So last year I took a little road trip with my brother to Miami. It was late in Spring and they were having some unusually rainy weather, which made the water quality not as clear as we would like for sight fishing, but we still managed to find some fish. My brother decided to take HWY 27 from Clermont all the way down, and we stopped at different places along the way to see what we could catch.
At one of the first canals we came to, on the west side of Okeechobee, Peter took the first of the invasive species. Of course I caught a bass, which I could have stayed home for, but old habits are hard to break, and at least I wasn’t skunked. That was on a Producto buzz shad with an Owner, belly weighted hook.
Once we hit the South side of the lake it was time to eat, and there was a great little Mexican restaurant, called Taqueria Jalapeno. Very busy place with nice people, and while we were waiting for our meal they brought us out some really good soup that had some tripe and what I think was Chorizo. The chimichangas and Tortas were excellent; both were carne asada style and perfect.
From there we went into Miami so we could check into our hotel. There are canals everywhere down there, so if you come down and don’t bring at least a travel rod with you, then I don’t know that you’re the kind of person I would want to associate with. The weather was rainy, cloudy, and the fish seemed off the bite, but we pulled out google maps and started looking for any place we could pull over and take a cast. We brought Rooster tails, small traps, Husky jerks and an assortment of jigs. In this one industrial area I managed my first Mayan, after hooking a Jack Crevalle, a Snook and watching a Basilisk and some Manatees go by.
Peter caught an Oscar there, and the place was loaded with Iguanas. Every time we moved a little further down, 2 or three would go racing for the water.
The Peacocks were not cooperating, but I finally found a place I could sight fish enough to see that they were following and occasionally swiping, so I irritated them till they took my jerk bait. Yes, I know the sign says no fishing, but where I walked in at there was no sign, and Pete thought it would make for a good pic though. It’s sad how many of these signs are up everywhere now; when we were kids we fished everywhere.
The food scene is great in South Florida as well. So many Cuban, Asian and Island flavored offerings, mixed with the local seafood and fruit, fantastic. Some places I recommend: La Camaronera Seafood Joint and Fish Market. I love the snapper sandwiches here and one of the only places I enjoy Calamari. They know how to prepare fish.
La Coriana had some great Venezuelan dishes and if you’re one of those gluten free types they make a sandwich there using plantains instead of bread. Really good and filling.
We also did some Cuban ham croquettes and fish with plantains and rice at Las Vegas restaurant. Also, right across the street from La Camaronera is a great cup of coffee and really good Pupusas at Mi Ranchito Salvadoreno.
I love it down there, so much ground to cover and I wish we would have had more time to do some herping, well, maybe next time.