The Miami airport lakes are next to the Miami International Airport, the airport is often noisy and congested. But this area should be avoided by traveling west to the Miami airport lakes. From the boat ramp, it is 3.0 miles to the entrance of the Coral Gables Canal, 4.8 miles to the lateral canal connecting to McDonald Lake (which is awesome), and 7.6 miles to the intersection of Snapper Creek (immediately east of the Turnpike Extension). The non-navigable flood control structure of the Airport lakes Tamiami Canal near Krome Avenue is about 13 miles from the boat ramp. The combination of Tamiami and Snapper Creek canal systems provide urban anglers more than 43 miles of exciting fishing opportunities.
Miami Airport Lakes Peacock Bass Fishing
Airport lakes Tamiami canal offers some of the most exciting and varied canal fishing in all of southeast Florida. Several anglers have reported canal 'trifecta' or 'grand slam' catches of butterfly peacock and largemouth bass topped-off with a snook or even a tarpon. The butterfly peacock is a world-renown gamefish that was successfully introduced in the mid-1980s by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to eat undesirable exotic fishes and to give more sportfishing for anglers in the metropolitan Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area. Fallen trees, canal intersections, sharp bends, and dead ends are generally productive areas for catching most species of fish. Sportfishes also congregate in the shade of bridges, culverts, and other structures. Shoreline vegetation, rip-rap, and even some residential seawalls (particularly in lateral canals) also provide good fishing opportunities. If there is a strong current in the main canal, spend more time fishing lateral canals, small lakes, and other areas that offer refuge from the current (e.g., cut-outs, bridge pilings, and the downstream side of spillways).
Miami Fishing has many options, the Miami Airport lakes support excellent populations of butterfly peacock and largemouth bass that average about 14 inches (1.5 pounds), and nearly 50% of the harvest-able butterfly peacock and 40% of the largemouth bass are larger than this. The biggest butterfly peacock (10 pounds) ever confirmed in Florida came from this canal. The bag limit for butterfly peacock is two fish per day, only one that can be greater than 17 inches; up to five largemouth bass can be kept, but only one of these can be greater than 14 inches. Fishing for butterfly peacock is usually best from March through May, but they are caught consistently throughout the year. Butterfly peacock feeds only during daylight and normally close to shore, although schooling peacocks will sometimes feed aggressively in open water. Largemouth bass fishing tends to be best during the winter when the water cools, and early in the morning, evenings, and even at night during the summer.
Butterfly peacock is more likely to be caught using live fish for bait than are largemouth bass, which makes them an excellent fish for younger anglers, as well as those just learning to bass fish. Live fish such as small golden shiners purchased at local tackle shops are the best overall bait for both butterfly peacock and largemouth bass. It is illegal to use goldfish or any other non-native fish for bait, except those legally caught from and immediately used in the same canal. For those who enjoy fishing with artificial lures, just about any fast-moving minnow imitating plug or fly can be used to entice a peacock. Early in the morning look for tarpon rolling at the surface, especially in the area just east of Red Road. Snook can be found throughout the canal system but tend to concentrate along vegetated shorelines and under bridges close to lake areas. Another species anglers might catch resembles a walleye; this fish is the brackish water bigmouth sleeper which is a long, cylindrical fish with many small sharp teeth.
The number and quality of panfish over six inches in Miami Airport lakes is about average for area canals. Live worms and crickets are the choice baits for many panfish anglers, although fresh bread or bread dough works well, is readily available, and it costs less. Shoreline anglers will need to do some exploring to find the best locations for shoreline fishing, and always be sure to park cars safely on public right of ways. Tamiami Canal Airport lakes area anglers might also catch a jaguar guapote from Central America, Oscars from South America, or spotted tilapia from Africa. These exotic fishes were illegally released, and pose a threat to native species. Jaguar guapotes resemble black crappie (speckled perch) with many small, sharp teeth. Oscars are a bream-shaped fish with a red or orange circle at the base of the tail, and they have a thick coat of protective mucus on their bodies. Spotted tilapia are also bream-shaped, golden in color with black spots or bars, and some adults have red on them. These exotic fishes are good to eat, and you can keep every one you catch.
“Went fishing with Wayne Fellows he told us about the Peacock bass. How well they fight and we would have a lot of fun. He is a great guide and knows all the hot spots and put you on the fish. Excellent trip.”
Boat ramp Directions
The only public boat ramp is located in Antonio Maceo Park for the Miami Airport lakes. This park is open from dawn to dusk and is operated by the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department. The two-lane ramp is paved and in excellent condition. The park has picnic tables, grills, a playground, and a paved parking area, with brand new restrooms. Note: Manatees are quite common, so be careful boating and watch for posted regulations.
To reach the boat ramp, take the Turnpike Extension or I-95 to Hwy 836 (Dolphin Expressway). Take Hwy 836 east from the Turnpike or west from I-95 to Red Road (NW 57th Avenue). Go south on Red Road about 0.5 miles to NW 7th Street, east (left) 0.6 miles to NW 51st Avenue, and Antonio Maceo Park is on the left side just before NW 51st Avenue. Look for the backcast iron fencing, there two gates. The first one is the exit, the second is the entrance. Miami Peacock Bass Guides
If you have never experienced Airport lakes peacock bass, we hope this peaks your interest enough to take your first venture into the Miami Lakes for this fantastic sport fish. There are thousands of people in search of Florida peacock bass and we would be delighted if you would allow us to take you fishing. Make your fishing trip come true with one of our professional peacock bass fishing guides.