Best Fishing Spots in Miami To Explore This Fall
Apr 11, 2019 | 7 minute read
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Let’s cut straight to the chase. Today, we bring you the best fishing spots in Miami. We’ll talk about areas in Miami to fish in fall, inshore and offshore. You’ll learn what fish species you can catch where, and when. Get ready to take notes, because you’re in for some serious fishing business.

Best Fishing Spots in Miami: A group of anglers holding a Mahi Mahi with Miami cityscape in the background

What’s Miami fishing like in general?

Anyone who’s been fishing in Miami knows that you will see angling in all shapes and sizes here. Kayak fishing in Miami downtown, bridge fishing for Jacks, fishing from piers, beaches, around inlets, cuts, and creeks, inshore, around reefs, wrecks, and barges, and far offshore – and that’s just for starters.

How come there’s so much going on here?

Simply put, it’s geography that makes Miami so special.

The waters between the Miami mainland and Key Biscayne are shallow and productive. These waters are protected from the winds that blow from the Atlantic. Plus, there are numerous reefs and wrecks here where baitfish and gamefish can hide.

The Biscayne Bay is a productive fishing spot in its own right. There are numerous islands, bridge pylons, reefs, islets, jetties, channels, and flats here. Fish love these places as they can find shelter, spawning grounds, and a lot of food.

Biscayne Bay fishing spots

If you move south towards Key Largo, you will come across artificial reefs that fish well throughout the year. Yellowtail and Mutton Snapper, here we come!

Move out of the Biscayne Bay and into the Atlantic and the seafloor plummets deep, deep down. The Gulf Stream brings nutrients and baitfish, and so attracts a healthy stock of big game, of which Sailfish is the best known. All of this just three miles from dry land. Impressive, right?

A map of Miami fishing spots with a diagram showing depth and distance

So now that you know the basics of Miami fishing, let’s dive deeper. What follows is the rundown of some of the best Miami fishing spots during the fall.  

Miami Inshore: Tarpon and Snook around Bridges

Although there are a lot of species in the water, the fall months are best known for Tarpon, Permit, and Snook.

An angler holding Tarpon in the water off Miami

Fall months are an excellent time to catch Tarpon. Check out the flats and bridges, especially during the night.

They will hide around bridges, flats, and jetties and you can find them throughout the day.

Here’s where to look for fish in Miami during the fall. Please note that you should not use the following maps for navigation.

Government Cut

Government Cut is a man-made channel that separates Miami from Fisher Island. These waters are 25’ deep and hold plenty of “Silver Kings”.

Jacks and Permit show up on an incoming tide. Once hooked, they’ll make a run towards the seafloor, trying to cut your line on underwater ledges.

Government Cut Miami fishing spots

These waters are shallow and work well for first-time anglers. You can try sight casting and bottom fishing.

This rocky bottom hides Mangrove Snapper which weigh 12 lb on average. Their bite is especially strong on an outgoing tide, though they can surprise on high, incoming tide.

To make the most of your trip, fish the incoming tide, as the bite tends to be better.

What’s particularly great about this spot is that it’s quite literally within a stone’s throw of Miami downtown. You can come here right after work, fish with the Miami landscape behind you and catch a nice fish to take home.

A smiling angler holding a Permit with Miami cityscape in the background

Right now, fishing for Permit is outstanding. They’re not difficult to find, but put up helluva fight once they’re hooked.

Broad Causeway

Tarpon love to hide around bridge pilings. Fishing here at night can be especially productive as Tarpon go feeding.

Just south of Broad Causeway, you will find a number of grass flats and shallow spots where the fish will be hiding. For better chances of success, star by chumming, then switch to live bait.

Miami fishing spots: Broad Causeway

Grass flats and skinny waters, some just a couple of feet deep, are great for fly fishing and sight casting.

Julia Tuttle Causeway

The bridge on the Julia Tuttle Causeway is another great fishing spot for nighttime anglers. Drift fishing works well here. Look around the bridge pilings, that’s where Mutton Snapper, Tarpon, and Snook will be hiding. If there’s no wind, you can try fly fishing for Tarpon.

