Perhaps one of the most underrated Bay fish, Black Drum are incredibly fun to catch. Also, they can be anything from a few pounds to 90lb+ monsters, you never know what you may find on the other end of the line. Typically found in larger concentrations throughout the winter months, they’re a sucker for shrimp and gather around docks and in shallow waters.

Description: color brownish red; lining of mouth scarlet-orange; blotches on sides in unorganized pattern; second spine of dorsal fin longer than others; pectoral fins longer than pelvic fins; squared off tail; margin of soft dorsal black with white at midfin; black dots around the eyes.

The Bay Pier, which runs 500 feet out in more protected water, is the perfect choice for fishermen with lighter tackle or those more concerned with bringing dinner home. Nearshore species like snook, redfish, trout, pompano and Spanish mackerel abound in these calmer waters.

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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Remarks: spawns primarily in summer; cannot tolerate water temperatures below 60 degrees F; can tolerate wholly fresh or saltwater; schools along shore and in passes during spawning season; feeds on fish and large crustaceans.

There is a silver lining to all of this bad weather news however.  First, the worst is behind us and second, there are plenty of big seatrout out there waiting to be caught as fishing pressure has been incredibly light.  On several recent Tampa Fishing Charters, large trout were caught but both patience and effort were required. Once an area was located that had trout, action was generally not fast.  A fish or two would be caught, then the boat would be repositioned and another fish or two would be caught. As is usually the case, the bite was better on moving water.  With cold temperatures resulting in an absence of whitebait, large shrimp were the go to bait.  Another difficulty created by the weather was that, due to a shortage of small fish, birds were hyper aggressive and would relentlessly attempt to steal the free-lined select shrimp being presented.  A trick used by some Tampa Fishing Guides for minimizing bait loss is to add a slip bobber which holds the bait just off the bottom but also add a small split shot 6 – 12 inches up from the bait so when casting, the bait sinks quickly and is not consumed by a bird. The expectation on most Tampa / Clearwater Fishing Charters is that limits of trout will be secured on every trip.  This should again become reality as February arrives with average temperatures being higher…yes, January is the coldest month. 

Island Lure is your one stop fishing charter headquarters. Not only to we offer World Class Offshore Fishing Adventures, but we also offer World Class Inshore Flats Fishing in all of Tampa Bay with Capt. Gene Maxwell!

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.

Now although you can’t get your undies in a wad everytime you see an angler not handling a fish correctly (because they might actually be taking home the fish to eat), it certainly helps to get in a habit of ALWAYS handling fish with care.

The first thing that fledgling saltwater anglers need to understand is the primary difference between fresh and saltwater fishing, which is inherent in the water itself. Adding salt to the equation can complicate things negatively in regard to the longevity of your gear when you do not maintain it properly.

Florida Inshore Angler is my latest title not yet released, but should be finished in 2013-14.  I have compiled this title to include the widest range of topics on Florida inshore saltwater fishing from both boat and land in great detail!  I can ensure you that it will answer most of your fishing questions and be a great addition to your book collection. 

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?

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Myself and my friends 10 yr old son went out with Captain Anthony this morning and we couldn’t have had a better time. My little buddy had a smile on his face all morning and for the rest of the day. …To take a few hours out of his day to give a child an experience he’ll never forget just shows the quality and character of Captain Anthony and Pocket Change Charters. I can’t recommend his services enough. 5 stars doesn’t come close to what he truly deserves. Thank you sir. We’ll not only be back again but as often as you’ll have us. Again, you made Aydens day. Thank you. See More

Offshore boat fishing, sometimes called deep sea or open water fishing, is fishing in deep water (more than 30 metres) and at some distance from land. It is dangerous compared to shallow water or lake fishing. More knowledge is needed about weather patterns, navigation and safety precautions, and this is not an activity for beginners.

Most pilings bear numbers for maintenance reference. Keep track of where you caught fish and note specific points such as piling design, compass directions and any particular markings such as ropes, graffiti or excessive pelican guano.

Talavera builds on the Shimano legacy of high performance saltwater rods with all-new rod tapers built to punish the fish and not the angler. Designed with high quality materials and components, Talavera delivers exceptional power and durability for inshore and offshore fishing.

The snook (aka Linesider) might be more of a Florida inshore fish, but it certainly deserves a place in the ultimate inshore fishing guide because it is one of the most popular saltwater game fish in the “Fishing Capital of the World”.