Tampa Bay Florida inshore Fishing Charters

Tampa Bay’s naturally endowed for fishing. This 1000 square mile region is built as a large natural harbor and an estuary connecting it to the Gulf of Mexico.  Its unique features and placement make it the ideal home for diverse marine life that’s acclimatized to brackish water.

No wonder the top Tampa Bay fishing destinations of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Holmes Beach, and Tampa put together have more than a thousand fishing charters?  Talk about being spoiled for choice. That alone makes Tampa Bay the ideal place to be for sport and game anglers looking for the ultimate fishing charter experience.

Water temperatures in Tampa Bay usually average 68 degrees, so you can fish all year round, as is the norm in the southern parts of the US. However, it would be great to know what fish you want to catch while on a fishing charter and know what season is best for fishing it. For instance, anglers can hit the Bay for Tarpon fishing any time of the year, but charter captains recommend the June-October period as the perfect time to fish Tarpon.

During the cold weather, the fish will migrate into wintertime spots such as creeks, canals, the backwaters in the backcountry, and the rivers channeling into the vast Tampa Bay area.

Again, if you’re working with the right fishing charter services, you should be able to spot, light-tackle, and capture some fish even in the cold months of the year. We advise you to check your vacation schedule and the type of fish you want to explore and compare that to the fishing calendar in Tampa Bay before booking a fishing expedition with a Tampa Bay inshore fishing charter.

What can you expect from a Tampa Bay inshore fishing charter? Well, most fishing charters down at Tampa Bay work more or less the same. But there is the nitty-gritty you need to look out for as you go through the Tampa Bay fishing charter directory. First, consider a fishing charter provider that knows their stuff. The essentials should include a fishing charter that keeps tabs on the Florida fishing reports and regulations. You don’t want to hang out in the wrong kind of fishing charters.

Ensure that the fishing charter you settle on is the right service to educate you on the Tampa Bay fishing scene. The charter service should also cater to fishing licenses, fishing gear, accommodation, and the ideal model of boats for inshore fishing and fishing flats. The idea is to have a fishing charter that’ll cover all your fishing bases—a one-stop fishing charter, if you may.

Also, note that fishing charters come in different options and offerings. You’ll need to specify the type of fish you want to sport fish, the number of anglers (your pals or family members) that you’re bringing on the charter, and the number of hours you’d like to be out fishing.

Once you do your due diligence by calling up some Tampa Bay fishing charters or even reading customer reviews online, make your pick and head on down to Tampa Bay, Florida, for the fishing adventure of your life.

Why Choose Tampa Bay for Your Next Inshore Fishing Charter


Amazing Fishing

Tampa Bay is the place where fishing enthusiasts go to make the most out of fishing trips. Whether you sport fish several times a year or you’re a beginner angler, taking a fishing journey into the flats and inshore fishing sites of Tampa Bay will open up a whole world of fishing opportunities for you.

With different fish species in different sizes, the Tampa Bay fishing spots can be challenging to work. That’s where a fishing charter comes in to change the game for inshore fishers. The charters are led by expert anglers that’ll make your fishing excursion a breeze.

So, the next time you think of a fishing vacation, imagine yourself roaming the intricate coastal waters of Tampa Bay in the south of Florida. Couple that imagination with the companionship of an awesome fishing guide that pulls out all the stops to give you an unforgettable fishing voyage.

Great Weather

Florida is the Sunshine State, which means Tampa Bay’s got nice and easy weather throughout the year. The temperatures are cool enough to allow vacationers and holidaymakers to frequent all the Tampa Bay area attractions, let alone go on fishing charters.

Take a good look at the Tampa Bay, Florida fishing calendar, and you’ll realize that fishing charters happen from January to December. Contrary to what most folks may think, there’re fishing seasons, even in the wintertime. It turns out some of the best sport fishing happens in cold weather as the fish take cover in the flats and inshore- and backcountry waters of Tampa Bay.

Great Variety of Fish

Tampa Bay has got to be the most prominent fish-rich fishing destination in all of Florida. Why? It’s made up of five bays: The McKay and Hillsborough Bays, and The Old, Middle, and Lower Tampa Bays. The Hillsborough river alone drains an influx of freshwater into Tampa Bay. That mixes up with the salty seawater to make an estuary with the most outstanding fish variety in the whole of Florida.

In Tampa Bay, you can go after what fishing experts call “the Tampa Bay Big 3”: the Snook, Tarpon, and Redfish. Some other local fish types anglers can catch include Snapper, Cobia, Jack Crevalle, Mackerel, Flounder, Trout, Grouper, and various shark species.


Experienced Charter Fleet

Rather than risk your life or even waste a ton of energy in the enormous Tampa Bay fishing zone, hire a professional fishing chaperone and make your Tampa Bay fishing tour seamless.

Many fishing charters dot the Tampa Bay fishing scene, but not all these charters are created equal. Be sure to only set up a booking call with a Tampa Bay fishing charter that’s knee-deep in the game and has been at it for a while. It’s the fishing charters’ expertise that you pay for; all the fancy complimentary things won’t mean much if your fishing charter experience isn’t exactly one to die for.

