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Top Fishing Charters in Tarpon Springs

Fishing in Tarpon Springs

The story of Tarpon Springs begins with a Tarpon. As the legend goes, one of the first inhabitants saw a Tarpon leap out of the water, and so the name stuck in what was one of the earliest settlements in the area. Tarpon Springs fishing charters have access to a collection of bayous feeding into the Gulf and a rich stock of Silver King. Add to that warm climate, and you’ll see why this town is a perfect launchpad for a variety of fishing trips. 

Tarpon Springs has hues of the Mediterranean and some of the most hardcore fishing in this part of Florida. Numerous anglers line up at the dock to head out to the Gulf and explore the fishing opportunities, that at times leave even the seasoned angler in awe.

Tarpon Springs fishing spots

You don’t have to travel far to get supreme fishing action. Tarpon Springs has some lucrative fishers at its doorstep, including sounds, a network of flats, skinny waters, Gulf fisheries, and its very own lake. This means both serious fishermen and novice anglers have a good chance to land a nice fish, plus try a variety of fishing techniques.

Saint Joseph Sound

The nearest fishery to Saint Joseph Sound offers a rich stock of Tarpon. Just before daybreak, you can get Tarpon outside Howard Park. Many local anglers will tell you that on an average day you can get Tarpon just 200 ft from any beach overlooking the sound. With the water between 10 and 15 ft deep, these charters are a great chance to do some sight fishing, plus they let boats with deeper drafts take part.

The sound has some deep flats covered in grass that make exquisite shelter for Trout and Snook. The two most prominent islands, Anclote Key and Honeymoon Island, offer superb mangrove shelters for the finest of inshore games species. Plus, around the sound you will find several spoil islands that attract schools of fish.

One of the area’s must-sees is the seasonal run of Speckled Trout that grow really big and are abundant in winter months. If you happen to be here around that time, you should check out the sound and see if you can get a ‘Gator Trout’.

Once the warm weather kicks in, you will see schools of Redfish and Snook foraging around grass areas that are filled with shrimp, crabs, and smaller baitfish. This means constant fishing for a long period of time, even when the weather’s a bit colder. Pompano, Snook, Bluefish, Flounder, and even some odd Macks come around to feed.

Anclote Anchorage

If you want shallow waters, a good stock of Speckled Trout, Redfish, and Snook, and fast-paced action, the waters around the Anclote Anchorage must make it onto your to-do list. With a bunch of conveniently placed boat ramps, plenty of shade and parking space, and tree-lined coast, Anclote Key’s mangrove wetlands and coastal pine flatwoods are a postcard-worthy fishing spot. You can try sight casting or wade fishing, enjoy the light tackle chase with pretty tough fish, and altogether have a really nice day outdoors.

Gulf of Mexico

Anglers looking to fully explore the fishing opportunities out of Tarpon Springs can’t go wrong venturing further out. As the Gulf waters start getting deeper, Redfish, Snook, Tarpon, and Trout slowly give way to Kingfish, Spanish Mackerel, Snapper, Grouper, and Cobia. This is a real blessing for novice anglers as they can experience diverse fishing not that far from the shore.

Hardcore anglers, on the other hand, will need to put in a bit more effort to get where really deep water is. Once you make it past the 60 mile mark, the terrain starts changing and all of a sudden you can enjoy trolling for bigger Kingfish, as well as some Mahi, and Wahoo.

Deep sea fishing out of Tarpon Springs is exemplar. It’s not for the faint of heart, but you can snatch a whole range of Grouper and Snapper 80 miles offshore, as well as some impressive Amberjack and Sailfish.

Lake Tarpon

Known by anglers as one of the top Largemouth Bass spots statewide, Lake Tarpon is something freshwater anglers don’t want to miss. The excellent fishing opportunities year round come in the shape of Bass, Bluegill, Black Crappie, and Redear Sunfish. Scout around the weeds that rim the shoreline for massive Bass. Local guides will usually meet you near one of the boat ramps, and if you want are a fully-fledged angler there are a couple of piers on the lake that are worth checking out.

Fishing Techniques

Tarpon Springs has a variety of fishing techniques on offer. You can practice light tackle fishing around the shallow flats and get Redfish, Snook, and Trout. But then if you head far offshore, you can do deep dropping for Snowy Grouper. This stark contrast really helps anglers smash a variety of records here.

Wade fishing is a popular choice, especially around the Anclote Key. You will need a local fishing guide to take you to the hot spots and get the likes of Snook or Redfish. Feather jigs work great for Snook, while Redfish are regularly caught on soft plastics and shrimps. While you’re around skinny waters, remember that these shallow flats are a good place for some sight casting. You can get Speckled Trout on a variety of bait and artificials - check out the grassy areas for thrilling Trout action. These waters are also a popular kayak fishing destination.

