Information Central (c) Larry Larsen
ANGLER'S GUIDE TO
TAMIAMI CANAL (C-4)
Courtesy Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
801 NW 40th Street, Boca Raton, Florida 33431
DESCRIPTION--Tamiami Canal (C-4) is located in Miami-Dade County. It drains eastward from Water Conservation Area III past Miami
International Airport to a non-navigable salinity control structure that prevents saltwater intrusion from the Atlantic Ocean. Tamiami Canal provides excellent freshwater fishing in more
than 27 miles of boat accessible canals and small lakes. The canal ranges from 40 to over 100 feet in width, averages about eight feet deep, and some lakes are more than 50 feet deep.
The lakes near Miami International Airport are often noisy and congested on weekends, but this area can be avoided
by traveling west. From the boat ramp, it is 3.0 miles to the entrance of the Coral Gables Canal, 4.8 miles to the
lateral canal connecting to McDonald Lake, and 7.6 miles to the intersection with Snapper Creek(immediately east of
the Turnpike Extension). The non-navigable flood control structure on Tamiami Canal near Krome Avenue is
approximately 13 miles from the boat ramp. The combination of Tamiami and Snapper Creek canal systems provide urban anglers more than 43 miles of exciting fishing opportunities. For help with flights, or hotels in the area, click here
BOAT RAMP DIRECTIONS--The only public boat ramp is located in Antonio Maceo Park. This park is open from dawn to
dusk, and is operated by the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department. The two-lane ramp is paved and in
excellent condition. The park has picnic tables, grills, a playground, and a paved parking area, but there are no
restrooms. Note: Manatees are quite common, so be careful boating and watch for posted regulations. To reach the
boat ramp, take the Turnpike Extension or I-95 to Hwy 836 (Dolphin Expressway). Take Hwy 836 east from the
Turnpike or west from I-95 to Red Road (NW 57th Avenue). Go south on Red Road about 0.5 miles to NW 7th Street,
east (left) 0.6 miles to NW 51st Avenue, and Antonio Maceo Park is on the left side just before NW 51st Avenue. ramp.
Note: Anglers, particularly those from outside the metropolitan Miami - West Palm Beach area, should be aware that
vandalism occurs at some boat ramps. Therefore, care should be taken to secure your vehicle and keep valuables out of sight or take them with you when you leave the ramp.
GENERAL FISHING INFORMATION--Tamiami Canal offers some of the most exciting and varied canal fishing in all of
southeast Florida. Several anglers have reported canal 'trifecta' or 'grand slam' catches of butterfly peacock and
largemouth bass topped-off with a snook or even a tarpon. The butterfly peacock is a world renown gamefish that
was successfully introduced in the mid-1980s by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to eat
undesirable exotic fishes, and to provide more sportfishing for anglers in the metropolitan Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area.
Fallen trees, canal intersections, sharp bends, and dead ends are generally productive areas for catching most
species of fish. Sportfishes also congregate in the shade of bridges, culverts, and other structures. Shoreline
vegetation, rip-rap, and even some residential seawalls (particularly in lateral canals) also provide good fishing
opportunities. If there is a strong current in the main canal, spend more time fishing lateral canals, small lakes, and
other areas that offer refuge from the current (e.g., cut-outs, bridge pilings, and the downstream side of spillways).
Tamiami Canal supports excellent populations of butterfly peacock and largemouth bass that average about 14 inches
(1.5 pounds), and nearly 50% of the harvestable butterfly peacock and 40% of the largemouth bass are larger than
this. The biggest butterfly peacock (10 pounds) ever confirmed in Florida came from this canal. The bag limit for
butterfly peacock is two fish per day, only one of which can be greater than 17 inches. Fishing for butterfly peacock is
usually best from March through May, but they are caught consistently throughout the year. Butterfly peacock feed
only during daylight and normally close to shore, although schooling peacocks will sometimes feed aggressively in open water
Butterfly peacock are more likely to be caught using live fish for bait than are largemouth bass, which make them an
excellent fish for younger anglers, as well as those just learning to bass fish. Live fish such as small golden shiners
purchased at local tackle shops, are the best overall bait for both butterfly peacock and largemouth bass. For those
who enjoy fishing with artificial lures, just about any fast moving minnow imitating plug or fly can be used to entice a
peacock. Tamiami and other area canals receive a great deal of fishing pressure so we encourage anglers to release most, if not all of the butterfly peacock they catch.