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Fishing Tampa Bay

St. Petersburg, FL – Ultimate Fishing Guide

Guide to Fishing St. Petersburg

Fishing in Florida is a great year-round sport throughout the state. That’s why so many anglers visit the Sunshine State to fish each year. One of the best places to enjoy fishing in Florida is in the west central part of the state. St. Petersburg, Florida is a fishing destination that offers adventure, deep sea and nearshore fishing.

Types of Fish in St. Petersburg

Fishing around St. Petersburg is at its finest with abundant tarpon, snook, trout, redfish and much more biting at most times. If you have never fished here, you are really in for a treat. Since the place has its own peninsula, fish can be caught just about anywhere and anytime. Just a mile out anglers can catch trout, redfish, Spanish mackerel, kingfish, and tarpon.

The Gulf of Mexico is often referred to as the grouper capital of the world. The abundant reefs and wrecks are excellent for red grouper, gag grouper, and Goliath grouper. Apart from these type of bottom fish, gray snapper, red snapper, and triggerfish can be caught. Surface trolling can land you king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, barracuda mahi-mahi and plenty of sharks.

During high tide, keep a look out along the mangrove shorelines for mullet as the dolphins invade the flats looking for easy meals. Redfish are also there in good numbers and can be found schooling with the mullets. Depending on the season, inshore fishing can get us snook, redfish, and tarpon, as they come inshore to feed and reproduce, particularly during the summer months.

Ways to Fish in St. Petersburg

Charter fishing is a popular way to fish in St. Petersburg. One can reach the deeper waters of the Gulf of Mexico within a couple of hours to land big grouper, snapper, and amberjack. Blackfin tuna can be found further ahead around 25 miles offshore.   

The Gulf of Mexico is also renowned for spear fishing as it has thousands of reefs hiding hogfish, grouper, snapper tropical fish and more. However, this method is limited to experienced divers who are adept at spear fishing.

For serious fishing, one can hire a charter and venture deep into the waters for the big trophies. Backwater fishing the mangroves and flats is very rewarding as well, as you are able to land most of the sought-after species.

St. Petersburg Fishing Charters

St. Petersburg mingles world class beaches with some amazing game fishing opportunities. In the fishing paradise of central Florida, Guide Guru is the one and only leading fishing charter company doing successful business in St. Petersburg and its surrounding areas. We have the best guides, who will pull out all the stops to try and ensure that each and every guest does not return empty handed. If you really want to experience St. Petersburg fishing at its finest, Guide Guru guided fishing charters keep you covered on all fronts, and will help you bag that trophy catch.

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Fishing Tampa Bay

Sarasota, FL – Ultimate Fishing Guide

About Sarasota

Sarasota is a great destination all year round. It boasts beautiful wildlife and coastlines, along with festivals, events, theater, music and, of course, the king of outdoor sports – fishing. Sarasota is conveniently located to the south of Tampa on the Gulf Coast of Florida and is home to many cultural institutions like the Ringling Museum of Art and the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy – among others. The city is also well known for its excellent environmental facilities like beaches and resorts, and has a higher population of roughly 55,000, as compared to similar cities in the area and is one of the most affluent markets in Florida. 

Sarasota is one place where you can marvel at the natural beauty prevailing here. From the window of your descending aircraft, the vivid colors of the Gulf and Sarasota Bay as they mingle with the pristine white beaches of Lido and Siesta will leave you mesmerized. The range of activities offered around Sarasota, are endless. From arts and sea shell creations to theatre and sand sculptures, your hunger for fun and thrills will always remain fulfilled. In fact it is common to hear that in Sarasota, you can never get bored here, unless you really want to be!

Types of Fish in Sarasota

Whether your main interest is salt water fishing from land or boat, Sarasota County is packed with angling opportunities. The Bay, the intercostal waterways, as well as the numerous lakes and tributaries afford endless possibilities for this great outdoor sport. Thanks to a healthy estuary system and a bay well protected by barrier islands the Sarasota area is home to a diverse ecosystem, sustaining a wide variety of birds, mammals and fish.

