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S. Fla canoe waters?

Hey guys, I'll be spending the winter in Ft Lauderdale and my only option for a boat is to bring a canoe. I was wondering what my fishing options might be within a two hour drive of Broward. I would love to catch a peacock or two. Redfish, trout, bass and crappie are all welcome. Pretty much anything that will cooperate. Also, would it be worth it to drive over to Flamingo for a couple of days? If so, what could I expect to be available in the winter? Thanks, Phil

Replies

  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,730 Captain
    A canoe will allow you to fish every bit of sheltered waters you come to - the emphasis is on the "sheltered" part... Every canal in south Florida holds peacocks - and you have your choice on whether to fish them on foot or out of a canoe... Extend that out to the west and every canal between Broward/Dade and the west coast holds bass, etc (no peacocks once you're well west of the cities...). To go with that the south side of every canal once you're about 2/3 of the way across towards Naples/Marco has the potential to add snook and small tarpon to the mix - particularly the south side of the Tamiami Trail (it's SW 8TH St over on the Miami side). In that area remember you're going to be sharing the waters with alligators and other critters. A canoe is pretty tippy at the best of times (that's why so many, many folks like Gheenoes or kayaks instead of canoes for fishing) but fishing out of a canoe is do-able....

    Now for the best part... there's lots of water set aside in Everglades National Park for paddle craft where no motor boats are allowed at all.... Contact the Park for info on "no motor" zones - they should still have a xerox sheet showing the various spots to drop into from the roadside.... Places like Nine Mile pond, West lake, Hells Bay, **** Bay pond, etc. hold lots of opportunities for sightfishing snook, redfish and small tarpon. They also offer great opportunities for getting lost and having a bit more adventure than first timers plan on.... Flamingo itself not only has a campground but also access to Florida Bay - but with a canoe you'll want to work close to Flamingo and remember that instead of alligators (only a few at Flamingo...) you'll also have to contend with crocodiles and sharks....

    Flamingo is about a two hour drive from Ft. Lauderdale (I live in Pembroke Pines and commute there daily since I'm a full time guide... for me it's roughly 94 miles one way....) so it's do-able. Here's the official site for the Park so you can learn a bit about whether it's worth the trip....
    https://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm
    This next site is for the adventurous who want to actually spend some time in the Park paddling from one campsite to the next...
    http://www.evergladesdiary.com/

    The Everglades... it's my favorite place in this world....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 65 Greenhorn
    lemaymiami wrote: »
    A canoe will allow you to fish every bit of sheltered waters you come to - the emphasis is on the "sheltered" part... Every canal in south Florida holds peacocks - and you have your choice on whether to fish them on foot or out of a canoe... Extend that out to the west and every canal between Broward/Dade and the west coast holds bass, etc (no peacocks once you're well west of the cities...). To go with that the south side of every canal once you're about 2/3 of the way across towards Naples/Marco has the potential to add snook and small tarpon to the mix - particularly the south side of the Tamiami Trail (it's SW 8TH St over on the Miami side). In that area remember you're going to be sharing the waters with alligators and other critters. A canoe is pretty tippy at the best of times (that's why so many, many folks like Gheenoes or kayaks instead of canoes for fishing) but fishing out of a canoe is do-able....

    Now for the best part... there's lots of water set aside in Everglades National Park for paddle craft where no motor boats are allowed at all.... Contact the Park for info on "no motor" zones - they should still have a xerox sheet showing the various spots to drop into from the roadside.... Places like Nine Mile pond, West lake, Hells Bay, **** Bay pond, etc. hold lots of opportunities for sightfishing snook, redfish and small tarpon. They also offer great opportunities for getting lost and having a bit more adventure than first timers plan on.... Flamingo itself not only has a campground but also access to Florida Bay - but with a canoe you'll want to work close to Flamingo and remember that instead of alligators (only a few at Flamingo...) you'll also have to contend with crocodiles and sharks....

    Flamingo is about a two hour drive from Ft. Lauderdale (I live in Pembroke Pines and commute there daily since I'm a full time guide... for me it's roughly 94 miles one way....) so it's do-able. Here's the official site for the Park so you can learn a bit about whether it's worth the trip....
    https://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm
    This next site is for the adventurous who want to actually spend some time in the Park paddling from one campsite to the next...
    http://www.evergladesdiary.com/

    The Everglades... it's my favorite place in this world....


