List of Lists!

by: Jim Sawyer

This is an area for local fishing and boating information.



Top 5

Piers: How to reach deeper water without a boat.

Juno Beach Fishing Pier: A1A at Juno Beach Park, 561/799-0185. Notes: Opened 01/15/99, 990' with 72' Tee, fee, 2 shade areas, B&T, restrooms at park, there are limestone formations on each side of the pier between the shade structures to attract bait.

Lake Worth Municipal Pier: A1A, Lake Worth, 407/582-9002. Notes: 960', fee, B&T, restaurant, some shade, guarded beach, close to the gulf stream.

Deerfield Beach International Pier: 200 NE 21st Ave., Deerfield Beach, 954/426-9206. Notes: 920', fee, B&T, guarded beach.

Pompano Fishing Pier/Fisherman's Warf: 222 Pompano Beach Blvd., Pompano Beach, 954/943-1488. Notes: 1,080', fee, B&T, some shade, restaurant, guarded beach.

Anglin's Fishing Pier: Commercial Blvd. at the Ocean, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, 954/491-9403. Notes: 875', fee, B&T, guarded beach.

Dania Pier: 300 N. Beach Rd., Dania, 954/927-0640. Notes: 922', fee, B&T, guarded beach.

Newport Fishing Pier: 16701 Collins Ave., North Miami Beach, 305/949-1300. Notes: 918'(?), fee, B&T, some shade, guarded beach.

Haulover Fishing Pier: Destroyed by hurricane Andrew.

I strongly suggest calling these piers before your visit to check on hours, fees, parking, special rules, current conditions, etc. Details seem to change so rapidly that most published lists are outdated about the time they are printed.

Here is a great site for additional information: Florida Salt Water Fishermen - Piers,
or more general information at Fishingpiers.com.

Catches for SE Florida Piers and Inlets

All Year


jack crevalle

spanish mackerel

yellowtail snapper




king mackerel



king mackerel





cero mackerel

king mackerel

mangrove snapper








Inlets: Where the deep water comes to you.

Jupiter Inlet: South jetty, Jupiter Beach Park, A1A to Jupiter Beach Rd. to Ocean Trail.

Lake Worth Inlet: North jetty accessible from the beach.

Boynton Inlet: North & South Jetty, Ocean Inlet Park, A1A.

Boca Raton Inlet: South jetty, South Inlet Park, A1A.

Hillsboro Inlet: South jetty, parking at A1A bridge or walk up the beach.

Port Everglades: South jetty, John Lloyd Park, A1A. North jetty accessible by a long walk on the beach.

Haulover Inlet: North jetty, Haulover Beach Park, A1A. South jetty is paved with parking under the A1A bridge.

Government Cut: North jetty, wooden pier, South Point Park, south end of Washington Ave., Miami Beach.

Please remember that all jetties can be extremely dangerous in bad weather.


Fish that Bite Back

Anyone who has ever caught a barracuda is bound to have noticed their impressive mouth full of sharp pointed teeth. Never put your fingers anywhere near a cuda's mouth, but also, do not insert them too far inside the gills where less visible slicing teeth are located just inside the jaw. Barracuda are also well known for their acrobatic leaps of up to 20 feet in the air. If a jumping cuda lands in the boat give him plenty of room and proceed with due caution.
Blue fish have sharp teeth and are programed to bite at everything. A towel or gloves can be used to get a firm grip on his body.
Catfish are slimy, won't hold still and have sharp dorsal & pectoral spines that can inflict painful, venomous wounds that often become infected. Use a rag or gloves and a lot of care when handling.
Cobia are remarkably strong and are known to become violent at the boat. There are 8-10 sharp stiff spines just ahead of the dorsal fin which can produce serious puncture wounds. If you are keeping the fish; gaff him, hang on tight and swing him directly into the fish box. You can remove the hook later.
Dolphin are not usually considered  an inshore species, but if you do catch a large one it should be handled similarly to a cobia.
Big grouper tend to be powerful, rough fish. Strong crushers in the throat, spines on the back and rough gill plates mean you should be sure he is more tired than you are before inviting him aboard.
Jack Crevalle have a small cutting projection near the anus. Paralyze the fish by grabbing behind the head and pinching the black spots.
Leatherjacks or skipjacks are small silvery jacks that often hit small baits. Small spines located ahead of the dorsal and anal fins can cause intense pain.
Mackerel have a long thin slippery body that can be hard to control and a mouth full of sharp teeth. A towel or gloves can improve your grip, but keepers over 10 pounds should probably be gaffed.
Redfish have sharp gill rakers and strong crushers in the mouth that can make them hard on your hands. Grab the fish behind the head or by the tail.
The words "Shark" and "Bite" just seem to go together. A shark's teeth are serrated like a steak knife and multiple rows are located in a wide powerful jaw. Since his skeleton is cartilage, instead of bone, he can bend his head back to his tail to bite the hand that holds him. Even a small shark, or a normally docile species like the nurse shark, can inflict a serious wound if miss-handled. The rough skin of a large thrashing shark can also do serious damage to a fisherman or his boat. Sharks pose an additional threat when landing or releasing other species so keep a sharp eye out for trouble whenever reaching overboard. Large sharks should never be brought inside the boat and remember that even "dead" sharks have been known to bite.
Snappers have their name for a reason. They have sharp canine teeth in a strong jaw that snaps shut like a steel trap. Sharp spines along the back make the belly the best area to hold.
Snook have a small, but extremely sharp cutter blade on the side of their gill covers. While they have teeth, most small snook can be lipped. Many guides prefer to lift a snook from the water with a hand placed under its belly. Gloves, or even a lip gaff are suggested with fish over 20 pounds.
Spotted seatrout have sharp canine teeth, but not overly powerful jaws. Their bite may be painful, but not usually dangerous.
Tarpon are large, powerful and can jump with their entire body out of the water. If that jump ends with the tarpon in your boat in can be very dangerous and destructive.  A large tarpon should never be brought "green" to the boat, but tired out (not exhausted) first. Small tarpon can be lipped, but gloves or a lip gaff  are recommended for fish over 30-40 pounds. If you ever feed the tarpon at Robbies in the Keys you will see signs warning that a tarpon's mouth is both rough and strong.
Wahoo are not usually not caught inshore, but if encountered, treat like a cobia with teeth.

