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Trip Report: 8-3-2021

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

I headed to the East coast of Florida Tuesday mostly hoping to hit the rivers looking for snook. I made it a couple miles up river using the outboard on my canoe only to find the trolling motor had shorted out or something...

This pretty much made me have to paddle all mangrove lines and a stealthy approach much more difficult. After a while of inactivity I saw storm clouds rolling in and decided my best odds of finding fish would be elsewhere.

On a whim I headed South to fish for clown knife fish... one of Florida's most unusual exotic species, its been a long time since I intentionally pursued them. I run a pretty continuous list of places to try fishing and keep them saved for when opportunity comes to scout new areas. I just love searching google maps for interesting looking areas and this day it was a good chance to see if a prospective area was holding clowns.

The area being a small canal off a main road meant easy access and paddling was more convenient than the tide driven river system I had been in. Still, I found for whatever reason the trolling motor decided to start working again when I got there... go figure.

Very quickly I caught a nice clown knife fish free lining a shiner - but it ended up being the only one of the day. I caught multiple bullhead catfish after that, and then some mystery creature kept removing just the head from all of my other shiners. Still, there were a lot of clown knife fish rolling in this spot, and it could be checked off the 'scout list' as a place to try again. I ended up once again being pushed out of the area by heavy rains and lightening.

clown knife fish from Palm Beach County Florida
Clown knife fish from a small roadside canal

Radar showed storm systems heading Northeast, so I decided to shoot down Southwest to another spot on the scout list - this time for snakeheads. I haven't had too much trouble finding snakeheads since moving to Florida - but I still just haven't found that one great spot where I can reliably catch quality sized fish...

The area I wanted to fish required me to park at a nearby business and tote the canoe across parking lots and over a chain linked fence then down a steep embankment into the canal. The area looked ripe for snakeheads... a lot of growth along the banks, lily pads, and still water. It produced bites quickly - but I found the area to be full of very small fish. Judging by all of the fishing lines and lures in the trees - it wasn't an unpressured area whatsoever. I managed only one quality sized snakehead... I don't think it was a spot I plan to return given the difficulty of getting into and the lack of quality fish.


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