Be it Tampa, St Pete, Clearwater, Bradenton or Sarasota, there’s no shortage of hotspots that fish well throughout the calendar year. Here, we’ll cover some of the area’s most popular species and dominant fishing techniques. We also might just give you a reason or two to put Tampa Bay fishing at the top of this year’s bucket list.

Description: high arched back; 10 to 14 pairs of chin barbels; gray or black colored body in adults; young have 4 to 6 vertical bars; has cobblestone-like teeth capable of crushing oysters; scales large.

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.

Although high-grade conventional saltwater reels and rods provide the necessary backbone for big game anglers fishing offshore, those who are just beginning to fish in saltwater are better off starting out with a quality medium weight spinning combo. Unless you are already well versed in the art of casting a conventional reel, a spinning reel will help you to cast further while avoiding the frustrating backlashes and bird’s nests that are inherent with conventional gear. A quality spinning combo that is rated for 10 to 25 test line will also cover you in a variety of different venues from surf and pier fishing to drifting in bays or intertidal estuaries.

With the increase of fishing technology and the amount of people in the Tampa fishing community how are our fisheries responding? I come from 4 generations of professional fishermen. As far as I can determine, my family started fishing the Tampa Bay area in the 1920s. Through many conversations with the old timers in my family, I have been able to grasp a picture of our ecosystem that is unique to most other fisherman. The Tampa Bay fishery took a gradual turn for the worst in the 1970s and has been in a downward spiral ever since. As I commonly explain on Tampa Fishing Charters , three things have adversely affected our fishery; 1.The Army Corps of Engineers Effects on Tampa Fishing Charters Some where along the way politicians and engineers thought it would be a great idea to cut a bunch of straight lines through winding rivers, creeks and lakes of Florida. The largest example of this is Lake Okeechobee. The largest lake in Florida’s waters were created to naturally overflow its southern banks and drain through the Everglades into Florida Bay creating an amazing River of Grass.  However, to give sugarcane farmers land to harvest , the southern end…

Please be sure to bring a hat, camera, sunscreen, sunglass’s, shoe’s appropriate for boat use and a cheerful disposition! After all, this is Florida and it can get very HOT in paradise! We will allow you to bring beer (in cans), and allow drinking in moderation. Drunkenness WILL NOT be tolerated, and will result in the conclusion of the charter no matter how much time is left on the clock, and all fee(s) will be retained by InShoreTampaBay Fishing Charters. Anything deemed illegal by Florida law will not be permitted on our boat(s) period. 

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.

“You have to be patient,” Chiem said. “You can catch fish out here, grouper, snapper, mackerel. People don’t think you can catch grouper out here but you can. You just have to know what you’re doing and be patient.”

Thinner braided lines tend to cast easier and farther than most monofilaments. The only drawback is that braided line usually requires a leader in order to achieve optimum performance. But no matter what type line you select, this best types of leaders to use are ones made from fluorocarbon, which becomes virtually invisible to fish once it has been submerged.

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Hard Card: A hard, credit card-style license can be purchased in addition to purchasing your annual or five-year license. The ‘hard card’ costs $5. If you purchase the ‘hard card,’ your temporary license should read “hard card shipped separately.” NOTE: Each $5 ‘hard card’ can hold up to seven different licenses or permits. If you have more than seven licenses or permits and want them all on a card, you will need to purchase additional cards at $5 each.

Capt Steve hit the spots where the fish were. We probably caught about 30 fish total – trout, ladyfish, sheepshead etc… with 6 keepers. He does everything and is a very good captain. I Highly recommend his service, the trip was very enjoyable. I certainly…More

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!

St.Pete Beach fishing trips have been catch lots of Spanish Mackerel, Pompano, Trout, and Redfish fishing both the grass flats of Ft. Desoto, and just off the beach in front of the the Don Cesar hotel. Fall fishing is heating up and the St. Pete area is great because it the opening between the Gulf of mexico and Tampa Bay, and all the fish moving through the area pass by the area making for great angling opportunities.

Your Tampa Bay Fishing Guide specializes in light tackle fishing for inshore game fish in Tampa Bay. He is licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard and has fished the waters of Tampa Bay since 1970. Captain John takes pride and gives 110% effort to ensure his guests have a fun, action-filled experience that will create lifetime memories. Capt. John’s patience, professionalism, and intimate knowledge of Tampa Bay waters have enabled him to maintain a NO FISH NO PAY policy.

4 At Fort DeSoto Park, the sheepshead bite is still pretty good around the bridges and any area with structure. Lots of “rat” redfish are still being caught around the park. There are also a lot of small trout up to 14 inches being caught. “There’s a good amount of snook around, but the cold weather has made them lethargic. They’ve got lockjaw,” reports Capt. Claude Hinson, of the Bait Bucket (727-864-2108).

