Alex Tejeda first explored Biscayne Bay as a child fishing with his grandfather. When he discovered kayak fishing, an opportunity opened to target bonefish, tarpon and permit on the flats. Today, he guides clients and educates the next generation of flats fishermen.
Miami is a melting pot of Latin-American food, art, music and culture. The sunny metropolis, home to more than 2.7 million people, hosts world-class offshore, inshore and freshwater fishing.
With the signature high rise skyline looming in the background and Brickell City and downtown in the foreground, Miami’s metro area may not seem like the picturesque place to catch snook, bonefish, tarpon, permit and other inshore trophies, but hot summers and mild winters make fishing as diverse as the city’s culture.
Alex Tejada www.bonecollectorkayakfishing.com
Crook and Crook has a family atmosphere and ego-free advice on the best locations and lures. www.crookandcrook.com
Coconut Grove has nice hotels at a reasonable price. Restaurants and nightlife are walking distance from the hotels.
Drop off the dirty fishing clothes and get a bite at Mary’s Coin Laundry and Cafeteria, one of the best Cuban sandwiches in town. For breakfast, Coral Bagel, on the way to Key Biscayne, is cheap, delicious and a good place to spot local celebrities.
The big three: bonefish, permit, tarpon patrol the clear, green water.
With water temperatures rising into the upper 70s, and air temperatures still below 90, spring is the best time to find fish on the flats.
For bonefish, choose a medium-action, seven-foot rod paired with a 2500 reel spooled with eight-pound braided line and a five-foot fluorocarbon leader. Attach a No. 4 J-hook and split shot sinker to the leader. Bonefish are suckers for a live shrimp. Permit like a small, live crab.
Use a medium-heavy, seven-foot rod and 4000 reel filled with 15-pound braid and a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. A No. 5 J-hook holds the crab. Tarpon tackle is a heavy-action, seven-foot rod and 4000 reel packed with 30-pound braid and 40-pound fluorocarbon leader. Slide a live shrimp or crab on a 5/0 circle hook.
Sneak up on these wary predators. A lightweight push pole will silently propel the kayak across the shallow flats. Use binoculars to search the flats for tail wakes and current breaks.
Sleep in and start the day with a hearty breakfast. Ten minutes from downtown, Key Biscayne is an easy gateway to world-class fishing. Launch at Hobie Beach and look for broken bottom flats mixed with hard marbled bottom and patches of grass. Focus on channel edges through the high tide. Stay on the move, tarpon, bonefish and permit are always searching for a meal. Be sure to look behind as you pole across the flats, predators will often follow the mud trail.
More information: www.myfwc.com
Backyard bonefish. | Featured Photo: Jason Arnold