Tampa tarpon fishing guide

Tampa Tarpon Fishing

It’s no secret to those who know me, I am obsessed with tarpon fishing. Tampa tarpon fishing charters are available from April through October depending on weather and tides. Tampa Bay tarpon fishing falls into two categories. Migratory tarpon are available in good numbers from May through July. These tarpon migrate up the beaches of the Tampa area each summer entering Tampa Bay to feed and rest. These tarpon average 80 to 140 pounds, and some will reach 200 pounds or more. Tampa tarpon fishing charters for these fish typically take place in shallow water along our beautiful beaches. I target them with artificial lures, live crabs, and flies. Fly fishing for tarpon in shallow water is one of the most incredible experiences in the angling world. In shallow water tarpon have no where to go but up, and the jumps will take your breath away.

Tampa tarpon fishing on the flats

Tampa Tarpon Fishing for Resident Fish

We also target resident fish that live in our area rivers, around the bridges, and deep water ports. These Tampa Bay tarpon average from 20 to 60 pounds, with some fish pushing the 100 pound mark. As long as the water temps are high enough they are available. This time frame is typically from April to October. I won’t go into detail about where we fish for them, but I will say they eat artificial plugs, soft plastics and flies very well. This tarpon fishery is virtually untapped, and gives me an opportunity to target Tampa Bay tarpon almost year round.

tampa tarpon fishing guides

Tampa Tarpon Fishing Techniques


When we are Tampa tarpon fishing with light tackle we employ several different techniques.These depend on weather conditions, where we are tarpon fishing, and how many people are in your party. When I am tarpon fishing with 1 or 2 guests we usually use the flats skiff. In the skiff I will either pole the boat in search of tarpon on the flats, or stake out in certain spots where tarpon travel. This is particularly effective during the annual tarpon migration in Tampa Bay.

During certain tides or with groups of 3 or 4 guests we may fish the Sunshine Skyway bridge on Tampa tarpon fishing charters. This entails us setting up tide of the bridge and drifting live crabs back to the bridge pilings. We will also throw certain artificial lures around the bridges. Another productive fishing method employed by Captain Tom is to drift the passes around Egmont Key and Bean Point. Capt. Tom uses a larger bay boat to fish these areas. This can be very productive, and sometimes hundreds even thousands of tarpon can be seen rolling.

On Tampa Bay tarpon fishing charters I strongly suggest limiting the number of anglers to 3 or less. Tarpon fishing is a little more technical and it’s hard to fish more than 3 people effectively.



Tampa Bay Tarpon fishing at night

Tampa Tarpon Fishing at Night

We also offer nighttime Tampa tarpon fishing trips. Tarpon feed heavily at night, and at certain times of the year I prefer to fish for them after dark. These night fishing charters usually take place around area bridges that are safe and well lit. Tampa tarpon fishing at night can produce fast and furious action. Seeing a 100 pound tarpon jump under the light of the moon is spectacular, and fishing our area bridges at night adds to thrill of catching these incredible fish.

Tampa tarpon fishing report

Please give me a call at 305-340-9863 for information on Tampa tarpon fishing charters. I can set up your trip, and give you the latest tarpon fishing report. Visit our home page for Tampa fishing charters for information on fishing Tampa Bay with Captain Brandon Henley. You can also reach me here.

For more information on Florida Keys fly fishing for tarpon.

Tampa Bay Tarpon Fishing During the Migration

The annual tarpon migration is an incredible event in nature and here in Tampa Bay. Starting in late April when the water temperatures reach 80 degrees a mass migration of spawning tarpon takes place along our Gulf beaches. This area of Florida is known to have the largest tarpon in the country. Our average tarpon during the migration is over 100 lbs. I see tarpon every year over 200 lbs! Around the full and new moons we will see thousands of fish on some days. This past season on a Tampa tarpon fishing charter we saw 1 school with over a 1000 tarpon in it.

May, June, and July are our busiest months of the year so it’s best to book in advance these months. The excitement of seeing these giant fish in crystal clear water is a blast. The fight on a large tarpon can range anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. I try to coach my anglers to land the fish quickly so we can release it healthy. There are large bull and hammerhead sharks that follow the tarpon migration looking for easy prey. Catching a tarpon takes patience, stamina and determination, but when you do you will remember Tampa Bay tarpon fishing for the rest of your life.

Due to the size of the fish I don’t recommend tarpon fishing for children under 12 or those who might have a medical condition. Every time I see one of these giants jump I have heart palpitations myself!

Information on the tarpon migration in the Florida Keys