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Planning Fishing Trips In Florida? Add A Day For Fishing Florida Bay 

Fishing Florida Bay, you have about 1,100 square miles of shallow water and islands to discover.

Tucked up against the bottom of the 'mainland' about 85% of this estuary is located in the Everglades National Park.

Running to the east and south are the chain of islands constituting the Florida Keys.

To the west, the water leads out into the Gulf of Mexico.

This creates a combination of freshwater from the Everglades coming from Taylor Slough, mixing with the Gulf's saltwater. This combination results in a large and interesting selection of wildlife and Florida fish.

Fish And Wildlife Of Florida Bay

With the water averaging between 3 and 9 feet, and plenty of feeding grounds and cover, you'll experience a treasure trove of bird, marine and animal life.

The area is rich with turtle and manatee grass, which are critical in creating the perfect habitat for shrimp, spiny lobster and crab to lay their eggs.

The presence of these crustaceans in turn attracts the smaller fish, which attract the larger fish. It also explains why one of the preferred forms of bait are shrimp and crab because this is what these fish naturally feed on.

The mangrove and grassy lined banks also provide excellent cover for alligator, snake, turtle even crocodile. In the water you'll encounter dolphin playing and manatee slowly swimming in search of food. You'll see roseate spoonbill, egret and perhaps even a Great White Heron stalking prey along the banks. Up in the air or in the trees you'll see anhinga, hawk and ibis.

Florida Bay Withi Mangrove Islands in Background

Mangroves Islands Dot Florida Bay
Photo Mirsal Ennaime on Flickr

Many of the fish live and breed in the mangroves and the pockets of hardwood hammocks and islands that pop up throughout the water. Pink shrimp and gray snapper are just two species that start their lives off in Florida Bay before migrating off to other areas.

When fishing Florida Bay, plan on sport fishing for barracuda, shark, and snook which often are foraging in the stumps of the mangroves. Snook are particularly delicious and are an incredibly feisty fish, often compared to bass. When fighting them along the banks however, make sure they don't get your line hung up in the stumps.

Permit are one of the hardest fighters you'll find when fishing Florida Bay. They are best caught with crab as bait, but you can occasionally snag one with a fly, as long as it's in a crab pattern. The true test of a fly angler's skill is catching a permit on a fly.

Other plentiful and worthy opponents are tarpon, saltwater trout, mangrove snapper, bonefish, redfish, and shark.

Florida Bay

Beautiful Florida Bay
Photo Moni3, and Flickr

Of course shark will pretty much take anything you throw their way especially if it's alive or just recently been so. If you catch a 150 pound shark on a fly, you'll definitely get more of a thrill then you bargained for.

No fish likes to be caught, and this is particularly obvious when you hook a shark. They get rather angry and will put up one heck of a fight. You'll need to be prepared, and don't trust them even when they're tired, because they'll still bite.

Common Florida Bay Fishing Techniques

Fishing Florida Bay is good all year due to the strong selection of different Florida fish species favoring different temperatures. When it's cooler you'll catch needlefish, when it's warmer tarpon, bonefish and permit pick up.

This also means you have the opportunity to try different methods of sport fishing. Since the waters are shallow, typically you'll sight fish for them. However to see what's in the water, you're going to need to bring your polarized sunglasses. Your level of success is directly dependent on your ability to see well.

One of the best ways to learn how to fish these waters is by going out with any of the Florida Keys fishing guides. They know the hot spots that will produce the best fishing results. They also carry the necessary licensing and all the fishing tackle and equipment you'll need.

Here's a couple Florida Keys fishing charters available through FishingBookero that spend a lot of their time fishing Florida Bay as well as the Everglades.

FishingBooker makes choosing a charter incredibly easy as they have a vast variety of search criteria so you can drill down to exactly what you want.

For this reason I've chosen to work with them as an affiliate. Also, so you're fully aware, as an affiliate of FishingBooker, if you click a link to a charter, book it and go on it, I stand to earn a small commission. The charter does not cost you any more booking here than if you'd booked elsewhere as this is what being an "affiliate" means.

The following table breaks the Florida Keys down by area, so you can then select where you will be vacationing and then pick a fishing charter for the area that meets your needs.

As A FishingBooker Affiliate I Can Earn Small
Booking Commissions At No Extra Cost To You

Florida Keys Fishing Charters By Area

Select Types Of Fish To Target
Pick Where You Want To Go
Select Choice Of Tackle
Get Rates!

When fishing Florida Bay you'll typically go out in a shallow draft skiff. Usually you'll sight fish for your intended target, and you'll find that the need to be stealthy in these shallow waters is critical.

Florida Keys fishing guides will carefully and quietly maneuver their skiff through the grassy areas, and around stumps using a pole. This gives them better control and helps avoid scaring off the skittish fish.

From the skiff you can fly fish, which is a favorite technique that can make the Florida Keys fishing trip more challenging, but also very rewarding. However, you'll also have great success if you decide to spin cast using live bait such as shrimp, crab or lures.

Flyfishing for Bonefish

Fishing For Bonefish, FKNMS

After a day fishing the calm waters of Florida Bay and the Everglades you're sure to come back with a great story. You'll also have a freshly caught dinner or even a potential wall trophy to mount and show off back home.

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Local Weather Zip Codes

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