Fishing is the second-most-popular sport in the U.S., and there are many parks in the Broward County system that have great fishing areas. (Applicable licenses are required.)
The following information about fishing in Broward County Parks comes from John Cimbaro, a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The Plantation Heritage Fish Management Area (in Plantation Heritage Park) has fair to good bream (bluegill and red ear sunfish) fishing, good bass fishing, and good catfishing.
There are three fish feeders on site, and near those feeders are the best locations to fish for the bream and catfish. Channel catfish are stocked annually (4,000 fish/year), and catfish up to 12.5 pounds have also been caught at Plantation Heritage. The area is also very scenic. Fishing is allowed from the shore only, not from any of the rental boats. Because it is a Fish Management Area, there are other restrictions as well, such as only one pole per person (even if you are using cane poles), and you must have a valid freshwater fishing license if you are older than 16 or under age 65.
T.Y. Park is not good for bream fishing but very good for bass fishing. The best fishing is from boats (boats are available for rent). C.B. Smith Park has fair bass, with exotic spotted tilapia and a growing population of peacock bass present. There are no longer boat rentals at the marina, but there are lots of areas for shoreline fishing. Quiet Waters Park has good bass fishing and good shoreline access, and is a fairly scenic location to fish. Boats and food concessions are available at the Lakeview Marina. You may bring your own electric trolling motor for use on the rowboats. Fishing is permitted along any shore except at the Splash Adventure swimming beach and the Ski Rixen USA lake.
For all-around fishing, a good setup is a #8 Aberdeen hook fished about three feet under a one-inch bobber. A small split shot near the hook will keep your bait down where the fish can spot it. Recommended baits include live worms, crickets, cut-up hot dogs, and dough balls. All these baits, especially the live worms, will catch most kinds of fish but are especially good for bream. Good lures for bream include tiny jigs, beetle spins, or spinners. For bass, use larger hooks (1/0 or larger). The best bass bait is live shiner. Good lures for bass include plastic worms (black works well most of the time), minnow imitating lures, and spinner baits. Good baits for catfish include chicken or beef liver and live worms (catfish rarely strike lures). Use 1/0 or larger hooks for catfish and fish on the bottom rather than using a bobber.
Here are some other Broward County parks that have fishing areas:
- Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome - Allowed along the back lake on the dock and west of the dock. No boats allowed.
- Deerfield Island - Primary locations are the marina and west of the picnic area on the Hillsboro Canal.
- Everglades Holiday Park - Fish from our docks or from a boat. Catch-and-release encouraged. State of Florida fishing licenses are required and are for sale on site.
- Hollywood North Beach Park - Fishing is allowed off all the fishing piers on the east side of the Intracoastal Waterway and from the park shorelines as well.
- Markham Park & Target Range - Several lakes and access to the levee leading to the Everglades through Markham Park are great for fishing as well. People also fish in the south and west canals that run along the two sides of the park.
- Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park - Fishing in the lake from shore only; no boat rentals.
- Tradewinds Park & Stables - Lots of shoreline fishing on both the north and the south sides of this park. Tradewinds is the best Broward County park for catching peacock bass, which are becoming more abundant on the south side of the park.
- Tree Tops Park - Fishing is allowed along lake banks.
- West Lake Park - Fishing is allowed from boats out on the waters of West Lake Park. A wide variety of saltwater species can be caught in West Lake, including snook, sheepshead, black drum, and mangrove snapper. In addition, fishing is allowed from all sides from the Sheridan Street bridge that crosses the lake and off the Fishing Trail boardwalk/fishing pier. Lastly, fishing is allowed from the South Trail into the Intracoastal Waterway along the path that goes under the west side of the Intracoastal bridge and continuing along the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway. The boats permitted in West Lake can't use fossil fuels - electric-powered or self-propelled boats only.
Fishing at Broward County Parks can be excellent even if you don't own a boat. Quiet Waters and T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) parks both rent boats that you can fish from for a minimal fee on weekends and holidays.
If you have your own boat, ramps are available at the following parks: Markham Park & Target Range, Tradewinds Park & Stables, and West Lake Park. Check out the comprehensive list of boat ramps in South Florida.
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