Near shore we catch Grouper, Snapper, Permit, Cobia, and King Mackerel. Trophies in this day and age are 36 inches or better. The captain literally chums them into a frenzy and when they are really biting is can be as fast the angler can cast their bait in the water. He put us on fish right away and by the time the trip was over we caught 70 fish of over 8 different species. As many as half breed in Hillsborough Bay. Adults also love them because they are good to eat and you can keep four per person. That is the two times of year when the water temperate is in the mid 70s and the kingfish migration is passing the offshore area out of the bay area. The size limit, 14 to 24 inches, is good because the large ones get a chance to spawn. What’s Biting Now. Popular species are snook, trout, redfish, sheepshead, sharks, and snapper. Cobia is another prized tampa fishing target. Tampa Bay attracts nearly all of the state’s inshore saltwater species. Our fish are noticeably more active, grow quicker, have improved color, and we have all but eliminated bloat in even the most sensitive species, including tropheus. Tarpon can be found in several different areas from the beaches, passes backwaters and Tampa Bay. Matt will respond within 24 hours*. It’s a perfect platform to fish the shallow waters of Tampa Bay or to venture out to the reefs and rock piles in the open water. They roam in large schools ranging from 30 to 60 pounds with the largest ones reaching over 100 pounds. Tampa Bay is one of the greatest places to fish in the world. Capt Matt’s favorite bait is a bloody false albacore or Spanish mackerel. They have been making their mark in Tampa, serving customers since 1981. Anna Maria Island sits on the southern tip of Tampa Bay and is considered the tarpon capital of the world. Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater are collectively known as the Tampa Bay Area and are home to an abundant population of many shark species in and around Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Amberjacks are known for their tremendous ability to pull and are a real struggle even on a 100-pound tackle. He really enjoys helping people learn how to fish for gag grouper in Tampa Bay. Captain Matt personally really enjoys fishing for kingfish and it is one of his customer offshore favorites. With more than 25 years of saltwater fishing experience tucked into his tackle box, Captain Steve Betz is a full time Tampa Bay Fishing guide that promises to provide you one of the best fishing experiences you can. Tampa Bay Fisheries is the nation’s leading value-added seafood company. Most fish average 70 to 130 pounds the large ones can reach 250 pounds. Hogfish Deep Sea Fishing Charters Genus and Species: Lachnolaimus maximus – Hogfish Characteristics Of The Hogfish Tampa Bay offshore fishing and Captain Tom has mastered the art of catching hogfish without using a spearhead or scuba diving. Amberjack are a favorite among Tampa Bay fishing charters. Tarpon and sharks are the next to show up in the late spring and through the entire summer. Tampa Bay is world reknown for tarpon fishing in the spring and summer. Kids 12 and under fish free! Drum Red drum are one of Florida’s most popular sport fish and the state’s most widespread estuarine fish. Tampa bay fish species. Many times they run in schools of similar size. Whenever you’re done fighting Tarpon in the bay, head to a local lake for Largemouth Bass. by McKenna Kelley. They are tremendously good to eat and one of the best fish the bay area has to offer as far as table fair. Mangrove snapper offshore is a year round event. Matt and his charters stalk large schools made up of hundreds of Redfish as they wake across the flats. Many times the cobia can be found swimming behind large rays. The captain generally use light tackle 15-pound test when sight fishing for cobia. Sometimes they ride so high in the water there eye will actually stick out of the water. During the winter months the flounder fishing can be quite good near offshore wrecks. His favorite baits are live greenbacks and pinfish. 5 stars highly recommend!! Here you will find seatrout, redfish, snook, black drum, mackerel, pompano, sharks and tarpon. They are particularly known for being a great fish to eat. His favorite bait is by far live fresh greenback (pilchard), which he cast nets each and every morning before he meets his customers. Tampa Bay Fish Species Snook – Fishing for snook is a lot like bass fishing on steroids. If you like to birdwatch, hike, or fish, you may want to visit Lettuce Lake Park, located at Hillsborough River. Hogfish are considered one of the tastiest fish in the gulf of mexico. They are always a welcomed catch because they are great to eat. Anglers can read about catch-and-release techniques which are important when sport fish cannot be kept because of a size limit or a closed season. During the months of May, June, and July tarpon fishing is at it’s prime. Hogfish are considered one of the tastiest fish in the gulf of mexico. Pompano. In the spring and fall one of the favorite targets of Florida anglers is the snook. Few people know that Tampa Bay is one of the world’s best permit fisheries. They are easy to hook they hit so hard sometimes they almost hook themselves and when the schools are really thick you literally can’t keep you bait in the water they hit it so fast. 4-5 Hour Adventure on Tampa bay fishing for a variety of gamefish. They are targeted in very shallow water from 2 to 5 ft sometimes even shallower. Book your next Tampa Bay Fishing Charter today with YACHTFISH and experience the difference! Flounder can be caught in the bay throughout the year. It is possible to have a 10 Tarpon day hook up on these fish that range from 50 to 200 pounds. More than 80 percent