Tampa Bay

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Tampa Bay Fishing Charters

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Top Fishing Charters in Tampa Bay


Tampa Bay is a great place to get a taste of Florida’s superb fishing! What’s more, there’s an incredible number of Tampa Bay fishing charters ready to put you on the hot bite. With no shortage of incredible, hard-fighting, and tasty fish, the question isn’t why you should try fishing in Tampa Bay – it’s why wouldn’t you?

The bay is actually a saltwater estuary, with 400 miles of rich shallow habitat to explore. Impressive-sized Tarpon, Redfish, Snook, and Spotted Seatrout are the most common inshore catches in the area. Want more variety? Add Sheepshead, Black Drum, Flounder, Pompano, and Sharks to the equation.

Fishing the nearshore waters of the bay is an adventure in itself. Mackerel, Snapper, Grouper, Cobia, and many other species are swimming around, ready to take your bait. Venture out into the Gulf of Mexico, and chase all the favorite game fish – Mahi Mahi, King Mackerel, Barracuda, Tuna, and even Sailfish are in the cards.

Inshore trips are perfect for anglers of all levels, as well as family outings. More seasoned fishermen love targeting monster Tarpon and going after the inshore Grand Slam. The offshore fishery is so diverse that both novices and pros are all but guaranteed to have a blast.

Because the choice of fish is fantastic, charters offer a wide array of trips. Some of the best destinations to find a professional guide are St. Petersburg, Tampa, Clearwater, and Bradenton. And once you find your captain and hit the bay’s prolific waters, you’ll always come back for more!

Rules & Regulations

Most Tampa Bay fishing charters provide a fishing license for their customers so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Some sought-after species, like Red Snapper and Tarpon, have strict seasonalities, so ask your captain about the details before your trip.

Tampa Bay
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.53
Based on 21350 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

January

Early in the year, you can expect excellent fishing if you know where to look! Average temperatures are in the sixties, cold enough to push Redfish and Speckled Trout into the deeper waters of the bay.

February

February is full of possibilities here in Tampa Bay. Fishing inshore could produce anything from Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Sheepshead to small Sharks.

March
As average temperatures climb toward 75°F, things are heating up on the flats. Charter boats in St. Petersburg and Clearwater are gearing up for the season offshore.
 
April
Tampa Bay is bustling with anglers in April as Tarpon make their first appearance. Bear in mind that Tarpon fishing is strictly catch and release. Snook are also biting, so light tackle and fly fishermen can have a blast on the flats. The offshore fishing season is up and running.
May

Temperatures are rising daily in the bay, so it’s hard to say what’s hotter, the weather or the fishing! Tarpon season is in full swing, with top-notch Snook fishing to boot. Redfish, Trout, Pompano, and many more are biting as well.

June

You’ll be spoiled for choice in June, with unparalleled fishing on the flats and in the Gulf. Why choose when you can spend one day wrestling Tarpon inshore and the next reeling in Mahi Mahi offshore?

July

You can expect some of the hottest weather of the year in July, and all the prized fish are loving it! Whatever you’d like to target in Tampa Bay, now is the time to do it. Cool off on the water and reel in some prestigious game fish while you’re at it!

August
The summer heat continues, along with stellar fishing left and right. You can expect multiple hook-ups while fishing for Tarpon and a wide variety of catches on the flats. These warm summer nights are perfect for bowfishing.
September
In some years, fantastic fishing continues all the way through September. Tarpon and Snook are still in the cards, along with a variety of big game fish offshore. Average temperatures are slipping below 90°F.
October
If you’re lucky, Tarpon fishing in Tampa Bay could still be strong at this time of year. The flats offer plenty of light tackle and fly action. Cast a few lines before a cold front pushes the fish into deeper water.
November
The offshore fishing season comes to a close in November, but this can be the perfect time to check out the busy waters inshore. With fewer tourists in the Bay, you can have this fishery all to yourself!
December
Even in December, you can expect balmy weather and excellent angling conditions. Fishing the deeper water in the bay will yield Redfish, Speckled Trout, and the odd Snook. You could also find Flounder and Sheepshead because they prefer “colder” weather.

Tampa Bay Fishing Calendar

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May fishing trip
Chet S. fished with Tampa Fishing Academy and Charters on May 1, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Early May is a great time to be out fishing off Apollo Beach.
Fishing with William
William C. fished with Rebel Coast Charters on April 30, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Wewent for 2 hours it went by very fast
Our Fishing Trip With Captain Jason.........
Tonya O. fished with Neptune Fishing Charters on April 17, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
To book with Neptune Fishing Charters! Captain Jason is awesome!
8 hour trip with Capt. Gary and Jose
Jason M. fished with Maritime Operations LLC on April 16, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Be prepared for weather changes in Spring in Florida. We started day with good weather rather calm seas but wind picked up in afternoon and swells built a little.
April 3 hour fishing trip
Samantha I. fished with Offshore Addict Charters on April 15, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
If this is your first ocean fishing experience I recommend booking with Offshore Addicts. Its a whole lot different than fishing in the midwest where we are from but they made the experience so enjoyable!
1/2 day trip.
Troy M. fished with El Pescador Fishing Charters on April 14, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Do not expect huge fish but do expect to catch alot.
Great first trip on Clearwater Bay - 4 hour afternoon trip
Chad S. fished with Wet Lines Fishing 20' on April 3, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Plan for a change in the weather, we had a cold front and wind force us to reschedule.
Great half day off shore trip!
ANDREW F. fished with Outlaw Gunner Charters on March 29, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
If you want to catch alot of great eating fish this is the trip. If you are in it for the fight of big fish take all day deep water trip

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Tampa Bay

According to customer reviews, Captain Andy's Salty Adventures, Big Daddy Sportfishing, and Tampa Fishing Academy and Charters are some of the most popular fishing charters in Tampa Bay. Full list of top fishing charters in Tampa Bay.

Captain Andy's Salty Adventures, Big Daddy Sportfishing, and Tampa Fishing Academy and Charters all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Tampa Bay.

The best way to experience fishing in Tampa Bay is to book a private charter with a licensed fishing guide. See the full list of charters available for online booking here: List of fishing charters in Tampa Bay.

The top 8 fish species targeted on guided fishing trips in Tampa Bay are:

Temperatures are rising daily in the bay, so it’s hard to say what’s hotter, the weather or the fishing! Tarpon season is in full swing, with top-notch Snook fishing to boot. Redfish, Trout, Pompano, and many more are biting as well. Check availability for local fishing charters in Tampa Bay.