Tarpon fishing Tampa Bay-style is perhaps the most exciting aquatic adventure in all of Florida. When they migrate up from the south in May and June, you will go chase the jumpy monsters under the bridges. While targeting “the Silver King”, you might also hook into fast and aggressive Spanish Mackerel.
Throughout peak migration (May-July), most Tarpon range between 80 and 140 pounds. Still, you’ll probably hear of folks joining the coveted ‘200 club’ every now and again. If you’re specifically booking a Tarpon charter, expect an average of 2-7 hookups per trip. Days with more than 10 hookups are certainly not unheard of, though. In the end, it all depends on your own expertise and a lil’ bit of luck.
Since this was my first time fishing this area, I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. There is a wide variety of fish, and they are EVERYWHERE. I don’t know how the rest of the year is, but March 2018 was a fantastic trip for me. I caught 20 fish in a 4-hour charter, including four different kinds of fish, and I just finished dinner made from part of my catch.
With no cold fronts rolling into the bay area soon, it also means water temperatures are on the rise to the mid 70s. That has the bite fired up inshore and nearshore. Snook fishing is on fire with these warmer temperatures at night. We’ve been findin…
It also may be the world’s most convenient fishing pier. Rather than parking and lugging tackle and coolers, you can drive to where you want to fish and just unload your car. It’s also lit at night, so you can fish during the cooler hours of the evening or early morning. Even in the middle of the day, though, ts location at the mouth of the bay means there’s almost always a breeze and it’s easy to put up a tent for shade.
Leading the team at A-Wake N’ Drag Fishing Charters is Captain Greg Doherty, a full-time fishing guide who has been serving local clients for over a decade. Sailing on the Gulf of Mexico, Mr. Doherty has caught a tremendous array of fish species, including snook, redfish, trout, flounder, black drums, cobia, snapper, grouper, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, and tarpon. Clients speak highly of Captain Greg for his formidable knowledge of the best local fishing spots, as well as his patient, easygoing attitude.
Naturally, Tarpon tops the list for most fly fisherfolk. Most captains recommend using 10-12 weight fly rods, just in case you come across a trophy-sized ‘Poon. If you prefer to use lighter rods, Snook and Seatrout are definitely the go-to species.
Best value for the money. Maximize time on the water. This is a great trip to exercise both patience and energy. Excellent choice for beginners with a desire to learn a lot or the experienced angler wishing to maximize his skills.
InShore Tampa Bay Fishing Charters will honor the cancellation of a reserved Charter up to 36 (thirty six) hours before scheduled charter is to begin, and will refund the fee s paid, minus booking fee(s) quoted.
You will be aboard a fully restored 24 foot Proline that built for shallow draft, and also to handle the choppy open Tampa Bay fishing charters waters. You can read more about the boat on the Boat page.
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True to its name, inshore fishing done within a few miles of the shoreline in relatively shallow water. Mackerel, trout and Snook are some of the most common fish caught during inshore fishing expeditions. Thanks to its many bays and estuaries, the Tampa Bay area makes for naturally rich and interesting inshore fishing.
Kenny is a born and raised Tampa native. He started as a child fishing bass ponds with his father, quickly picked up quite the technique for it and his love for fishing grew. As he got older he picked up inshore fishing. It wasn’t as easy as the old ponds in the neighborhood, but he learned quickly, researching info, techniques and learning Tampa Bay’s estuary. From North to South of the Bay, he knows where to go to put you on fish.
The weather is warming up and the abundance of sunshine makes it ideal for sight fishing. You never know what’s crushing the flats! Look for Jack, Redfish, and Tarpon. Sheepshead is in full swing this month to fill the freezers.
Tarpon season runs from March to October. The target zone moves, from up and down the coast into Tampa Bay and back out. When offshore, tarpon can get as close as 50 yards. And when they’re in Tampa Bay, you can find yourself catching a 7-foot fish in just 4- to 5-feet of water.
Daisy Mae Fishing Co., located in Clearwater, operates a 45-foot boat that is certified to carry as many as six passengers. The boat has central heating and air-conditioning systems, luxurious living and sleeping accommodations, a differential GPS system, a satellite phone, and other amenities to ensure clients’ comfort and safety. The team at Daisy Mae Fishing Co. leads deep sea fishing expeditions on the Gulf of Mexico, during which passengers can catch offshore species such as kingfish, cobia, tuna, amberjack, Spanish mackerel, and mahi-mahi.
Just don’t dangle your feet over the side, as warmer months find loads of sharks patrolling the pilings. On a particularly memorable outing, we were treated to a glowing green light show as millions of planktonic players erupted with bioluminescence as our boat moved through their masses. The crescendo came under the Gandy Bridge when a line of cruising tarpon suddenly bolted as an honest 12-foot figure passed maybe a rod length from the bow.
