January 17, 2018 Tampa 6 photos

Trip Summary

After a string of mild winters we finally got a good dose of some unseasonably cold weather this year. Although it was short-lived (near 80 today), it did get cold enough to drop our water temps significantly. While it has certainly tempered the ridiculous snook bite, it has allowed our more tolerant wintertime species such as the sheepshead and trout to flourish. The predominant bait typically used this time of year is shrimp which is very effective and will catch anything that swims. This time of year though, I also like to use artificial lures that allow us to cover more water and often even outproduces live bait. Soft plastics such as those from DOA or Z-Mann on a 1/8th oz jig head or rigged weedless with a weighted worm hook are my favorites. For colors, root beer, black/gold and new penny seem to work best. The key is to slow that presentation way, way down for best results with this cooler water, especially for those big trout that are lurking this time of year. It has been a great year for trout too with large schools of fish over the deeper grass flats. It seems as though when one is found usually several dozen will follow. We also target residential canals and docks this time of year as many species seek refuge in the deeper, darker water found there. The docks hold plenty of sheepshead, redfish, snapper and snook while in the deeper areas there are jacks, ladyfish, trout and even some juvenile tarpon. The power plants are always productive in cooler temps due to their warm water outflows and this year is no exception. The waters have been crystal clear which allows us to sight cast to cobia and sharks as they prowl the shallow flats. So even though we are enduring one of our toughest "winters" in some time, Tampa Bay is alive! Not only are some tasty fish to bring home or keep rods bent, there are also huge flocks of migrating birds along with dolphins and manatees seemingly everywhere. So whether you live up north and need to get out of the cold or are fortunate enough to live here and want to get out enjoy our beautiful estuary, I promise you an experience you'll never forget! Book your trip Today!! Tight Lines, Capt. Chris
Chris Camps
Tampa, Florida, United States
Capt. Chris Camps Triple C Charters thumbnail
Capt. Chris Camps Triple C Charters invites you to explore Tampa Bay, the ‘Fishing Capital of the World.’ Enjoy a world-class fishery, the area’s pristine waterways, shallow grass flats, sugar sand beaches, passes, open bays, and mangrov...

Other reports from this captain

August 7, 2017
As we approach the warmest months of the year, the fishing has been HOT!! Both literally and figuratively. Although the water temps are warm, the recent heavy rains have kept them from getting too hot. These days, early and late is when we have had the best action, particularly for snook which can get a bit lethargic in the heat of a sunny day. On those occasions we look for deeper water and in the shadows of docks or mangroves. Make sure you tighten down your drag when fishing tight to any structure and remember that snook season remains closed so make sure to release them carefully. Please take particular care to revive the large, breeder females that we catch this time of year. (watch for dolphins). Under those same docks and mangrove shorelines we are finding slot redfish and mangrove snapper which are both excellent table fare. Another species we target this time of year are the spanish mackerel. They are strong fighters with a nasty disposition but they also make excellent fish dip! Tarpon have been finally settling down after the late season fronts and most recently the tropical storm that stirred up the Gulf of Mexico. As usual, the bridges and passes are where most of the fish are being caught. There are also quite a number of fish that have pushed well up into the bay with the hordes of threadfin herring that can often be seen on the surface getting ripped up by fish from below and dive bombed by birds from above. This time of year also brings an abundance of sharks. Blacktips, bonnethead and the atlantic sharpnose in the 2-4ft range are the most common species we catch on the flats. They make for a good fight and some excellent fish stories. Cobia have also made a strong showing this year. They can and will show up just about any time but more likely while we are chumming for mackerel or trout. I always try to keep a separate rod rigged with a swim bait or soft plastic that can be casted quickly and far, on sometimes, very short notice. It's been an incredibly busy year for me which is great because the fishing has been very good. I've still got a few days open, so if you want to get in on the action or possibly just learn how to better your own chances to catch fish, I'd be happy to help! Give me call at **hidden content**. Tight Lines ~ Capt. Chris
Fresh Start!
Fresh Start!
January 15, 2017
As we say goodbye to one year and hello to a new one, I can't help but reflect on how lucky I am to have a job that allows me the opportunity to share my passion with so many different types of people from all around the world. Not all are hardcore fishermen, in fact, most aren't, but what they do all have in common is a love for the outdoors. We are fortunate here in Tampa Bay to have such abundant wildlife both in and out of the water which makes every trip a new and memorable learning experience. Now on to the Fishing Report! December finished off with a bang for us as the mild temperatures continued. Water temps in the low to mid-seventies has kept the sardines from exiting the bay although some days they can be a tough to find. Trips before and after the Christmas holiday provided us with some unbelievable action. Near the mangrove edges and islands clients have been catching plenty of snook as well as some very nice trout that have moved in this year. Scaled sardines are still the bait of choice although we have done well with small jigs like the DOA cal on an 1/8th oz jig head. There are scattered redfish schools patrolling the flats too. I love this time of year because the negative tides allows us to spot these fish in very shallow water. These are mostly big over slot fish that are catch and release only. They can be quite a handful on light tackle. Sometimes we'll even get out of the boat to approach these spooky fish tailing in less than a foot of water. It is very much like stalking bonefish and equally as exciting! Out in the deeper waters the action has been nonstop! There have been some days of catching mackerel, bluefish and ladyfish until my clients just tap out! The inshore docks and rock piles have produced some keeper sheepshead using shrimp but the water needs to cool off a bit more before we'll see the larger ones move into the bay. I imagine we'll see the water slowly cool down as the pattern begins to change although the long range is still for above average temps overall. This bodes well for all you northerners looking to get away from what appears to be a brutal winter! Whether a visitor or a local, I hope you can take advantage of our beautiful area and all it has to offer. If you'd like to get out on the water with me for a day of catching, book your trip now. Guaranteed fun or your money back!
Red October!!
Red October!!
October 26, 2016
Being on the water the the last couple of weeks has been a bit of a challenge at times with the passing of a couple tropical systems as well as the season's first solid cold front. This has added some wind and rain into the equation but it has also resulted in a lower air and water temps that has the fishing on fire right now. Tampa Bay is still loaded with bait of all sizes from large threadfin herring and mullet down to the billions of glass minnows that have the fish, dolphins and birds all eating well. On the flats, the late summer/early fall push of redfish into Tampa Bay has continued. We are finally getting the numbers of fish we are accustomed to seeing, as opposed to the last couple of "lean" years when it seems most found a better deal somewhere else. They can be picky though, especially with the pressure they get at the more well known spots. It's best to just wait on these fish rather than chase them around the flats like you'll see many inexperienced anglers do. We are still catching some solid snook too as they congregate in preparation for their moves into the backcountry. At lower tides the deeper mangrove edges and docks have produced well for us but it takes a skilled angler to wrestle a decent redfish or even a medium sized snook out of these barnacle encrusted structures. There have been some great catches recently but also more than a few broken hearts. Still some tasty snapper and now starting to see some sheepshead around these same docks. Out in open water the mackerel bite has been on and off but they have been good sized and when mixed in with some voracious ladyfish, it makes for some great rod-bending, poop-slinging fun! We've had a couple of cobia come around to investigate the action as well. The kingfish have also started their return trip south but the incessant winds have made it tough to fish for them. Last but not least the juvenile tarpon have been stacked up in their usual late summer spots. It takes a little patience at times but the payoff is well worth it as these tough, aerial acrobats take flight almost instantly when hooked and usually put on a quite a display. Still have some dates available so if you've been thinking about getting in on the action...make it happen!! You owe it to yourself to take advantage of the great weather and excellent fishing!! There is no better therapy. Tight Lines, Capt. Chris