Tampa Fishing Charters Q & A

Why should I choose you for Tampa Bay Fishing Charters ?    In a word Passion. No one loves shallow water fishing more. I eat, sleep and breathe it. I believe it’s not just my job to take you fishing, but to make you a better fisherman. Most guides do everything but reel in the fish. I believe in teaching you how to make the perfect cast, how to present the lure or fly, and the reasoning behind our techniques and tackle. It’s all part of what makes flats fishing so fun and addictive!

What is Flats Fishing?    Flats fishing occurs in shallow water environments. Generally we will be fishing in less than six feet of water. Tampa fishing charters take place on Gulf beaches, shallow grass areas, mangrove shorelines, and the mouths of area creeks and rivers. Due to the shallow water, sea sickness is never an issue. These are calm, quiet, beautiful places where we pursue the tarpon, snook, redfish and trout of Tampa Bay. There is nothing like catching large fish in shallow water, and Tampa Bay is the perfect place to do it.

What is sight fishing?    Sight fishing is a method of stalking and casting to fish sighted by the angler and guide. It is very much like hunting, and stealth is key.  I will push the boat along from an elevated tower looking for tarpon, snook, or redfish. After sighting the fish I will point them out to you and you present your cast. This method requires a lot of cooperation between angler and guide. Sight fishing is extremely rewarding and challenging. A day spent sight fishing will make you a better fisherman for life. Polarized Sunglasses are a must for those who want to try sightfishing.

Do I need experience?    No. Teaching people to fish is not only part of my job, it is my favorite part of my job.

Will be using artificials or live bait?    I love fishing Tampa Bay with artificial lures and soft plastics. It is challenging and productive. Using artificials will certainly make you a better fisherman. I also use live bait sometimes depending on the situation.

Do you offer Tampa fly fishing charters?    Fly fishing is my favorite method of fishing.  I offer Tampa Bay fly fishing charters year round. Saltwater fly fishing is challenging and generally not for people who have never fly fished before. That being said I love to teach people fly fishing and if you would like to learn, I can teach you. I also guide fly fishing in the Keys.

What kind of gear will we use?    We will be using light tackle spinning reels while on our Tampa fishing charters. I only use top of the line rods and reels from Penn, Shimano, and Daiwa. The fish of Tampa Bay are strong and only the best will do.

What will we catch?    We typically target tarpon, snook, redfish, and trout. Other catches include cobia, permit, pompano, mackerel and snapper.

Can I keep what I catch?    I allow clients to keep enough trout or snapper for a fish dinner.  I believe strongly in protecting Tampa Bay’s valuable fishery. I do not keep SNOOK or REDFISH. There are other species more plentiful and great to eat if you wish to keep a couple fish. I practice Catch and Release and encourage you to do so as well.

Can I bring my kids?    Yes. Children are more than welcome and are encouraged to come along. Kids love to fish and flats fishing in the Tampa area is a perfect way to get them started in the sport. Please let me know in advance so I can bring child size life jackets.

Can I bring alcohol?    Yes. Beer is okay but please enjoy in moderation. Safety is my number one priority and I will not allow intoxication on board.

What if it rains?    Florida is a subtropical environment and it does rain in paradise. Please bring a rain jacket if possible. In the event of thunderstorms I try to run from them to ensure your comfort and safety.

When do we go fishing?    I offer morning, afternoon, evening and night fishing charters in Tampa Bay. If at all possible I try to plan your trip during the best tide phase.

Why choose a night fishing charter?    Night time is the right time for monster snook and tarpon. With the exception of peak tarpon season (April through July) night fishing offers your best chance at a monster snook or huge Tampa Bay tarpon. Night fishing also beats the heat and is a really cool experience. I don’t recommend night fishing charters for children under the age of 13.

Where do we meet?    I trailer my boat and launch all over the Tampa bay area. Where we will fish will depend on how the fishing is in a given area on a given day. Please see our Locations page for detailed directions to various meeting locations for Tampa fishing charters.

What do I bring?    A short list of things you may want to bring. Polarized Sunglasses, Rain Jacket, Hat, Sunscreen, Medications, Snacks and a Camera. Please do not bring Bananas! They are extremely bad luck! I provide a cooler iced down with water, fishing licenses, all bait, tackle, and flies.

Can I tip the guide?    Gratuity is customary on a fishing charter if you feel like your guide worked hard to keep you on fish. It is not expected, but is greatly appreciated.

Do you offer fly fishing in the Florida Keys? Click here for information on Florida Keys fly fishing trips