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Tips to become a better fisherman in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay has been 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 to become a better fisherman in Tampa Bay.

Tip#1  – Have the right tackle for the job.

First tip to become a better fisherman that most people do not realize is that you can catch big fish with lighter tackle. 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 with a Carbon 2 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.

Tip#2 – Have plenty of bait.

Second tips to become a better fisherman 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 cast net and chum.

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 12-foot heavy 3/8 mesh for deep water and the 12-foot flats net which is extremely light to throw on the flats. The time of year will determine where you catch bait in Tampa Bay.

Tip#3 – Where to start.

The third tips to become a better fisherman.

This would start with finding cuts, potholes points, and oyster bars. Back before I became a Tampa fishing guide and the internet was around. I spent hours on the water learning the lay of the land.

Nowadays with technology and Google earth you can find areas that are productive. So you still have to get out on the water and check it out.

Fishing is not something you just start doing and become successful overnight. It takes time to learn spots and understanding what draws fish to a certain area. Tampa inshore fishing is typically in 4 foot of water or less. On my Tampa fishing charters I look for a lot of variables but if you can narrow it down to just a few key things that 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.  Best thing you can also do would be to book a Tampa fishing guide and you will learn more in one trip than you would on your own in a years’ time. Tight lines!!!