top of page

South Florida Bank Fishing: A Hidden Treasure

Most people do not know this, but bank fishing in South Florida can be just as prolific as fishing from a boat! The man-made canals of coastal southeast Florida are part of an extensive, interconnecting network of canals that were primarily constructed in the early 1900s for drainage, flood protection, and water storage purposes. These canals have much subsurface water and ground water flowing into them creating high water clarity and high levels of oxygenation. The resulting ecosystem makes for an incredible habitat for sport fish and all the associated food sources that they chase!

For these reasons the canals make excellent bank fishing, all of which typically have very easy access along their entire length. Easily accessible with our big wheeled fishing cart, carrying all of our gear, equipment, and supplies, we can move around quickly and easily fishing a lot of different areas along the waterway, providing almost unlimited opportunities to catch fish. One aspect of these canals are the spillway systems the state of Florida uses to control water flow and prevent flooding. I also focus on fishing the spillways because when they run them it let's a large amount of water dumping into the canals, churning up bait fish and other food sources that make the sport fish we're targeting go crazy! It's like ringing the dinner bell! The trick is timing when these spillways will open, which typically occurs after a noticeable amount of rainfall occurs in a short period of time. It's not uncommon to see saltwater fish like snook and tarpon make their way up the canals, as they do eventually connect to the brackish waterways and ocean that are nearby. These trophy sportfish wander up these canals to feed and avoid predators, which don't typically exist in these areas. Some of the biggest fish we've caught are in these small canals, in and around the spillways, even when they're not running. The fish congregate near these easy food sources.

In our area, some of the best baits to use are live shiners and swim baits. The canals are filled with all species of baitfish and other food sources, so pitching these style of baits, either live shiners or they're imitating artificial baits (swimbaits on a minnow jig head are my favorites) you will have big explosive strikes, so be ready! I like doing this style of fishing because I can catch all types of sportfish along the bank with little effort. Species of sportfish in these canals include largemouth bass, snook, tarpon, gar, catfish, and sleepers. Now, I also have to mention all of the exotic invasive species that are a lot of fun to catch too. These include Mayan Cichlids, peacock bass, tilapia, snakeheads, and others!

We've also seen an immense amount of wildlife along these canals as we fish, including the endangered manatees that swim up the canals from the ocean to calf and raise their offspring. Deer, snakes, waterfowl, alligators, turtles, and wide variety of herons, warblers, cranes, and songbirds are many of the other species of wild life we encounter. These canals and waterways not only offer incredible fishing but an experience to be out in nature among the wildlife that also frequents these areas! It's truly an amazing time of both fishing and adventuring in the wild, but close to home with the feel of being far away in the wilderness!

For these reasons it's incredible to fish these hidden treasures of South Florida that were originally developed for flood protection and water movement, but have now also become a wildlife sanctuary and fishing haven!

Finding the access and location of these spillways is incredibly easy with a little effort, as the FWC provides great details and layouts of all the canals, as they highly encourage the fishing and exploring of these waterways.

Get down here and experience these hidden treasures and enjoy the great outdoors!


About Us


Join Jameson and Jaxson, two adventurous brothers who are embarking on an incredible journey through the untamed wonders of nature. Their passion for wildlife, photography, and exploration has led them to discover new animals, capture breathtaking moments, and share their extraordinary experiences with the world.

bottom of page