Bonefish, permit and tarpon may be the glamour species of the flats that attract anglers from all over the world to the Florida Keys, and snook & redfish rule the Everglades, but there are many other species that can be targeted as well .
Numerous species of sharks are common in the Keys and can make for great fishing fun, especially on fly gear! On the flats, frequent visitors include lemon sharks, bonnetheads and blacktips. Frequent too, are bull sharks and hammerheads, and their numbers tend to increase during tarpon season. Speaking of toothy fish, the barracuda can be a respectable opponent on a fly rod, especially the larger ones that inhabit the shallow water in cooler weather. During the winter months, Spanish mackerel are plentiful in the western portions of Florida Bay and can keep you busy for hours.
Bonefish, permit and tarpon may be the glamour species of the flats that attract anglers from all over the world to the Florida Keys, and snook & redfish rule the Everglades, but there are many other species that can be targeted as well. Seatrout and ladyfish often share the same waters and can be a blast on light tackle, especially for younger children that tend to lose interest if not constantly catching fish.
Another species less frequently targeted, but not without excitement is the tripletail. Tripletails are often found drifting in weedlines or alongside floating debris or bouys in the summer months and can proove a great sightfishing target.
Many additional species such as snapper, sheepshead, grouper, black drum, jacks and cobia are frequent catches in the Florida Keys and you could be surprised by almost anything. On rare occasion, anglers have reportedly caught dolphin and sailfish in Florida Bay! (makes you wonder who was more lost, the fish or the angler?)
In our numerous freshwater lakes, rockpits, rivers and drainage canal systems, largemouth bass, peacock bass and Florida gar are pletiful, to name just a few of our frestwater species.
Peacock bass were introduced to South Florida back in 1984 with an extensive stocking project to control exotic species of cichlids and tilipia. The peacock bass provides a great source of sport fishing opportunities without having to travel deep into the Amazon. These butterfly peacock bass also exist all over South America and grow to about 15 lbs. The South Florida record is about 10.5 lbs.
Coming soon, we'll be adding notes on fishing techniques and various gear recommendations for many of these fish, so check back here often.