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Top Fly Fishing Charters in Tampa

Fly Fishing in Tampa

Tampa fly fishing is an acquired taste. For the experienced angler it has all the appeal a fly fishing destination should have. A maze of flats with the average depth of 12 feet. Secluded honey holes teem with fish if you know how to find them.

Anglers who have fished here keep coming back for more as these inshore fish prove that dynamite comes in small packages. Looking at you, Redfish. But don’t be tricked for a second. These fish do reach enviable size. And even better, you can take your flies and long rods out into the bay and present the lure to top pelagics. Once you’ve found a fly fishing guide to take you around these fisheries -- and Tampa lacks none - you will acquire the taste after just a couple of casts.

What fish to catch

Tampa fly fishing guides will tell you that they have landed anything from epic Redfish, Snook, Permit, Tarpon, Jack Crevalle, Cobia, to bigger fish such as King and Spanish Mackerel. Some have landed Sailfish not far from shore. Some fly fishing gurus will tell you that even Snapper and Grouper can be seized with a little help from weighted line. But sticking to the proven methods on your first trip can get you more fish than you could dream of.

When to go fly fishing in Tampa

If the weather’s on your side, you can expect a steady bite throughout the year. Migratory species make spring and fall a perfect time to leave dry land behind you and get out on the water. Mackerel, Cobia, and Jack Crevalle are more of a ‘spring/fall’ kind of fish. False Albacore are consistent year-round and Tampa’s fly anglers love them.

Possibly the best fly fishing around Tampa is for Snook and Redfish. Present for the best part of the year, these two species are the first fish you want to get on flies. They are fast and hard-hitting, won’t be shy about saying ‘no’ to your lures, and most certainly won’t give in without a brawl. To get a monster-size Tarpon, the best months would be May through July.

How to get the fish

When targeting Snook, a 9 wt fly rod will get you a nice specimen, especially if you choose to use deer hair bugs. For Tarpon fishing, you should equip yourself with 11 wt rods and consider sight fishing. Most Tampa fly fishing guides know Tarpon routes and will act as lookout so that you have enough time to prepare for casting. Come fall, you can entice a whole pack of Redfish with a single cast. Most anglers use 8 wt rods and pair them with puffy flies big enough for Reds to notice them.

Need to know

Most Tampa fly fishing guides supply fly gear, but often you will need to bring your own equipment. As fly fishing requires proper presentation of the fly, many anglers develop their own approach to it, so not all gear will work all the time. Also, you should bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, as well as some food and drinks. If you haven’t fly fished before, many guides offer lessons so you can make the most out of your trip once you get onboard.


Based on 13,994 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

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What People Are Saying About Fly Fishing in Tampa

"Capt Sam"

Persaud Mahesh fished with Baytime Charters on November 10, 2019

Capt Sam was awesome despite bad weather conditions for fishing. He got us to some great locations to fish. We had a great time for a half day trip. This guy knows his business.

"4 hour trip with Joe"

Adam Rezi fished with Slobby Joe Charters - Tampa on November 10, 2019

Captain Joe is a very good guide! He knows a lot of good places, and he took us there. We caught a lot of nice big fish on the 4 hour fishing. He's kind, humorous and sometimes sings. 😀 We'll definitely be back!

"Very Patient with first time fishermen!"

Robert Kaplan fished with Baytime Charters on October 27, 2019

Sam was great. Very patient with us as we had never fished before and weren’t any good at casting or hooking the snook. But by the end of the day, my 2 friends and I had all hooked and reeled in at least one fish. He wouldn’t leave until we did. And Sam had hooked at least one or 2 more where he handed us the rods to reel in. Great day.

"Half day in the bay"

Bart Hodgins fished with Downtown Tampa Charters LLC on October 24, 2019

Super nice captain perfect for me and my 12 year old. Here is the thing...he picked us up on the river walk near own hotel!! Huge game changer to help with timing. 4 hours of catching and lots that got away! Highly recommend for a knowledgeable laid back experience .

"Half day trip with captain sam"

Isaias Mejia fished with Baytime Charters on October 26, 2019

Had a great time with captain sam. He had several fishing pots to try out. My son and my wife and I had a lot of fun. We will definitely book with captain sam again. We recommend booking your trip with captain sam. He was knowledgeable and friendly.

"Half day with captain Tom"

Shane Davis fished with Charlton’s Reef Charters on October 23, 2019

Captain Tom Did an awesome job getting us on the fish. It was very choppy but he managed to make it a great experience.

Top Targeted Fly Fishing Species in Tampa




Snapper (Mangrove)

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