In backcountry pockets you can find lurking Snook and Redfish skimming the mud flats. Out front in the grass flats you again can find Snook patrolling the edges of the mangroves, while right behind you massive pushes can be sight casted from tailing Red’s. Finding Flounder near shallow structure is very common, as well as Gator Seatrout working the bait pods just a little further out.
Capt. Chet is by far the best guide in Tampa Bay. I utilized his services to organize several tournaments, including hiring 12 to 15 other guides, and even though we left the dock last and came back first, we consistently outfished the other boats. He is THE capt that other capt’s reach out to when they can’t find the bait or the fish. And he delivers in challenging conditions – the last time we fished together, a late front moved through in May and the wind was howling. Capt. Chet knew of several holes in the mangroves that produced many reds and snook. My next visit to Tampa will for sure include a day on the water with Capt. Chet.
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.
Tampa Bay is fed by well over a 100 inland tributaries. In these you will find brackish water rivers and creeks that allow for some of the best backcountry fishing action in the state. This also provides temperate waters for game fish to congregate in when water temps change in the bay.
Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned angler, as one of Florida’s premier guides Captain Woody’s knowledge, skill and expertise will provide you with the opportunity of a lifetime. My guide service gives anglers the chance to experience some of the most spectacular and exciting world class fishing anywhere in the world and if you are traveling a long distance, you might want to schedule more than one-day.
Tampa Bay fishing charters have been catching lots of Snook, a few reds, and limits of trout. The bay fishing is about to get really good as soon as the first cold fronts hit and the fish push into the bay, and for the anglers that will be here for this we will have 50-100 fish days fishing for snook and reds.
Enjoy a fishing experience in one of the best fisheries in florida like no other. Captain Eli knows all the local hot spots from fishing 300+ days year. We are kid friendly and great for family adventures. All you’re going to have to do is relax and have a great time fishing. On a typical day we catch anywhere from 4-8 different species of fish but we can target certain fish if you’d like to choose one of our guided fishing trips. You will never need a fishing license when in the boat fishing with Captain Eli. Stop by our “what’s biting” page and see what we’ve been up to recently. To book your very own fishing adventure please call us anytime or fill out the form on this page to get started.
The Tampa, Clearwater, and Tampa Bay areas offer a broad array of Tampa and Clearwater fishing charters. Your Tampa fishing trip begins fishing along our beautiful, world class beaches for game fish like Snook, whose drag screaming runs and jumps will excite even veteran anglers. If redfish are your primary target, you can pursue these tough battlers out on the Tampa Bay fishing flats, or in tight against the mangroves or other shoreline structure. Speckled sea trout represent our most readily available game fish in Tampa, FL. Trout can be caught most times of the year and often, from late November to early April, in great abundance. During the spring and fall months, near shore Clearwater fishing, (2 – 9 miles out) offers the opportunity to catch a wide range of species including Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, kingfish, grouper, and others. All of these species can be caught in Tampa and Clearwater using artificial lures or live bait.
Even if there is a good reason why Snook and Redfish make it to the top of your angler’s list, you simply cannot miss the opportunity to catch Trout, one of the tastiest fish. Those shallow flats inhabitants are easy to catch and make great table fare, just like Sheepshead and the bottom-hugging flatfish Flounder. Flounder can be found relatively close to the shore, hiding in the sand of moving waters around passes and inlets. Off the shore, you can find them near reefs and shipwrecks. Nibblers Sheepshead also hang out there. You can always count on Sheepshead bite during the winter!
Fishing the local piers in Tampa Bay offers you easy access to some prime fishing. You can get excellent advice about the types of rigs their hitting, baits and techniques from savvy fishermen familiar with the area. Black tip sharks, snook, cobia and big reds are all caught off local piers.
May and June is when tarpon migrate up from the south, chasing schools of baitfish and that’s the best time for you to catch them in Tampa Bay. The hot spots for tarpon are under the bridges during summer months. Try fishing the Sunshine Skyway all summer long when fish are feeding on herring and sardines.
