Miami Tarpon

(954) 894-9865,

I specialize in guided fishing charters on the South Florida waters of Miami and Biscayne Bay. This inshore and Flats fishing puts you in a relaxing environment of protected waters of Miami Beach and Key Biscayne. So if you are tired of inhaling diesel fumes, getting beat up by rough seas, or just get sea sick, I offer a great alternative to the offshore fishing where you can still catch big game fish. Fish inshore Miami or fish the calm shallow waters of Biscayne Bay.

This is a brief description of some of the fish that can be caught while on a flats fishing charter from Miami and Biscayne bay and fishing from Flamingo (everglades National park)


Tarpon are found on the inshore waters of Miami, off of Miami beach. And all throughout Biscayne bay.

Tarpon can be found all year long but the best time for them is March through July.

Tarpon love to eat shrimp and crabs. But can also be caught on pinfish mullet cut bait. Tarpon also take a fly very well and the best time to get a tarpon from Miami is to fish at night. When the shrimp and crabs are running. I get tarpon of all sizes while fishing Miami. You can get baby tarpon in the 15 to 25 lb range.

But most of the tarpon I get while fishing Miami average 60 to 120 lbs. Tarpon are known best for there spectacular jumps and hard fighting.

Bone fish

Bone fish can be found year round in Biscayne bay and Miami. Biscayne bay bonefish run much larger then they do in the rest of the world. The average Biscayne bonefish runs 6 to 8 lbs and bonefish of 9 to 12 lbs are common. They can be caught on shrimp or crabs, and also can be caught on a fly rod. A bonefish has a long strong run and is pound fro pound the strongest fish that swims the waters of Biscayne bay. Bonefish are sight fished where you hunt for them in the clear shallow water of Biscayne bay. The trick to catching a bonefish is to make a accurate cast of a shrimp or fly without spooking them. Another way to get Biscayne bonefish is to chum for them. This brings the bonefish to you and some days it works very well.


Permit can be caught while fishing Miami but most of the permit fishing is in Biscayne bay. Permit like to cruise the deeper edges of flats and along the coral reef that grow in Biscayne bay. Permit are a real sucker for a well presented crab you can sight fish for permit and they can be found in large schools of up to a 100 permit in them. Most of the permit of Biscayne bay run from 15 to 25 lbs. and can get up to 50 lbs.

One of the biggest challenges in fly fishing is to get a permit on fly.


Barracuda are found inshore and offshore of Miami and all throughout the flats of Biscayne bay. The barracuda is one of the most underrated fish in Miami and Biscayne bay. They have lighting fast strikes are also great jumper and will take a top water lure. Barracuda come in all sizes from little 1 lb barracuda to some monsters in the 30lb class. My favorite ways to get them is by making long casts with a top water plug like a zarra spook or a tube lure, on a 8 to 10 lb spinning rod and reel it back very fast you can see the barracuda following the lure before they crash it. When you hook a 3 to 4 foot barracuda in just a couple feet of water on a top water lure and light tackle it’s just great fun.

Bull shark

Bull sharks can be found inshore and offshore of Miami. Bull sharks also can be found in the deep channels that cut through the flats of Biscayne bay. This is the only shark that can swim into pure fresh water. When fishing miami for bull sharks they run very large with mast of them in the 6 to 10 feet long range and weighing several hundred pounds. Bull sharks have been know for feeding on just about anything. I’ve had some very big bull sharks eat the tarpon that weighed over a 100 pounds we have hooked up. Bull sharks have attacked more humans than all the sharks put together. They are Big strong sharks and it can take over a hour to bring one in.

Lemon sharks

Lemon sharks are found throughout the flats of Biscayne bay. These sharks like to prowl the shallow water looking for a injured fish or anything that the lemon shark can catch. Lemon sharks hunt in 1 to 3 feet of water and can get over 7 feet long. It’s amazing to see these sharks cruising in and circling around your bait then taking it . The first run of a lemon shark is long and fast. But most of them are pretty well spent and usually take about 15 minutes to land.

Spinner sharks

Spinner sharks also known as black tip sharks. These are the coolest sharks found in miami and Biscayne bay. When you hook one of these sharks they can jump very high and during the jump they will be spinning. I’ve seen spinner sharks jump as high as 8 feet out of the water and you could not possibly count how many revolutions it make while in the air. They have a pretty copper colored skin that when the sun hits them right

Just lights up. Spinner sharks will run you all over the boat . And we hook spinner sharks some times while fishing for barracuda. It’s well worth the price of the lure just to see one of these sharks run down and crash a top water lure.

Hammerhead sharks

Hammerhead sharks can be found inshore miami offshore miami and throughout Biscayne bay. Juvenile hammerhead sharks grow up in Biscayne bay. They can be found ranging from 4 feet to 12 feet and I’ve seen some that would go 15 feet long and weighing about a thousand pounds. These sharks cover lots of water and are hard to find on a consistent basis. But anytime your sharks fishing miami or shark fishing Biscayne bay you can come across one of these sharks.

Bonnet head sharks

Bonnet head sharks can be found throughout the flats of Biscayne bay. They are the smaller cousin of the hammerhead shark. Bonnet head sharks average 3 to 4 feet long and a four foot bonnet head shark is as big as these sharks get. Bonnet head sharks love to eat shrimp and crabs and can be caught on light spinning gear. They are a cool looking shark and great fun for kids to catch. And they are small enough to bring aboard and safely study and the release unharmed.

Nurse sharks

The nurse shark is the Homer Simpson of the shark family. They will eat anything maybe a doughnut. There are day that you can beat them in the head with a stick and they are just going to eat your bait. Nurse sharks run from 4 to 10 feet long and are found all throughout Biscayne bay.

