The Gulf of Mexico waters Tampa-side are home to some of the finest year-round fishing in the south. Hardly any angler could resist fishing in Tampa! The sugar sand beaches line countless miles of waterways, passes, open bays, acres of shallow grass flats, thousands of oyster bars, and dozens of rivers feeding into it. You instantly understand why Tampa fishing charters are so popular. This enormous natural estuary is one of the “Fishing capitals of the world”. But what makes fishing in Tampa so exciting?

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.

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!

Talk to the Locals – You should talk to your local tackle shop employee in order to find out what’s going on in the area you plan to fish in. They’ll know what’s going on and what the best bait to use is at the time of year you’re fishing in. You might even want to consider joining a local angler’s club where anglers get together to swap stories, plan trips and drink beer.

The type of line that you choose is also important. For generations, monofilament line was the most popular among saltwater anglers. In recent years, however, the use of specialized braided lines has increased exponentially.

Tampa offers inshore, backwater, and flats fisherman shots at redfish, snook, sea trout, black drum, flounder, snapper, and many other local favorites throughout the year. Seasonally, we also get the Tarpon migration and better shots at pelagic species such as mackerel and cobia. Even big game fisherman who love to fight on light tackle will find shots at grouper and sharks to be abundant.

Are you tired of seeing costal waterways cluttered with trash and debris? Join us as we participate in trash cleanup events around the state that will clean up Florida’s bluest fishing spots to preserve the natural beauty for generations to come.

So, prepare yourself for the Tampa Fishing expedition of a lifetime! Using cutting-edge technology, a top-of-the-line fishing boat along with decades of experience and knowledge you’ll get the opportunity to experience fishing adventures and memories lasting a lifetime.

“It’s really relaxing to come out here and fish,” said Jamie Messina, 42, of Tampa. “It’s nice coming out here at night when the lights are on and you have the view of the city. You can catch jacks and angel fish. I’ve even seen some small hammerhead (sharks) caught here.”

Selecting and spooling up with the right line for the type of fishing that you plan to do is an essential component in successful saltwater fishing. Because of the damage dealt out by constant exposure to saltwater and intense sunlight, it is important to always buy a good quality fishing line and change it often. Stick with the brands sold by major manufacturers and avoid ‘bargains’ on lesser-known products that may fail when put to the test. Losing the fish of a lifetime simply because you momentarily embraced a false sense of economy is a tough one to swallow.

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.

Just as we chronicled the Average Angler’s quest to complete the elusive Florida Bass Slam, we would also like to see your best bass catches. Send us pictures of you and your best catches and we’ll showcase them right here!

Personally, believe that definition of inshore fishing needs to be slightly altered as fishing “inshore” has changed and evolved drastically over the years since these definitions were created (many years ago).

Our goal is to connect people with the best local experts. We scored fishing guides on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analysed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best fishing guides in Tampa, FL.

St.Pete Beach we had a few good trips targeting Snapper and Sharks near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Snapper fishing during the summer months provides consistent action and plenty of table fair to take home for a fresh fish dinner! Sharks have been thick and aggressive. Most of the sharks we are targeting are in the 2′-5′ range.

The family-owned Gulfstream II Fishing Charters, based in Clearwater, has been leading Tampa Metro area clients on fishing expeditions since 1974. The fleet includes three vessels, including the business’ namesake, the Gulfstream II, a U.S. Coast Guard-inspected boat that can carry up to 22 people, as well as the Gulfstream, which can carry as many as a dozen people. The third vessel, the Wizard, is 35 feet long and certified to carry smaller groups, of six people or fewer.

The Ed Alber Tarpon Rodeo Tournament has come! Tarpon are the star of the show. Redfish are all over the flats and mangrove shorelines. Spanish Mackerel and Mangrove Snapper invade the bay and Trout are feeding on the grass flats. 

This year the tournament is being hosted at the all new Harbor Master Tiki Grille at Bay Pines Marina. We are excited to be returning to this great marina. Dave Travis and his family are a class act and awesome Old Salt supporters.

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.