Winter Fishing Tampa Bay

by Capt. Kevin Walton on January 26, 2011

While fishing in the winter may not be the best time of year to fish in Tampa Bay, it’s still very good and one my favorite times to fish. One reason is I don’t have to get all wet and throw the cast net for bait fish; just a bag of soft plastic jigs or some live shrimp will do the trick. Probably the most important reason I like fishing in the winter though, is we catch a lot of fish.
The most popular fishing in the winter in Tampa Bay is fishing the grass flats for Speckled Sea Trout. This is the time when we catch a lot of the bigger trout in 20 inch plus class and it’s not uncommon to get that big “Gator Trout” of 25 inches or more. The most productive method of fishing the grass flats of Tampa Bay is bouncing the bottom with soft plastic jigs. My charters love this because a lot of them fish like this up north for bass. This is a lot of fun and you don’t need to be an expert angler to fish this way. Another way is using a live shrimp under a cork. This may not be the most exciting way to fish, but it is very effective. Whether you want toss jigs or use live shrimp, you can bet your going to catch a lot of fish.

Fishing the residential canals and docks of Tampa Bay and St. Pete Beach is my favorite for the winter time fishing. Yeah won’t see the beautiful mangroves or lush grass flats, but it is where you can get into really good variety of fish. The water in the canals along St Pete Beach are typically a few degrees warmer due to the sea walls and docks generating heat, which will attract all kinds of fish. Live shrimp with just enough weight to get the bottom is all you need. Sheephead, Redfish and Black Drum are the most common fish under the docks, but we also catch Snook, Trout, Grouper and Flounder. We’ve had many of days where we have got into huge schools of Redfish under the docks just like we would on the flats in the spring.

If you want to get out of that cold weather up north, come on down to St. Pete Beach, Florida and we’ll warm you up with a hot winter-time-action-packed fishing charter.Give me a call at 727-638-0975 to schedule your winter time fishing charter today!

Capt Kevin Walton

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