Freshwater fishing in south Florida as a kid is amazing. You can catch peacock bass, largemouth bass, snakehead, snook, and even tarpon. There are many places to fish in South Florida, but I’m going to focus on some of my favorites.
Pond and canal Freshwater Fishing in South Florida – The most common places to catch freshwater fish in South Florida are the canals and ponds. Prepare to do a lot of walking to find the fish but when you do you will catch Largemouth Bass, Peacock Bass, and Bullseye Snakehead. They can all be caught from southern Palm Beach to Miami. You’ll also find bluegill sunfish and bowfin in these places as well.
I love the fact that you can just get on your bike and go to a canal or lake and start fishing. You don’t need too much gear, just buy a cheap rod reel combo, some hooks, plastic worms, and a few Rapala lures, and you are set. I have caught all three species from the canals and ponds in South Florida. The best time of year to fish them is in the spring and summer months. There are also some great places to catch saltwater fish in Fort Lauderdale including the beaches and Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park (which we still call John U Lloyd Park). The marina, Whiskey Creek, and the beach are all loaded with fish.
Your best bet is to fish freshwater during the day and use small plastic baits. We love using live bait. I will either throw a casting net to get small bluegills or other small fish or I will go to buy some shiners from one of the 3 bait and tackle stores that are close to my house. If I fish with live shinners I typically use a live bait hook size 1 or 2. We catch most of the peacock bass and snakeheads near the shoreline. During certain times of the year, peacocks protect their beds from other prey. That is when we use small lures that sink or small 3″ plastic worms.
Topwater fishing for Largemouth Bass and Snakeheads using topwater lures is a blast. Watching them blow up a lure gives you such an adrenaline rush! We typically catch the largemouth bass and snakeheads on a jig and a shiner. You can catch them at any time of day but they are most active in the early morning and late evening. I have also caught many bass and snakeheads using a floating lure like a popper or plastic floating frog lure. These lures are great for catching large bass, but the smaller ones can be tough to catch with this type of lure too.
Fishing as a kid is all about having fun. The challenge of out-thinking that fish is a lot of fun. I’m sure some of you have caught a snakehead. They can be very skittish which makes them hard to catch. If not, it is a fun fish to catch and they are also very good eating too!