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Tampa is an underratedly world class fishing destination.

When people think about fishing in Florida, they usually think about the flats, the mangroves, and the deeper waters around Miami and the Florida Keys. However, just across the panhandle on the Gulf of Mexico lies Tampa, an underrated and world class fishing destination. The nutrient rich waters of the Gulf provide ample food for baitfish and mollusks. The abundance of food here brings the big fish close to the waters around Tampa, creating a year round fishery and an almost perfect storm of fishing options.

Fishing here is incredibly diverse. Anglers can take shots at redfish, sea trout, permit, tarpon, snook, and cobia all in one day. Whether you want to spend a day inshore fishing for redfish, tarpon, and snook or go out into the deep waters of the Gulf after shark and cobia, Tampa will live up to all your fishing expectations.

For the non-anglers in your party, many outfitters offer relaxing ecological trips which can be easily mixed with fishing. The wildlife in this area of Florida is incredibly distinct. It is not uncommon to see bottlenose dolphins, manatees, and flamingoes while cruising out to some of the region’s protected land. Guests can pack a lunch and have picnic on the beaches of pristine islands like Egmont Key State Park and the Paradise Islands. Snorkeling and swimming are available as well.

Basic Info
  • 70° 52° Dec-Feb
  • 80° 63° Mar-May
  • 90° 76° Jun-Aug
  • 84° 68° Sep-Nov
Gulf Of Mexico, Tampa Bay
Fishing license info here: here

The Catch

Top fish species to target in Tampa, FL


A large saltwater fish known for its cylindrical shape, flat head, and fearlessness.


Groupers have stout bodies and wide mouths, used to suck prey in from a distance.


Elusive and unforgiving, the permit is almond shaped with a unique tinge of yellow.

Red Snapper

Light red body with stronger pigment along the back. Gravitate towards structure on the bottom.


Reddish color along the back and white on the belly, Redfish are known for the distinct eyespot on their tail.

Sea Trout

Plentiful and good eating in the saltwater marshes of the South. Known for their spots, the sea trout is often called a speckled or spotted trout.


Prefer warmer water, put up a spirited fight, and have a delicate mild flavor.


Tarpon have swimming since prehistoric time. They can reach sizes up to 8 feet and weigh up to 280 pounds. As fierce a fight as any fish.

More Tampa Outfitters

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