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.