AlcoholBeer, Liquor & Spirits, Mixers & Ready T…106 BeveragesCoconut Water, Coffee, Energy Drinks, En…1038 Candy & SweetsAssortments, Bakery, Caramel & Toffee, C…326 FoodBaby Foods, Breakfast Foods, Gourmet Gif…1481 Household EssentialsCleaning Products, Dishwashing, Disposab…1813 TobaccoCigars, Tobacco Accessories, Vaporizers…476
IMPORTANT NOTES: Our top three picks do not require that you have a Florida saltwater fishing license to drop your line, but you’ll need one almost everywhere else. (Learn more at http://myfwc.com/license/recreational/saltwater-fishing/) Some exemptions apply for children, senior citizens, disabled residents and people who have qualified for federal financial aid. A no-cost license is required for fishing from docks or piers unless the pier itself has purchased a license. Learn more at http://myfwc.com/license/recreational/do-i-need-a-license/
For whatever reason, Tampa Bay is often unjustly overlooked as a premier fly fishing destination. It can certainly be hard to compete with the traditional heavyweights such as Homosassa and the Florida Keys. However, the relatively-untapped potential of the Bay should make it incredibly appealing to real fly enthusiasts everywhere.
Lower Tampa Bay around the Clam Bar on the Pinellas side is notorious for holding some monster black drum that begin moving into the bay over the next couple of months. Many of these breeders range up into the 50-plus pound bracket. Due to their size, stout rods and line are advised in order to land these beasts. Like the sheepshead, these fish will take a shrimp tipped jig. A bag limit of five fish per between 14 and 24-inches may be kept and one of these five may be over 24-inches. Black drum over the maximum size begin holding more parasitic worms. While they may be harmless to ingest when cooked properly, some feel that they aren’t very appetizing. Boat docks in Sarasota Bay are great spots to find black drum as well.
This winter has been amazingly warm in the Tampa Bay area. January days hitting the upper 70s and even 80? Pinch me! As an angler, if you get out before or after any cold fronts, you can find some pretty awesome inshore fishing here on the Suncoast. Approaching fronts will keep offshore boats tied to the dock most of the times but for inshore anglers, if you do your homework, fishing in protected areas can take place almost any time. The key is to find a few protected “honey holes” that are out of the wind. When you do find your honey holes, the action can be hot! Here is a guide for the various fish you’ll find around Tampa Bay this winter and what jigs you should use to catch them.
Wonderful day fishing with Captain Steve! He is a great guide and was extremely patient with my 6 year old. It was definitely worth the drive from VA! We had an amazing time and we are already looking forward to doing it again! Will absolutely…More
Vincent, Great question. I did do one charter where I had two customers that wanted to split a charter. I went ahead and made the arrangements for them to fish together with me. Unfortunately for them personality’s clashed between them. It made for a uncomfortable trip for both of them and me. Since that incident I do not any longer mix charters. If you would like to call me maybe I could work something out to accommodate you doing a charter with me or possibly another captain in my net work. Thank you, Capt. Steve 813-727-8843 P.S. I apologize for the delay in response. I just noticed I had the notification for a question this morning.
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!
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.
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.
However, these grounds are home to much more than just the traditional heavy-hitters. The local species also include Trout, Jack Crevalle, Grouper, Snapper, Cobia, Lady Fish, Mackerel, Flounder, and a variety of sharks. All of these and many more call Tampa Bay their home throughout different parts of the year.
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.
This is a seasonal favorite as every summer these silver kings migrate through the area. The peak of this season is generally from May to July, but each year presents a different set of circumstances that can change when the Tarpon arrive and how long they stay. Always check with the Captain for current conditions and dates.
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.
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!
My fishing grounds are from the beautiful waters of Tarpon Springs, then progressing south to Clearwater Beach, Indian Shores, Redington Shores, Madeira Beach, Treasure Island, St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg and the entire south shore of Tampa Bay and everything in between.
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.