Here is what you should bring on your next Tampa fishing charter

What to Bring on your next Tampa fishing charter

Here is what you should bring on your next Tampa fishing charter

I have been guiding for quite a few years in Tampa Bay and I have lived here my entire life. Since I have started one thing that has always been an issue or has been asked is what is included or what do we need to bring for our next Ta? I have had people show up with nothing and others show up the dock with enough things to go on a 4-day cruise. I figured a good idea to explain here is what you should bring on your next Tampa fishing charter .

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Wreck fishing in Tampa Bay

Wreck fishing in Tampa Bay

Wreck fishing in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay is a premier fishing destination when targeting multiple species right inside the bay. With plenty of towers markers and spoil islands there is more than enough places for fish to hide. These areas hold plenty of structure oriented fish  and make for some great fishing during the summer months. You can expect to have some great action packed Tampa fishing charters when you venture out into the bay. You will catch some of the most sought after fish in the Gulf of Mexico right inside the bay. Wreck fishing in Tampa Bay is a  hidden jewel.


What bait to use when wreck fishing?

Bait is always the first chore on any Tampa fishing trip. When bay fishing I like to have plenty of live pinfish and Greenbacks. I also like to have a bunch of dead greenbacks or even better Threadfin Hearing. We use a lot of dead bait so the morning bait run can be somewhat time consuming but worth the extra time needed.  We catch our bait while on the Tampa flats fishing just about year round. When its cold bait moves deep. In the summer bait has its hatch and typically is all over the flats. Our net of choice would be the Barracuda 12 foot 3/8 or 1/4 inch mesh depending on the bait size. Toss a little chum and you will be pulling in hundreds of bait and ready to go fishing.

Types of fish you will catch while wreck fishing?

As mentioned above Tampa Bay is filled with artificial reefs and wrecks from one end to the other. These wrecks are loaded with all types of structure and fish are not far behind. Fishing the wrecks,reefs, and ledges inside Tampa Bay will make your next Tampa fishing charters an epic day. One any given day we can catch Grouper,Snapper, Flounder, Sharks, Tarpon and Cobia just to name a few. Most of the time we can do this all in the same spot. Tampa Bay is a truly amazing fishery.

What type of tackle we will be using while fishing wrecks in Tampa Bay?

Tackle, techniques and tips are the last important part to fishing wrecks inside Tampa Bay. When fishing wrecks you want to have a variety of rods from a light tackle inshore rod for the Mangrove Snapper and Triple Tail, to the big heavy spinning gear for the bigger gamefish like Tarpon,Goliath Grouper,Gag Grouper and Sharks. Both of my preferred rods and reel combos are the Tsunami Evit 3000 size for light tackle and the 400 to 5000 for the heavier gear. Match this with the medium 8 foot action Tsunami Carbon rod for the lighter rig and the Extra Heavy spinning rod for the heavier stuff and you are ready for some great fishing in Tampa Bay. Check out the entire Tsunami line up.


Another great tip to help catch fish on these wrecks would be to have a good sonar with side imagining. This will help you find structure and actually see what type of structure is down there. I love the Lowrance Live units or you can’t go wrong with the Simrad GO12. Both offer a variety of features that will help you catch more fish. Check out some of the latest products at Navico


For more information on booking a fishing charter in Tampa Bay with me go straight to my website

Tips to become a better fisherman in Tampa Bay







Tips to become a better fisherman in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay has been home all my life and have grown up fishing here since I could remember. I have spent countless hours searching for techniques to catch Snook, Redfish, Tarpon, Trout and Cobia inside Tampa Bay. I 2004 I became a fishing guide to share my knowledge to those who look to become better at fishing Tampa Bay and its surrounding water. Here are a few good tips to become a better fisherman in Tampa Bay.

Tip#1  – Have the right tackle for the job.

First tip to become a better fisherman that most people do not realize is that you can catch big fish with lighter tackle. In fact, you stand a better chance of getting more hook ups when using lighter gear.

A typical inshore set up on my Tampa fishing charter would be a Tsunami 2000 or 3000 reel with a Carbon 2 7’6 rod 8 to 17 lb. test.

Match this with some 15 to 20 lb. braided line, 40 lb. fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 Daiichi hook and you are set to do some Tampa flats fishing.

Tip#2 – Have plenty of bait.

Second tips to become a better fisherman in Tampa Bay we use a ton of bait. Greenbacks and Threadfin hearing are the preferred bait for a typical day of Tampa fishing. Every Tampa fishing guide starts off his or her morning with a cast net and chum.

The areas we catch bait can be on the markers in deeper water or on the shallow water flats of Tampa Bay.

I typically carry two cast nets.  I have a 12-foot heavy 3/8 mesh for deep water and the 12-foot flats net which is extremely light to throw on the flats. The time of year will determine where you catch bait in Tampa Bay.

Tip#3 – Where to start.

The third tips to become a better fisherman.

This would start with finding cuts, potholes points, and oyster bars. Back before I became a Tampa fishing guide and the internet was around. I spent hours on the water learning the lay of the land.

Nowadays with technology and Google earth you can find areas that are productive. So you still have to get out on the water and check it out.

Fishing is not something you just start doing and become successful overnight. It takes time to learn spots and understanding what draws fish to a certain area. Tampa inshore fishing is typically in 4 foot of water or less. On my Tampa fishing charters I look for a lot of variables but if you can narrow it down to just a few key things that help you catch fish in Tampa Bay.

Tides are huge and to me are the main thing you need to look at. Rule of thumb the faster water flows the better fishing will be. The strongest tides of the month are around the New and Full moons. Tidal flow in Tampa Bay brings bait and bait brings fish.  Best thing you can also do would be to book a Tampa fishing guide and you will learn more in one trip than you would on your own in a years’ time. Tight lines!!!