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1970's Freshwater Tarpon

Sonnyboy16Sonnyboy16 Gainesville, FLPosts: 106 Deckhand
Have not fished South Florida canals since the late 1970's. Used to catch lots of Tarpon along University Ave (US 27) just north of Dade County. Caught my first Tarpon way back in 1975, right in front of Calder racetrack (had some shiners left over from a trip to Sawgrass...). Hope to finally visit some time during Fall 2022.  Are they still around, or would it be better for me to book a Peacock Bass trip?


  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,690 Captain
    All the canals that used to hold tarpon - don't hold any at all now (except in places where there's a spillway..). More than 30 years ago government agencies began using herbicides to control weed growth (instead of the old mechanical harvesters that spraying replaced...) and in short order the tarpon found somewhere else (anywhere else...).  Nowadays all of those canals do hold peacocks and other exotic species... 

    When I'm not guiding out of Flamingo or Chokoloskee, I run both peacock trips in the canals of west Broward and also night trips for tarpon in Biscayne Bay -babies, averaging 20-40lbs (occasionally bigger, much bigger...) between Miami and Miami Beach when there's a falling tide.  An email request to [email protected] will get you a brochure by return mail...

    By the way, we really need to stop spraying in freshwater canals down here since every one of them drain into Biscayne Bay and I figure it's a contributing factor in the loss of seagrass in the Bay...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 402 Deckhand
    Bob nailed it. Tarpon a long shot , peacocks a lay up and lots of fun.
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 1,658 Captain
    Actually, about a year ago I was eating lunch just north of Hollywood Blvd. on St Rd 7 and saw a few nice Tarpon in the ditch there.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,690 Captain
    Very cool, assume you were somewhere near Griffin road since you will see a few tarpon in that canal to this day... 

    Speaking of tarpon - the night scene in Biscayne Bay under bridges is not a long shot at all -as long as there are a few shrimp moving on a falling tide.  Lots of small tarpon use those places as feeding stations at night... I was introduced to that scene way back in the winter of 1972...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 1,658 Captain
    I saw the Tarpon in the ditch just to the north of Hollywood Blvd. and 441. These canals are connected to Snake Creek which used to be loaded with Tarpon and Snook back in the 60's. Maybe some still there?
  • Sonnyboy16Sonnyboy16 Gainesville, FLPosts: 106 Deckhand
    Thanks for all the responses. Will likely focus on peacock bass. Do miss those tarpon back in the 1970's, though. Early mornings along University Ave. (between Hollywood Blvd. and Miramar Parkway) they would flush out yearling bass from along the banks to the middle of the canal. Had more than a few small bass hooked, but "poached" by tarpon. 
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