Hey guys! Hope things are going well and last month’s article helped you land more fish. Here’s what’s going on this spring in South Florida. Starting to the north, Lake Okeechobee water levels are at 11.65 feet and dropping, making navigation a concern. Unless you’re extremely knowledgeable about the lake, I would stay in the rim canal. There are plenty of fish to be caught in the rim canal and it’s safer to navigate right now. If you do venture offshore, look for different types of vegetation. This is where you’ll find the fish. Unfortunately, due to all the over spraying this year across the state, a lot of the vegetation has been destroyed. The fishery here in South Florida needs this cover to reproduce and protect the fry from predators. It helps to provide shade and oxygen for the fish and bait to thrive. Mother Nature is resilient and I’ve already noticed some areas that were decimated are starting to come back. However, it’s gonna take time and a lot of effort for the lake to completely recover.
Whether it’s Lake Okeechobee or the Florida Everglades, we all need to do our part to take care of these beautiful wetlands. These ecosystems are fragile. In the Florida Everglades, I am constantly finding discarded fishing line. Please take care to dispose of used fishing line properly and don’t discard into the water. Do your part and pick up any trash you come across while fishing. Overfishing and carelessness could destroy these beautiful wetlands. Let’s all be part of the solution to preserve these wetlands forever. Take extra care to release your fish correctly.
Here’s my where to and how to catch fish from Lake Okeechobee south to the Miami canals.
#1 – Holey Land: Fish are chomping topwater plugs and flukes on the surface. Working worms and sinkos on the bottom is a pattern that will produce all day.
#2 – Everglades Holiday Park: Big fish are being caught out on the flats. Remember if you venture out onto the flats, you’ll need to display a bright orange flag and you should be familiar with your surroundings so you don’t get lost or turned around. Swim baits, big worms and poppers are getting destroyed. The canals are also producing really big fish. Work topwater spooks along the edges. Swim jigs and big worms are also top baits.
#3 – Urban Canals: The canals all along the turnpike are producing large numbers of peacock bass. The airport lakes, Kendall lakes and lakes near the Falls are also yielding peacocks in good numbers. Live shiners are the top bait, but topwater plugs, jerk baits and poppers will also produce. If you want a real challenge, try catching them on fly gear.
Tight lines and bent rods,
Capt. Neal Stark
Fishing with America’s Finest, Inc.
“Changing Lives One Cast at a Time.”
501(C)(3) Non-Profit Organization, FEIN #45-5494005
American Everglades Guide, Inc.