The freshwater rivulets and streams are teeming with bass, catfish, panfish and others. The tidal areas hold the brackish water species, like snook, snapper and tarpon. The offshore bay is a haven for mackerel, sea trout, grouper, drum and many other saltwater varieties. Further inshore one can easily encounter popular fish such as snook, spanish mackerel and spotted sea trout which are not only challenging to land but great to eat as well. Deep sea excursions can provide cobia, king mackerel, blackfin tuna and the ultimate lifetime battle with sharks.

Some other freshwater outlets are good for bluegill, speckled perch, redear sunfish and largemouth bass. Elsewhere in deeper waters you can come across jack crevalle, sheepshead and black drum. With plenty of fishing options where to begin could be a difficult choice. For the newcomer, the services of a local guide would be both time saving and convenient.

Ways to Fish in Sarasota

The Florida Gulf Coast is an angler’s paradise, mainly because of a healthy estuary supporting an even healthier ecosystem. Having said that, there are various ways for the angler to go about it in this rich but complex fishing region. Casting a line from the shore or a pier is an easy way to start, but you need to consider certain factors like tide, time of the year etc, to bag a handful.

If you’re aiming for a trophy, then deep sea charters are the best option. These require at least 4 to 8 hours time, and provide an exhilarating experience, especially when you come face to face with the big ones like grouper or sharks. Inshore charters are also available, which are equally exciting, even though the distance travelled is much less. These take about 4 hours to complete and can land quality game fish as well.

Sarasota Fishing Charters

Men, women, families and children of any age are welcome to book with Guide Guru, the top charter booking organization in Sarasota for both inshore and offshore fishing. Over a period of time, fish enthusiasts, from United States and around the world as well, have opted for Guide Guru to fulfill their angling needs. Our vetted guides are in knowledge of the prime fishing spots in order to ensure that our clients have a memorable and unforgettable time.

GuideGuru.com specializes in half, full day and extended day tours in the Gulf of Mexico off Sarasota, Florida. Bait, tackle and state required permits and licenses are taken care of by us. We operate round the year to impart a rewarding experience and reliable and accurate information for all your fishing needs. Contact us on our friendly website or feel free to call us at (801) 805-6913 for any information you may require in quest of your prized fishing trophy.

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Fishing Tampa Bay

Tampa Ultimate Fishing Guide

About Tampa

Tampa is a city located along the West Gulf Coast of Florida, which apart from being a large financial hub, is known for its museums and cultural offerings. The city has a population of around 350,000 as per the last census, making it the second largest metropolitan statistical area in the state and the fifth in popularity as a permanent place to stay. 

Tampa, meaning “sticks of fire”, may have taken its root from the many lightning strikes that befell this area during the summer months. The real thunder, however, lies in the exciting Tampa Bay area, with its thrill a minute rides, exciting animal encounters and historic districts like Ybor City. Whether you’re looking to catch a Broadway Musical, go scuba diving, or try a gourmet hot dog, Tampa remains the most dynamic tourist destination of Florida.

Tampa is Florida’s busiest port with all major attractions like the Cuban district, aquarium  and local art galleries all within easy reach. The city itself offers a great mix of culture, arts, entertainment, sports and cuisines to satisfy people of all ages and every interest.  The Riverwalk area, especially, is an excellent place to spend relaxing and doing nothing. This is the place where all the action takes place and this also the area full of serene parks for resting and wandering about. With plenty of water related activities like boating and fishing, hundreds of restaurants and watering holes, you will never end up bored or thirsty, no matter what time of the day or night.

Types of Fish Found in Tampa

Tampa Bay offers visitors endless opportunities to indulge in some of the best fishing in the entire state of Florida. In fact, fishing here is so extensive that no matter what time of the year, this place always has some variety or other to target. During an inshore fishing charter, there will be plenty of chances to land snook, redfish and trout. Redfish can be caught at most times of the year in Tampa, while spring and fall is the ideal time for snook as they move up on the inshore flats. During winter, however, they tend to go into the rivers and canals. Tarpon season usually starts from May and ends in August. This is one fish which every angler must target at least once in his lifetime as they offer a great fight and are absolutely breathtaking to behold as they jump in the air. If the time is right, we can even look for cobia, sharks, Spanish mackerel and sheepshead.

The great barracuda is the only species of this large family found in these waters. Bluefish move into the Florida waters during the winter months and are a popular gamefish.

