Ever been to the Florida Bay. If you want the best of shallow water fishing, you can not afford to miss this natural fishermans paradise. Most of Florida Bay is considered part of the Everglades National Park. As such, it combines fresh water from the Everglades with the salty brine from the Gulf of Mexico, working together to provide some of the best fishing around. This estuary winds its winning way through hundreds of small islands. The shallow water fish you are likely to come across includes snook, redfish, snapper and tarpon. Not to mention the abundant variety of wildlife, such as alligators, turtles and birds. But what about the boats necessary for such pleasure trips. Flats fishing, as it is also called, requires special shallow water boat called a skiff. These boats are specially designed to be wide and stable, affording sportsmen the opportunity to fish in water as shallow as three feet. When you can actually SEE the fish you are after, it really adds to the experience. Even the shallow water anchors are unique, you will see hydraulic power poles which can hold the boat steady in up to 8 feet of water, or simple manual poles which can also be used as a push pole, to maneuver skillfully around the banks, and in the shallower waters. With a boat and a guide, you can explore Florida Bay, and go after such prizes as the afore mentioned tarpon, trout, snapper and redfish. These fish can be bigger than expected. For example, tarpon can get up to 40 or 50 pounds. Florida Bay offers the experience of taking fishing boats through miles of interlocking basins, most of which are barely three feet deep. While the fun of floating along and taking in sights such as hawks, herons and egrets is undeniable, at some point all you want is to sink that shallow water anchor and get down to business. If you brought a guide along who knows shallow water fish, he can explain how factors as tide, water temperature and wind speed can affect your chances at landing a big one.
» version 1.1 - posted on 2009-01-01