Urban Jungle – Fishing urban canals in Miami, FL for Peacock Bass
The Urban Anglers USA crew recently took a trip down to Florida to target Peacock Bass and other species in the urban drainage canals of Miami. The vast network of canals were primarily constructed in the early 1900’s for drainage and flood protection, and are now home to some of the best urban fishing in the world. These waterways are they only place in the United States that remain warm enough year round for the exotic species. Peacock Bass were introduced into the canal systems to eat the other invasive species and they have thrived over the past few decades.
We flew into Miami and our primary plan was to fish the Tamiami Canal. (C-4). After endless hours of youtube research and google earth detective work, we had a plan for parking and fishing throughout the city. We parked at a Wendy’s and set off on foot, following busy roads and fishing the canals that lined the streets. Half of us were fly fishing, and half of us were throwing spin casters, so we had every approach covered. Clouser minnows were the go to fly on the flyrod, and crank baits on the spinning rods. Coldfronts moved in every night so we had our work cut out for us to get these guys to hit, and the cooler water did not allow for much of a topwater bite. We made our way through the city and were basically casting into the backyards of the local residents. Living in a house with peacock bass in the backyard would be a definite perk of local real estate. While our primary target was Peacock Bass, we were looking to catch anything we could find and the urban waterways did not disappoint. Numerous species of cichlids were prominent throughout the canals, and we landed multiple Mayan Cichlids, Jaguar Guapote Cichlids, Butterfly Peacocks, Spotted Peacocks, Gar, and Florida Brown Bullhead. We also saw snook, tarpon, gators, iguana, and other species of cichlids throughout the city.
Chartreuse crank baits and chartreuse closer minnows seemed to work best for us. Shad colored jerk baits also worked well with a constant fast jerk. Locals recommended live shiners. If you get the opportunity to try, live bait can be bought at “The Fishing Game”. MOST IMPORTANT TIP – Fish Everywhere! We saw tons of signs saying NO FISHING. After talking to locals they laughed at us for not fishing neighborhood ponds. Fish until you get kicked out. The signs are there so they are not responsible for a gator eating you.