Deep Sea Fishing in Tampa: A Beginners Guide

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Whereas nearly the entire of Florida is nice for deep sea fishing, some locations are higher than others. And although fishing areas like Destin and Key West are most likely probably the most well-known, Tampa doesn’t want to cover behind them. Deep sea fishing in Tampa offers an amazing alternative to get on the water and discover all kinds of angling spots.

The skyline of Tampa, Florida

Tampa is just about 30 to 40 miles away from the deep waters. This implies you’ll be able to goal nearly any Florida fish you’ll be able to consider on a full-day journey. We’ve put collectively a information that covers all of the fundamentals – from fish species to fishing methods, and the place to go. So, what are you able to count on from a deep sea fishing journey in Tampa? Preserve studying and discover out!

High Deep Sea Fish in Tampa

We’ll begin with the primary stars of your journey: the fish! As we talked about earlier than, you could find all kinds of deep sea fish off the coast of Tampa. What you’ll goal simply depends upon the period of time you need to spend on the water. From huge sport classics to backside fish, you’ll have hassle deciding which species to go after first. Right here’s the listing of widespread and in style catches.


A Blue Marlin being released into the water by an angler

We’ll begin with probably the most well-known sport fish: Marlin! Tampa’s waters are residence to each White Marlin and Blue Marlin. This implies you get to focus on two very related but in addition completely different beasts. Blue Marlin will impress you with their sheer dimension (they’ll develop to sizes over 1,000 kilos). Whereas White Marlin will take your breath away with the spectacular battle they put up. It is best to undoubtedly be prepared for a exercise both means.

When you can catch these deep sea species on a day journey, hardcore Marlin anglers typically choose to spend a minimum of one evening on the open ocean. That means they’ll attain and fish alongside the 1000-fathom curve. Right here, the continental shelf drops dramatically, forming supreme searching grounds for Marlin. You will discover them between April and October, with the excessive season working in summer season from June to August.


Two anglers holding a Blackfin Tuna on a fishing charter

In search of extra huge sport? Then you definately’ll be glad to listen to that you could find a number of completely different Tuna species in Tampa. The commonest Tuna is the Blackfin, however you might also hook Yellowfin or a Bluefin in the event you’re fortunate. Blackfin Tuna may be caught in waters simply 40 toes deeop, since they prefer to hunt across the buildings. However for Yellowfin and Bluefin, you’ll need to go additional out.

Despite the fact that getting to those fish may require an extended journey, they make up for it by being round all 12 months. So irrespective of when you can also make time for an extended fishing journey, you’ll have a very good probability of discovering them. If you wish to maximize your possibilities, head out between March and Could, or October and December and land these world-famous beasts.


A Blacktip Shark on the end of a fishing line in the Ten Thousand Island's waters

Whereas we’re on the subject of huge and spectacular fish, let’s take a look at one other of probably the most notorious species: Sharks! The Gulf of Mexico is residence to a large number of completely different Shark species. So in the event you’re going deep sea fishing in Tampa, you’re sure to come across them. They’re most likely the most typical of the massive fish you’ll see. So be ready for a battle – and preserve a watch out for them in the event you’re fishing for one thing else.

You’ll most certainly discover Spinner and Blacktip Sharks, together with Hammerheads and the occasional Bull Shark. If you wish to go after Sharks particularly, summer season between Could and August might be the very best time to fish for them. Simply remember that many of those species are protected and must be dealt with rigorously earlier than being launched once more.

Mahi Mahi

A man holding a big Mahi Mahi on a boat

We’re persevering with our listing with an all-time favourite. As most of you most likely already know, Mahi Mahi is a gorgeous to take a look at. However each its preventing skill and scrumptious style make it an amazing sport fish, too. Not solely do you get an amazing image with a shocking fish, but in addition an amazing dinner and a exercise. It’s a real allrounder! 

You’ll discover feminine Mahis swimming in faculties, whereas males have a tendency to remain by themselves. However they each prefer to hunt round patches of floating seaweed, driftwood, and different particles. They’re in season from April to November, however June via August is while you’ll have the very best possibilities of getting your fingers on them.

And So Many Extra

A man holds a large Red Snapper up to the camera as he sits on a fishing boat with the Gulf behind him

These have been simply among the most outstanding and in style species you’ll be able to goal on a deep sea fishing journey in Tampa. The listing of potential catches is limitless. From Amberjack and Sailfish to Wahoo, Kingfish, and numerous Snappers and Groupers, you’re certain to discover a prize fish to both deliver residence or take spectacular images with.

Tips on how to Go Deep Sea Fishing in Tampa

There are just a few completely different in style fishing methods for deep sea fishing. The one you select depends upon the kind of fish you need to catch. Should you don’t have a desire, see in case your captain can customise your journey so that you can attempt all of them.