of the fish we catch for food or fun depend on estuaries … August is a hot month for fishing in Tampa Bay. They are pretty good to eat, but it is best to let most go. Snook have a reputation for superior speed and strength. Tarpon is the ultimate sport fish in the world! They can be particularly leader shy and hook shy. Trout can be caught in the shallow flats throughout the year and during the colder months can be found in water as deep as 15 ft in the intercostals and along area beaches. His charters really enjoy them because when they are biting good they are very easy to catch and they put up a good fight, which makes it fun for all anglers of all skill levels. Some of these fish can approach 100 pounds and heavy 100-pound tackle is necessary to pull them away from the bridge. This past month of August has been a great month of catching. Most of the year Captain Matt considers flounder just to be a bonus fish and are caught when targeting other species. The Tampa Bay fish we target varies depending on the season and your desire. Hammerhead, bull, tiger, blacktip, and sand sharks just to name a few that call the area home. These fish are in shallow water making site fishing with shrimp and crabs as well as jigs very effective. The greater amberjacks bite better in the cooler months and the lesser bite better in the warmer months, but both species can be caught year round. Red grouper are generally a lot of the grouper you would buy when you go to the restaurant so there is no doubt they are great to eat! Black acaras are often beige with clear to light gray fins. Snook and … Capt Matt uses light tackle equipment, the same gear he uses for snook and redfish to catch trout. … They can also be really plentiful in the bay in the hotter months especially July and August. Like most reef fish species, hogfish are opportunistic feeders, eating whatever may be available from clams or urchins that can be crushed with their teeth to slow moving or sessile snails. Blue crabs and pinfish are the recommended baits for this fish. One of his very best days the captain has caught over a 100 in a trip on live bait and as many as 40 on a fly rod. The prime months are May, June, July when you can find big schools of silver King migrating down the beaches. Fish for different species, they are all fun. Snapper are generally targeted with light tackle and light line. Black Sea Bass. Hogfish Deep Sea Fishing Charters Genus and Species: Lachnolaimus maximus – Hogfish Characteristics Of The Hogfish Tampa Bay offshore fishing and Captain Tom has mastered the art of catching hogfish without using a spearhead or scuba diving. They can be caught year round and can vary in size from 10 to 130 pounds. Tampa Bay area has a recovering number of this species. Many days catching over 50 Snook with Redfish and Trout mixed in makes for some exciting action. This section of the Web site offers information for Tampa Bay fishermen. Also known as the Speckled Sea trout, they can be caught throughout the entire bay and along area beaches. Watch your coastal area if you have lots of Spanish sardines around. JACK CREVALLE. FISH SPECIES IN TAMPA BAY FINAL REPORT MAY 1992 #05-92 DISTRIBUTION OF SELECTED FISH SPECIES IN TAMPA BAY Prepared for: Tampa Bay National Estuary Program 111 7th Ave. South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 Prepared by: Coastal Environmental Services, Inc. 1099 Winterson Rd., Suite 130 Linthicum, MD 21090 Final Report May 1992 Printed on Recycled Paper . In Tampa Bay, redfish are most commonly targeted along the shallow grass flats, mangroves and oyster bars that riddle the bay. They too can be caught on relatively light tackle when roaming the open flats where they have nothing to tangle the angler’s line. Captain Matt finds them exceptional fun for his customers and likes to take the opportunity whenever it presents itself to teach is anglers how to fish for cobia. They are generally caught on live bait around wrecks in 50 to 100 feet of water. Captain Matt prefers to fish for trout with live greenbacks and occasionally when the water temperature cools down enough in the winter he will switch to shrimp for the best action. At an average of 8 pounds, snook may be pound for pound one of the toughest and hardest fighting sport fish species. Tournament winning kings usually run over 40 pounds in the Tampa Bay area. This can be a problem when the regulations are different for each species. They are fun to catch on light tackle and are considered very good to eat. Or just explore the Tampa fishing piers! There have been some unofficial world record tarpon weighing 300 pounds, landed in Tampa bay, one of which was caught aboard Captain Matt’s boat. When the water temperatures drop in the winter they can also be caught around deeper docks and structures adjacent to the flats in deeper water from 6 to 10ft. The Tampa area has some of the most productive inland lakes and rivers. Find out where the best fishing spots are for redfish, snook, spotted sea trout and tarpon. This makes the great fishery even better. They have very sharp teeth so be aware when taking them off the hook. Many people who fish for trout also do so with jigs and plugs, which can be very productive at times. The captain likes teaching his fisherman how to fish for flounder in Tampa Bay using light tackle. Tarpon migrate in by schools of thousands. When the water-cools down the action is fast Captain Matt will take the time to fish some of his offshore flounder locations as part of his offshore charter if his clients are looking for extra fillets. Captain Matt uses whole tunny and mackerel for bait along with 200-pound test, 400-pound leader, a 13/0 hook on a tuna rod. The challenge they present make a lot of fun to fish for especially when many times