Plan your next saltwater fishing adventure with your family and friends. From the coastline to the deep-sea, there are countless saltwater fishing opportunities for all anglers. Learn what type of fishing gear and equipment you need to use based on the species you are trying to catch.

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.

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.

Strong pro-ethanol advocates pushing the Obama Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase ethanol levels in gasoline to 15% (E15). As you may have read in BoatUS Magazine, ethanol at the currently allowed 10% (E10) level has been shown to cause significant problems for some marine engines and boat fuel systems. Click Here for more info

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.

My husband, 11 year old son and myself went out today with Capt Anthony & Trevor. We had a great time! We caught numerous fish including Snapper, Grouper, and even a shark! We will be back to fish wi…th these guys again! We would recommend these guys if you are thinking about doing a fishing charter. See More

I took a quick glance at my website to make sure everything was working and up to date and noticed I hadn’t posted in quite a while, and then looked at how many trips I have run this calendar year … Continue reading →

December Fishing Report for the Clearwater, Clearwater Beach, St.Pete Beach, and Tampa Bay Area. We have been targeting Trout, Redfish, and Snook for most of December with good results. Live shrimp, Sardines, and Artificial lures have been working. Most days we are just doing half day charters, but a few anglers have been doing full days. Here are some pics from recently.

Anglers either use an uptide rod between 9 and 10 feet in length to cast from the boat or a shorter downtide rod between 6 and 8 feet. Lines are usually between 18 pounds and 50 pounds breaking strain dependent on the species of fish being targeted. Reels are usually multipliers, although fixed spool reels are being used more and more. Baits are similar to those used for beach and rock fishing except they are often larger since larger fish are targeted. The species will include all the beach species, but now also include big conger eels and small sharks like tope and smoothhound.

BRRRRR!!! So was this January as cold as it felt? Absolutely! The average temperature range for Tampa in January, per Wikipedia, is 51.2 degrees for a low and 69.5 degrees for a high.  Also, in an average year, there are 4 nights in January where the temperature dips below 40 degrees and 3 days where it passes 80 degrees.  The average temperature range for this January was 48.1 degrees to 67.6 degrees.  There were a whopping 9 nights below 40 degrees and daytime highs didn’t reach 80 degrees once. Although this data would not appear to support the theory that our planet is heating up, 2017 was the hottest year on record in Tampa. Go figure. 

With many of the major tackle manufacturers here to answer all your questions and local tackle retailers available to fill your orders, this is truly one stop shopping.  Meet face to face with guides and charters, compare and buy saltwater fishing boats and kayaks, and learn the latest techniques from local experts at the Garden State Exhibit Center.

Tampa Fishing Charters is a Tampa-based company giving guide services to locals, in the Tampa Flats as well as offshore. Captain Brandon Henley will lead passengers on a voyage through Tampa Bay’s shallow waters, to catch gamefish such as tarpon, snook, redfish, and trout. Customers can expect to see a variety of aquatic wildlife, including dolphins, turtles, and manatees.

Visit our Commercial Fishing page to find commercial trip limits, quota allocation plans, and more! Also, check out the list of DEC’s marine permits and licenses and the contact information for applying.

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.

Home of the Costa Saltwater Fishing Community. Stay up-to-date with our pros, events, and all things saltwater fishing. Fishing is the lifeblood of Costa. It drives our passion for the water, inspires adventures and stokes our spirit to See What’s Out There. Built by fishermen, for fishermen, Costa sunglasses are designed as a tool to help anglers see more of their adventures and catch more fish. It’s not just a job, it’s our passion.

My husband, my 12 year old daughter and I booked a 3/4 day fishing trip with capt. Chet and had a brilliant day. We have been coming to Tampa/Clearwater for the last 5 years and have booked various private charters but this trip was definitely the best we’ve had! Capt Chet was very patient and accommodating with our daughter and had her catching fish all day. We stopped over a spot and were constantly catching jack crevalle, trout and mackerel. My husband really wanted to try and catch a tarpon so Chet took us to a spot where he thought was our best chance to catch one but unfortunately we had no luck. We are back in sept and will definitely be booking another trip with Chet!

Description: long, slim fish with broad depressed head; lower jaw projects past upper jaw; dark lateral stripe extends through eye to tail; first dorsal fin comprised of 7 to 9 free spines; when young, has conspicuous alternating black and white horizontal stripes.

It was a great time Scott! Thank you for coming and thank you for the review. I hope I will be able to take you on another Tampa Fishing Charter in the future. Capt. Steve Betz Tampa Flats and Bay Fishing Charters