Trolling rods and reels set up for big game fishing

Let’s begin with the obvious one. Trolling is a tried and true methodology to getting your fingers on some actually spectacular catches. Should you’re searching for Marlin or Tuna particularly, you’ll be very accustomed to this method. Sailfish and Mahi Mahi, amongst others, are additionally going to chase after your bait.

Trolling means that you can search large stretches of the ocean on your prey with a number of traces within the water on the identical time. Normally coping with a number of fishing traces requires a crew of a number of folks, so your captain will most certainly have a minimum of one first mate on board with you. They may help you out with their expertise and data of the world, so you’ll be able to think about reeling in your catch.

Backside Fishing

A Grouper and bait fish underwater

Should you don’t need to head out too far, you’ll be able to take pleasure in a deep sea fishing journey by backside fishing. Loads of thrilling fish stay near the underside of the ocean. And since a lot of them are fierce fighters, reeling all of them the best way as much as the floor is an achievement you may be happy with. You’ll mostly discover completely different Groupers like Gag, Pink, and Black Grouper, in addition to Pink and Mutton Snapper.

Are you searching for an additional particular journey? Then you’ll be able to attempt your luck deep dropping for Swordfish. Far out on the ocean, you’ll fish in waters over 1,000 toes deep to attempt to lure these very particular fish in to take your bait. Fishing for Swordfish normally occurs at evening, after they come nearer to the floor to hunt. However if in case you have the means to get your hook that far down, why keep up late?

The place to Go Deep Sea Fishing in Tampa

Now that you realize which fish you could find and how you can catch them, let’s transfer on to the place you’ll want to go. Fishing charters beginning in Tampa all usually head out west, however there are just a few particular spots that deep sea anglers ought to find out about.

Two fishermen standing on the bow of a charter boat, one reeling in fish, other taking a video of it
  • The Pleasure: The Mexican Pleasure is a shipwreck, situated about 35 miles offshore at a depth of 130 toes. This wreck is a good place in the event you’re searching for Goliath Grouper. Fairly just a few of them have made the strict of the wreck their residence. You’ll additionally discover loads of Amberjack and Cobia right here, amongst many others. Remember the fact that the wreck can also be a leisure diving web site, so watch out to not reel within the unsuitable fish.
  • The Steps: The Steps are a piece of the drop-off, situated roughly 120 miles southwest of Tampa Bay. Because the title signifies, this can be a construction the place the ocean ground drops down in a collection of steps. The world is in style with anglers on the hunt for Blue and White Marlin, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and even Swordfish!
  • Treasure Island II Reef: Just below 27 miles away from strong land, the Treasure Island II Reef is a part of the Pinellas County synthetic reef program. It was constructed utilizing the stays of two ships and is now a fishing and diving haven. The reefs of this program have been designed for numerous species like Snapper, Grouper, Cobia, Barracuda, and Amberjack, in addition to loads others.
  • Limestone: The patches of limestone on the ocean ground deserve a particular point out right here. These spots are plentiful and supply nice fishing alternatives. The limestone is normally overgrown with vegetation and corals, providing the right searching floor for greater fish. Backside feeders like Pink, Gag, and Black Grouper, in addition to Mutton and Pink Snapper, inhabit these areas simply ready on your bait. And the excellent news is that there are many these limestone spots to go round. Simply ask your captain to take you there.

Something Else You Have to Know

An infographic on blue background with the flag of Florida and white text that says Tampa fishing regulations – What you need to know.

You’ll want a fishing license to go deep sea fishing in Tampa. Should you’re planning on fishing with a constitution, your license will likely be included within the worth. However you need to all the time get in contact together with your captain to verify. If you’ll want to buy your individual, you could find all the knowledge you want about getting your Florida fishing license in our useful information.

Dimension and bag limits, in addition to fishing seasons, are publicly accessible on the web site of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

Deep Sea Fishing in Tampa: A Excessive Seas Journey

A view across Tampa Bay, FL at dusk. In the foreground, a cormorant dries its wings on a short pole sticking out of the water and a seagull stands on a taller pole on the right. There is a buoy on the left and the sail of a ship on the horizon

It doesn’t matter what Florida deep sea fish you’re after, Tampa has obtained you lined. Begin off your journey with a hunt for Marlin, or spend the day backside fishing for a big Grouper. And in the event you’re achieved with casting within the deep sea, Tampa has nice fisheries nearer to shore as properly, so that you’ll by no means get bored.

Have you ever been deep sea fishing in Tampa? How did it go? Do you’ve gotten any fishing spots to advocate? We’re wanting ahead to your feedback and questions beneath!

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