Spring-like conditions have fired up a bite that a couple of weeks ago was practically nonexistent. Water temperatures in the mid 70s have mangrove snapper, grouper, triggerfish and hogfish aggressively chewing again in the 40- to 50-foot range.With …

“It’s really relaxing to come out here and fish,” said Jamie Messina, 42, of Tampa. “It’s nice coming out here at night when the lights are on and you have the view of the city. You can catch jacks and angel fish. I’ve even seen some small hammerhead (sharks) caught here.”

We have just got our first cold front here in Florida as I write this report. Earlier this week leading up to the front we had some outstanding fishing for reds, trout and snook! I fished with a few different groups, and had a couple multi boat charters with Capt. Mike Cole,  and Capt.Ethan Kiburz.  Fishing out of Clearwater beach for most of my charter trips we targeted all three species fishing live baits around islands and docks inshore. We caught several redfish, snook, and trout all on light tackle spinning rods with 15lb test line. Tampa bay fishing was really good as well as we did a few days targeting snook in the back country waters in the bay to avoid the windy weather. Here’s some of the pic’s from this past week’s fishing trips.

Anglers can expect to target Florida’s most sought after inshore species of game fish: Snook, Redfish and Speckled Trout. Other species can be targeted too, though; Our Captains target Mangrove Snapper, Flounder, Spanish Mackerel, Sheepshead, Black Drum, Tripletail and Jack Crevalle. 

The Gulf of Mexico waters Tampa-side are home to some of the finest year-round fishing in the south. Hardly any angler could resist fishing in Tampa! The sugar sand beaches line countless miles of waterways, passes, open bays, acres of shallow grass flats, thousands of oyster bars, and dozens of rivers feeding into it. You instantly understand why Tampa fishing charters are so popular. This enormous natural estuary is one of the “Fishing capitals of the world”. But what makes fishing in Tampa so exciting?

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So, prepare yourself for the Tampa Fishing expedition of a lifetime! Using cutting-edge technology, a top-of-the-line fishing boat along with decades of experience and knowledge you’ll get the opportunity to experience fishing adventures and memories lasting a lifetime.

Sheepshead have already started to infiltrate the flats, shell bottom creeks, canals, and rivers. Most of the fish that we have been seeing are on the smaller side, but normally this means that the deeper rock piles and edges will be holding the big ones. The two locally known reefs, “Bahia Beach & Port Manatee” are great places to start looking for the bigger convicts. Deep water canals and bridges will also be holding them. Look for oysters or rocks and focus on fishing around structure. As far as the rig goes, I like about 24” of 15-20lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader paired with a No. 1 live bait hook. Depending on the depth and current, I will use Joyfish Split Shot weights to gently get the bait to the bottom. Live or cut pieces of Shrimp will work just fine, or if you can get some fiddler crabs they can’t resist them. The key to catching Sheepshead is “feeling” the bite. They are known for eating the bait right off the hook. Unless they are pretty excited, the bite is fairly soft and gentle. I always tell my clients, “If you think you got a bite, you did – Set the hook!” Once hooked, they are feisty fish and have tremendous power for their size. Sheepshead must be at least 12” total length to harvest, the bag limit is 15 per person, and they provide excellent table fair.

Great question. Because of the air and water temperatures, August is the worst month to fish. When the water is hot, the oxygen content of the water is low, making certain gamefish like Snook, Trout, and Redfish more difficult to catch. The following are a few tips you can use to increase your chances and find places that are more comfortable for the fish.

Fall in Tampa Bay will see the beginnings of Gator Trout, and will also offer another shot at big Redfish. Tailing Red’s will be found throughout the skinnies. Cobia will begin to increase action again on their return migration.

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.

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When George Poveromo brings his Salt Water Sportsman National Seminar Series to Riverview this weekend, he will be sharing some tricks of the trade. Host of George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing on the NBC Sports Network, the international angler will share the stage with some of Florida’s best captains. • But if you can’t wait to hear what this fishing great has to say, here are five tips from him that will not only work in the Gulf of Mexico but anywhere you travel in search of big fish:

9. Store the motor in an upright position in adry, well-ventilated area. Select an area with constant temperature to avoid corrosion caused by condensation. Do not store next to furnaces, heaters, etc.

Depending on the season, spring, winter, summer or fall you can expect to catch a wide variety of species with your Tampa Bay fishing guide Capt. Steve Betz on a 1/2, 3/4 or full day fishing charters out of Tampa, Fl.

There are plenty of captains willing to clean and fillet the fish for you following the trip. Unlike Tarpon, Reds make for a delicious table fare. In fact, many of the local restaurants will be more than happy to cook your catch. How’s that for a fresh lunch?

Identifying productive bridge spots is mostly trial and error, but a few criteria will help you judge a good one. Current always benefits fishing, as it pulls food sources past ambush points—usually on the downcurrent side of pilings.

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Offshore Hustler Fishing Charters, located in St. Petersburg, is a fishing charter service that specializes in light-tackle and heavy tackle fishing. Expeditions are suitable for people of all skill levels, from novices to advanced anglers. Staff members at Offshore Hustler Fishing Adventures specialize not just in leading the voyage, but in teaching aspiring anglers how to fish.

Fishing the local piers in Tampa Bay offers you easy access to some prime fishing. can get excellent advice about the types of rigs their hitting, baits and techniques from savvy fishermen familiar with the area. Black tip sharks, snook, cobia and big reds are all caught off local piers.

He is a professional with a client first focus- guest after guest on these charters has considered Captain Jason Dozier a lifelong friend by the time they step off the boat. He spends his time not only making sure your drag is screaming, but also showing you the tips and tricks of the trade. He can dive deep into things like lure and bait choice for the given conditions, knot tying, rigging, or any topic you wish to learn more about while on the water.

For a natural chum job, scrape the pilings to crush and release barnacles or mussels. The scent stimulates sheepshead, drum, redfish and pompano—all likely recipients of cut shrimp dropped into the scent zone on 1⁄4-ounce jigheads. (Light hooks and splitshots also work, but jigheads effect a more streamlined presentation that drops quicker in current without spooking fish.)