2: At Madeira Beach, “The shallow water gag grouper bite is still on fire near shore. We’re seeing fish up to 30 inches as shallow as 20 feet of water. We’re catching the most in the 20-70 foot range and beyond those depths they kind of shut
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.
Our fishing rights are under attack like never before in the history of this nation! I urge everyone, saltwater and freshwater, boat or landside fishermen to get involved in the politics of fishing now! (See the two “Warnings” below) There are so-called ‘environmental’ groups getting ‘tough’ with the politicians and pretending they are pro fishing, when in reality they want all uses of our waters to cease immediately. No more fishing, recreational or commercial, no water skiing, no boating, no houses on the shores, also no hunting, no hiking in the wild, NO NOTHING!
From targeting specific species to the tall tales of Tampa Bay fishing folklore, we sit down with local Captains and others within the fishing world to discuss pertinent topics, techniques, instruction and many other areas of interest that can give you the edge out on the water. Check here frequently for new additions or feel free to email us with topics you’d like us to cover.
Bait has made its way into the bay and is on nearly every marker. The problem: Bait is moving and showing up at different times daily. The time spent to get bait will pay off. Fish have been blasting pilchards. Snook and large trout have been communi…
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.
Booked with Anthony and first mate Joe for four of us. What a great time and went to a couple different spots and caught fish. Did best out in the bay. Top notch guys! Caught one snook,redfish,sheepsh…ead,grouper. Will return for sure. Thanks guys! See More
Captain Steve puts you on the fish. Our recent charter had us catching lot’s of trout, snook, red fish and even a bluefish. One of our snook was over 34″ with several trout over 20″. I have fished in Tampa for over 10 years with…More
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).
Redfish are an extremely popular target for West Coast Florida inshore fisherman. They are abundant, generally aggressive feeders and, once located, can be caught in significant numbers. Although lacking the speed and jumping ability of the snook, they are most appreciated for their powerful, fighting style. When fishing the flats with artificial baits such as plastic baits or spoons, a redfish provides a jarring strike. Using bait, the take is typically a light tap followed by a driving run. Larger schools of fish can also be located on shallow grass flats. Getting properly positioned in front of a large school of “reds” can quickly put a bend in every rod on the boat. Redfish provide good summer action, even during the hottest months. Although fishing is slower during the winter, groups of fish can be located in the warmer backwater locations. located, these schools can provide “rapid fire” action.
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.
“Always study the bottom on your fish finder when running to and from the grounds, and even when fishing. You will discover new spots this way. When I see an interesting area, I save it in my GPS. It’s these little finds that often pay big dividends, as they’re not likely pressured like the more heralded spots. I also want to know what the ocean features are like, i.e. temperature breaks, rips, etc. I want to immerse myself with the workings of the environment. You need to get in a fish’s head.”
Before purchasing a recreational saltwater fishing license or permit, please make sure you understand what qualifies as Florida residency and whether you really need a license or permit based on the exemptions.
Happy New Year everyone. Been a while since a wrote a fishing report so I am going look back the entire 2015. January and Febuary started off with excellent fishing offshore of St Pete Beach and Treasure Island. The target was Hogfish and we did very well. Light tackle spinning gear with live shrimp on […]
As a friend of mine once said, I feel sorry for anyone who hasn’t discovered their passion in life. We all have one inside of us. It’s that activity that brings you immense satisfaction. At seven years of age, I was introduced to fishing and knew it would be a part of my life from there forward. Although I fished whenever the opportunity arose, it would be a long time before I would actually become a guide. I went to high school, then college. Next, I held a variety of sales positions that took me to every state in the US. Then, in late 2005, it was time….time to walk away to spend my working hours doing something that I had always really wanted to do…fish. I pulled the plug to pursue my dream…become a fishing guide in the great state of Florida….arguably one of the best states to fish in the entire United States.
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.
Florida residents fishing for saltwater species from the shore or from a structure fixed to shore are required to have a shoreline fishing license. The annual resident shoreline fishing license is now free. Those who obtain the license over the phone or off the internet will have to pay a convenience fee of less than $5. Resident anglers may consider purchasing a $17.00 one-year saltwater license which covers both shoreline and watercraft recreational fishing.
“I have been out on a charter with Captain Jason several times this year. Have to say his Knowledge of the water ways is second to none. We Always come home with a boat full of fish & memories that will last a lifetime. I highly recommend him to anyone who is looking for a fishing charter.”
Captain Matt is the man!!! Truely a savy fisherman and a pioneer poon killa (always catch & release). He’s the only man to be out on the waters of Tampa bay with. If you are lucky enough to make time to fish, he’s the guy you want to guide your adventure. No question!!! See you in may Matt! Can’t wait!-Bradley W Vetter
Tampa Bay is one of the state’s largest natural harbors which houses a plethora of gamefish who call this place home. Tampa Bay is also the state’s largest natural open-water estuary. What this means for you is nonstop year round fishing action!
Annual recreational fishing licenses and permits are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase or the alternate starting date if selected at the time of purchase, unless otherwise specified on the face of the license.
There are shallow flats, and miles of peaceful back-country which are the breeding grounds of most game fish. You can target schools of Redfish roaming the flats, Trout feeding in the miles of healthy sea grass, Tarpon Rolling along the bridges and passes throughout the bay, or Snook lying in the miles of undeveloped Mangroves lining Tampa Bay.
Basic light to medium tackle may be able to cover you sufficiently in most situations when fishing in freshwater. However, depending upon whether you happen to be deep sea fishing, drifting in a small skiff a half mile off the beach, surf fishing onshore or from a bridge or pier, you will need to carefully match your gear and technique to the circumstances at hand.
Thanks Captain You are truly a professional! Easy going and you did not yell at us like the last captain. We fished a lot of the back country of Tampa Bay. What a view from your boat I will be sending my clients your way again and again.
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 potentially blazing sun. There is, however, one additional thing that you should always bring along with you on your fishing adventure; and that is patience.
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.
September Fishing has been good! Hurricane Irma hit Florida hard, but didn’t hit Clearwater beach, St. Pete beach, or Tampa Bay. While many people lost power here I was on vacation in Venice,Louisiana catching Bull Redfish! I came home the second week of the month and the Snook, Redfish, trout, mackerel and many others were ready to bite, and the weather has been perfect with no wind or rain!
“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.”
Protect Your Investment – Good fishing tackle isn’t cheap, especially if you have a quality saltwater reel. So don’t get yourself in the situation of having to replace it. It’s a good idea to soak your reel in a bucket of freshwater for 2 to 4 hours after saltwater fishing to ensure you get all the saltwater off of your line and reel.
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.
Thank you very much for the kind review. That was a very tough day not having the best of conditions. I wish we could of fished some more area but with the windy conditions we were limited. I hope to see you guys again in…More
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Once you get the party rocking, freeline live shrimp, pilchards or threads on 2/0 circle hooks toward the pilings. Let out line in 5-foot increments to “count” back and locate the hot zone. In strong current or choppy conditions, add a splitshot or replace the circle hook with a jighead to keep your bait from kiting too high in the water column.
If you want to catch big fish, then you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to Tampa Bay, Florida, home of some of the best inshore and offshore fishing in the world! I’m a native of the Tampa Bay area and have been fishing the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf since I could walk. This gives me the unique advantage of knowing when and where the fish are and how to make them bite on my tampa fishing charters. I am a FULL-TIME fishing guide and am on the water almost 300 days a year. Whether your goal is a monster snook, giant tarpon, or a shark 3 times your size, we can do it! Some of my favorite species to fish for include Tarpon, Cobia, Snook, Redfish, and trout.
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.