“You have to be patient,” Chiem said. “You can catch fish out here, grouper, snapper, mackerel. People don’t think you can catch grouper out here but you can. You just have to know what you’re doing and be patient.”
First up on the list, Spotted Seatrout is quite likely the most abundant sport fish in all of Tampa Bay. Not unlike Redfish, Trout is great to eat and can be found rummaging the shallow flats all throughout the year. They also like drifting to deeper waters (up to 15ft) during the cooler months.
Raising Seatrout is made easy with greenback or shrimp, although they’ll typically jump on any well-presented bait. According to the FWC, keepers must be more than 15 and less than 20 inches in total length. There is a daily bag limit of 6 per harvester.
Florida residents fishing for saltwater species from the shore or from a structure fixed to shore are required to have a shoreline fishing license. The annual resident shoreline fishing license is now free. Those who obtain the license over the phone or off the internet will have to pay a convenience fee of less than $5. Resident anglers may consider purchasing a $17.00 one-year saltwater license which covers both shoreline and watercraft recreational fishing.
I have used the australian army ration pack spoon as a lure and have caught barramundi, saratoga, spanish mackeral, mangrove jack, G.T. , queenfish, cobia and school mackeral with it. Not many of each species, and this has been over the last 25 years. Always when the bite is on, it has a golden shine at first, but after a while it becomes a dull silver. Thats when it gets replaced with a new one
Salt rapidly accelerates the corrosion process, and the resulting rust can dramatically weaken anything metallic that it comes in contact with, including your reel and attached hardware as well as the line guides on your fishing rod. The good news is that it can be easily avoided by simply washing down your rod and reel with fresh water from your garden hose every time that you return from fishing in saltwater. Spraying your reel afterward with a silicon-based lubricant like WD-40 will also help greatly in extending the life of your gear. Saltwater tackle is generally somewhat sturdier than gear that was designed for use in freshwater, but you must still do your part in order to keep it functional.
Watch Your Leader – If you’re using a leader then it’s important to keep an eye on the knot area of where your line is tied to your leader. This area and about a foot or two above it tends to get damaged pretty quickly, especially if you’re surf fishing. You’ll want to cut off any bad or frayed areas and retie your leader. Don’t lose a big monster catch because you were too lazy to check your leader knot. And also make sure to use a quality leader, we recommend the Seaguar Blue Label Fluorocarbon Leader.
Built for the anglers fishing from New England south through Long Island and the Jersey Coast, Teramar ‘Northeast’ rods have features, lengths and actions perfectly suited for the rugged North Eastern seaboard. The series includes seven spinning rods, offered in 6’6″, 7′ and 7’6″ lengths, with line ratings from 8 to 30 pound PowerPro braid.
Once new saltwater anglers get their sea legs, they can begin to explore other options like drifting inshore in a small skiff, fishing on a party boat, kayak fishing or even eventually heading offshore to battle big tuna or marlin. A whole new world awaits them.
NOTE: Many marine species are managed on a coast-wide basis with seasons and limits required by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Those regulations must then be approved by our state’s Marine Fisheries Council. The Council usually addresses these issues at their March meeting with the management measures becoming effective in mid- to late April or early May. The Marine Digest is normally published in May; the 2017 edition will be available in July. Regulations remain in effect until changed.
I have previously been with Capt Steve of Tampa Flats and Bay Fishing Charters on several inshore trips in Tampa Bay targeting Snook, Redfish, Trout, Mackerel, and Mangrove Snapper. This time we went to the Gulf to target Kingfish and Grouper. It was a beautiful…More
Tampa Bay during the spring time will still see those tailing Red’s in the flats, but with the of big Red’s throw in the mix. Catching Snook becomes more common, and Seatrout will still be lurking actively in the grass flats. Also, Cobia will begin to appear during the migration.
I really enjoyed reading this article! Great photos! I had no idea that Tampa offered such great fishing. I have been to Tampa hundreds of times, but I haven’t fished there once. I will definitely put it on my list of things to do for next time I visit.
Do you have a great catch photo? Email it to [email protected] or send an Instagram photo to #tbgreatcatch and we’ll add it to our gallery at tampabay.com/sports. Please include your name, telephone number and where and when the fish was caught.
Like reefs, bridges offer abundant opportunity with lots of room for personal style. However, unlike their submerged counterparts, bridges are easy to locate and you rarely have to worry about finding dive flags on your spot.
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So we put this video together to show exactly how to spool a spinning reel with braided line like a pro because the last thing you want to do is spool your spinning reel up the wrong way and get wind knots.
Shallow Point Charters offers guided fishing charters that target Tarpon, Snook, Snapper, Redfish, Sharks, Grouper, and much more! Come join us for Tampa Bay inshore fishing charters, Tampa Bay deep sea fishing, guided fly fishing, flats fishing and a host of other specialty fishing charters. All of our charter fishing trips are private and offer anglers an opportunity to target seasonal species that call the waters that surround Tampa Bay home.
Anglers may take two red snapper daily from Gulf waters during the open season; however, the captain and crew of for-hire vessels in the Gulf may not keep the recreational bag limit. The minimum size limit for recreational red snapper in the Gulf is 16 inches total length.
