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Travels in Fishing

- Miami Beach, FL -

Chicken or Jack?

January 7, 2009

Joe’s Stone Crabs is South Beach: every sort of person – passing $100 bills to the maitre d’ (who declines them, saying, “only if you enjoyed your meal.”) to your trailer park night out. What I had to invent a word for: ana-demographic; there was just no “group”.

Fishing, however, is nowhere near as varied. I have now visited three times this year. A cold month (January), a windy month (March) and a rainy month (April). Using artificial lures (including FishBites squid, crab, clam, and bloodworms) I caught the trash of the sea: lizard fish, blue grunts – the bluegills of salt water – and puffer fish.

While most recommend frozen shrimp, I caught nothing on anything shrimp-like. Squid did well, but one family ran a clinic on catching snapper with cut-up herring. One lady just leaned over the railing at Bill Baggs (see below) and caught 4-5 right under her feet.

Fishing Miami Beach is exasperating. Calling the tourist office, one is told all fishing is prohibited. Walking the causeways one almost believes it. Even the pier at the newly refurbished South Pointe Park is locked.

Two little pocket parks worth fishing:

Island View Park, just east of the Venetian Causeway on Purdy Avenue. Take the South Local (Circulator) Bus to the second Publix and you are a block and a half away. Do not fish the wooden dock as you will lose 1/3 to ½ your lures to obstructions; move down to the Police dock.

At the west end of 14th St at Bay Road, there is a park with a 200 yard wall; it’s 2 blocks from the Flamingo.

So here is the list. Includes only sites that allow fishing; never really got down to Key Biscayne.

Bal Harbour Beach

Long concrete pier on a jetty with lots of boat traffic, strong currents, and guaranteed snags. Seems most people are there to catch grunts or ballyhoos for night fishing. Saw a Sabiki rig fill a bucket with ballyhoos.

Better bet is to continue on Collins toward Haulover and turn left at kite market and fish the Bay. At least we saw fish so close we could smack them with our rodtips, but just not bite.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

About a half-mile walk from parking lot to pier. Snappers were the poisson du jour last time we were there – on herring bits.

Haulover Beach Park

See Bal Harbour above.

Miami Beach – North

Says fishing, but did not see any place to fish.

South Pointe Park

Cannot fish from pier! Must fish from jetty that is so close to the pier you are guaranteed snags. Again, mostly grunts, some snappers.

We took a head boat out one day, which, again, was a bit of a disappointment, except for learning so much from the other fishermen on board. A jack rig (for ballyhoo) is a hook with 2-3 trailer hooks daisy-chained through the bait; a chicken rig is like a Sabiki for big fish. Still can’t figure out how he linked three sets of hooks together – almost like a three-bait drop-shot rig. Still I did catch the biggest fish of the day: a remora … I am such a sucker spending money on fishing …

There are no fish here!
Contact: Buzz Andrews
Bluffton, SC

©tfci, inc. 2009

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