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Myakka River

Charlotte County, Florida.

Myakka River midpoint in North Port, Florida.

Myakka River ends in Port Charlotte, Florida.

67.67 miles long (108.90 kilometers)

383039.39 miles (616442.33 sq kilometers)

About The Myakka River

About Myakka River, FL

Hidden in Florida’s mid-section is the outstanding wild river known as the Myakka River. Though considered undeveloped, the Myakka River offers one of the most spectacular sceneries in the whole of Florida. 

The 72-mile long river arises near the Hardee-Manatee county line. It then flows southwest, then southeast through Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties which then continues to Charlotte Harbor, an arm of the Gulf of Mexico. The river has a drainage basin of 314.7 square miles.

History has it that Pleistocene mammals were the first denizens of this region. A wide variety of these mammals roamed throughout the Myakka Valley region. These species include mammoths, mastodons, saber-tooth, and the like. Today, the river is known to be reminiscent of what early Native Americans and Spanish explorers witnessed as it flows through a vast expanse of unspoiled prairies, hammocks, and wetlands. 

Myakka River Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Myakka River, FL

The Myakka River is divided into three parts. The Upper Myakka starts as a small, swampy stream in the wild. The whole area is dissected by creek channels, gator holes, wetland, and sloughs. This part of the river is shallow and sandy. It is very braided with lots of off-channel pools and oxbows in low water. Because of this, angling in this location is mostly accessible by boats. Crossing downstream, the river becomes fairly defined, though still very shallow. This environment in the upper Myakka is perfect for species like gar, bluefish, brown hoplo catfish, walking catfish, and Japanese weather loaches to thrive.  Just below this portion of the river is Crane Park which provides you better access for decent angling. One can land on spotted sunfish, redear sunfish, warmouth, and big blue tilapia.

The Middle Myakka has several wide spots. One of which is the Upper Myakka Lake. This is an artificial impoundment accessible by canoes, which you can rent at the south end of the lake. Shore fishing right in this area of the water allows you to land on some channel catfish, largemouth bass, and black crappies. One can also interact along with the inevitable gar, bluegills, and stumpknockers.  

Lastly, the lower Myakka River begins to get more and more saltwater species that can tolerate freshwater, especially during winter. Topwater fishing in this area is notable. An angler can target some tarpon, gar, largemouth bass, tilapia, and a variety of panfish. However, these species become fewer and fewer in number as you head downstream. Other saltwater fish that call the lower Myakka home are redfish, jacks, sea trout, ladyfish, striped mojarra, mullet, and flounder. This portion of the river is truly a mixed bag of salt and freshwater species combined together.

Myakka River Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

Anglers can fish in the Myakka River any time of the year, including winters. However, if you are in the area, might as well visit the days when your target species are in their peak season. 

In summers, when the water level is up, angling for bass, breams, and crappie in the lake is quite productive. If you wish to target some snook, these species are available year-round, though very popular and abundant in winters. Tarpons are also available year-round, however the best time to target these are in the months of May and August as they migrate in great numbers. 

Fishing in the Myakka River requires a fishing license for both Florida residents and visitors, though licenses are provided if you take a charter.

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality

Anglers can fish in the Myakka River any time of the year, including winters. However, if you are in the area, might as well visit the days when your target species are in their peak season. 

In summers, when the water level is up, angling for bass, breams, and crappie in the lake is quite productive. If you wish to target some snook, these species are available year-round, though very popular and abundant in winters. Tarpons are also available year-round, however the best time to target these are in the months of May and August as they migrate in great numbers. 

Fishing in the Myakka River requires a fishing license for both Florida residents and visitors, though licenses are provided if you take a charter.

Myakka River Fish Species

All About Fishing in Myakka River, FL

The Myakka River is divided into three parts. The Upper Myakka starts as a small, swampy stream in the wild. The whole area is dissected by creek channels, gator holes, wetland, and sloughs. This part of the river is shallow and sandy. It is very braided with lots of off-channel pools and oxbows in low water. Because of this, angling in this location is mostly accessible by boats. Crossing downstream, the river becomes fairly defined, though still very shallow. This environment in the upper Myakka is perfect for species like gar, bluefish, brown hoplo catfish, walking catfish, and Japanese weather loaches to thrive.  Just below this portion of the river is Crane Park which provides you better access for decent angling. One can land on spotted sunfish, redear sunfish, warmouth, and big blue tilapia.

The Middle Myakka has several wide spots. One of which is the Upper Myakka Lake. This is an artificial impoundment accessible by canoes, which you can rent at the south end of the lake. Shore fishing right in this area of the water allows you to land on some channel catfish, largemouth bass, and black crappies. One can also interact along with the inevitable gar, bluegills, and stumpknockers.  

Lastly, the lower Myakka River begins to get more and more saltwater species that can tolerate freshwater, especially during winter. Topwater fishing in this area is notable. An angler can target some tarpon, gar, largemouth bass, tilapia, and a variety of panfish. However, these species become fewer and fewer in number as you head downstream. Other saltwater fish that call the lower Myakka home are redfish, jacks, sea trout, ladyfish, striped mojarra, mullet, and flounder. This portion of the river is truly a mixed bag of salt and freshwater species combined together.

Redear Sunfish

Habitat: Lake, River, Pond, Streams

Weight: 0 - 5 Pounds

Length: 6" - 17"

Warmouth

Habitat: River, Lake, Swamp, Muddy, Vegetation

Weight: 1 - 2 Pounds

Length: 4" - 12"

Channel Catfish

Habitat: Rivers, Tidal Mouths, Bends, Wrecks

Weight: 2 - 4 Pounds

Length: 15" - 25"

Largemouth Bass

Habitat: Lake, Pond, Rivers

Weight: 2 - 22 Pounds

Length: 15" - 32"