Thinner braided lines tend to cast easier and farther than most monofilaments. The only drawback is that braided line usually requires a leader in order to achieve optimum performance. But no matter what type line you select, this best types of leaders to use are ones made from fluorocarbon, which becomes virtually invisible to fish once it has been submerged.
For more information about charter fishing Tampa Bay, fishing St. Pete Beach, or Clearwater fishing charters or to request more information on arranging a fishing charter Tampa area, follow the links above.
Offshore fishing charters typically depart from St Petersburg and Clearwater. These trips offer a unique opportunity to leave the coastline behind and explore the notorious Gulf of Mexico. Game fish aplenty in the waters of the Gulf, with its countless wrecks, reefs, ledges, hard bottoms and copious weed lines.
2 At Madeira Beach, “The hogfish bite is still going strong despite the full moon from a depth of 40-60 feet. Deeper offshore, the tuna are thick, but it’s been difficult getting to them with the weather. The snapper bite has been good. The moon has the fish on the move and the good weather has them chewing,” reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947).
Captain Matt is the man!!! Truely a savy fisherman and a pioneer poon killa (always catch & release). He’s the only man to be out on the waters of Tampa bay with. If you are lucky enough to make time to fish, he’s the guy you want to guide your adventure. No question!!! See you in may Matt! Can’t wait!-Bradley W Vetter
To get the most out of Snook fishing in Tampa Bay, you’ll want to target the beaches, residential docks and mangrove shorelines. Stocking the livewell with pilchards or scaled sardines (their favorite) is always a good choice. If you prefer artificials, plugs and jigs typically do the job just as well.
The Hillsborough River is a time-tested producer along with surrounding ship basins. The mud flats at St. Pete Clearwater Airport are also fairly good. Fishing the deep flats at MacDill Air Force Base, Mermaid Point and Apollo Beach are all good choices, too.
Snook clearly represent the class of the inshore game fish. Their speed, strong runs and occasional jumps make them the fish of choice for many Florida anglers. Snook are available year round; however the cooler, winter water temperatures slow their metabolisms significantly and make them a difficult target during our coldest months. A wide range of artificial and natural baits can be used to catch snook. The most commonly used method is live baiting with scaled sardines or “whitebait”. However, be sure to review all current fishing regulations before keeping any Snook as this species is heavily protected. Spring and fall fishing typically takes place along inshore structure…river mouths, mangrove shorelines and residential docks. Come late spring, fish move out to the beaches, gather in larger groups and can be caught in greater numbers. During the hottest months of summer, fish tends to feed best during low light periods and at night.
All together, Tampa Bay Charter’s fishing captains have nearly 90 years of not just local fishing experience but actual CHARTER FISHING experience in Tampa Bay! And, all of the listed captains have been fishing Tampa Bay waters well before deciding to guide others to these exciting sport fish. These years of experience make a huge difference in you having a successful and exciting Tampa Bay fishing charter. Tampa Bay Charter captains are all independent owner/operators and don’t work on or run someone else’s boat. They’re in the business of keeping their clients on the fish and having happy repeat clients for years to come. While fishing with your captain, you’ll benefit from him networking with other captains on the water to assure you’ll be where the bite is on and rods are bent…
Remarks: spawns primarily in summer; cannot tolerate water temperatures below 60 degrees F; can tolerate wholly fresh or saltwater; schools along shore and in passes during spawning season; feeds on fish and large crustaceans.
Speckled Sea Trout will show up in good numbers as we get through the holidays. The cooler water temps will attract the larger “gator” trout to the shallower grass flats during the warmer parts of the day. My favorite places to target are sandy “potholes” that are peppered throughout any productive area. The nice thing about trout is they will generally take an artificial lure sometimes just as good as live bait. First thing in the morning, I like throwing top water plugs and as the sun comes up I will switch to soft plastics. One of my favorite surface baits is a Zara Spook in the “bone/white” color. On the colder days, a live shrimp will do the trick. Try using a Cajun Thunder Back Bay popping cork if they fish are not active. The sound produced by the popping cork really gets them hunting for the bait. The size limit for Speckled Sea Trout is 15” min, and the bag limit is 4 per person with only 1 fish measuring over 20”.
Home of the Costa Saltwater Fishing Community. Stay up-to-date with our pros, events, and all things saltwater fishing. Fishing is the lifeblood of Costa. It drives our passion for the water, inspires adventures and stokes our spirit to See What’s Out There. Built by fishermen, for fishermen, Costa sunglasses are designed as a tool to help anglers see more of their adventures and catch more fish. It’s not just a job, it’s our passion.
Booked a 7a-11a trip with Captain Anthony. We arrived at 6:40 and he had his boat in the water and was all set to go. Anthony is very friendly and easy to talk to. He put us over a reef where we caught silver trout and some sea bass. He then took us to some vacant docks where we caught sea trout, pinfish, ladyfish, and multiple sheepshead. Fun trip, will hope to book another trip in the future.
Bait has made its way into the bay and the fish have been eating sardines with violent strikes. Look deep for bait, most of it has been in 20-plus feet of water. A little knowledge of how to read a bottom machine will help you secure the prized sardi…