Coronavirus: To Fish or Not to Fish

If you have recently booked a charter through GuideGuru, you may be wondering if your reservation is going to get cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Or, maybe you aren’t even sure if it would be safe to go fishing anymore. The Coronovirus has left millions of people wondering asking those same questions about all types of planned events, here’s what we have to say about it in regards to fishing.

Trust Your Gut

First and foremost, go with your gut. If you have a planned trip to go fishing and you’re not sure if you feel comfortable sticking with it, reach out to your guide and voice your concerns and ask questions. Many guides have taken many precautions to keep themselves and their guests safe, including stocking their boats with hand sanitizer, wearing gloves, and using disinfecting cleaning agents to clean their boat in between trips.

In addition to inquiring about what precautions guides may be practicing, don’t hesitate to ask your guide if they or any one they have been in contact with has recently been sick and be sure to tell them if you have recently been sick, too. We wouldn’t typically recommend asking someone such a personal question, but in the case of a pandemic, it is appropriate.

Two is a Party and Three is a Crowd

If your scheduled fishing trip was going to be a group of people, whether that’s friends or family, you should consider slimming the trip down to one or two other guests to follow CDC guidelines. Think of it this way, less people to split the fish with!

Cook Your Catch at Home

Even if you still wanted to go to a restaurant for a sit down meal whether they prepare your fresh fish for you, there’s a chance they won’t be open for sit down business due to social distancing rules. We recommend being extra safe and reducing your public exposure and preparing it at home. If you have a fishing trip planned, be sure to do a little research about preparing fish at home and stock up on those ingredients (examples to get your mind working: blackening seasoning, cilantro, breadcrumbs, tartar sauce and lemons) at the grocery store.

Look Up Local Rules

If you will be going into another county or city to go on your fishing trip, check the local government’s website or Twitter page to see if they have any special rules in place about public activity. Some governments are limiting activities to only essential activities, so it would be good to know what limitations you might face when driving into a new area.

Most importantly, stay safe out there.


Introduce Yourself to Fishing in Islamorada, the Sport Fishing Capital of the World

If you are looking for the ultimate fishing adventure, then we highly recommend that you book a fishing charter in Islamorada, Florida. With Key Largo located to the north and Marathon located to the south, Islamorada is the second of the five main districts in the Florida Keys. Islamorada has been nicknamed the “sport fishing capital of the world” because it is home to a number of record setting catches and world class fishing guides.

Islamorada’s waters have a healthy population of diverse wildlife, so anglers can catch a number of prized fish on the Atlantic (eastern) side and Gulf (western) side of the island. The Atlantic side definitely has a bigger variety of fish in comparison to the Gulf side, but the Gulf side is coveted for its prized backcountry fish.

Fishing on the Atlantic side

Not sure whether you want to fish on the Gulf or the Atlantic? We recommend trying a fishing charter on each side, but that’s just because we like both styles of fishing. However, here are a couple of the differences when fishing on each side.

If you fish on the Atlantic side of Islamorada, there are two types of fishing available, bottom fishing, a.k.a reef or wreck fishing, or deep-sea fishing, a.k.a offshore fishing. Bottom fishing is fishing on the bottom of the ocean floor, and in the Florida Keys, that means fishing on or around the coral reef. Some people like bottom fishing because they don’t have to go too far off-shore, only about five miles, so the trips don’t have to be as long. Fish commonly caught when bottom fishing include Amberjack, various types of snapper, grouper and hogfish.

As the name implies, deep-sea fishing is fishing that takes place in deep water, and in the Florida Keys, that is water that is about 1,000 feet deep. From Islmorada, it is about 15-30 miles offshore to get to water that deep.

Fishing on the Gulf side

Typically charters fishing on the Gulf side of the Florida Keys and Islamorada consist of flats and backcountry fishing. This type of fishing is much different than fishing on the Atlantic side, because it consists of fishing around mangroves and in shallow flats. The type of fish targeted when fishing on the Gulf in the Florida Keys are tarpon, bonefish, red fish, snook and permit. Some of the most coveted fish to catch on the flats are tarpon, permit and bonefish, and if an angler catches all three species in one day, then it is called a “Grand Slam,” and it is a notable angling accomplishment.

Don’t Forget to Feed the Tarpon

There are a couple “must see” fishing landmarks in Islamorada. Located at mile marker (MM) 77.5 is Robbie’s Marina, which is famous for its tarpon feeding. Everyday children and adults alike go to Robbie’s Marina to buy a bucket of bait fish and feed them to the massive tarpon that patrol the docks. To take it even further, a lot of guests have gotten brave enough to lay down on the dock and dangle the bait fish just above the water to get the tarpon to jump out of the water to grab the baitfish from their hands.

Ready to find your fishing guide in Islamorada? You can easily book a fishing charter in Islamorada with GuideGuru.

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.


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.

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.



Welcome to the GuideGuru blog! We are dedicated to providing our customer’s with a fast and easy experience booking guided tours and adventures around the U.S. and on our blog, we’ll be sharing some insider tips with our audience. Our blog is where you will find some helpful information that you may want to know when preparing for a charter or activity you booked with GuideGuru. 

Whether you are looking for some more information about the types of fish you may get when flats fishing or deep sea fishing off of Florida’s Gulf Coast, or where some of the best diving spots are in the Florida Keys, or an idea of what to expect on an off-road four-by-four adventure in Utah, we’re here to help.

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