What You Need to Know About Fishing in the Everglades
Posted on December 28, 2018
Since Florida's "River of Grass" spans more than two million acres across the central and southern part of the state, it's important to pick up as many Everglades fishing tips as possible before planning your trip. The more you know about the fish species and ecosystems, the better your chances of a successful experience.
The Everglades encompasses some of the world's most diverse wetland fish habitats; offering both fresh and saltwater fishing opportunities in different parts of the subtropical wetland ecosystem. Depending on the location and time of year, you can target a range of species from largemouth bass to tarpon.
First, you'll need to decide which fish species you want to target. Once you decide on the species, you can check into Everglades fishing charters or hire an Everglades fishing guide that specializes in the species you want to catch and the best areas to find them.
Freshwater Everglades Fishing Tips
Places such as Everglades Holiday Park and the Sawgrass Recreation Area offer good freshwater fishing opportunities. The associated freshwater canal systems hold species such as largemouth bass, peacock bass, bluegill, black crappie, chain pickerel, redear sunfish, warmouth, Florida gar, Mayan cichlid, and oscar.
These Broward County freshwater canal systems are generally most productive during the drier periods of the year, when low water levels push fish out of the marshes and into the Everglades Water Conservation Areas. You can always check a current freshwater Everglades fishing report to find out which species are being caught most frequently in which areas.
Saltwater Everglades Fishing Tips
If you would rather pursue saltwater species like snook, tarpon, redfish, and spotted seatrout, you may want to plan a visit to Florida Bay. Although, to find and catch these Everglades National Park fish species you need to have a solid command of the backcountry waterways. Extensive mangrove shorelines and shallow flats can have every twist or turn looking just as productive as the next.
As a first-timer to Florida Bay, one of the best tips is look for professional Everglades fishing charters that are based out of Flamingo or the Keys. Many spots in the Bay consist of super-shallow water that can only be accessed during certain moon phases or under specific weather conditions. By hiring a knowledgeable guide, you can have a much more relaxed and enjoyable day on the water.
Given the remote nature these fishing locations, safety should be your top priority. Cell phone service can be spotty in many areas of Everglades National Park, which means a boat EPIRB can be a lifesaver in the event of an emergency. Get EPIRB price information and learn more about the best type of EPIRB for an Everglades trip before you go.
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater charter captain living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.