You might want to bring along sunscreen, a hat, polarized sunglasses, a camera, food, snacks, and drinks. Wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting a little fishy and sandals or non-marking shoes that can get a little wet. You are welcome to bring your own rods and reels, however we provide top of the line equipment that is best suited for the type of fishing we will be doing. Other than that, just bring a good attitude and get ready to catch some fish and have some fun!

The weather is outstanding and even a few days of winds can’t spoil it. Make Snook your main target this month, but don’t forget about Trout and Redfish of all sizes. Spanish Mackerel, Cobia, and Blackfin Tuna start to show up offshore. 

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

Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest open-water estuary, extending over 400 square miles and forming coastlines of Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas counties. The freshwater sources of the bay are distributed among over a hundred small tributaries, rather than a single river. The bay bottom is silty and sandy, with an average water depth of only about 12 feet.

For Snook enthusiasts that would rather avoid the summer heat, night fishing is a highly-productive alternative. Snook are nocturnal and generally prefer to feed at night anyway. You’ll typically find them scouting for dinner underneath the dock lights.

Capt. Steve brings over 200 days a year of time spent on Tampa Bay to each and every one of his Tampa Bay Fishing Charters. As your fishing guide in Tampa Fl., Capt Steve will cater all types of fishermen, young, older, experienced and novice. Steve loves the opportunity to be able to share his knowledge and experiences as a Tampa Bay fishing guide. Capt. Steve runs family friendly Fishing Charters in Tampa Fl.

When the fish are thick, tip a bare jig with a live fiddler crab and it’s pompano fireworks. Pomps may bite one-here-one-there, but more often than not, you’ll have to search several pilings to find the mother lode. Do your looking with jigs and hit the school with fiddlers.

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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!

If it swims, it’s in these waters. The Bay provides such a wide variety of aquatic life, it’s not uncommon to bag more than a dozen species on any given outing. The mighty Snook prowls the mangrove shorelines. Schools of tailing Redfish rest on the glassy grass flats. And the notorious Florida Tarpon roam the Bay’s endless passes. Whatever you’re after, it’s never more than a cast away.

While browsing the site, take a moment to view our Tampa fishing photo gallery, where you’ll see some of the many species of fish our fishing charter customers have recently caught. We’ve also included some Tampa area information, as well as fishing articles, and Tampa fishing regulations.

Gag grouper and Red Grouper are two favorite bottom reef fish species in the Gulf of Mexico. Tampa Bay is home to both species and they are available year round if you know where to find them. In this video segment I show you the best method to catching keeper grouper in Tampa Bay. If you live in an area with a similar bottom structure this will also apply to you.

Jon, It was my pleasure to take you and the rest of the group fishing. It was a fun group charter event. I know all of the other Captains did well with there customers and I was happy I could put this event together for…More

I really enjoyed reading this article! Great photos! I had no idea that Tampa offered such great fishing. I have been to Tampa hundreds of times, but I haven’t fished there once. I will definitely put it on my list of things to do for next time I visit.

Sheepshead will be coming into their spawn around the full moon beginning in February. Some of the largest sheepies of the year are usually caught during the next two months. They are a tough catch on artificial lures, but tipping jigs with a small thumbnail size morsel of fresh shrimp can add to your mixed winter bag of fish. You’ll find the bulk of these fish around boat docks and structure, like the many artificial reefs that were made from the rubble of the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

The net affect of this weather was that all Tampa Fishing Guides got a whole lot more vacation days than planned over the course of the last month. On the coldest days, sheepshead were the only logical target.  Although good to eat, the cold air and limited species selection kept most anglers off the water anyway. For those who ventured out, fishing shrimp or small crabs up under docks or against bridge pilings was the ticket.

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Coordinating company outings and tournaments is an area of expertise at Sport Fishing Unlimited Guide Services. Understanding event planning, fund raising and the need for competent organizational skills we solidly base our business on Customer Service. We have the advantage of enlisting the top fishing guides with the proper equipment and attitudes to ensure a positive and successful event.

If your dream day on the water is casting to and hooking a giant 100lb. + tarpon, or watching a big snook blast a live bait out of the water under the mangroves? Or, maybe stalking redfish in the gin clear grassflats of the gulf or plugging the flats with topwater lures or throwing jigs for large gator trout. Or, possibly slipping over the side of the boat and wading to any of these species in an attempt to sneak up and hook one of our Tampa Bay gamefish while being ultra-close! Or, the ultimate way to beat the heat and book a night trip in the search of feeding snook in the docklights or bridge tarpon at night. These are all different scenarios that play out year after year while fishing Tampa Bay area. Many of my Tampa Bay fishing charters see us catching more than a dozen different species in just a four hour fishing charter! We can fish St. Pete Beach in the mornings for spanish and king mackerel, sharks, cobia, snapper, grouper, and then turn around and fish the Tampa Bay flats for snook, tarpon, redfish, trout, flounder, jack crevalle, and more. All within a few miles and minutes of each other. There’s a lot of exciting options for fishing the Tampa Bay area and I can help you discover them.

