Matheson Hammock Park
I snapped a photo of this fisherman handlining at dusk during high tide with low wind. A thunderstorm had just passed, so the air was slightly charged, but it was quite serene, like the sensation of post-coital release. You might even call it perfect.
Here you'd probably fetch some juvenile snapper because of the shallows and proximity to the mangrove that makes this an ideal fish nursery. All would have to be released because of size limits. I do fantasize of reeling in a big snook or feisty jack when I walk around here though. You need good shore casting skills to sink a lure into the deeper channels when the tide is low and the predator fish are feeding.
I fondly remember wade fishing with Sir Fish A Lot in this gem of a Miami-Dade park. There are crocodile warning signs on the flats, but as far as I know, no one has ever been seriously threatened by that amazing reptile. In fact, I'd be thrilled if I could actually spot one. I always have my camera phone ready, just in case.
I almost reluctantly post this because I don't want to give up my secret bliss. Matheson Hammock is one of the many reasons why I moved from South Beach back to the mainland. The tropical beauty of this public park is unparalleled in Miami-Dade.
I've seen dolphin around these waters as well and some very sexy kite surfers when the wind comes up to speed. I'm eternally grateful to William Lyman Phillips, the architect who designed this park as well as adjacent Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. His vision was to create a "wow" tropical landscape and thank heavens this part of the bay has not been populated by high rise condos. Even though it's not an island, it feels like one. Much more so than the beaches.