Mutton snapper

Mutton snapper can be found inshore and offshore fishing Miami and all throughout Biscayne bay.

Mutton snapper range from one pound to as big as 15 pounds. Mutton snapper is a very sought after fish in miami. Because It’s is one of the best eating snappers.

Mangrove snapper

Mangrove snapper can be found everywhere throughout miami and Biscayne bay . The mangrove snapper is Fished by most all of the boat fishing miami and fishing Biscayne bay. Mangrove snapper do not get very large running from six inches to four pounds. They can be found around inshore docks seawall any bottom structure bridge pilings and channels or coral reef.

Lady fish

Lady fish can be found most often in the inshore waters of Miami and throughout Biscayne bay. Ladyfish are related to tarpon but they don’t get much larger than four pounds. But there is no lack of excitement when you hook one . Lady fish jump all over the place run you around the boat and will eat anything that moves. Lady fish are a very under rated fish and are lots of fun on light spinning tackle and fly rod.

Blue fish

Bluefish are found during the winter months in miami and Biscayne bay. This is a schooling fish that sometimes in mixed in with ladyfish and blue runners. The blue fish that you catch while fishing miami average around four pounds. Blue fish are a very aggressive fish that will attack anything the moves and can be caught on top water plugs light spinning gear and also while fly fishing.

Jack crevalle

Jack crevalle can be caught while fishing miami and Biscayne bay. Jack crevalle come in all sizes most of the jack I get average from one to five pounds. And I come across big schools of large jack moving very fast up and down miami beach and the ocean side flats of Biscayne bay. Most of the jacks run around twenty to twenty five pounds.

Yellow jack

Yellow jack are mainly found around the flats and channels that run through Biscayne bay.
They are a very pretty fish that is a strong fighter. They can be caught while fishing top water lures for barracuda they also love shrimp and crabs. Yellow jacks are the only fish in the jack family that is good eating. Yellow jack run on the large side in Biscayne bay and average four to twelve pounds and can get as large as twenty five pounds.

Red Grouper

Red grouper are found in the deepest area of Miami and Biscayne. Red grouper like the deepest main channel running through miami called government cut. And can be found around the soft and hard coral reefs throughout Biscayne bay. Red grouper get a lot of fishing pressure most of the boats fishing miami and Biscayne bay are trying to catch red grouper.

Gag grouper

Gag grouper also found in Miami’s government cut and through out the deeper channels and coral reefs found in Biscayne bay. Gag grouper are good eating fish. Gag grouper are very strong and will try to run back in the reek or rock to beak you off.


Snook can be found through out the inshore area’s of Miami and in Biscayne bay. The best fishing for snook is in flamingo everglades national park. Snook will strike all kinds of lures and baits and flies. They love to hang around dock piling bridge piling and mangroves. They can be difficult to get them away from the structure that you hook them from. Snook are a strong fighting fish that runs for cover or jumps to try to get away. Snook is a good eating fish.


Redfish can be found in Biscayne bay along the western shore line. But the best red fishing is in flamingo in the everglades national park. Redfish can be caught on all types of lures jigs and flies. You can find redfish high up in some of the shallowest water in flamingo on the florida bay side or in some of the deep channels during cold front and winter time.

Sea trout

Sea trout can be caught while fishing inshore Miami. And in parts of Biscayne bay. Most of the sea trout I get are caught while fishing flamingo the everglades national park. Sea trout average around 14 to 20 inches. And a 24 inch sea trout I a big for this species. Sea trout are a lot of fun on light tackle, one of the best ways to get sea trout is with a shrimp and a popping cork. The cork make the sound of fish feeding on the surface and when the trout investigates it see’s the shrimp and down goes the cork.

Goliath Grouper

Goliath grouper also known as a jewfish are found the backcountry waters of flamingo the everglades national park. You can find goliath grouper on either side of flamingo the Florida bay side or the whitewater bay side of flamingo. Goliath grouper like to sit in deep holes and wait fro something to swim by and then they just come up and swallow it whole. Goliath grouper can reach 800 lbs and are considered mature at 400 lbs. I’ve seen goliath grouper eat four foot barracuda whole and swallow 25 lb permit. In 1990 a harvest ban was placed on this species. And it has recovered.

Black Drum

Black Drum are cousins of the red fish. And can be found in the back country waters of flamingo. (everglades National park) The black drum is a true bottom feeder that likes to poke around the deep muddy hole in flamingo. Using its sense of smell and its whiskers to actually taste the bottom in search of food. They average two to six pounds And I caught them up to twenty five pounds.

Spanish Mackerel

Spanish mackerel can be found inshore of Miami and fishing off Miami beach. Spanish mackerel are a winter and spring time fish. Spanish mackerel love to chase fast moving shinny lures and flies. Spanish mackerel average two to four pounds. Lots of fun on light sport fishing tackle and while fly fishing.

And also make a great shark bait.


Cobia are found while fishing Miami Beach. And some come inshore in Biscayne bay. The best fishing for cobia is done from Flamingo everglades national park. They love to hang around structure. Like offshore wrecks and channel and boundary markers. Cobia also love to follow manta rays in the spring time. Cobia are a great eating fish that averages ten to fifty pounds. My best cobia came from government cut in Miami and weigh in at seventy two pounds.

If you're in Miami or Fort Lauderdale and you would like to get out on a sport fishing charter, try some flats fishing or some inshore fishing in Miami. Give me a call. I will do my best to hook you up to the fish of your dreams.

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Captain Doug Lillard
Phone: (954) 894-9865