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?
An example of this is using a scaled sardine for Snook, I trim the tail, cutting enough so the scaled sardine can’t swim away so fast. I also use the pectoral to hook the scaled sardine (see photo), which not only slows it down, but causes the sardine to fight for its life. Snook can’t resist a scaled sardine hooked this way, even in the summer heat. Go out and try some of these things and let us know how you do.
The keys here are deeper water, cooler water, moving water, more oxygenated water, and low light. One of these elements is good, two are better, three or four are the best. Weather fronts also stimulate and energize fish, so fishing just before a front is usually good.
June’s fishing report for the Tampa bay, Clearwater Beach, St.Pete Beach area has been hot with action just like the weather! Summer is here and the warmer weather not only brings people to the beach, but it also brings the fish! Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Trout, Mackerel, Snapper, and Sharks have all been around.
Captain Andy and Captain Ollie were fantastic! We were so excited to experience deep sea fishing and they helped make the experience worth while. We caught several difference fish including a handful of sharks! They were knowledgeable of the water and where the best spots to catch fish were. Our family day trip for 5 was an amazing adventure and a fantastic experience. I would highly recommend anyone who lives in the area or is visiting Florida make time for these guys! They do an incredible job and you are guaranteed to catch some fish. At the end of the trip Captain cleaned our fish for us and we were able to eat our catch(es) of the day at Ricky’s. The experience was one to remember! Thank you to both guys for a successful day on the water!M MJ Boyce
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.
After seeing the healthy grass flats from the window seat of many flights while descending towards Tampa International Airport (who would have ever guessed you could find fishing spots from a commercial airline flight), I finally decided to venture out there to see if they held redfish, snook, and/or trout.
Our top choice is the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay, which became the world’s longest fishing pier after a 1980 disaster wiped out the center section of the bridge. Depending upon season and how far out you go, the bridge offers a chance to catch everything from snook, tarpon, grouper, black sea bass, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, cobia, sheepshead, red snapper and pompano.
Tarpon range from 30lbs up to over 200lbs and the average tarpon caught on a tarpon fishing charter during the summer is right around 100lbs. Tarpon are known for their drag screaming runs and their high-flying leaps during the fight.
Winter Time Fishing In Tampa Bay! – Fishing in Tampa Bay is still pretty good despite the cold weather. Fortunately, the water temperature hasn’t dropped too much yet and there is still plenty of bait around. Some days the fish will chew great and other days they just won’t eat more…
One local captain, Capt. Paul Hawkins, catches fish where they live – he just likes to find the ones that stay close to land. He’ll look just off the beaches, in passes and bays, in the Intracoastal Waterway and in bayous and residential canals.
Scuba and freediving spearfishermen and women have enjoyed great underwater visibility over the past week. Some boaters going offshore can make out the bottom structure from the gunnel of the boat. Best depths for visibility have been in 30 to 40 fee…
Leading the team at A-Wake N’ Drag Fishing Charters is Captain Greg Doherty, a full-time fishing guide who has been serving local clients for over a decade. Sailing on the Gulf of Mexico, Mr. Doherty has caught a tremendous array of fish species, including snook, redfish, trout, flounder, black drums, cobia, snapper, grouper, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, and tarpon. Clients speak highly of Captain Greg for his formidable knowledge of the best local fishing spots, as well as his patient, easygoing attitude.
July’s Fishing Charter Report for Clearwater Beach, St.Pete Beach, and Tampa bay has been a mixed bag of snapper, sharks, redfish, snook, trout, and a few others being caught. July is a Hot month and fishing can vary day to day depending on the heat and rain, but we are still Catching!!!
Perhaps one of the most underrated Bay fish, Black Drum are incredibly fun to catch. Also, as 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.
There are plenty of captains willing to clean and fillet the fish for you following the trip. Unlike Tarpon, Reds make for a delicious table fare. In fact, many of the local restaurants will be more than happy to cook your catch. How’s that for a fresh lunch?
• Dangling Tackle: Popping out from the bridge shadows and running face-first into a dropping hook or sinker is a guaranteed ER visit. Also, an often tenuous relationship exists between those fishing from a bridge and those motoring around it, so remember the courtesy thing and stay clear of deployed lines.
As the weather gets warmer, sometimes it’s just more fun to wade fish. Grab a pair of sneakers and light fishing tackle, then cast into the channels that cut through lush seagrass beds. Be careful not to trample through seagrasses though – they’re critical habitat for almost nearly every fish in Tampa Bay.
One of the area’s true salts, Hawkins taught me an important tactical point: Fishing a bridge doesn’t necessarily mean hugging the structure. There are times when pompano and other species will feed close to the structure, but consider that the eddies spun by flowing tides can create feeding scenarios 100 yards from the pilings.
For more information about charter fishing Tampa Bay, fishing St. Pete Beach, or Clearwater fishing charters or to request more information on arranging a fishing charter Tampa area, follow the links above.
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.
“In addition to being a huge conservation tool that limits the chances of hooking a fish deeply, inline circle hooks actually catch more fish. When set properly, it’s difficult for a fish to shake it — and that provides great peace of mind when that tarpon, big snook or sailfish takes to the air.”
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!
Saltwater Hook Up is a saltwater fishing charter providing trips all throughout the waters of Boca Grande and Great Tampa Bay. Saltwater Hook Up’s captain, Rich Andretta, specializes in trophy fishing in both inshore and offshore waters. Captain Rich is happy to help teach novices and to support experienced anglers. Saltwater Hook Up’s boat is a custom 25- foot Marauder Marine Avenger Bay boat, well known for its stability and room, making it ideal for anglers of all ages, from children to seniors.
Daisy Mae Fishing Co., located in Clearwater, operates a 45-foot boat that is certified to carry as many as six passengers. The boat has central heating and air-conditioning systems, luxurious living and sleeping accommodations, a differential GPS system, a satellite phone, and other amenities to ensure clients’ comfort and safety. The team at Daisy Mae Fishing Co. leads deep sea fishing expeditions on the Gulf of Mexico, during which passengers can catch offshore species such as kingfish, cobia, tuna, amberjack, Spanish mackerel, and mahi-mahi.
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.
As a 30 year fly fisher of Tampa Bay and the surrounding waters, and the owner of the area’s only dedicated Fly Shop, Tampa Bay on the Fly, I recommend any member of the Tampa Fly Guides for a truly unforgettable experience. I have personally fished with and alongside of each of these guides and I would recommend them for all levels of fly fishermen.
Tampa fishing and its inshore potential have long been renowned way beyond The Sunshine State. These waters are brimming with the likes of Snook, Redfish, and Tarpon during most of the year, with a wide range of smaller Shark species to keep you busy on even the slowest of days. In fact, there’s such a variety of species cruising the Tampa flats year-round, you’d be seriously hard-pressed to find a local fishing guide that recalls the last time he and his guests came back from the trip empty-handed. But don’t take our word for it!
Since this was my first time fishing this area, I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. There is a wide variety of fish, and they are EVERYWHERE. I don’t know how the rest of the year is, but March 2018 was a fantastic trip for me. I caught 20 fish in a 4-hour charter, including four different kinds of fish, and I just finished dinner made from part of my catch.
Tampa Bay’s shallow waters, sea grass beds, mud flats, and surrounding mangroves provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. More than 200 species of fish are found in the waters of the bay, which provides some incredible fly fishing opportunities for species such as Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Cobia, and Sea Trout, to name a few.