Heading to the Gulf, you can still do some light tackle fishing for Redfish, Trout, and Snook once you pass the St Joseph Sound. The bite is even better as trolling with live sardines and pinfish can yield Kingfish and Spanish Mackerel, as well as Cobia.

The farther into the Gulf you, the deeper the fisheries get. And that means a nice stock of Snapper and Grouper. Bottom fishing is a popular activity for families and friends on vacation, and when the season’s open you will be coming home with a real delight of a fish.

Offshore, you can go trolling with live bait for Mahi, Wahoo, and Tuna. They perform incredible acrobatics when hooked and require heavy tackle. Wahoo are real brutes and will strike pretty much anything, while with Mahi the trick is to imitate flying fish and keep your bait near the surface. Kite fishing for Sailfish is another possibility, and if you want to get massive Snowy, Warsaw, or Yellowedge Grouper, you’ll need to try deep dropping and sink the bait to the depths between 200 and 300 feet.

Meanwhile, back at home, Lake Tarpon is a perfect chance to try fly fishing for Largemouth Bass as the fishing pressure is quite low on the lake.

Need to know

If you are fishing from a licensed charter boat or are going on a trip with a licensed guide, you don’t need to purchase a saltwater fishing license. Freshwater anglers should check out the Florida Wildlife Commision for exact info on when the license is required. As a rule of thumb, kids under the age of 16 and residents aged 65 and above don’t need a freshwater fishing license, but may be asked to show proof of age and residency.

When you’re packing for the trip, you should consider bringing Dramamine to ward against seasickness, especially if you’re heading offshore. Bring a hat, shades, and sunscreen, as well as an extra layer of clothing. Most charter boats offer life jackets for kids, but it’s good to check with the captain before the trip to make sure you don’t forget something.

Tarpon Springs
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Tarpon Springs Fishing Seasons

You might get cold weather, but the bite is super hot, with Grouper bunching up around the nearshore and offshore bottoms, making a great day for catch and release. You can also get Redfish, Snook, and Trout.

February brings a steady bite from inshore species, and you can get Snook, Redfish, and some Trout, or practise catch and release for Gag Grouper.

As the cold front rolls out of town and the temperature goes up, Snook rise in numbers, especially around creeks. You can also get some Sheepshead as well as Mackerel and Kingfish just a bit further out.

If you want to make a real stretch, then heading far offshore can yield you Wahoo. Meanwhile, you can so many species inshore, with Redfish, Trout, Black Drum, and Snook topping the list.

It’s all about Tarpon this time of year. Choose fly fishing or sight casting and come for a real blast. You can also get Trout and Snook inshore, as well as Black and Red Drum.

Get out early to avoid thunderstorms, get some fresh bait and make your aim for Snook and Redfish. Tarpon are on fire, so your inshore trip can easily be real fireworks.

Bottom fisheries near offshore reefs and wrecks hold Snapper and Grouper. Anglers on vacation are all headed out to get table fare. Stay inshore and you can get an excellent Kingfish or two.

You can get Mangrove Snapper, Grouper, Cobia, Flounder. There are plenty of Trout in the water, so you will get a mixed game of top-tier inshore species.

If you’re looking for a fall brawl, these waters will give you a steady bite from Redfish, Trout, Black Drum, and Macks. Inshore fisheries are on fire and you will definitely want to join the chase.

Redfish are getting better on the flats while you can find superb Snook fishing around creeks and rivers. The Kingfish fall run is also in full swing, and slow trolling can get you bags of Mackerel.

Although the weather’s cooling off, the waters are lit up with Snook around the creeks and Kingfish around deeper flats. You can get epic Redfish and Black Drum as they enter their fall frenzy.

The days are colder, but fishing surely isn’t. An average day on the water can get you Snook, Kingfish, some Redfish, Black Drum, and more.

Tarpon Springs Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Tarpon Springs

"March fishing trip"

5735023808 5. fished with Bentley’s Charters And Custom Rods on March 19, 2020

Polaroid sunglasses, water proof bag to store all you carry on board, rod belt to make reeling in easier, sun screen (remember to reapply to face, ears, neck and hands, camera, long sleeve light colored shirt, cap with rap-around-bill, protein bars, oranges, pee can. There's more but these are the items that I remembered to bring and some I wish I had remembered to bring

"Half day trip with captain brent"

Jamey G. fished with A Horizon Fishing Charters on March 18, 2020

Allow lots of time great place to rip some lips

"Fishing with Brent"

Joseph R. fished with A Horizon Fishing Charters on July 23, 2019

Bite is slow at times but a lot of quality fish.

"Big Game fish!"

Larry D. fished with Bentley’s Charters And Custom Rods on June 14, 2019

Captain Chad. Go out with him, he will Taylor the trip for you. ??

Top Fishing Techniques in Tarpon Springs

  1. Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Tarpon Springs





Spotted Seatrout

Spotted Seatrout





Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Jack Crevalle

Jack Crevalle

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Nearby Fishing Destinations