A 1⁄4-ounce jig set through the tail of a live shrimp and hopped across the bottom will turn up a diverse selection of bridge residents including redfish, flounder, cobia, sheepshead, black drum, gag grouper, mangrove snapper and juvenile tarpon. Probably the most popular jigging target in local waters is the pompano. Species-specific jigs such as Doc’s Goofy style or small, round-head bucktails tempt the golden nuggets.

I have a heavy work schedule at Guy Harvey Magazine’s Online Fisherman, as do the many others who make it The Wall Street Journal of Fishing. There’s no better resource in the fishing world, so stay tuned, because we’re working on a Podcast so you can watch and listen in on some great educational information about fishing. Thank you for sending your question in and using GHMOF.

One of the world’s most powerful and enigmatic game fish, sharks are plentiful around the coast of Florida. A wide variety of sharks are found on the state’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts, making it a premiere destination for anglers who want to land a trophy fish.

St.Pete beach area has been producing good numbers of Tarpon fishing along the beaches and the Sunshine Skyway bridge. The tarpon have been BIG and most of these fish are over 100lbs!!! Tarpon fishing can take some patience to get one on, but once hooked up you are in for the fight of your life. In addition to tarpon there have been decent numbers of snook just off St.Pete beach and blinds pass area. Live bait free lined in the current is a great way to catch these linesiders.

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.

Our captains use several locations depending on where the fishing is best and where is most convenient for you. Your captain will provide you with an address and directions when you book your charter.

Bottom fishermen are likely to have their hands full as well. These waters are home to the likes of Red Snapper, Gag Grouper, Cobia, Amberjack, Flounder, Grouper and plenty of other rock dwellers.

Silver trout can be found in deep holes in Tampa Bay, along the beaches, and up rivers like the Manatee River. Good numbers are caught each year in Terra Ceia, Tampa and in Sarasota Bays, on the Middle Grounds flats. Tandem rigged jigs like the new DOA Deadly Tandem are excellent for silvers. There are no bag or size limits on silvers. These fish do not freeze well. The flesh of silver trout deteriorates rapidly once it is frozen. So, eat your Silver the day you catch it. Make sure you keep only enough that gives you what you need for a fresh meal or two. This gives you the best flavor and maintains the resource.

Almost all of the area’s most popular species can be targeted on fly. This includes Tarpon, Redfish, Snook, Sea Trout, Cobia and more. The water clears up significantly Fall thru Spring, allowing for an unparalleled sight fishing experience. While mainly an inshore activity, there’s no shortage of nearshore fly fishing opportunities either. Among others, Mackerel and Albacore are well known to take an inviting fly.

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.

The nearshore charters in Tampa, Fl offer an expanded list of targeted species. The border between what would be considered inshore and offshore offers an amazing assortment of fish species. Pushing a little further out, you can expect to hook up with Permit on structure, Kingfish in the pelagic zone, and Grouper working the bottoms. Let Flats & Bay handle your next nearshore fishing charter! From migrating Pelagics to bottom dwelling Grouper and Sharks – This trip never ceases to be one of the best when the weather and conditions permit it.

Above Average Fishing Charters, in Clearwater Beach, provides local fishers of any age and skill level with half-day and all-day fishing trip options. Fishing charters leave at seven in the morning, while afternoon trips and shark expeditions depart at noon. All fishing licenses, permits, bait, tackle, and rods are included with the charter package. Above Average Fishing Charters operates two boats, and both feature electronic navigation systems as well as restrooms.

Captain Betz – Flats and Bay Fishing Charters are the Best… My friends and I come down from Atlanta each year for the Falcons vs Bucs for football, golf, and fishing. Besides the game, fishing with Captain Betz is the highlight of our trip. Not…More

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.

As a 30 year fly fisher of Tampa Bay and the surrounding waters, and the owner of the area’s only dedicated Fly Shop, Tampa Bay on the Fly, I recommend any member of the Tampa Fly Guides for a truly unforgettable experience. I have personally fished with and alongside of each of these guides and I would recommend them for all levels of fly fishermen.

Later in the coming month, tides heights will start to improve.  This, coupled with warming waters, will improve local redfishing.  With fish still wanting to get warmer, look for them around oyster bars on the higher tides as well as up on the flats in areas with potholes during the warmer parts of the day.  Until cold leaves for good, generally around the middle of March, redfish will respond best to crustaceans such as shrimp.  When the warm settles in, they’ll eat just about anything.

1 Comment on “Mackerel Fishing Land O’ Lakes”

  1. Lucia says:

    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.
    • Laws: Consult local or Coast Guard authorities for special navigation rules applicable to bridges in your area. The U.S. Coast Guard has relaxed its post 9-11 regulations limiting boat proximity to bridges. Currently, a 100-foot security zone applies to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge’s center span, its pilings, dolphins and rock abutments. All other rules of navigation still apply, but anglers are allowed to fish elsewhere along the Skyway and other area bridges. FS

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