Fishing is the most popular recreational pastime in America; it boasts more active enthusiasts than golf, tennis and sailing combined. Saltwater fishing alone draws in nearly 25 million participants nationwide in a single year. Whether it be trolling offshore for big tuna, drifting across a placid bay for flounder or fishing the skinny water of the intertidal flats for redfish and trout, the plurality of venues and fish species available to saltwater anglers can seem virtually endless.
The summer in the Tampa Bay fishery will see highly active Snook, with steady activity for the other flats favorites: Seatrout and Redfish. However, our favorite time of the year also appears now – The yearly Tarpon run. The Tarpon run generally starts in May and lasts until August.
Other anglers say that inshore fishing is anything within 3 miles of shore, while others say it’s based on the kind of fish you are catching (but I’ve seen people catch pelagics in a few feet of water so this can’t always hold true).
Not only is fishing during the night convenient, it also makes sense. Most species are nocturnal and prefer to feed when the sun comes down. This rings especially true during the hottest months of the year.
Sheepshead, another winter bruiser, are best targeted January through March. They can be found underneath the bridges, docks or even on the nearshore reefs. Ranging anywhere from 1-5 pounds, what they lack in size they more than make up for in being positively delicious.
Bring the whole family, we offer great times and lasting memories on every charter! Specializing in light tackle, trolling, and bottom fishing in search of Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Trout, Cobia, Snapper, Grouper, Kingfish, Shark and Mackerel among many other species on beautiful and abundant Tampa Bay, Florida.
Had a blast today out on the water. Kept us out of the rain and we pulled in some Great guys that I will definitely get in touch with next ur when I come back down. Looking forward to another… trip already!!! Thanks again guys!!! See More
Use the Right Fishing Knot – The best way to make sure you don’t lose that next world record fish is to make sure you’re using the right knot. You need to learn a fishing knot that can retain 100% of its strength when tied, and only the bimini twist (aka 20 times around know) can do just that. The right knot can make the difference between a big catch, or a big disappointment. For this reason, we strongly recommend keeping the Pro-Knot Saltwater Fishing Knot Manual with you at all times.
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.)
Fall fishing in Tampa Bay produces some nice catches of Trout,Red drum and Snook. This is the time of year that we start fishing the back water creeks and canals. Snook, Red drum and Trout all migrate to these areas as our water temps dip…
But why is that exactly? What is it about the greater Tampa Bay area that makes it one of the nation’s most prolific fish traps? Well, as it turns out, being the largest open-water estuary in all of the Sunshine State definitely comes with its perks.
Description: dark stripe (variably present) extends from nose to in front of dorsal fin and “lights up” when fish is in feeding mode; no scutes; soft dorsal base less than twice the length of the anal fin base.
Fall Brings Cooler Temps and Fishing Heats Up! – Back to normal temps this time of year has the fish biting! The bite has been outstanding the past 10 days and it should stay like this for a while. Let’s talk Trout fishing; my clients are enjoying some nice trout to take home this time of year a more…
Preserve the Experience for Others – The only way we can sustain commercial and recreational fishing in the future is to work together. Use a circle hook when fishing to prevent injury to the fish. We like the Gamakatsu Octopus Circle Hook, but if you have a barb hook then you can simply crush it with some needle nose pliers. Never keep your catch out of the water longer than you can hold your own breath. The slime that covers a fish protects it from bacteria and infection, so do your best to not remove this slime. Also, don’t forget to practice catch and release, especially during spawning seasons!
Capt. Matt has not only put me on fish every time I have booked a charter – He got me my biggest tarpon ever 150+!!! He is the best Captain I have ever fished with and I recommend him highly. Always a great time and always finds the fish! -John Lashbrook
Born in Ybor City, Florida; and raised fishing the Back Country of Tampa Bay. At a young age, and under the guidance of his Grandfather, Capt. Blick learned everything there was to know about fish, and fishing. Capt. Blick spent countless hours fishing the waters of Tampa bay, and other Florida river’s, Lake’s, and anything he can cast a line into; He is a Born Fisherman . Capt. Lee has participated in Florida CCA Tournaments for many years, as well as participating as a Captain in the St. Jude’s Tournament, Mercury Grand Slam, Tampa Bay Builders Association, YMCA Flats Fishing Classic, Outback Fishing Challenge, and The Andy Brown Memorial Rough Riders Fishing Tournament.
Also, you can’t go wrong by working near baitfish schools. When food abounds, someone with an appetite will find it, so work your baits into the natural food chain. While you’re at it, don’t hesitate to catch some of the local forage and float them in clear vulnerability on the outskirts of the school and along the bridge’s shadowline.
Captain Steve Betz offers Tampa Inshore Fishing Charters targeting all of the coveted inshore species that Tampa Bay has to offer. Whether looking for a day of easy fishing or stalking the shallows for sight fishing opportunities, Flats and Bay Tampa Fishing Charters has you covered!
This package is for 1 or 2 people with just a little time on the hands (2 hour trip). We will go after Trout and whatever bites on the flats. Who knows, we might get a Redfish or a Shark! A fishing license and gear are provided. Departure time is flexible based on your request and the captain’s schedule.
Cockroach Bay and Bishop's Harbor are both good fishing spots, located in the middle of Tampa Bay. Deeper channels between the islands just outside of Skyway Bridge near the south shore of lower Tampa Bay are also good fishing spots.
My husband, my 12 year old daughter and I booked a 3/4 day fishing trip with capt. Chet and had a brilliant day. We have been coming to Tampa/Clearwater for the last 5 years and have booked various private charters but this trip was definitely the best we’ve had! Capt Chet was very patient and accommodating with our daughter and had her catching fish all day. We stopped over a spot and were constantly catching jack crevalle, trout and mackerel. My husband really wanted to try and catch a tarpon so Chet took us to a spot where he thought was our best chance to catch one but unfortunately we had no luck. We are back in sept and will definitely be booking another trip with Chet!
And Pinellas County doesn’t have a monopoly on piers. In south Tampa, Picnic Island and Ballast Point fishing piers can be hot spots. The Ballast Point pier reaches far out into Tampa Bay. With a picturesque view of the downtown Tampa skyline, it has plenty of room for anglers.
Had a busy second week fishing both the bay and Clearwater harbor area. Fishing was good with Redfish, Trout, Snook and Triple tail being caught. Early in the week I fished out of Safety harbor and we fished for snook and trout. Did good on both, middle of the week I fished for triple tail out of Dunedin Marina, and we started the day by running south along the stone crab traps looking for Triple tail. We ran down from Clearwater beach to sandy key, and made our way down to Johns pass and St.pete beach where we caught a 6 triple tail with 2 shorts, 2 just legal, and 2 jumbos. I finished off the week fishing back over in Dunedin Clearwater area catch trout and a few redfish.
Nearshore fishing trips of St.Pete beach and Clearwater beach have been catching nice sized mackerel and schoolie sized kingfish. The random cobia have been showing up as well, and we still have some sharks in the area.
Undoubtedly a skinny-water favorite, the resident Redfish is happy to chase down a plug any day of the year. With unparalleled stamina and a reel-smoking tenacity, Redfish is certainly the king of Tampa Bay flats.