The most dangerous part of many fish will be the set of treble hooks hanging from the lure in their mouth. A sudden leap or thrashing can cause you to become as securely caught as your prey. Removing hooks from your anatomy is always painful and the experience is not made any better when you are sharing it with a large fish fighting for his life.

Whenever landing any fish, take a minute to plan your next move, look around to make sure the area is clear and see that any tools you need are close to hand.

And some "not-quite" fish

Crabs don't bite, they pinch. Some pinch just a little while others will break the skin, if not the bone, of a careless finger. The edge of a crab's shell can also be sharp enough to cut or puncture. Always grab from the rear and heavy gloves can be a good idea. You may also want to break off or crush at least the small bottom pincer of the claws.
Jellyfish / Portuguese Man of War have stinging cells containing toxin in their tentacles that can cause a reaction ranging from a mild rash to severe pain. Allergic responses are also possible and can be life threatening. Contact with jelly fish or their tentacles should be avoided in the water or on the beach.
Sea urchins are small balls on the bottom with sharp brittle spines that can penetrate a wading fisherman's shoe and /or foot. The spines usually break off in the foot and may have to be removed by surgery.
Stingrays like to bury themselves in the mud and have a sharp, rough spine on their tail that they will use defensively if stepped on. The wound is very painful and should be treated by a doctor. When wading, slide or shuffle your feet forward on the bottom rather then lifting them in a normal walking manner. Shoes or "divers' booties" are a good idea.

When in doubt, "Caution" is always a good plan.

This list was brought to you courtesy of Hurricane Georges on 9/25/98

If you would like some other things to worry about, check out "Quickie" Scuba Medicine.
Here is some more info on jellyfish "Medicine Planet: Swimming With Jellyfish" from ABC News.
For stingray wounds read "Stingray Envenomations" from eMedicine.com

South Florida Canals and Structures

All of the fresh waters from Kissimmee to Florida Bay, including the rivers and canals of Palm Beach, Broward and Dade Counties, are part of the South Florida Water Management District. Some of the most important information when fishing for largemouth or peacock bass in these areas are the water levels and current flows in the canals. If you follow the links for Recreational Maps you will find a link to a map of the "SFWMD Canals and Structures, 1.4 MB pdf". This will show you a map of the entire system with the location and name of all of the water control structures including pumps, locks, spillways, weirs and gated culverts. Then if you go back to the main page and follow the links to Technical Data you will find a link for "Real-time Data" that will take you to a database of the current status at these structures. If the gates are open or the pumps are pumping you can assume that there will be water flowing and fish biting. (BTW, the spillways closest to the intracoastal will often have snook and small tarpon along with the bass.)

Gadgets: Some useful toys.

I am planning a section on Gadgets for inshore fishermen and boaters. Until then, here are few items to get you started.

GPS: I have a Garmin Model 12 handheld GPS which is one of my favorite gadgets. It can be a lot of fun or a lot of help depending on the situation. I can probably find my way to "Grandma's House" without it, but I always have it on when I start exploring the backcountry around the 10,000 islands. Just don't get too dependent on them. You should still be able to find your way home even after the batteries die or the unit gets dropped overboard.

I recently posted the GPS waypoints file for Garmin/Waypoint+ users sf-ramps.wpt. It contains waypoints for all of the ramps and uses the same names as the list.

PDA: How is your short-term memory? Do you carry around a day planner, pocket calendar, ToDo list, address book, or all of the above? Never have the one you need with you? You need to take a look at one of the new Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) or Handheld computers. Some of them are expensive and they all have their limitations, but the newer units offer pretty good function for the dollar.

Palm Model III's and V's are showing up regularly at work and I recently purchased a Handspring Visor. These use the Palm OS as opposed to Microsoft's Windows CE or other operating systems. While primarily for work, I do get to play a little on weekends.

One great piece of software is the Tide Tool from Walt Bilofsky. Tide, Current, Sun and Moon information for 1500 places from 1990 to 2032 and all for free.

While there is tons of freeware and shareware available for the palms, one application I want to add is a good database. Two of the best appear to be HanDBase and Think DB. While experimenting with the HanDBase demo I created the Inshore Fishing-Log to test the DB-Popup and Link functions. While not up to Walt's standards, you are welcome to download a copy and try it for your self. You will need to install HanDB Demo or Full on your PDA to use it and with the online documentation you should be able to modify it for your own needs. Let me know what you think. (Trip-log is the main file.)

Another advantage of the PDA is that you can carry around information from your desktop PC or even the internet. One of my favorites has been AvantGo which allows you to automatically download updated pages from the web. I have added links to several of my favorite fishing reports from Cyberangler and Florida Sportsman to review while planning the next trip. AdvantGo is a free service.

Drop a line at webmaster@inshore.com if you want to make any suggestions for the Gadgets section.

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Last modified on 08/25/02.