Biscayne Bay

Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Biscayne Bay ends in Miami, Florida.

347505770.48 miles (559256499.70 sq kilometers)

About The Biscayne Bay

About Biscayne Bay, FL

Biscayne Bay is an estuary located on the southeast coast of Florida. It extends to Miami in the northwest and Miami beach to the Northeast and is flanked by the northern Florida Keys on its eastern portion. The bulk of the bay lies within the boundaries of Biscayne National Park, a marine reserve known for its mangrove forests and coral reefs. Such aquatic plants comprise the habitats for various marine creatures in the area, including fish, shellfish, manatees, and sea turtles. The bay is also home to the Port of Miami (known colloquially as PortMiami), one of the largest ports in the world.

The bay’s name is of Spanish origin. It is said to have come from either the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean bordering the north of Spain; or a Spanish explorer named El Biscaino, who came from a province called Biscaya and crashed his ship on the bay in the 1500s.

Biscayne Bay Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Biscayne Bay

The shallow, clear, turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay attract many tourists, snorkelers, and anglers alike. Within these waters lie shipwrecks, mangrove forests, and a line of coral reefs that extends for miles and is responsible for supporting the bay’s marine life and biodiversity. Biscayne Bay is home to over 600 species of tropical fish, and some of Florida's most sought after game fish, such as bonefish, tarpon, redfish, snook, and permit. Many of these game fish feed on small crustaceans that occupy the sea bed and are also available for catching, such as mollusks, shrimp, and crabs. These shellfish carry the same risks as their counterparts in other bodies of water if consumed, such as foodborne illness and metal accumulation (e.g. mercury poisoning). While they mainly originate outside of Biscayne National Park, it is possible for certain amounts of mercury and other aquatic contaminants to make their way to the park.

To preserve its marine life and resources, there are strict regulations in place in certain areas of the bay. For instance, casting nets and collecting blue land crabs are prohibited at Convoy Point. Lobsters are up for grabs except at the five Coral Reef Protection Area, which have been marked by yellow buoys along their borders. 

Long Arsenicker Key is one of the five Arsenicker Keys, an island group located on the southern area of the bay in Miami-Dade County. The group is within the borders of Biscayne National Park. This inshore spot is abounding with bonefish, snook, and sharks. Another inshore location to put on your list is Julia Tuttle Causeway, an ideal spot for anglers that prefer night fishing. The most common species of fish you’ll find here include snook, tarpon, and Mutton Snapper. Make sure to bring a boat as these fish usually linger around pile bridges. For offshore fishing, you can take your boat to Liberty Ship. This location is so named because it is the site of the sunken O.L. Bodenhamer, a liberty ship that sank in 1976. The wreck attracts divers, anglers, and fish, with some anglers even catching swordfish and sailfish.

Biscayne Bay Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

A good way to tell what fish are in season is to find out what fishing tournaments are scheduled. The cold fronts from January to March will have permit, tarpon, and bonefish leaving flats for deeper waters. This is also the prime season for catching sailfish and kingfish. As the weather starts to warm in April, sought-after game fish species such as tarpon will head back to the flats. Prime season for catching tarpon is from April to July, and there are many tarpon tournaments in the Florida Keys to mark the occasion. July to September is permit season, and you can find them swimming in the flats throughout the day. Chances for catching bonefish during this season are best during the earlier and later parts of the day.

But if you’re looking to catch bonefish any time of the day, the fall and early winter months are your best bet. The higher