Summer Fishing Charters in Tampa Bay – It’s Tarpon Season!
arpon, Tarpon, Tarpon…. That’s pretty much all you hear around the Tampa St. Pete area in the summer. This is when everyone has “The Silver King” on their mind, myself included. The majority of my fishing charters in the summer are wanting to target Tarpon and that’s fine with me! It’s my favorite fish to guide people to, and believe me when I say this – it is truly an addiction!
By June the Tarpon fishing is in full swing on Tampa Bay’s beaches and the pods of fish cruising the surface are fairly easy to find. You can chase the schools down and try to get a bait in front of them, but I prefer a different method. Anchoring in a known path of the migrating fish and casting out a nice spread of baits is an almost guarantee to hook up with one of these giants. But just because you hook one up doesn’t mean you’ll be getting them boat side. Over the past few years of tarpon fishing, my charters have landed about 50% of the fish they hooked.
The Snook are on the move. By now most of the Snook have moved from the grass flats and mangroves and have made their way out to the passes and the Gulf beaches for their annual spawn. Snook are closed to keep at this time, but it can be some the best catch and release fishing you will ever have. You will find them from south of St. Pete Beach all the way north, past Clearwater Beach. It’s best to target the fish in the passes at night, but I prefer sight casting to them along the shore during the day. Most of the fish are the smaller males ranging from 2 to 5 pounds and my Snook fishing charters always seem to hook one of the big females. While this is a lot of fun and a fish of a lifetime, you must handle the fish with care, because they are holding millions of eggs and we don’t want to harm them.
Tarpon and Snook are the most talked about fishing charters in the summer, but there is some other good fishing going on too. Speckled Trout fishing is very good on the flats and there a bunch of big ones being caught, because they are in their second spawn of the year. Redfish are still roaming the edge of the mangroves and feeding aggressively on the high tides.
Trout and Redfish are the glory species of the flats, though what makes for a really fun summer time flats charter are the small Blacktip Sharks that are in 3 feet of water.These drag screamers are the hardest fighting fish on the flats and will put on an aerial display like Tarpon. Wire leader is a must with gnarly teeth cutting through just about any mono leader. They are not very difficult to target and the kids love fishing for them. They get to go to back to school and tell all their friends they caught Jaws on their Florida fishing charter!
If you are an avid fisherman who wants to catch that Tarpon or Snook of a life time or you’re coming down with the family for summer vacation and just want the kids to have fun, I’ve got a fishing charter for you. Give me a call at 727-638-0975 to schedule your summer time fishing charter! And as always, kids fish for free!
Capt Kevin Walton