Julia Tuttle Causeway fishing spots

Intracoastal Waterway

As the temperatures start to drop and colder days set in, Mullet show up in inshore waters as Snook, Tarpon, and Jack chase them across the sheltered waterways. You’ll most likely reach your limit in no time as these fish swarm the shallow waters.

MacArthur Causeway

Move farther south, and you can fish the bridge on the MacArthur Causeway. Here you will find an excellent Tarpon bite, especially during the night. But, that’s not all. Ladyfish are another popular species to target here, as well as the occasional Snook.

Mac Arthur Causeway fishing spots

Look around bridge pilings for Tarpon and Snapper. Beware though – it can get really crowded around here. See all these tiny dots in the blue circle? Those are all boats either fishing or cruising around Miami.

Haulover Inlet

The waters off Baker Haulover Inlet are ripe with Jack Crevalle, Spanish Mackerel, and Mangrove and Yellowtail Snapper. These fisheries lie a short boat ride away from Haulover Beach Park. The ocean floor plummets down to 26 feet and makes for an excellent sight fishing spot.

A map showing Haulover Inlet fishing spots

Just a bit farther from the inlet and into the Atlantic, you’ll find a good number of Mackerel, Snapper, and Jacks. It’s a good spot for both trolling and bottom fishing.

Long Arsenicker Key

These reefs attract Bonefish, Mangrove and Yellowtail Snapper, Snook, and Sharks. Skimmer jigs and shrimp are your best choice for Bonefish. Fish the first hour of the incoming tide for good chances of a catch.

An angler holding a Bonefish while fishing on the flats in Miami

Come October, Bonefish will start showing up around the grass flats of the Biscayne Bay. You can catch them on the fly, or by using live shrimp and small crabs.

Big Game Fishing: Sailfish Bite

As the waters start to cool off, the big game bite starts to heat up. You can find a lot of Sailfish in the water, some of them just 2-3 miles from Miami Harbor. Moving farther offshore, towards ledges, reefs, and wrecks, you’ll find Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Amberjack, Snapper, and Grouper. Here’s a look at the best fishing spots for game fish.

Sailfish jumping out of the water after being hooked

Once hooked, Sailfish will put on a marvelous display of speed, stamina, and grace. The waters just out of Miami are filled with these predators. Most of the time, you’ll be able to see Miami downtown.

Bache Shoal Reef

Just a quick boat ride away from Miami Harbor, the Bache Shoal wreck is one of the premier diving locations. It also happens to be one of the best fishing spots in Miami, ideal for spearfishing and kite fishing. You can get Grouper and Snapper here, as well as Sailfish, King Mackerel, and the odd Mahi.

Miami fishing spots: Bache Shoal reef

Star Trek Reef

Another sunken freighter, this vessel attracts numerous critters and baitfish.

A map showing Star Trek Reef, a fishing spot in Miami

You’ll find rich marine life here, followed by some big Sailfish, Mahi, and Wahoo. On top of that, you’ll also find a good deal of Mutton and Vermillion Snapper.

Big game fishing in Miami: Anglers holding Mahi Mahi, Swordfish, Sailfish, and Yellowfin Tuna

The big game fishing in Miami in fall can be stunning. You can get Mahi Mahi, Swordfish, Blackfin Tuna, and Sailfish on almost any day.

Liberty Ship

The O.L. Bodenhamer is a sunken Liberty Ship that lies in the waters 370 feet deep.

A map showing Bodenhamer Liberty Ship fishing spot in Miami

This artificial reef is a favorite fishing spot among local anglers and provides a high number of Sailfish throughout the year. Some anglers have also managed to land Swordfish in these waters.

Two anglers with two Swordfish caught on their fishing trip in Miami

The fall months are the perfect time to target the biggest of predators – Swordfish. It’s not impossible to get two of these mighty fish on the same trip out of Miami.

So, let’s turn it back to you. Which of these spots did you fish before? How was the bite? What are your tips about fishing Miami in fall on lures/bait? Let us know in the comments below!

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