During the cool winter months, hundreds of Manatees gather at the TECO Manatee Viewing Center to bask in the warm waters. This is truly a sight to behold!

Ways to Fish in Tampa

The shallow grass flats, innumerable creeks, crystal clear rivers and oyster bars around the Tampa Bay area are home to the best shallow water fishing in the whole of Florida. The inshore Tampa fishing charters offer excellent and entertaining saltwater fishing opportunities, because of the huge diversity of fish found in this region. These charters are extremely popular with families, corporate team-building activity coordinators, and anglers looking to net some of the best and prized sport fish.

In case you have a penchant for the open outdoors but do not have the patience to wait for the fish to come to you, then you can try bowfishing. This can be done in the night as well to avoid the blistering heat, and is an extremely easy to target fish, even for children. The bows are set at low weights and can be easily operated by women and children above 10 years. Bowfishing gives you the chance to shoot at mullet, sheepshead, flounder, black drum and mangrove snapper. Another ultimate way of beating the heat is to book a night trip in search of feeding snook in the lights of the dock or bridge tarpon at night.

The Tampa Bay area is also said to be in the top 5 kayak fishing destinations in the world. With a flourishing eco system in place a kayak fishing trip is not only relaxing but gets you real close to Mother Nature. Paddleboard fishing also has its advantages. Their quiet propulsion is excellent for sneaking up on fish and the advantage of standing up gives a better visual for casting by site. You can even slip down from the side of the boat and try wade fishing for your favorite Tampa Bay species.

Tampa Fishing Spots

Tampa, Florida offers a wide variety of fishing in a pristine environment that keeps anglers returning for more and more. With an astounding 200 different varieties in the waters, the possibilities in this area are limitless. Accessing the best spots is another challenge, but with careful planning, one can find areas where fishing is not only prolific, but easy as well.

Shore fishing spots

The Upper Tampa Bay park provides access to several estuaries and creeks for shore fishing. Canoes and kayaks can be used to catch redfish, black drum, snook and spotted sea trout.

Fishing Piers

Piers are ideal for anglers who do not have a boat. The Ballast Point Park Pier, stretching 900 feet into the bay is great for snook, redfish and sheepshead. The Skyway Fishing Pier, which is one of the longest in the world, is good for snook, tarpon, grouper, sea bass and many others.

Tampa Bay bridges

The best fishing takes place around the dozens of bridges. The four major ones and the smaller ones both provide perfect fish habitat for cobia, tarpon, snapper and others. The Skyway Bridge, Gandy, and Courtney Campbell are all excellent fishing spots.

Artificial Reefs

There are eight artificial reefs throughout Tampa Bay area which provide habitat for just about every fish which lives in this area. 

Fishing in West Central Florida Gulf waters lends itself to many exciting fishing methods and species. If you are looking to target specific fish, we have captured some key information and helpful tips to help you hook what you are looking for.

If you want…Snook.

Fish for a Grand Slam.

When to go:
March-April and September-November are designated months for Snook; keeping in mind when you can keep it.


Summer can be great to catch large Snook off some of the barrier islands, such as 3 rooker.

Where to go:
Of course many of the secret spots are left to the captains discretion, however, some of the best areas are inshore in places such as Double Branch Bay off the Causeway.

What you need to know:
Live bait (Sardines) are the best for Snook year round. Snook permit and recreational fishing license are required. Hook and line only, spearing and snatch hooking prohibited. Length to keep must be not less than 28″ total length or more than 33.”

If you want…Red Drum/Redfish.

One of the most popular sports fish in Florida; fish for a Grand Slam and great for dinner.

When to go:
You can usually catch Redfish at any time. April and August tend to be some of the best months, since the summer months are best to go after tarpon.

Where to go:
Red Drum inhabit the nearshore and offshore waters throughout the Gulf. While Red Drum in Florida can reach lengths of 45 inches and weigh up to 51 pounds in offshore water, juvenile red drum are easier to catch and inhabit rivers, bays, canals, tidal creeks, and passes in estuaries and overgrown mangrove areas.

What you need to know:
Length to keep must be not less than 18″ no more than 27″ total length. 1 fish per person per day; 8 fish vessel limit. These are great to bring home for dinner!

