June is just a few days away, and the Tarpon Fishing trips are going too be Good!!! If you haven’t caught the Silver King yet June and July are your chance to tangle with this beast from the sea. Tarpon fishing charters during June and July are only full day charters. Permit fishing will also be good for any angler looking to catch one of these trophy fish.
The flats are really coming to life in north Pinellas County. Our main focus this time of year is spotted sea trout, though redfish are cooperating and schooling a bit. Snook are also responding to the warm weather, occasionally eating on the falling…
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.
Description: greenish gray on back, shading to silvery sides; fish in dark waters showing gold on throat, pelvic, and anal fins; deep flattened body with small mouth; no scutes; 22 to 27 soft dorsal rays; 20 to 23 soft anal rays; origin of anal fin slightly behind origin of second dorsal.
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.
We take fishing regulations seriously because we’re committed to conservation. It’s important to know and respect the local fishing regulations to help protect and sustain the fisheries. At best, it’s good sportsmanship. At worst, being unfamiliar is a prescription for fines and penalties. We must all do our small part in protecting the fisheries for future generations to come. Please learn more about Florida fishing regulations and how to acquire your fishing license.
Further defining the proximity variables, a recent trip with Capt. Chuck Rogers of Tampa found us hovering under the Gandy and pulling a few mangrove snapper from the pilings. When the action slowed, we moved outside and did the anchor-and-chum routine. Rogers noted the wisdom of fanning a bridge section to locate the sweet spot. Once we dialed in the spot, several keeper mangos hit the ice.
Is one better than the other? Absolutely not. Some people prefer to be close to land while others love seeing 360 degrees of horizon around them. Preference plays a huge part, but it’s just one of many.
My intent was to offer the kind of service that I would expect from a top quality, professional, guide. I would cater my trips to the age and skill level of those on my boat to maximize my customer’s enjoyment. Most importantly, I would let my passion and intensity for catching fish show each and every time on the water. My commitment is to provide all of my customers with this type of experience.
Even if there is a good reason why Snook and Redfish make it to the top of your angler’s list, you simply cannot miss the opportunity to catch Trout, one of the tastiest fish. Those shallow flats inhabitants are easy to catch and make great table fare, just like Sheepshead and the bottom-hugging flatfish Flounder. Flounder can be found relatively close to the shore, hiding in the sand of moving waters around passes and inlets. Off the shore, you can find them near reefs and shipwrecks. Nibblers Sheepshead also hang out there. You can always count on Sheepshead bite during the winter!
Explore Tampa Bay’s magnificent waterworld and watershed with Bay Soundings, a resource covering Florida’s largest open-water estuary. Bay Soundings chronicles the news and issues affecting the bay, while profiling the people, places and creatures that make it so compelling.
“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.”
The snook (aka Linesider) might be more of a Florida inshore fish, but it certainly deserves a place in the ultimate inshore fishing guide because it is one of the most popular saltwater game fish in the “Fishing Capital of the World”.
Although readily available year round, spring thru fall gives anglers the best chance to limit out on Snook. Their metabolism tends to slow down significantly during the cooler months. While they’ll still blast your plug every now and again, winter is typically better spent pursuing other species (see above!)
At the end of the day, fishing in Tampa Bay is always more than just the sum of its parts. The bay supports a vibrant ecosystem abundant with wildlife, endemic species and all sorts of unique natural wonders.
Cpt Steve is friendly, kind and experienced. He’ll put you right on the fish and makes the trip enjoyable regardless of the catches. Great for couples, families or friends. Caight redfish, snook, catfish, trout, ladyfish and an awesome kack crevalle in just half a day….More
When you purchase ShippingPass you don’t have to worry about minimum order requirements or shipping distance. No matter how small the order or how far it needs to go, ShippingPass provides unlimited nationwide shipping. If you need to return or exchange an item you can send it back at no cost or take it to your neighborhood store.
Over the years Steve stalked the many varieties of fish expanding his knowledge of Tampa Bay. With more than 25 years of saltwater fishing experience tucked into his tackle box he began his career doing full time Fishing charters in Tampa Bay.
Military Gold Sportsman’s License (includes Saltwater Fishing, Hunting and Freshwater Fishing licenses; and Snook, Lobster, Wildlife Management Area, Archery, Muzzleloading Gun, Crossbow, Deer, Turkey, and Florida Waterfowl permits) (sold only at collector’s office) (not available as 5-year) (only available to resident retired, and resident active duty, military)
Reel Water Charters Offers both Inshore Fishing & Tarpon Fishing Charters in and around the Tampa Bay, and St. Petersburg area. Covering the West central section including St. Pete Beach, Ft. Desoto, Treasure Island Beach, Anna Maria, Tampa,Fl., and the surrounding areas. Captain Kyle Nifong’s knowledge of the surrounding waters is the key to finding the fish that you desire to catch.