With all the recent wind and rain, the weather hasn’t really cooperated over the last month, resulting in a lot of cancelled boating days. However, this type of weather opens up a new avenue for fishing the spillways. The spillways, or flood gates have been open consistently for the past month. These canals of fast flowing water are the perfect opportunity to present a live or artificial bait in the current to entice the many large predators lurking down below.
We fished both freshwater and saltwater sides of the spillways this past month, landing loads of snook, peacock bass, giant largemouth bass and jumped off several tarpon in the 20 to 40 pound range. The best live bait options are 8 to 10 inch mullet, 8 inch gizzard shad, shiners from a local tackle shop and smaller Mayan cichlids. Most of the time we fished these spillways with artificials because it’s convenient to just stop in for a few casts. The artificial baits are much more effective when the water flow slows down as opposed to when the gates are wide open. We had several hits on soft plastic swim baits in the 5 to and 7 inch size, but weren’t able to get those to stick. In addition to large swimbaits, Flair Hawk jigs will get the job done. Gear for this style of fishing is crucial. You’ll want to use a 5000 size or larger spinning reel on a 7 foot or longer rod. My particular setup is spooled with 30 pound braid and 40pound leader.
Good luck and tight lines!
Capt. Johnny Stabile
South Florida Fishing Charters