If you want…Tarpon.

Fish 3/3 for a Grand Slam. Tarpon can reach sizes up to 8 feet and can weigh up to 280 pounds. Nicknamed the “Silver King,” Tarpon are some of the largest, most fun fish to catch!

When to go:
Summer time means tarpon time. Small tarpon begin to return at the beginning of summer. July and August can bring big poons to the area. There are no seasonal regulations for tarpon.

Where to go:
Tarpon are found throughout Florida’s coastal environment. From the flats to the Gulf to near the Skyway bridge, there are plenty of places to find Tarpon, this is where experience comes in, and why it’s usually best to have a captain if you are targeting Tarpon.

What you need to know:
Tarpon is a catch-and-release only fishery, so no size limit needed. One Tarpon tag per person per year may be purchased when in pursuit of an International Game Fish Association (IGFA) record. Vessel, transport and shipment limited to one fish. Tarpon over 40″ must remain in the water during release. Spearing and snatch hooking prohibited.

If you want…Speckled Sea Trout.

These are also great to cook up for dinner!

When to go:
Much like Red Drum, sea trout have no seasonal regulations.

Where to go:
Similar to Snook, stay inshore and nearshore in bay and inlets, in and around seagrass meadows, mangrove-fringed shorelines, deep holes and channels and above oyster bars.

What you need to know:
Trout is usually caught a lot on shrimp in the winter time and on live bait the rest of the year. To keep, the Trout must be more than 15 inches and less than 20 inches total length (may possess one over 20 inches included in bag limit).

If you want…Red Snapper.

When to go:
May 23- July 14

Where to go:
Red Snapper, unlike the other species in this post, are reef fish and are caught offshore.

What you need to know:
Length to keep must be must be 16″ in length. Limit is 2 per harvester per day; included in the 10 per harvester per day state Snapper aggregate bag limit. Red Snapper is sometimes described as the best tasting fish in the Gulf of Mexico.

Unless specified above, live bait tends to work best when targeting most of the species above. Try to net bait inshore near mangroves, bridges, pilings or look for bait schools on the waterways. Also good to keep in mind, Florida Fish and Wildlife requires circle hooks (must be non-stainless steel and not offset) when using natural baits and a dehooking device; no matter what you are fishing.

If you would rather leave all the regulation info to the captains, our guides are more than equipped to show you a good time no matter what you are hoping to catch!

Find Your Perfect Charter

Visit Florida Fish & Wildlife for more information on fishing seasons and tips.

Tampa Fishing Charters

Welcome to Tampa Bay, the best light tackle inshore fishing destination in the world. Tampa Bay’s extensive network of bays, mangroves and tidal creeks provide a strong challenge, as far as fishing is concerned, not only to the novice but to the avid angler as well. Guide Guru offers guided charters that target your most wanted species like tarpon, snook, redfish, grouper and many more. Inshore fishing, guided fly fishing and a lot of other special charters can be arranged by us without putting a dent on your pocket. 

Guide Guru offers many differet charter trips from Tampa all around the year. Fishing in this area is an unforgettable experience in itself and we at Guide Guru pledge to provide you with the best possible outdoor experience, guaranteed! Our company is the only reliable one that can assure you the ultimate fishing action in town. We have the best vetted guides in the business on our rolls. All of them have been vetted and handpicked for our team because of their firsthand knowledge of the fishing spots, and great people skills. The possibilities are endless and the education imparted by our crew invaluable. For example, special precautions need to be taken while handling snook as they have very sharp gill plates which can easily cut a hand. The friendly crew will happily teach you how to handle them safely.  From beginners to experts, children to veterans, our approach is always courteous and patient. When out on the open sea, we strive on improving the fishing skills of our guests all the time while making sure they’re having fun. Call us today with any questions!

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Fishing Tampa Bay

What are Snook, and where can I find them?

Snook are an inshore species of saltwater fish that have gained a big reputation amongst Florida anglers and visitors to the state alike. Any angler will tell you that big-time fishermen and women love chasing after these notoriously hard-to-catch fish while on fishing trips in Tampa Bay.

