If you aren’t sure that you want to make the big haul to get to a good offshore location in the Tampa Bay area, there’s just as much fishing action inshore. Tampa Bay is home to monster snook, tailing redfish and plenty of rolling tarpon, which are all prized fish that you could catch on an inshore fishing charter.
Inshore fishing, also known as flats fishing and backcountry fishing, is fishing that takes place in shallow water. In the Tampa Bay area, flats fishing often includes fishing around mangroves, flats (grass or sand flats), and oyster beds.
You can book inshore fishing charters throughout Tampa Bay, but Boca Grande Pass is definitely one of the better known locations for inshore fishing due to its reputation for plentiful and large tarpon. From March to June, the waters surrounding the Boca Grande Pass are full of tarpon and captains are eager to take out first timers or seasoned pros. Since tarpon are not kept and eaten, there is no regulated season for when you can catch tarpon.
Unlike tarpon, snook and redfish can be caught and kept for eating, but snook are very regulated and there are two seasons anglers can keep the fish. The first season for snook is March and April, followed by the second season from September 1 through the last day in November. During those months, only one snook can be caught per angler and the fish must be between 28 and 33 inches. If snook is your “must have” catch, then be ready to spend some time reeling it in, because snook are known to put up a fight once they are hooked.
Redfish are delicious fish to eat. Redfish season is year-round and fish must be between 18 and 27 inches, and anglers are limited to one per day. Redfish typically eat food that live in seagrass, like bait fish and crustaceans, and when they are eating, their tails often stick above the water, and that is called “tailing.” Captains love to see redfish tailing because it means they are in the right spot, and the fish are hungry!
Ready to book an inshore fishing charter in Tampa Bay? Book a charter with GuideGuru.