you get a bit every time you drop bait on the school. Wading and shorebirds are among the bay's most visible inhabitants. It also is very popular in Florida for making smoke fish spreads. He generally uses 15 pound class spinning tackle and 9 weight fly rods to catch snook. - Tampa Bay On The Fly. Captain Matt’s snook charters general average between 30 and 50 a day. The inshore bite the past few weeks in Tampa Bay has been awesome! Much like their cousins the gag grouper they tend hang around wrecks, ledges and hard bottom offshore. One unique species of fish commonly found in Tampa Bay and the Gulf is the amazing puffer fish. Captain Matt uses light tackle with very small hooks when fishing for sheepshead. It’s also the spawning grounds for many of the inshore species of fish found in Tampa Bay. Most of the fish are caught by site fishing over offshore reefs on flat calm days. Florida’s inshore gamefish. Not to worry though if you are swimming on our beaches the water is very clear and swimming in the shallow waters is safe. Goliath grouper are protected and must be released, which is why they are so plentiful. Captain Matt is most known in the fishing community for skills at tarpon fishing; it is his area of specialty. He takes pride in having the capabilities to teach others how to fish for tarpon in Tampa Bay. At times he also uses weighted live shrimp. Captain Matt love teaching his customers how to fish for Mangrove snapper. Though not as large topping out around 6 pounds they fight hard, are exciting to target and much like permit are amazing to eat. Cobia is one of the most prized catches for Tampa Bay anglers. The fishing for gag grouper in Tampa Bay is wide spread and can be enjoyed by anglers inshore, near shore, and far offshore throughout the year. Fishing in Tampa Bay for red grouper is very popular and a lot of fun. Find out more. They make awesome targets for light tackle and fly fishermen. Some people also catch them on jigs. With our inshore focus here at Flats and Bay, we have already talked about these four species in detail: But Tampa Bay is the state’s largest saltwater estuary system, and in this – it is home to literally thousands of fish and marine life species. Since they are so abundant they can make for incredibly fast action, kids love them for that reason. They are actually considered a nuisance to many fishermen these days because they eat a lot of the smaller grouper and snapper species including many of the ones on the fisherman’s hook. These fish are all great sport and will give you a run for your money on light tackle. People of the Safety Harbor culture lived almost entirely from mullet, shellfish, sea turtles, manatees, crabs, and other bounties harvested from the sea. This section also includes a list of popular sport fish and fishing regulations (both with pictures) specific to the Tampa Bay area. Pursuant to section 120.74, Florida Statutes, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has published its 2019 Agency Regulatory Plan.2019 Agency Regulatory Plan. June 14, 2018 . Cobia’s favorite baits are crabs, pinfish, and greenbacks. These solitary fish can be found on offshore reefs, around buoys, and sometimes inshore. Fish Identification: Often, sport fish look very similar and are hard to identify. I am sure you have been wondering what we have been catching on Tampa Fishing Charters. Certain species, such as Tarpon, Kingfish, Bonita, Cobia and Spanish Mackerel migrate south to north in the spring and north to south in the fall. Fresh caught live scaled sardines have been the key bait. Fishing Tampa Bay The bite is on in Tampa Bay. When a similar cichlid appeared in the waters draining into North Tampa Bay around 2000, scientists assumed the black acara was simply expanding its range or had been introduced a second time. Most of the pompano are caught inshore on the grass flats and along bay area beaches during the cooler months. You can find locations that offer jettys, oyster beds, bridge, mangroves, and docks, all in one location. Redfish are a staple for Tampa fishing charters. The fishing for snapper in Tampa Bay and the surrounding offshore water is very good. Summer & late spring fish species to target. Giant black drum can also be caught around bay area bridges on larger crushed open blue crabs at night. Snook are highly regarded sport fish so limitation is very tight one per person 28 to 32 inches. Outdoor-friendly Environment. Sharks are intelligent creatures that naturally prey on large fish, so this is what they are searching for when feeding. Captain Matt’s favorite bait is live greenbacks, occasionally he uses pinfish or cut dead bait. Fishing in Tampa Bay for goliath grouper can be the thrill of a lifetime for any angler strong enough to battle with one. Our charters go out all year long here in Tampa Bay, this is due to the great weather and this epic fishery. In addition it is home to at least five species of insect eating bats beach nesting sea turtles resident dolphin pods and up to one sixth. They are one of Captain Matt’s favorites and areas of specialty. Even with tackle that heavy they can still break the line. They absolutely explode when they strike and jump clear out of the water. Tampa Bay Fish Species. The Spanish Mackerel fishing in Tampa Bay can be unbelievable at times. In the summer they can also be caught around bridge pilings. Other species include flounder, black drum, sheepshead, spanish mackerel, permit, pompano – the list is truly endless. The average size redfish in Tampa Bay … The greater amberjack is the larger of the two species. Seasonally we also catch pompano, flounder, ladyfish, cobia and jack crevalle. Anglers also catch them on artificial jigs and plugs. 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