Fishing the Everglades offers an ecosystem quite like any other. People from all over the world travel here to experience some of the most exciting, thrilling, and mind-boggling fishing available. Florida houses one of the only two everglades on the planet and if this is a destination on your bucket list, it’s time to make that dream a reality.
Types of Fish in the Everglades
The Everglades houses a variety of different habitats with fresh, salt, and brackish water. The result is a large number of different species available depending on where you go. The sheer number of fish that you can catch here is enough to draw people from all over.
Whether you’re trying to fish the wetlands, waterways, canals, marshes, or mangroves, you’re sure to create a ton of amazing memories fishing the Florida Everglades.
Tarpon is a highly desirable fish in this area and the Everglades has plenty of them. It’s not uncommon for some anglers to find Tarpon as big as 150 pounds on a regular basis. Best of all, these silver giants put up an incredible fight and that’s one of the primary reasons why we find Tarpon on most anglers’ bucket lists.
If you’re fishing the shallow waters you’ll find Redfish scattered about. These fish prefer the marshland and they’re plentiful year-round. For this reason, Redfish is a common target for many travelers fishing inshore because they know it’s something they can find pretty easily. Don’t let that mistake you thought. Redfish put up quite a fish and they’re a delicious bite.
Snook are part of what makes Florida one of the top fishing destinations in the world. First, Snook is a delicious catch and a fish that tastes quite unlike any other. Second, the size of these fish is unbelievable.
The Everglades ecosystem is rich with Snook because they’re not the easiest to catch down here. As a result, they tend to grow to larger sizes than you would find elsewhere in more open waters.
Bass aren’t the official freshwater fish of Florida for nothing, right? There are few things that compare to the thrill and excitement of battling a largemouth bass in the lakes, creeks, and canals that are littered throughout the Everglades.
Fishing for bass in the Everglades is a unique treat as well because they grow like weeds around here. The average size of each largemouth bass caught is five pounds so expect them to put up a fight.
As one of the most beautiful game fish in the world, the peacock bass is in high demand around here. They put up a tremendous fight, they’re a joy to chase, and they’ve found a nice home in the Everglades so they’re not as hard to find as you think. You can expect to find peacock bass all throughout the Everglades in places like Alligator Alley and Holiday Park.
How to Fish the Everglades
When it comes to fishing the incredible 1.5 million acres of land that makes up the Everglades, the opportunities seem endless. It might seem a bit overwhelming but if you plan accordingly, you’ll have no reason to feel uneasy about the trip. We recommend having a plan drawn out for how you intend on fishing and where you want to go as well.
Let’s talk about how you plan to fish in the Florida Everglades:
From the Shore
You could always fish from the shore. This strategy has the lowest barrier of entry, doesn’t require a lot of gear, and doesn’t require any special preparation if you just want to show up and wet some lines.
If shore fishing sounds like your thing, you’ll want to check out Everglades National Park. There are plenty of places here where you can fish from the shore, enjoy a picnic, spend time with family, and still experience some of the best fishing anywhere in the world.
Close to the park’s entrance are a variety of small lakes and ponds but if you head a little deeper in you’ll start to introduce yourself to the more brackish waters.
From the Kayak
There’s something primitive and unique about kayak fishing and personally, we love kayakers on the Everglades. It allows you to get up close and personal with everything that’s going on in this incredible ecosystem. When you’re in a kayak, you can make your way through the many waterways and canals while taking in the sights and sounds of true marshland wilderness.
Where else in the world can you drop a line and catch some of the greatest game fish out there while paddling past alligators and manatees?
We suggest being extra careful about dropping a kayak and we recommend renting one in Everglades City if you choose to do so. The guides there will be able to help you stay safe on the water and they’ll tell you where you should and shouldn’t go.
From the Charter
Chartering a boat is really the best way to take in everything that fishing in the Everglades has to offer. This wild habitat requires a lot of knowledge and experience and that’s best left for the professionals.
Taking a charter will allow you to cover more ground and you’ll also have the versatility and time to not have to worry so much about where you’re going. You can sit back, relax, and let the guide take care of all the work. Best of all, they’ll share secrets with you and bring you to the best spots that no one else knows.
Where to Fish in the Everglades
The Everglades is a massive area that covers an assortment of smaller areas. Within these are hundreds of lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, mangroves, and marshes. All of these places house incredible fishing but you need to know where you want to go before hitting the water. Here are some of our top recommendations for the best places to fish in the Everglades.
Holiday Park – Holiday Park is a great bass fishing destination. You’ll be able to access the L67A canal which is considered the top bass spot in the Everglades. The canal runs to Tamiami Trail which is slower-paced, easier to fish and less pressure.
Ten Thousand Islands – A portion of these islands makes up the Everglades National Park so you know there are plenty of great fishing opportunities here. You’ll find Redfish, Snook, Tarpon, and more here. There is also an assortment of fishing charters operating on this part of the Everglades.
Alligator Alley – Alligator Alley produces some of the best bass fishing in the state according to all the local captains. The water is high here which creates a lot of space to fish and they’re low-pressure because this area is only accessible by boat. It’s located off I-75 near the Big Cypress Swamp Wilderness of Water Conservation Area 3.
Sawgrass Recreation Park – Sawgrass allows you to really get up close and personal with the best that the Everglades has to offer. It’s a unique subtropic ecosystem rich with wildlife and plenty of great fishing. Largemouth bass and panfish are the desired catch here. Most catches are between four and seven pounds.
Florida Bay – Florida Bay is the southernmost tip of mainland Florida before the land starts extending out to the Keys. Again, like everywhere else there are plenty of Tarpon, Redfish, and Snook here. If you’re interested in more open water fishing and fewer marshes and canals, this is an ideal destination.
Pine Glades Lake – If you’re seeking plenty of shore fishing opportunities and something to do with the whole family, Pine Glades is a nice spot. Here you’ll find easy shore fishing access and plenty of panfish like Crappie and Bluegill. It makes for a relaxing and easy fishing experience for those who aren’t as serious about hooking a big one.
Snake Bight – One specific area on the Florida Bay that draws a lot of attention is Snake Bight. The Snook cruise throughout the mangroves here and there are plenty of access points for kayaks, boats, and even shore fishing. It’s one of the easiest and most productive locations to fish in the Everglades so we recommend getting here early because it’s usually pretty crowded.
Fishing the Everglades Canals
Canals are plentiful around here and they offer the best bass fishing in the Everglades. Some of the most popular canals are the L67, Big 67, 67C, and L28. All the local charters recommend checking out Alligator Alley as well. This area is nice if you’re launching your own boat because there are plenty of ramps with a lot of different access points. It’s recommended that you hit these spots in the early morning and late afternoon.
Best Everglades Fishing Charters
Fishing the Everglades is really an experience that no one ever forgets. As you traverse through the canals you’ll almost feel as if you stepped into a different world. All around you is nothing but wildlife and fish just waiting for you to drop your bait.
We highly recommend recruiting the assistance of a fishing charter for your trip to the Everglades. It will help enhance the experience and you catch a lot more fish this way. Local Captains are able to introduce you to the best spots on the Everglades and you can even charter a boat based on what you’re trying to catch.
If South Florida has been sitting on your bucket list, it’s time to cross it off with a trip to the beautiful and simply breathtaking, Everglades.