    Wow, what a great response. Bob, Do you have a webpage for me to look at?
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,730 Captain
    The closest thing I have to a web page is over on Cyberangler.com.

    For anyone wanting a brochure, simply email a request to [email protected] - you'll get my brochure by return mail...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Zone RangerZone Ranger Posts: 82 Greenhorn
    Take a look at Ochopee, Fl 34141, on google earth and you will see plenty of places to canoe South from US41. The Turner River and Halfway Creek are 2 sheltered and canoe-able rivers with plenty to see and also have fish...snook in the winter . You also won't be run over by powerboats. There are other rivers and creeks in that area accessible from US41 if you like what you find out there
  • Wra22Wra22 Posts: 182 Deckhand
    Loxahatchee River in Jupiter. (A but north of Wesr Palm) is beautiful and I have caught very large snook in it. Top of river is strangely beautiful but narrow and a few obstacles you have to go under. There are a few gators in there but it is not good for fishing. Below a place called "Trapper Nelsons it opens up and becomes brackish. That is where I caught snook. Also, jacks and small mangrove snapper. Just check the map. There is access at zriverbend Park and Jonathan Dickenson State Park. I would put in T Jonathan Dickenson to fish and the other to experience nature. Enjoy. It is worth it.
  • Rebait2003Rebait2003 Posts: 118 Deckhand
    Wra22 wrote: »
    Loxahatchee River in Jupiter. (A but north of Wesr Palm) is beautiful and I have caught very large snook in it. Top of river is strangely beautiful but narrow and a few obstacles you have to go under. There are a few gators in there but it is not good for fishing. Below a place called "Trapper Nelsons it opens up and becomes brackish. That is where I caught snook. Also, jacks and small mangrove snapper. Just check the map. There is access at zriverbend Park and Jonathan Dickenson State Park. I would put in T Jonathan Dickenson to fish and the other to experience nature. Enjoy. It is worth it.

    What he said above is accurate and you can stop and eat your lunch at trapper Nelsons and walk the grounds and see how he ate off what he caught. Alligators, Turtles, Fish, ect. You can fish the upper part also in the more open areas and catch bass and snook. Around the 2 bridge overpasses I have hooked small tarpon and snook around the pilings. We always through Storm Jr thundersticks and usually caught fish all the way down. The upper part is a beautiful paddle and there is a concessionaire that will come pick you up at the end of your paddle at Jonathan Dickenson. You will have to set that up with the concessionaire!
  • Wra22Wra22 Posts: 182 Deckhand
    Now I'm going to fish the upper part. Thanks Rebait
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 65 Greenhorn
    I appreciate all the info guys. That should keep me busy for most of the winter. (provided I don't get lost or eaten by a gator)
  • RollinRollin Posts: 1,546 Captain
    In the Everglades the water goes down in the winter,it's the dry season. The canals fill up with fish and makes for spectacular fishing. A lot of times no boat is needed. You could spend several winters learning all the spots on 41 and several more in the canals emptying into it. Good luck and I'm looking forward to some reports. Make sure to take some Zoom Toads and Flukes.
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 65 Greenhorn
    Rollin wrote: »
    In the Everglades the water goes down in the winter,it's the dry season. The canals fill up with fish and makes for spectacular fishing. A lot of times no boat is needed. You could spend several winters learning all the spots on 41 and several more in the canals emptying into it. Good luck and I'm looking forward to some reports. Make sure to take some Zoom Toads and Flukes.

    Man, I'm starting to get a little fired up about this thing. Are there places where I can launch into the canals without the condo **** becoming irate? :huh I'm sure I'll find something that will work. I appreciate your help and hope to knock a peacock and snook off my bucket list. Thanks again, Phil
  • RollinRollin Posts: 1,546 Captain
    https://paddling.com/launches/

    You won't have to worry about Condo police where you're going.
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 65 Greenhorn
    Well, made it to S. Florida. My wife and I have paddled a good bit, but haven't caught anything to write home about. Went to Miami and launched at Maceo Park. Caught a few largemouth (pretty nice ones), but no peacocks. Didn't see any. Fished a canal we could access here in Broward Co and caught a few tilapia. Hit the canal along Hwy 41 just out of Miami and caught a couple of bass and oscars, and that's about it so far.