As a case study, consider the four main bridges which span the Greater Tampa Bay region (see accompanying story). Add to this the many smaller bridges linking residential areas, and the area presents an assortment of emergent structures not unlike the many oil and natural gas drilling rigs dotting the northern Gulf.
Come Enjoy A Wonderful Day Fishing Charters Tampa For Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Trout, Sharks, Cobia, Spanish Mackerel As Well As Others Aboard Capt. Chet Jennings Sport Fishing Charters Boat. Capt. Chet Will Work Hard To Ensure That You And Your Guests Have A Memorable Day Enjoying The Wonderful Gamefish That Tampa Bay Has To offer.
Near the end of the pier, Kevin Chiem is using a sabiki rig to catch greenbacks for bait. Chiem, 30, is a Skyway pier regular. He travels from Tampa at least once a week to see what’s biting in some of the most active water a Tampa Bay fishing pier has to offer.
I have been fishing with Capt Steve for several years. I am usually in the Tampa area 5-7 times per year and try to sneak in a trip with Capt Steve. We went out today during a very cold day. Capt Steve put us on…More
Another fantastic winter species in the Bay area is Flounder. Undoubtedly one of the most unattractive fish, but probably one of the best tasting! This time of year, the Flounder will move in on large sandy areas in big numbers. For flats fishing, target potholes and creek mouths with substantial flow. Use the same rig for Sheepshead but you might want to switch to a circle hook. On the warmer days, a small live greenback or shrimp on the bottom will be best. If you like throwing artificial, try a #313 Gold Glitter C.A.L jig from D.O.A paired with a 3/8 oz Hook-Up Lures jig head. The heavier jig head will keep your bait on the bottom and in the strike zone longer during the retrieve. On the colder days, the fish might not be as active. Try a cut piece of any baitfish or shrimp. Some great areas to look for the “Door Mats” are around the Skyway Bridge, Fort Desoto, and Pinellas Point. The minimum size is 12” total length and the bag limit is 10 per person.
Capt. John O’Hanlon and crew are dedicated to providing the best possible charter fishing experience in the Tampa Bay, FL, area. We offer half, three-quarter and full-day expeditions for up to four people. If this is your first fishing expedition, we’ll be happy to help you pick the type of trip that will provide you with the best first experience: offshore fishing, inshore fishing or flats fishing. Of course, we also cater to the needs of experienced fishermen and fisherwomen. Bait, tackle, licenses, and cleaning and packaging of your fish is included in the price of your expedition.
Hey guys! We are headed to Tampa-Brandon area for the weekend. We have a small Key West and are looking for some quick, easy access places to fish…as we don’t have a lot of time. Hoping to catch some reds and snook. Any suggestions for locations?? Thanks!!
Tampa Bay’s shallow waters, sea grass beds, mud flats, and surrounding mangroves provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. More than 200 species of fish are found in the waters of the bay, which provides some incredible fly fishing opportunities for species such as Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Cobia, and Sea Trout, to name a few.
Tampa Bay’s Snook and Redfish bite has been has hot! Inside the bay snook are bunching back up for the spawn, and the redfish are schooled up as well make for some fun fishing. Snook have been averaging anywhere from 20”-30” with a few large biting as well. Redfish have been top of the slot size 27” or even as large as 36” and we are catching them in shallow water 2′ or less. Live bait and Cut bait have both been working well. Trout fishing has also be outstanding, and getting a few for a fresh fish dinner hasn’t been a problem.
Redfish are schooled up in a few areas of Tampa Bay, ready to put up a fight. When the waters cool off a bit, Snook fishing is just as exciting. 11-16″ Snapper are among the popular catches. Tarpon are also willing to bite once located.
The real fun occurred when we noticed several brown figures darting through our chumline. Rogers flipped out a pinfish with an ounce sinker and brought a short cobia to the boat fairly quickly, but previous success on this spot told him the real talent had yet to take the stage. We left the rod with a freelined pinner in the transom rod holder and five minutes back into the snapper deal, that big rod doubled with a 25-pounder.
How to catch: 6-9wt fly rods, typically floating fly lines 8-12′ leader in 8-15# test, sinking flies when tailing, suspending flies when in deeper water, flies with medium strength hooks in sizes #8 to 1/0
Captain Jason Dozier has spared no expense in order to offer you simply the best in Tampa fishing adventures. Running a custom built 2018 Bonefish 26′ Malvado powered by a 300hp Evinrude outboard, FishnFl will get you on the fish while keeping you dry and comfortable – no matter what conditions Tampa Bay is throwing at us.
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.
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.
The plume of tidal flow, accelerated by funneling through the bridge, can move the fish a significant distance from the structure. Similarly, tides move bait schools around and that often influences where predators position themselves.