Fishing Tips Tampa Florida
Catching the Dependable Redfish | Fishing Articles and Tactics | Tampa
Tampa Fishing for redfish is best from early March through the end of October, although fish are available year round.
Their abundance and willingness to eat make them the “bread and butter” species for Tampa inshore fishing guides. As with many shallow water fish, targeting days with the strongest tides is best, so reference your tide charts before heading out on the water. Tackle typically used to pursue redfish is comprised of a a seven and a half foot, medium action, spinning rod matched with a reel designed for twenty to thirty pound 30 lbs braided line. Start your day by securing a variety of baits. When available, whitebait (pilchards) are always a top choice, but are not essential for catching redfish. Their primary inshore food sources are small crustaceans like crabs and shrimp, so large shrimp are also an excellent option. If you are not expert at throwing a cast net for whitebait and/or not in the neighborhood of a tackle store that sells shrimp however, small whole pinfish or grunts and cut baits will do the job. The best cut bait seems to be ladyfish or mullet, but Spanish mackerel to lizardfish will work. Since redfish make a living off of eating small crabs, they rarely refuse a large soft chunk of protein like cut bait.
Learning where the redfish are in your area is simply a function of being on the water a lot, or having a good friend who is, but certain environments are much more likely to hold redfish than others. Residential docks, oyster bars, grass flats and mangrove shorelines would be the key areas prospected on most Tampa fishing charters. Docks are the mainstay of many redfish anglers for two reasons. First, once a dock is located that holds redfish, it typically continues to do so, year after year, unless something about the structure changes. Second, docks fish very “fast”, that is to say that a bait cast under a dock is typically eaten within the first 5 minues if a redfish is there. Therefore, a redfisherman who both has a good repetoire of docks and fishes hard is likely to find fish on almost every trip. The biggest draw back to dock fishing is that large redfish will occasionally get back into the structure and break off. The best tides for dock fishing would be the two hours before and after the high tide but, unlike some of the other areas to be discussed, fish can be caught off docks on the lower phases of the tide, as long as enough water remains. The best rigging for dock fishing would be a four foot length of 30 lbs flourocarbon leader, tied to a quality 1/0 or 2/0 hook, like the Mutu Light Circle Hook manufactured by Owner. Use a large split shot, PSS2 size, to aid in casting accuracy and also to hold the bait in place. A free floating live or dead bait will quickly find a dock pole so the sinker is a critical ingredient. Any of the above mentioned baits will be effective but make sure to trim a pinfish or grunts tail before throwing it under a dock so it’s ability to swim around a dock pole is minimized.
Oyster bars are another location that redfish frequent, and for obvious reasons. Their favorite dinner resides there. Oyster bars are littered with the small, black crabs that redfish love. Local Tampa fishing guides fish these bars primarily on the higher phases of the tide as many bars are out of water on the lower tides. Once the water rises up over the bar, redfish will usually take up a position around the perimeter of the bar…just off of the oysters in the sandy transition area between the oysters and sea grass. This area appears as a secondary yellow ring around the darker colored oyster bar. Baits should be cast into this area. If split shots are used, make sure to cast into the the transition area and not onto the bar itself as the weight will drop down into the oysters and become snagged. If the tide is several feet over the bar, baits can be fished with a “peg bobber” just off the bottom so that they’ll float over the actual bar itself. If an oyster bar stretches down a length of shoreline, and the wind or current are running parallel to that shoreline, a bobber may be the best approach as it will allow the angler to drift the full length of the bar on one cast. Live baits are usually a bit more effective when bobber fishing.
The largest schools of redfish are usually found out in the open grass flats or along mangrove shorelines. Prime grass flats will usually be littered with sand holes or depressions. On the low tides, redfish will drop into the deepest of these and wait for the water to flush back up onto the flats. At times, these potholes produce somewhat of a “fishbowl effect”, with multiple fish stacking up in one or two potholes. As the tide returns, fish tend to move shoreward, either into potholes closer to land or clean up into the mangroves. On the lowest tides, these fish can be seen tailing on the flats as they move towards the shoreline, dining along the way. As the fish stops to eat, it noses down into the grass and it’s tail pops up. Some Tampa fishing guides will follow these fish all the way in, casting unweighted shrimp to these cruising fish as they work their way shoreward. If fishing single, larger, potholes on the flats, baits can be weighted and tossed into the hole. On flats with numerous potholes, use a bobber and set it so that the bait is six inches off the bottom. Next, position the boat upwind of the target area and cast to the closest pothole. Feed out line to allow this bait to drift over multiple potholes until the area is effectively covered. If a fish is hooked in one particular pothole, expect others in that same area.
