Tampa is a hotspot for fishing junkies no matter the time of the year and that’s no secret there. The city is 35% water, bordered by two bays – Old Tampa Bay and Hillsborough Bay – and dotted with small rivers and lakes. If you can’t find a single decent fishing spot in Tampa, then you’re either blind or just not looking properly. But don’t worry, this quick fishing guide will put you up to speed with what makes Tampa fishy. *wink*
Fishes and Seasons
You won’t have a shortage with the variety of fishes swimming in Tampa’s waters. Home to over 200 species of fish, Tampa Bay attracts more than just locals anglers but also fishing enthusiasts from around the world. Here you can catch Redfish, Snooks, and Spotted Seatrouts in the shallow waters all year round. Sheepshead and Black drum, on the other hand, are best caught during the winter. Of course, let’s not forget the infamous Florida Tarpon which is regarded as the ultimate sports fish in the world. When it comes to Tarpon fishing, Tampa Bay is the best in the world.
Other species you can catch include Amberjack, Spanish Mackerel, Cobia, Permit, Snapper, Grouper, Pompano, and Flounder. And of course, Sharks.
Aside from the usual light tackle fishing, there are other techniques you can explore when fishing in Tampa – there’s night fishing, fly fishing, and bow fishing.
Though not popular as a fly fishing destination, you can catch almost all of the popular species of fish using this technique – Redfish, Tarpon, Snook, Mackerel, Trout and even Albacore. The best season for fly fishing is when the waters are clear which is usually during Fall through Spring.
Night fishing, on the other hand, is best done during the summers when the waters are hot during the day. Since most fish species are nocturnal feeders, they prefer at night. You’ll have fun chasing Snooks underneath dock lights using this method.
As for bow fishing, you can catch some Mangrove Snappers, Mullets and Flounders using this technique.
Best Fishing Spots
There are many awesome fishing spots in Tampa that you can choose from if you wish to indulge in some fun fishing. For saltwater fishing, Tampa Bay is a given but other places worth checking out include Ballast Point Park, Picnic Island Park and E.G. Simmons Park fishing piers. For bass fishing, no other place near Tampa can top Edward Medard Reservoir, which is stocked with more than 6000 species of bass since 2012. If rivers or moving waters are more of your thing, Hillsborough River, Little Manatee River and Tampa Bypass Canal are the best fishing spots you could ask for.
So that’s it. Before you go fishing your meal for the night though, make sure that you have a Florida fishing license first.