In addition to the excellent snook fishing in Tampa Bay, you can also fish for these beauties in other parts of the Gulf of Mexico and some of the Atlantic waters surrounding Florida. Snook prefer warm waters, so they can typically only be found in the southern half of the state. Their limited range, plus the restrictions on fishing snook in Florida that are in place for much of the year, make snook a prize catch for any angler.

I’m ready to go snook fishing in Tampa Bay. What do I need?

To start, you’ll need a hook and line to fish for snook. No snagging.

In addition, fishing for snook requires a specific snook fishing permit – unless you are exempt from license requirements – as well as a recreational fishing license (saltwater fishing).

Before you book your chartered fishing trip for Tampa Bay snook fishing, you’re going to want to be familiar with the restrictions for harvesting snook. The best way to ensure that you are within regulations is to check the FWC snook fishing page before your snook fishing trip in Tampa Bay.

And, of course, you’ll want to bring a hat, sunscreen, and some water to drink.

Do anglers typically harvest a lot of Snook fishing in Tampa Bay?

Snook populations are affected by natural events like red tide or cold fronts, and therefore, the state of Florida has made efforts toward conservation of the species. The state currently placed a bag limit on harvested snook: one per person, per day. While harvesting snook is allowed, anglers actually often release the bulk of the snook they catch right back into the water upon catching them, instead of harvesting them for food.

If you are planning to catch and release on your snook fishing trip, your Guide can provide valuable assistance and education about the proper handling techniques for releasing snook back into the wild.

What does Snook taste like?

We’re glad you asked! Snook had a reputation for tasting “soapy” if prepared improperly with the skin on. If the fish is cleaned and filleted, however, snook can taste quite delicious.

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Fishing Tampa Bay

Chartered Fishing in Tampa Bay

Trade watching TV for fishing this Sunday!

Instead of staying inside and watching TV all day on Sunday, why not spend the day outdoors? Take a guided boat fishing trip with one of the top guides available on GuideGuru.com

Learning how to fish in Tampa Bay is easy with the help of skilled local guides who know the area. Let us show you the ropes. A guided boat fishing trip is also a great way to get kids on board with learning to fish. Are you afraid to go fishing with kids? Don’t be!

Guide Guru has the best charters available and provides a seamless booking experience! Get your spot reserved today, our guide’s schedules are filling up fast.

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Fishing Tampa Bay

Try Inshore Fishing During Your Next Visit to Tampa Bay

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.

Tarpon

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.

Snook

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

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.

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Fishing Tampa Bay

Tips for First Timers Fishing in Tampa Bay

Whether you are a local resident that is interested in trying out fishing for the first time, or you are visiting Tampa Bay and you want to test the waters out, GuideGuru is an excellent place to get started with your first saltwater fishing experience. Not only do we have a large selection of various fishing charters in Tampa Bay, but we can help you figure out what type of fishing you re actually interested in.

Booked your first deep sea fishing charter in Tampa Bay and not sure what to expect? Here are some tips for your first fishing excursion out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Don’t bring bananas on board

It’s superstitious, but some captains think bananas are bad luck. There are a couple theories on where this superstition came from, but one of the most widely accepted theories is that boats with bananas coming from the Caribbean sank. Point is, some captains are serious about not allowing their guests bringing bananas on boats, so if that is one of your favorite snack options ask your captain if you can bring bananas on board.

More than just SPF

In addition to wearing plenty of sunscreen, you’ll want to invest in UV protective clothing, too. Hats are great to protect your face and eyes from the sun, and if you are worried about heat, consider a visor to let the top of your head breathe. Even though it will be hot out, light colored long sleeve performance shirts will protect your skin and help keep you cool. Pro tip: Look for sunscreen that also has insect repellant!

Stay Hydrated

Simply put, you will sweat a lot. You’ll not only sweat from the sun and humidity, but also from all of the work you’ll be doing while reeling in all of those fish for your dinner. Your captain will likely have waters available, but it’s not worth risking, so don’t forget to bring water and a couple sports drinks to replenish your electrolytes. Also, don’t just plan on hydrating when you need it, you should be hydrating the night before. **Hydration is especially important for people that may be drinking the night before or drinking while fishing.

Need help finding the right fishing charter in the Tampa Bay area? You can view all of the Tampa Bay area fishing charters available here.