If your dream day on the water is casting to and hooking a giant 100lb. + tarpon, or watching a big snook blast a live bait out of the water under the mangroves? Or, maybe stalking redfish in the gin clear grassflats of the gulf or plugging the flats with topwater lures or throwing jigs for large gator trout. Or, possibly slipping over the side of the boat and wading to of these species in an attempt to sneak up and hook one of our Tampa Bay gamefish while being ultra-close! Or, the ultimate way to beat the heat and book a night trip in the search of feeding snook in the docklights or bridge tarpon at night. These are all different scenarios that play out year after year while fishing Tampa Bay area. Many of my Tampa Bay fishing charters see us catching more than a dozen different species in just a four hour fishing charter! We can fish St. Pete Beach in the mornings for spanish and king mackerel, sharks, cobia, snapper, grouper, and then turn around and fish the Tampa Bay flats for snook, tarpon, redfish, trout, flounder, jack crevalle, and more. All within a few miles and minutes of each other. There’s a lot of exciting options for fishing the Tampa Bay area and I can help you discover them.
Also, you can’t go wrong by working near baitfish schools. When food abounds, someone with an appetite will find it, so work your baits into the natural food chain. While you’re at it, don’t hesitate to catch some of the local forage and float them in clear vulnerability on the outskirts of the school and along the bridge’s shadowline.
The best time to fish for snook is the beginning of spring through early summer. Canals, small, deep channels and lighted docks draw in snook to feed. Huge numbers of large fish are taken from the Port Manatee channel in Tampa Bay.
Stretching out at around 400 square miles, Tampa Bay is the largest open water estuary system in the state of Florida. It is also considered one of the world’s most productive natural ecosystems. This is due to the fact that this type of estuary is one where saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico and freshwater feeds from all along the coast mix. It is here where several species of gamefish, baitfish, and crustaceans spend their critical stages of development protected from larger open water predators.
However, these grounds are home to much more than just the traditional heavy-hitters. The local species also include Trout, Jack Crevalle, Grouper, Snapper, Cobia, Lady Fish, Mackerel, Flounder, and a variety of sharks. All of these and many more call Tampa Bay their home throughout different parts of the year.
Clearwater beach area we have been targeting Snook, Redfish, and Trout and the action has been consistent with a few snook being caught, tons of trout, and good numbers of Redfish! We have typically been targeting snook in the early moring before the water gets to hot, then moving on to the trout and redfish depending on the tides.
And Pinellas County doesn’t have a monopoly on piers. In south Tampa, Picnic Island and Ballast Point fishing piers can be hot spots. The Ballast Point pier reaches far out into Tampa Bay. With a picturesque view of the downtown Tampa skyline, it has plenty of room for anglers.
7: At St. Petersburg, good numbers of bluefish have been feeding on trout in lower Tampa Bay. There’s a few redfish around the oyster bars near channels that dump water off the flats. Snook are moving into the backcountry, residential canals, and up the rivers and creeks. The trout bite is very good coming off the full moon and will only get better with the cold front. The sheepshead bite is also picking up as they continue to show themselves in greater numbers. Rock piles along the coast, in Tampa Bay, and around the Gandy and Howard Frankland Bridges are good areas to target, reports Capt. Ray Markham of Backwater Promotions (941-723-2655).
Be it Tampa, St Pete, Clearwater, Bradenton or Sarasota, there’s no shortage of hotspots that fish well throughout the calendar year. Here, we’ll cover some of the area’s most popular species and dominant fishing techniques. We also might just give you a reason or two to put Tampa Bay fishing at the top of this year’s bucket list.
Tampa Bay has an overall average depth of 12 feet, but this is broken up by huge natural grass flats for prime sight fishing opportunities, as well as deeper channels that house much larger inshore gamefish.
Wonderful day fishing with Captain Steve! He is a great guide and was extremely patient with my 6 year old. It was definitely worth the drive from VA! We had an amazing time and we are already looking forward to doing it again! Will absolutely…More
Recreational fishermen usually fish either from a boat or from a shoreline or river bank. When fishing from a boat, or fishing vessel, most fishing techniques can be used, from nets to fish traps, but some form of angling is by far the most common. Compared to fishing from the land, fishing from a boat allows more access to different fishing grounds and different species of fish.