Tampa Bay fishing charters can provide high-quality fishing guides for every fish species in the Tampa Bay salt-and-freshwater fishing zones.

And they not only provide the fishing guides, but the fishing charters also avail the fishing equipment and gear for the specific type of fish you’re after. You can do a Redfish charter, a Tarpon charter, a Snook charter, among other types of fishing charters.


Fish to Catch While Inshore Fishing in Tampa Bay

There’s a whole lot of fish types that you can hook and onboard onto your fishing boat while out on a fishing charter in Tampa Bay. Both novice and veteran anglers can set their sights on any of the following Tampa Bay fish varieties:




It’s a large, bony fish that swims the Tampa Bay coast and brackish waters of the southern US coastline. Snook are known as food and sport fish. Anglers will have the time of their lives chasing after this freshwater fish that inhabits the Florida Atlantic coast.


At a weight range of between 50 and 200 pounds, the Tampa Bay Tarpon is one giant fish. Fishers can shoot for the Tarpon at the Anna Maria Island fishing spot in Tampa Bay to increase their chances of bagging a couple of Tarpons. But other Tampa Bay fishing points will work just as well for Tarpon hunters because the Tarpon is quite migratory.


Redfish have copper-colored scales hence their name. They’re also called Redrum or Spottail. Being one of the more prevalent fish species in the Gulf of Mexico, fishers can track and bait them on almost the entire coastline of southwest Florida.

They’re easy to bag using live and fly bait, making them the go-to fish species for most Tampa Bay inshore fishing charters.


Snappers are the schooling fish of Tampa Bay. They have long bodies, attaining a length of up to three feet. As crustaceans and small-fish-eating carnivores, snappers have a characteristic large mouth and sharp teeth. In Tampa Bay, the Mangrove Snapper reigns supreme among the various members of the Snapper fish family.


Although anglers associate Flounders with the offshore deep-sea regions, some swim into estuaries, making them a prime target for inshore sport fishers. Flounders are suitable for meat, seeing as they’re boneless, flaky, low-fat, and protein-high fish. You can set your Flounder traps and bait at inlets such as river mouths emptying into the saltwater of the open sea, sand potholes in flats, and around nearshore structures such as piers, coral reefs and, sea wrecks.

Jack Crevalle

The Jack Crevalle also goes by Common Jack, Black-tailed Trevally, or Yellow Cavalli. It’s classified under the Jackfish family. Anglers should aim for the Tampa Bay estuary, reefs, lagoons, and wrecks that are no more than a few hundred feet deep for Common Jack fishing.

It would be in a sport fisher’s best interest to know that Jack Crevalle school up, they’re predator gamefish, highly aggressive and often cruise in large numbers. When you spot them, they won’t be a light tackle, but you’ll be in the company of a Tampa Bay fishing charter guide to help you out.


The trout is a freshwater fish that’s a native inhabitant of streams and lakes throughout North America. The Seatrout, Snook, and Redfish are the fish species that make Tampa Bay, Florida, stand out. Fishing fans love to bait, tackle, catch and reel in a trout.

Also called the Speckled Seatrout, this fish is widespread and is present in all the waters and fishing zones in Florida. Fishers usually frequent Big Pier 60, John’s pass, and Madeira Beach, among other Tampa Bay fishing locations, searching for the Seatrout.


Types of Inshore Fishing

When inshore fishing, your fishing charter vessel will be in the inshore or nearshore waters. These waters tend to be only a couple of feet deep.

It also could be that the inshore fishing area means an estuary of a bay that’s close to but not in direct contact with the ocean surf. Or maybe it’s in contact with the low ocean tides that make the waters calm and clear enough to spot the fish without much of an eye strain.

The success of anglers—especially beginners—is dependent on the experience of inshore fishing charter guides. Regardless of the type of fishing you’re doing, a fishing charter chaperone will help you identify fish-rich spots like islands, flats, and the backcountry, where you can cast fishing lines. Inshore fishing is prolific for hooking fish and reeling it in without hard tackles.

Sight Fishing

The name says it all for this type of fishing. The first step is to catch sight of the fish. Upon seeing the fish, the task becomes laying the fly or live bait and trying to attack the fish to bite.

As a beginner angler, you’ll be lucky to get it right on your very first try. When the fish latches onto the hook, hold the fishing rod firmly and pull in the fishing line to get the catch onboard.

Just because you’re fishing in the shallow inshore waters or flat fishing in Tampa Bay, bagging the fish won’t be as easy as it sounds. The waters are low tide and relatively clear, so you should be able to sight the fish as soon as you hit the inshore fishing spots. And if you’re looking at a fishing location that’s a bit deeper, you can always ask your Tampa Bay inshore fishing charter service to provide a pair of polarized glass so you can roll like professional anglers.

Fly Fishing

Here is the “starter pack” for the typical fly fisher: an artificial bait, also known as a fly, a fishing rod/reel, and a specially-designed weight line that’s particularly meant for fly fishing.

