Florida Canal Fishing | A Guide to Canal Fishing in Florida

Have you ever driven your car around the highways of Florida? If so, you are sure to find numerous canals, especially in South Florida, crisscrossing one another. Indeed, the Floridan highways and byways lay beside canals, ponds and small rivers.

Some of these canals with a width of only 20-30 feet connect with the nearest big rivers and ocean. Hence, the Floridan canals teem with fishes of different species. Naturally, these canals are the Heaven for anglers. The abundance of fishes is, however, led mainly by the star of Florida, Largemouth bass. Today we are going to present an in-depth guideline on Florida canal fishing covering popular fishing zones, favorite fish, as well as rules and regulations you need to maintain while fishing.

Famous Canal Fishing Zone in Florida

In general, the canals are found mostly in South Florida. However, the most productive and comfortable fishing canals are found in some particular areas. In this case, I gladly take the name of channels across the highway no.41. These canals are across the everglades and are popular fishing zones. On the contrary, near the coastal area, some saltwater canals are booming with marine fishes also.

Please take a look at our pick from the best fishing canals around and in Florida.

Lake Okeechobee

It is also known as the inland sea of Florida for its vastness and abundance of fishes. It is the 2nd largest freshwater lake in the USA and has recently been popular for fishing and kayaking.

Although it is not a typical canal, fishing zones in Florida is incomplete without the mention of this Okeechobee lake. The lake is famous for its legendary Largemouth Bass, which is the most popular fish in Florida. Besides, you will get to catch Speckled Perch, Bluegills, Okeechobee catfish, and black crappies. It will be a treat to catch fish and watch out the serenity around the lake.

Tamiami Canal

The canal is parallelly situated across the famous Tamiami trail right beside the highway no. 41. It starts from the west of Miami and continues its journey until it reaches Naples.

For the past three generations of Floridan, the canal has been the place to see hand to fin combats. You can easily reach deep into the canal with your spin gear, fly rods, and cane poles. Fishing in the canal is as enjoyable as watching the serenity of the everglades nearby the canal. However, be careful about the water moccasins and alligators lurking in the water.

Canals in South Florida

The state government of Florida created these series of channels to control flooding during hurricanes. Now, these canals are among the most popular fishing zones. You will find the Bass here, which is a treasured fish for anglers.

Miami Canal

Created from the vastness of Okeechobee lake, this canal flows through the downtown of Miami to reach and fall into the Miami River. At places, it is known as Canal-6. The canal held the right quantity of different fishes.

Disney World

It’s about Florida, and how could Disney get an escape? It seems impossible. So, its’ time to introduce you with two Disney lakes inside it. You can go there with a guide for two hours excursion. Remember that the lakes are catch and release.

Popular Fishes in Florida

Admittedly, Floridan canals are full of various species of fishes and await to be caught by the fishermen. The canals contain both freshwater fishes and saltwater fishes, near the oceans. However, not all of these fishes look beautiful and taste delicious.

The following fishes are the fishermen’s choice in Florida.

Largemouth Bass

It’s the legendary game fish of Florida canals. Although they may be found in all of the channels, the biggest one is in general found in the Miami canal and Okeechobee lake. Of course, in canals, they don’t grow as big as in the open water sources, but the 6-8 pounds weighty Bass are found in large numbers in the canals.

You will get the best Bass in the following canals

  • Parkline
  • Snake Creek
  • North New River
  • Cypress Creek,
  • West Palm Beach and Boynton.

Bass spawns during January-February, and it’s the best time to catch them. Nonetheless, it would be best if you released the Bass at this time to help them breed. The Largemouth Bass is a topwater fish and is attracted to lures such as plastic worms and spinnerbaits.

Peacock Bass

These are the most exciting newcomer and are one of the most beautiful fish found in Florida. Peacock Bass isn’t a native fish in Florida, but in recent times it has spread its legacy across the canals of Miami and Florida.

It looks exceedingly stunning with peacock markings at the tail and a golden body. They favor the warm Southern water of Florida and are fantastic fighters. They grow up to 4-5 pounds. The best places to find them are-

  • Tamiami
  • Cutler Drain
  • Snapper
  • Biscayne canal

The best baits for Peacock Bass are Minnow imitations, spinners, crankbaits, and bucktails.

Other Fishes

Redear Sunfish Blue Gills are another two most popular fish found in the canals of Florida. Besides, there are small populations of crappie and catfishes. Furthermore, the canals some are inhibited by saltwater sporting fishes such as Tarpon and Snook.

Fishing License in Florida

The fishing rules and regulations in Florida are stringent and annihilates any unnecessary demolition of fishing habituations. However, the license is not connected with the Florida canal fishing. Instead, it is related to the types of fish you like to catch.

  1. You can’t keep the Redfish unless you have a saltwater license.
  2. You can keep only 5 Largemouth Bass daily; only one may cross the 22cm length.
  3. Peacock Bass number is limited to two; one can cross the 17cm mark.

If you want to fish particularly in the Miami lake, you need to get a Florida Fishing License. You can quickly get it in all tackles and bait shops in Florida. Alternatively, you may get it from the official website of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Conclusion:

Florida is fishing Heaven with numerous canals across its land. Hence, do take some time from your busy schedule and go out to the canals. The thrill of fishing a beautiful Peacock Bass or a legendary Largemouth Bass will surely amaze you.

So, when are you placing your baits in the Miami canal?

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