METROPOLITAN MIAMI CANALS (Broward, Miami-Dade, West Palm counties): The man-made canals of coastal southeast Florida are part of an extensive, interconnecting network of canals that were primarily constructed in the early 1900’s for drainage, flood protection, and water storage purposes. The freshwater canals in the southern section (Cypress Creek Canal and south) are mostly box-cut into a coral rock substrate, more than 10 feet deep with little littoral zone, and have much subsurface water flowing into them. The amount of groundwater flowing into some canals is sufficient enough to dramatically increase water clarity. Canals in the northern section (Hillsboro Canal and north) tend to be shallower, more bowl-shaped, have sugar-sand substrate, and little water ground water intrusion.
These urban canals provide excellent angling for a variety of sportfishes. Largemouth bass and snook roam throughout the tri-county canals and in the southern section, butterfly peacock and tarpon provide anglers an opportunity to complete a canal “trifecta” or “grand slam”. The butterfly peacock is a world renowned sportfish that was successfully introduced by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission in 1984 to eat undesirable exotic fishes and to provide more sportfishing opportunities for anglers.
Miami-Dade County anglers to catch a largemouth bass. Medium to large shiners are always productive bait, and for anglers wishing to use artificial lures, Bieler recommends a Rattlin Rogue in gold and black. Before the water cools off from fall cold fronts, Bieler suggests Texas rigging a Zoom curly tail worm and fishes them deep and slow. If the water dark in color, try a 6-8” Zoom curly tail worm in a black grape or june bug color. In clear water systems use worm colors that are more natural colored. Butterfly peacock fishing should continue to be good, especially during mid-day. Small live shiners and blue back/silver body colored Rat’l Traps or original Rapalas (#7 or 9) are Bieler’s suggestions as good baits for catching one of these popular sportfish. Bieler recommends wigglers or night crawlers fished about 2 feet under a bobber along where the canal shelf drops down to deeper water as an excellent way to catch bluegill, redear sunfish, Mayan cichlid, and oscar in urban Miami-Dade canals. Betts spinners with purple or green and white split-tail grubs are a good artificial lure to use on bream. Bieler suggests anglers try the Aerojet Canal (C-111), Parkline Canal (L-31W), and canals near the Homestead race track for some great fall angling opportunities.