I have called Tampa Bay home all my life and have grown up fishing here since I could remember. I have spent countless hours searching for techniques to catch Snook, Redfish, Tarpon, Trout and Cobia inside Tampa Bay. I 2004 I became a fishing guide to share my knowledge to those who look to become better at fishing Tampa Bay and its surrounding water. Here are a few good tips I’m going to share to help you become better at fishing in Tampa Bay.
Have the right tackle for the job. Most people do not realize that you can catch big fish with lighter rods and reels. In fact, you stand a better chance of getting more hook ups when using lighter gear. A typical inshore set up on my Tampa fishing charter would be a Tsunami 2000 or 3000 reel and a St Croix Mojo 7’6 rod 8 to 17 lb. test. Match this with some 15 to 20 lb. braided line, 40 lb. fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 Daiichi hook and you are set to do some Tampa flats fishing.
Have plenty of bait… In Tampa Bay we use a ton of bait. Greenbacks and Threadfin hearing are the preferred bait for a typical day of Tampa fishing. Every Tampa fishing guide starts off his or her morning with a bucket full of Purina fish chum and a Talon cast net. The areas we catch bait can be on the markers in deeper water or on the shallow water flats of Tampa Bay. I typically carry two cast nets, I have a Talon 10-foot heavy 3/8 mesh for deep water, or the 10-foot Talon flats net which is extremely light to throw on the flats. The time of year will determine where you catch bait in Tampa Bay.
Where to start…… Fishing is not something you just start doing and become successful overnight. It takes time to learn spots and understand what draws fish to a certain area. Tampa inshore fishing is typically in 4 feet of water or less. On my fishing charters in Tampa Bay I look for a lot of variables but if you can narrow it down to just a few key things to help you catch fish in Tampa Bay. Tides are huge and to me are the main thing you need to look at. Rule of thumb the faster water flows the better fishing will be. The strongest tides of the month are around the New and Full moons. Tidal flow in Tampa Bay brings bait and bait brings fish. The last tip I’ll leave you is how to find new fishing spots in Tampa Bay. This would start with finding cuts, potholes points, and oyster bars. Back before I became a fishing guide and the internet wasn’t around, I spent hours on the water learning the lay of the land. Nowadays with technology you can use Google earth to help find areas that are productive, but you still have to get out on the water and check it out. Best thing you can also do would be to book a fishing charter with us and you will learn more in one trip than you would on your own in a years’ time. Check us out at www.