimpy looking flies or a big white streamer fly. The fish are not to picky and as long as you are quiet, you will get a bite. It is a great way to get your first tarpon on fly. You don’t have to make long casts, so it is a little easier for a beginner to get a bite.
The other way I like fishing in downtown Miami is fishing the many dock lights along the Intracoastal and back canals. The underwater lights around the docks attract bait and in turn bring the tarpon and snook. I like throwing flies at these docks because it mimics the bait a little better, but if you have live bait that will also work. This is all done by sight fishing. Making an accurate cast is extremely important in this situation.
These trips are perfect for if you can’t get away during daytime hours. All you need to do is jump on the boat and get ready for an intense battle with the Silver King with a Miami Fishing Guide.