Fishing for Red Fish in Tampa Bay
If the water is high enough so that there is several feet of water right in against the mangroves, redfish will move right up into “the bushes”. Redfish can actually be “lost to the mangroves” on extremely high tides as they move so deep into the mangroves that they aren’t reachable. In cases like this, fishing can be excellent an hour or two after the high tide as fish come pouring back out. As a general rule however, fishing mangrove shorelines is best on the highest phases of the tide. Mangroves provide a good food supply, protection from dolphin and sharks, and in the summer, cover from the hot sun. Many Tampa fishing charters up into the mangroves result in a variety of wildlife sightings which might include numerous sea birds, sharks, porpoises, and even manatees. The best fishing locations are deeper mangrove points that get good current flow. Most points on a mangrove shoreline will have oyster bars on them as well, providing an additional food source. If there are pockets or caves along these points, look to cast back up into these as there are days when the fish won’t want to come out of the mangroves to eat a bait. Most Tampa Area fishing guides will cast for customers in this situation unless the customer has exceptionally good casting ability. By putting a bait right into a mangrove cave, chances for hooking up are improved. Any deep areas along a mangrove shorelines, such as a creek mouth, represents another good area to try. In this shallow water environment, a foot of depth is significant so look for subtle drop offs and holes and expect to find fish there. Whether fishing potholes in the flats or along the mangroves, fish are usually found in groups of several to twenty fish, although there will be days when schools of several hundred fish are present and fish are hooked literally on every cast…the ideal Tampa fishing charter. As with longer shoreline oyster bars, if the angler is interested in prospecting a stretch of mangroves and the wind or tide are running parallel to shore, a bobbered pinfish or whitebait cast right up against the mangroves and allowed to drift along the shoreline can be very effective. Line should be mended in such a way as to keep the bait within a foot or two of the mangroves. If “plugging” the caves and holes in the mangroves, it’s best to use a good sized split shot, both to improve casting accuracy and to hold the bait in place so that it doesn’t drift into the mangrove roots down current.
A few additional tips that will help anglers catch redfish in the Tampa Bay Area are the following. First, in locations known to hold redfish, look for schools of large mullet. If redfish are in the vicinity, they are likely to be traveling with the mullet. Second, fish the shadows when it’s hot as, like most animals, redfish will seek the most comfortable environments in the heat of summer. Docks and mangroves provide this shade. Third, make sure to bring cut bait of some kind on every trip. It’s easy to cast very accurately and for great distance and is rarely refused by a hungry redfish. To view additional redfish photos, click here. Good luck and good fishing.
Florida tarpon fishing is among the best in the world. All around the coast of Florida you can find the great sports fishing for tarpon, some of which can grow up to eight feet in length in good conditions - in Florida, the conditions are great.
The best Florida tarpon fishing ranges all the way across the south from Tampa in the West to Cape Canaveral in the East. Here you can almost guarantee sunshine all year round which not only makes for a great fishing trip, it also helps the fish grow big and strong - and they're certainly strong! If it's a fishing adventure that you want, you'll find it in Florida fishing. These guys don't give up without a fight - but would you want it any other way?
Florida Tarpon Fishing Charters
World record quality tarpon are to be found in Florida; fishing charters abound here as you can hire a guide to take you on board and right into the heart of the best tarpon fishing in the world; experience fantastic tarpon fishing from Tampa Bay to St Petersburg and Tarpon Springs. No self respecting Florida fishing trip is complete without a trip to Boco Grande, though, which rightfully deserves its tag as the giant tarpon fishing capital of the world.
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Tampa Fishing Charters - Great Opportunity For Tarpon Hunting
One of the perks of living in Pinellas County is the convenient access to the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico, Lake Tarpon, Tampa Bay and Lake Seminole. If you are a boat lover or enjoy a day of fishing on the water, you are in the right place. There are many boat ramps, parks, and private residences to launch a boat from.
To access Lake Tarpon, many people use facilities such as John Chestnut Sr. Park, and Anderson Park. With some of the best freshwater bass fishing in the area, you can also jet ski and even see an occasional sea plane from the water.
And don't forget about Tampa Bay. Phillipe Park in Safety Harbor has a small boat ramp, and there is a larger ramp off the Courtney Campbell Bridge. Closer to St. Petersburg, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge has a separate fishing pier for those wishing to fish from the shore. Tampa Bay is a great place to boat, water ski, and fish for the day. When you fish near the bridges or in the open water in Tampa Bay, you're sure to reel in a few great catches!
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Redfish in Tampa Bay
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Fishing Video in Tampa Bay
Fantastic Fishing and Boating Awaits You in Pinellas County Florida Fish Report
Traveling to the Tampa Bay this winter and like to fish? It may be chillier outside, but unlike other places, fishing opportunities are still plentiful and abundant. In fact, many locals say it's their favorite time of the year to fish because of the diverse fish that migrate south for the winter.
As the seasons change from summer to fall, kingfish and flounder can be spotted around John's Pass Fishing Pier in Madeira Beach, along with Spanish mackerel, karcher, trout, and cobia.
For Spanish mackerel, you can expect to see fish 6-7 lbs and for kingfish, 12-15 lbs. Other fish like karcher, grouper, including 12-16 lb grouper, and cobia are bountiful, but you need to pay attention to the laws that regulate what you are and aren't allowed to keep. For example, you are limited in how much grouper you can keep in the 20-60 foot range (WOW!) The captain of your fishing charter will be able to tell you what you can and can't keep so you are in compliance with local fishing laws.
Speaking of deals - because it's a slower time of year for vacations, the fall means that many of Tampa Bay beaches' hotels, motels, and vacation rentals/condos offer cheaper weekly rental rates, including Madeira Beach which is where John's Pass Village is located in. That means you can stay longer and at a more affordable rate. Check with local vacation condo rental companies to learn more.
Deep Sea Fishing Charters - 2 Tips For Amateurs