    Heard of a place called Joe Bay (I think) near Homestead that has just opened to paddle traffic for the first time in years. Gonna drive down tomorrow to the Homestead Park office and ask about it. Anybody know anything about it? Is it worthwhile? I would think that being closed for so long, the fishing would be off the hook. We'll see.....
  • LurchyLurchy Posts: 414 Deckhand
    Joe Bay is in the upper part of Florida Bay, east of Flamingo a ways (not accessible from Homestead on Biscayne Bay) . Joe Bay would be accessible by paddle craft by way of a motorized boat, mothershipping your canoe in.. Maybe Bob could help you with that.. Otherwise it would be a very long paddle from Key Largo or Flamingo
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 65 Greenhorn
    Lurchy wrote: »
    Joe Bay is in the upper part of Florida Bay, east of Flamingo a ways (not accessible from Homestead on Biscayne Bay) . Joe Bay would be accessible by paddle craft by way of a motorized boat, mothershipping your canoe in.. Maybe Bob could help you with that.. Otherwise it would be a very long paddle from Key Largo or Flamingo

    Yeah, that's what I found out this morning when I called the park service. That's one tough spot to get to. I'll bet the fishing's good though. I think in the morning we're gonna go to Miami, go west on 41 and put in at the first place we come to. Hopefully there are a few peacocks in that area.
  • GotBass?GotBass? Posts: 202 Deckhand
    The further west you go, the less peacocks there are..
  • LurchyLurchy Posts: 414 Deckhand
    Wed, on my way back east from Chokoloskee (very good paddle fishing area btw), I fished a couple spots on 41. Caught a few bass on a zoom horny toad and senko. Gators were thick and aggressive so be aware when moving around. Might be hard this time of year would look for spots with some moving water. It tends to excite the bite..
  • Rebait2003Rebait2003 Posts: 118 Deckhand
    Lurchy wrote: »
    Wed, on my way back east from Chokoloskee (very good paddle fishing area btw), I fished a couple spots on 41. Caught a few bass on a zoom horny toad and senko. Gators were thick and aggressive so be aware when moving around. Might be hard this time of year would look for spots with some moving water. It tends to excite the bite..

    Here is a couple of options and some of the others can elaborate on this if they want. If you go down to Miami and you take the Palmetto Expy to South West 8th Street(41 or Tamiami Trail) exit. Go east under the bridge and there on the north side of the road used to be a little bait store. Go buy a couple dozen shiners and then launch your canoe somewhere right there if possible. Start fishing around there and under the bridge. You can fish up and down those canals around there for peacocks. Used to catch a bunch all around there. If you paddle the canal that goes north east from there and goes up to Flagler Street under a bridge and goes east into a nice lake. There are peacocks around the docks and the shoreline in that lake. Especially around the mouth openings.
    You can also Drive east on NW 7th street and there is a boat ramp that you can launch a canoe in on the North side between NW 53rd Ave and NW 51st Ave I am pretty sure. Launch there and fish the shorlines in there and under the 836 bridge. Used to catch lots of peacocks and there is sword spine(under the Bridge) and sometimes Tarpon in there.

    Hope this gives you some help catching a couple peacocks!!
  • Rebait2003Rebait2003 Posts: 118 Deckhand
    Lurchy wrote: »
    Wed, on my way back east from Chokoloskee (very good paddle fishing area btw), I fished a couple spots on 41. Caught a few bass on a zoom horny toad and senko. Gators were thick and aggressive so be aware when moving around. Might be hard this time of year would look for spots with some moving water. It tends to excite the bite..