The custom-flies come in all shapes and forms: from feathers to fur to threads or any other synthetic material that a fly fisher can tie on a fishing hook to lure fish. It’s really up to you to choose what works for you.

The special type of weight on the fly fishing line carries your fly and hook across the air as you cast the line to set up the fly fishing trap.

After the line is cast, wait for the fish to hook. And from there, the drill is pretty much the same as in sight fishing. Reel in the catch and secure it in your fishing basket if it’s not designated as catch and release.

Bait Fishing

Bait fishing is probably the closest type of fishing to fly fishing, except that bait sport fishers use live bait or fake bait and not custom-made flies to trick the fish.

Unlike the special weight on a fly fishing line, the bait carries the fishing line and hook the distance when a bait fisher casts their line.

The fishing rod and reel are also specific to bait fishing since bait fishers will need to make the bait move and spin. You want to convince the fish that there’s tasty bait lurking right in front of its eyes.

The fish are likely to bite firmly, thinking that they’re onto their next meal. So, you might need a landing net to get the fish off the water and safely unhook it with a pair of forceps.

Lure Fishing

The lure fishing technique exclusively uses make-believe bait to lure fish. The dummy baits easily fool the fish because they have inbuilt technology to move, flicker in the light, or even change color just as the prey that Tarpon, Sharks, and other Tampa Bay fish are likely to hunt in the shallows.

Lure fishing fans work with several lures and tips, including floating lures and surface poppers for topwater fishing, trolling, jigging, and cast and retrieve lure fishing.


Other Reasons to Choose an Inshore Fishing Charter


They Are Close (More Time Fishing)

You’re never too far from the Tampa Bay banks and beaches when inshore fishing. And with plenty of reefs, sea wrecks, Tampa Bay river inlets, flats full of sandy potholes, and vast backcountry, there’s no shortage of fishing spots for all you anglers eying Tampa Bay for your next fishing trip.

We’re talking about inshore fishing; the waters are anywhere from thirty to a few hundred feet deep, meaning most if not all bites and tackles will be light. Fishing charters need less fishing gear and equipment than they would for offshore charters.

More time is spent fishing rather than worrying about making the trip back to shore or even the ocean tides and winds, regardless of the fishing season or time of year.

An inshore fishing charter makes your fishing expedition in Tampa Bay a walk in the park.


Calm Water

The Tampa Bay inshore terrain is made of low tides, calm and clear waters. But the relaxed fishing conditions in the flats and inshore fishing zones don’t mean that you won’t have to break a sweat.

Remember, the Tampa Bay fish are relatively huge and aggressive, not to mention that they cruise in a school, making their capture more tasking. What are you going to do when the fish don’t bite your fake lures? Exactly what we thought. A professional fishing guide will save you all the trouble and ensure you don’t waste an entire fishing trip on trial and error fishing methods.

A Large Variety of Fish

You’re not a certified fishing guide, so quit the “fronting.” Even if you live in the Tampa Bay area, identifying great fishing spots, pinpointing the best fishing season and method for a particular Tampa Bay fish type, or applying for a salt-or-freshwater fishing license can be a hassle for you.

Imagine having to meet all these prerequisites and regulations on your own, given the large variety of fish in Tampa Bay.

Please leave it to the fishing pros—it just why we hire professionals to handle the stuff you’re not good at.


Why Choose Tampa Bay Florida Fishing Charters for Your Next Inshore Fishing Charter?


Experienced guides

Any reputable fishing charter rides on experience and professionalism. Tampa Bay, Florida, inshore fishing charters are no different.

Check and audit the customer experience for quality right from the moment you place a booking call with your Tampa Bay, Florida fishing charter of choice.

Does it seem like their fishing knowledge of Tampa Bay and the larger Florida region is on point? Do they have a whole charter package complete with a boat, accommodation, fishing gear, and equipment? Do they cater to your specific needs, or do they only have these rigid, pre-planned charters and won’t budge to give you a personalized experience?

Make sure you have clear answers to all these questions before deciding on a Tampa Bay, Florida, inshore fishing charter service.

Great Variety of Fishing Opportunities

Tampa Bay has more than enough fishing zones and spots. Lack of fishing opportunities can never be an excuse not to go fishing in Tampa Bay.

You can see Speckled Seatrout, bait Snooks, catch and release sharks, and still have many more fishing opportunities to explore. The fishing possibilities are near endless.

Beautiful Scenery

You’ll need some fun things to do in Tampa Bay in between your fishing charters. How about you pay a visit to the city’s Lower Park zoo or discover its history at the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry. You may opt to sunbathe and walk some of the thirty-five miles of white sand beaches in the St. Petersburg-Clearwater barrier islands. Vacationers can go thrill shopping in the various Tampa Bay area shopping venues and sample some seafood and other cuisines at any Tampa Bay food markets or cultural centers.

Snook Fishing in Tampa Bay
Snook Fishing in Tampa Bay
Snook Fishing Spots in Tampa, Florida


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