Metropolitan Southeast Florida Canals

Accessing Florida's Butterfly Peacock Bass and other fisheries

Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties:

Southeast Florida CanalsThe 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 groundwater intrusion. Fortunately, many of these man-made canals offer boat or shoreline access; a Canal Overview Map PDF document of the major canals is available, as well as a Canal and Infrastructure Map External link provided by the South Florida Water Management District External link.

A series of Angler's Guides for the canals listed below provide boat ramp locations, directions, and fishing information for each site:

 Angler Guides PDF document

Black Creek (C-1) Canal Cutler Drain (C-100) Canal
Snapper Creek (C-2) Canal Aerojet (C-111) Canal
Tamiami (C-4) Canal North E-4 Canal
Snake Creek (C-9) Canal Central E-4 Canal
South New River (C-11) Canal South E-4 Canal
Cypress Creek (C-14) Canal Hillsboro (G-08) Canal
Earman River (C-17) Canal North New River (G-15) Canal
Loxahatchee Slough (C-18) Canal Parkline (L-31W) Canal
County Line (C-23) Canal Golden Gate Canal (Naples)
Diversion (C-24) Canal Canal Overview Map

 

Local Fishing Guides include:

  • Burke, John:  954-971-1915
  • Fettes, Clark:  954-426-2094
  • Harris, Doub:  954-435-0486
  • Norling, Gregg:  954-979-4933
  • Zaremba, Allen:  954-961-7512

Local Bait and Tackle Shops include:

  • Perk's Bait & Tackle:  561-582-3133
  • X Generation Custom Rods + Tackle: 561-296-7637
  • Boynton Fisherman Supply:  561-736-0568
  • Sandy Hook Bait & Tackle:  561-274-9300
  • Everglades Pro-Bass Center:  954-434-4495
  • Lloyd's Bait and Tackle:  954-401-5681
  • Kendall Bait & Tackle Inc.:  305-670-3474
  • The Fishing Line:  305-598-2444

Taxidermists include:

  • Marine Taxidermy of the Palm Beaches:  561-585-0830
  • Steve's Marine Designs:  954-752-4360
  • Don Winge:  941-353-9359

 

Popular species:

Popular fish species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr. and Diane Rome Peebles.

 

TrophyCatchTrophyCatch Tracker

TrophyCatch External link is FWC's citizen-science program that rewards anglers for documenting and releasing trophy bass 8 pounds or larger. The following TrophyCatch bass have been submitted from the various Metropolitan Southeast Florida Canals:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 10

Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 2

 

 Current Forecast:

Miami-Dade County: 

January and February are the peak spawning months for largemouth bass in south Florida, and now is the best opportunity for anglers to catch big bass. Butterfly peacock fishing continues to be excellent in Miami-Dade County canals except for temporary slowdowns associated with cold fronts. We strongly encourage anglers to practice catch and release of sportfish at all times but especially for largemouth bass during this season.

Hard jerk baits such as the Bagley Minnow B in 4 or 5 inch size, and topwater plugs such as MirrO prop baits, Heddon Baby and Tiny Torpedo, Zara Spooks, and Chug Bugs are good baits for largemouth bass in Miami-Dade waters. Weedless Texas rigged plastic worms in colors including pumpkinseed, junebug, and watermelon are also an effective tactic for Florida’s most popular sportfish. Live shiners are very effective bait for butterfly peacock and largemouth bass, and are also the bait of choice for snook and tarpon in urban canals.

Small, minnow imitating lures used for bass are also good choices for anglers targeting butterfly peacock, south Florida’s premier sportfish. The fire tiger and chartreuse color patterns are a dependable color whatever your choice of lure. One tactic for catching butterfly peacock during these cooler months is to troll at a fast pace (5-8 mph) to cover a lot of water and when you locate a school, stop and cast into it. Bridges often hold butterfly peacock during the winter months so don’t overlook them! As the water temperature rises in February or March, the butterfly peacock will begin to spawn. This is an excellent time to sight fish for large fish in shallow water. Tossing just about any kind of lure or jig onto a guarded nest will trigger a response. You just have to keep trying until the fish actually takes the bait. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission strongly encourages the catch and release of butterfly peacock to ensure the continued success of this very popular sportfish.

Bluegill, redear sunfish, Mayan cichlid, Oscars, and jaguar guapotes can be caught using wigglers, crickets, a piece of night crawler, or a bread ball fished under a bobber, or with only a sinker 3 feet above the hook. Small poppers, and beetle spins are also popular baits. Aerojet Canal and Parkline Canal are good angling destinations for this time of year.

Broward County: 

Largemouth bass anglers are encouraged to try minnow imitating Hard jerk baits and topwater plugs in color patterns like black/gold, or silver/black for some fast action. Bream anglers should have great fun catching them on light spinning gear. A long shank hook baited with a wiggler, red worm, piece of a night crawler, or cricket often results in some fast bream action. Good catches of bream can also be made using 1/32-1/16 oz crappie jigs with single or multiple tails, small beetlespins, or roostertails. These types of lures in white, green, and patterns with chartreuse are great bream bait colors. The Hillsboro, Griffin Road and Cypress Creek canals, or local parks such as Plantation Heritage, Markham, Brian Piccolo, Tradewinds, and Quiet Waters are good areas to try for bass and bream.

Fishing for butterfly peacock in south Broward waterbodies should be good except for a day or two after cold fronts pass through. Small, live shiners are always a top butterfly peacock bait. Butterfly peacock anglers are catching them from canals in the Sunrise, Plantation, Lauderhill, Weston, and Miramar area. The FWC strongly encourages the catch and release of butterfly peacock to ensure healthy populations of this popular sportfish.

Palm Beach County:

A live shiner is always a good choice for largemouth bass, particularly while the water temperatures stay cool. Try fishing topwater lures right on the surface or speed up your retrieve to make them go sub-surface until you find a pattern that works. As the water temperatures rise, the bass will go deeper and plastic worms in the go-to colors such as red shad, black shad, watermelon seed, and junebug are excellent choices. Also crank baits such as Yo Zuri’s Rattlin Vibe and Rattle Traps in natural colors such as blue and black chrome, or shad colored fished around culverts with moving water are good bets for some fast action.

The butterfly peacock in the Ida-Osborne chain-of-lakes particularly Lake Ida and associated canals including the Delray Beach Canal (C-15), Turnpike Canal (E-2W), 441 Canal (E-1), are doing well. Live shiners and minnow imitating lures are good bets for peacocks and you might even catch the very unusual appearing clown knifefish.

Native and exotic bream (particularly Mayan cichlid) are caught on a variety of baits such as pieces of night crawler, crickets or small tube jigs, crappie jigs, grub tails or Roostertail spinners. Fish these baits along rocky shorelines for some great freshwater action. For flyfishers, try a 4 or 5 weight rod and tie on a bumble bee popper. The Turnpike Canal (E-2W), 441 Canal (E-1), West Palm Beach Canal (C-51), Earman River (C-17), and Delray Beach (C-15) canals are places anglers should give a try.

 

 



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