    Here is a couple of options and some of the others can elaborate on this if they want. If you go down to Miami and you take the Palmetto Expy to South West 8th Street(41 or Tamiami Trail) exit. Go east under the bridge and there on the north side of the road used to be a little bait store. Go buy a couple dozen shiners and then launch your canoe somewhere right there if possible. Start fishing around there and under the bridge. You can fish up and down those canals around there for peacocks. Used to catch a bunch all around there. If you paddle the canal that goes north east from there and goes up to Flagler Street under a bridge and goes east into a nice lake. There are peacocks around the docks and the shoreline in that lake. Especially around the mouth openings.
    You can also Drive east on NW 7th street and there is a boat ramp that you can launch a canoe in on the North side between NW 53rd Ave and NW 51st Ave I am pretty sure. Launch there and fish the shorlines in there and under the 836 bridge. Used to catch lots of peacocks and there is sword spine snook(under the Bridge) and sometimes Tarpon in there.

    Hope this gives you some help catching a couple peacocks!!
  • Rebait2003Rebait2003 Posts: 118 Deckhand
    Mr Moderator. I couldn't edit to fix my post and when I did fix it it just added another post with the correction I made. Can you go ahead and delete my 1st post and see what is going on with the editing.
    Thanks ReBait
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 65 Greenhorn
    Fished the Hwy 41 canal at the first put in west of Miami. Caught several fish, but alas, no peacocks. Place is crawling with alligators. I doubt my wife is gonna go for another trip there. lol Gonna give the peacocks one more try before I move on to something else. In a couple of days, we're gonna load up a few shiners and head to a spot on Lake Ida a fella told me about. I'll post a picture of the 5 lb pea I'm confident I'll catch! :) After that, I'm gonna burn up the road to the west coast and have a go at the trout, redfish, baby tarpon etc.... Fingers crossed.
  • HeartNShoalHeartNShoal Posts: 937 Officer
    Where is the best place to park your boat to access Joe Bay?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,730 Captain
    It's between Key Largo and Flamingo (Key Largo is roughly 30 miles east of Flamingo to give you some idea of the distances involved...) but a bit closer to Key Largo.... Just because they're "re-opened" that area to paddle craft is no guarantee of great fishing, though. In winter all of the bights (Garfield, Rankin, Santini, and points west) hold fish but are super shallow, very vulnerable to wind movement and will be a fair bit colder than waters a bit south on a cold day - until the sun gets into the act... The bays east of the bights (Madeira, Little Madeira and Joe.... are a bit more sheltered - but it's not an area that see much in the way of angling pressure at all... Here's the chart for that area http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/11451.shtml, side A (third panel). Remember that you get little tide influence way up near the mainland... the wind and water temperature rule those areas...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • HeartNShoalHeartNShoal Posts: 937 Officer
    Thanks bob but where is the entry point, NMZ signs, where I would leave the big boat?


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  • JoeBCJoeBC Posts: 608 Officer
    Thanks bob but where is the entry point, NMZ signs, where I would leave the big boat?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Supposed to moor in Trout Lake, been looking into checking it out since I heard it reopened but haven't made any plans yet. Says the image is too large to post.

    https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/news/images/Joe-Bay_1_1.jpg
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 298 Deckhand
    Well, made it to S. Florida. My wife and I have paddled a good bit, but haven't caught anything to write home about. Went to Miami and launched at Maceo Park. Caught a few largemouth (pretty nice ones), but no peacocks. Didn't see any. Fished a canal we could access here in Broward Co and caught a few tilapia. Hit the canal along Hwy 41 just out of Miami and caught a couple of bass and oscars, and that's about it so far.

    Heard of a place called Joe Bay (I think) near Homestead that has just opened to paddle traffic for the first time in years. Gonna drive down tomorrow to the Homestead Park office and ask about it. Anybody know anything about it? Is it worthwhile? I would think that being closed for so long, the fishing would be off the hook. We'll see.....

    I fished it a few weeks ago after hearing that it was good. All I saw were some big jacks, no snook or reds. Bottom looked terrible, silty very little grass. Downed trees that should have been swarming with little snapper were devoid of life. I've since heard that it was good right after opening but got pounded hard and my target species left for quieter waters. Not sure I believe that, but I did poorly and I've been fishing the park for 50 years and I was in a Jon boat(motor removed from transom) that I could pole so had good viz and I covered water.
  • deepshot86deepshot86 Posts: 62 Deckhand
    Anyone who uses a canoe, kayak, or paddle board should make it a point to contact the FWC in opposition to the registration fee that is being proposed for these vessels.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/os-paddling-boats-licensing-controversy-20170127-story.html
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