09 Sep Miami shark fishing
Shark fishing is one of the coolest and most exciting things to do while visiting Miami and the Florida keys. Sharks get constant attention in TV channels such as Discovery and National Geographic and without a doubt, are the most popular and widely known fish that live in the ocean. While some of these documentaries show some cool interesting stuff, many times they also create some misconceptions about sharks behavior, habits, whereabouts and customs.
When it comes to fishing, People have the wrong idea about sharks, often being labeled as man eating monster and dangerous offshore-deep water targets. Sharks are wonderful creatures, almost always accesible and willing to show you and your family a good time on the water.
Luckily, Miami and The Florida keys including the Everglades, rate among some of the best places in the world for shark fishing. I often get trip inquires and questions like:
I have always wanted to watch or catch a shark, Do we have to go far out?
Is the water too deep?
What about big waves?
I tend to get sea sick, could we stay near shore in shallow water?
Can we target big sharks?
Is it safe?
Do we have to go far to catch a real big one?
I’d like to catch small sharks for my kids, can we do that?
All these are usual questions that come mostly from people with little to no fishing experience. They can be tourists, visitors, outdoor lovers or fishing aficionados wishing to experience and learn something different. If you fall into any of those groups, shark fishing is for you. While you can certainly book a big yacht or boat to take you shark fishing in deep offshore waters, you don’t need to go that far to catch sharks while visiting south Florida and the keys.
We can find different species of sharks almost all over the coastal areas of south Florida, in water as shallow as one foot to several thousand feet offshore.
As inshore fishing guide, I focus on sharks species that inhabit the shallow areas of Biscayne bay, The Everglades and the Florida keys. Sharks can be targeted all year long, except when the weather gets too cold during the winter months, and they leave for deeper water. During any given day of the year with decent weather, we can can catch sharks species such as bonetheads, blacktips, lemons, nurses, tigers, hammerheads and bulls.
When I say “shallow areas” that means that we can catch any of these species from 1 to 20 feet of water. Calm water, no big waves, no sea sickness and no long boat rides.
As far as size, we can catch sharks ranging from 3lb to 100-300lb So don’t think that because we stay in shallow water we can’t hook into big animals. We can catch a wide variety of sharks in shallow-clam water, all within sight of the coast line, sometimes right next to it.
Sharks can provide lots of enjoyment for fishing enthusiasts, whether they have experience or not. They are powerful adversaries that make long and powerful-sustained runs and espectacular jumps when hooked. Spin tackle, conventional or flyfishing? Your call.
Sharks provide valuable learning opportunities to get you started in the fishing game. If you’re a seasoned fisherman, sharks are a great target when the weather or fishing conditions are not ideal for other “more glamorous” species. Also, if you have an interest in learning how to fight big fish on light tackle or even fly tackle, sharks are the perfect practice target.
If you want to show your kids a good time on the water, shark fishing is a great idea. I still haven’t met a kid that doesn’t love catching a mean looking toothy critter!
Be ready for a tug of war when you hook into one of these animals. Whether they weight 3 or 200lb they are a great contender at the end of a fishing line. Once you bring one to the boat, your guide will carefully manipulate the shark and will invite you to capture that memory forever on film. After caught and photographed, Every shark is carefully released to ensure their survival and future of our fishery.
Give shark fishing a try, you’ll be glad you did. Call me up and I’ll be more than happy to set up your trip.
Capt Alex Zapata
Flats fishing guide
IFFF certified fly casting instructor
Miami, Everglades and the keys