Deep Sea Fishing in St. Petersburg, FL
When you’re flying in to ‘the Sunshine City’, you’re likely expecting a holiday to remember. And rightly so. St. Petersburg has much more than just beautiful weather. The local culture scene is teeming and in recent years the city has rejuvenated itself. The parks, the hip suburbs, and flocks of tourists come here year after year. But for any angler out there the best part is the deep sea fishing St. Petersburg has at its doorstep. The offshore fisheries are ripe for insane game fishing and with some patience, you’ll be coming home with bragging rights no one can deny.
What fish to catch
Head to the Gulf of Mexico and you can find a rich selection right below the water’s surface as well as far below near the bottoms of reefs and wrecks.
Here you’ll find Kingfish, Spanish Mackerel, Barracuda, Sailfish, Blackfin Tuna, Mahi, Wahoo--and the list goes on. Add to that Amberjack, Grouper, Snapper, as well as Triggerfish, Hogfish, Cobia, Sharks, Bonitos, and you’ll see what keeps anglers lining down the marina and boat ramps hoping to find a spot on a charter that will take them out for the prize.
When to fish
St. Petersburg boasts over 300 sunny days each year, so technically there isn’t a bad time to go deep sea fishing here. This is the textbook definition of a year-round fishery. An average day on the water can easily get your cooler full. There are some guidelines to keep in mind though to have the best chances of landing your coveted fish.
Kingfish, Grouper, and Amberjack bite the best in spring and fall, while summertime is traditionally meant for serious game, such as Mackerel, Sharks, Tunas, Sailfish, Mahi, Wahoo, Bonito. Snapper are in the water year-round, but watch out for the seasonal opening.
How to get the fish
The two most common methods you’ll try out here are bottom fishing and trolling. If you want to take home tasty food to grill, then you’ll probably do bottom fishing for the likes of Grouper and Snapper.
There are many more bottom fish around here, such as Amberjack, but many anglers claim that Grouper’s taste is second to none. Use live or cut bait to entice the fish to bite, but you’ll need to sink the bait deep enough for the fish to see it -- which is where the charter crew comes to play. You can get Grouper and Snapper by using medium to heavy rods with conventional reels. Amberjack will take almost any bait but they are freakishly strong, so stock up on the appropriate tackle.
If you want a trophy-sized catch, you’ll troll for Kingfish and other apex predators around here. Slow trolling with live bait can get you impressive Kingfish especially if you heat things up with chum before you start trolling. For speed-lovers, fast trolling with plugs can be efficient as you can cover a larger surface and entice a bite in less time. Trolling is efficient for Mahi and Tuna too, plus local captains know the tricks to put you on fish.
Need to know
If you’re fishing from a licensed charter, you don’t need a fishing license. Most of the time, charter captains will provide all the fishing gear, tackle, bait, and lures, so that leaves you with food and drinks to care of. When you’re packing for the trip, bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and Dramamine, especially if you’re prone to seasickness. It’s always good to check with the captain before you hit the road whether there are some errands to run before you set out.
Top Targeted Deep Sea Fishing Species in St. Petersburg
- Size 5 to 20lbs
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck
What People Are Saying About Deep Sea Fishing in St. Petersburg
"Different generations fishing extravaganza!!"
Hank, thanks so much for an awesome day and we could not have selected a better guide or person to go fishing with. All the best to Deep Color fishing. We will be back!!
"Captain Hank is Fantastic! !!"
With out a doubt a GREAT fishing trip with Deep Color Fishing and the BEST Captain!! My Son and I couldn't have picked a better trip! We caught our limit and released others! Captain Hank works hard, very friendly, extremely helpful and highly knowledgeable on Deep Sea fishing. Color me HAPPY with Deep Color Fishing