As the sun beats down in another sweltering summer afternoon, a handful of fishing optimists cast lines off the north Skyway fishing pier. With the tide ripping out into the Gulf of Mexico, baits are drifted into the 20- to 25-foot deep water.
“Fish today get a lot of pressure, so to get bites, drop in leader strength and hook sizes. For example, when we used to live-bait for sailfish, 80-pound fluorocarbon leaders were standard and 50-pound leaders were used by those in the know. Today, 40 is the new 50. We’re using lighter leaders on sailfish and circle hooks one to two sizes smaller to get them to bite.”
Most pilings bear numbers for maintenance reference. Keep track of where you caught fish and note specific points such as piling design, compass directions and any particular markings such as ropes, graffiti or excessive pelican guano.
Winter Time Fishing is as Good as it Gets! – Last weeks cooler temperatures pushed a lot of the fish closer to their winter time hide outs. With winter time low tides, this typically means the fish are grouped tighter together, and once located we tend to catch a lot in one hole. White bait more…
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Make sure to enroll in the annual no-fee Recreational Marine Fishing Registry before going fishing in the marine and coastal district waters or when fishing in the Hudson River and its tributaries for “migratory fish of the sea” (e.g. striped bass).
Another one of Florida’s staple game fish, this backcountry brawler thrives in virtually all parts of the Bay. The elusive Snook is caught anywhere from beaches to docks, mangroves, jetties and seawalls. Safe to say, it is uniquely flexible in finding itself a nourishing habitat.
Saltwater fishing is a broad term used to describe the method of fishing in the ocean. Saltwater fishing can be done on shore (surf fishing), on a boat or on a pier. Live bait and artificial bait are used by saltwater anglers, which varies based on the type of fish the angler is trying to catch. Saltwater fishing is only available in states/countries that border an ocean or have an inlet river with a high level of salinity. Some of the greatest fighting fish are saltwater fish, such as the tuna or marlin. Saltwater fishing provides some of the best fishing experiences an angler can ever have.
“Went fishing with Jason 3 times now. All 3 trips have been excellent. Caught a lot of fish and had a great time. Already looking forward to next spring for another fishing trip with Jason. I would recommend Steady Action Fishing with Captain Jason Prieto if you want to catch fish and have a full day of action!”
This is also how the area manages to cater to anglers of virtually all ages and skill levels. Anything from a 2lb Pompano to a 200lb+ trophy Tarpon can be caught on the local waterways. It all depends on the type of experience you’re after.
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.
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.
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.
Talavera builds on the Shimano legacy of high performance saltwater rods with all-new rod tapers built to punish the fish and not the angler. Designed with high quality materials and components, Talavera delivers exceptional power and durability for inshore and offshore fishing.
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.
Midsummer is here and fishing can be very productive! Early mornings and late evenings are the best time to go fishing this month. Trout are hiding in the deeper water, whilst Snapper can be all over the Tampa Bay area.
At Homosassa, offshore, anglers are catching big kingfish, gag grouper and catch and release amberjack. Inshore, the trout bite has been good, but the redfish have been fair. The inshore rock piles are good for keeper gag grouper, Spanish mackerel, and grunts. “This may all change if the upcoming cold front drops the Gulf water temperatures three to six degrees. Most inshore fish will move back to deeper water in passes, deep-water creeks, and coastal rivers that will hold the warmer water,” said Toney.
Swift Fish Charters is a Tampa business that gives fishing guide services to local clients. Tim Whitfield, the company’s owner and Captain, is a third-generation Floridian, who grew up fishing in ponds, lakes, and creeks in Pasco County before moving onto the flats of Charlotte Harbor and Tampa Bay. He has been writing articles for the publication Onshore Offshore for over nine years.
Remarks: spawns in April and May; prefer water temperatures between 66 and 77 degrees F; undergoes sex reversal, young individual females becoming males as they age; lifespan of at least 25 years; feeds on squid, crustaceans, and fish.
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.
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The new Convergence Inshore series has all the performance and features needed when creating a rod for the hardcore inshore fisherman. This series features IM-7 Blank construction that will give you a crisp and light feel. They also come with Fuji guides and a Shimano designed reel seat.
Captain Brian Mathey is the owner and operator of Clearwater Fishing Charters, LLC, a Palm Harbor fishing charter service launching from all over North Pinellas County. Mr. Mathey pilots a 22-foot vessel with plenty of dry storage and three “live wells,” stocked with plentiful live bait. He is a lifelong resident of the Tampa Bay area who received his Captain’s license in 2005 and has been taking clients fishing ever since.
When you head out to the beach, bay, lagoon or jetty there are a few other items that you might want to consider taking along as well as your fishing gear, a well-stocked tackle box and a bucket. These include a hat, polarized sunglasses, a high SPF sunscreen, a folding chair and sufficient drinking water or electrolyte beverages to rehydrate yourself under a blazing sun. There is, however, one additional thing that you should always bring along with you on your fishing adventure; and that is patience.