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Tampa Fishing Charters and Social Distancing

Its been a tough few weeks and Tampa fishing charters and social distancing has been more than complicated. With all of my charters cancelling because of either travel restrictions,hotel accommodations and people just not feeling comfortable about being in close quarters with others at this time its really been a little depressing. Part of the blame falls on myself as I take responsibility for making the decision to cease doing fishing charters until the air clears so to speak. (Doing my best to social distance and keep others and myself safe)
Our Governor Ron DeSantis just recently put a state wide Stay Safe at Home Order in effect. Now this isn’t an order mandating that you stay locked up inside you’re home but it does ask the people of this great state to do they’re best to practice social distancing at this time. One of the things it says is we are allowed to do is go Fishing under these guidelines. Thank you Gov. DeSantis!
So this weekend I changed things up a bit. My favorite fishing partner and wife Karen and I decided to take the bass boat out and avoid the crowds. As much as I love saltwater fishing this was a welcome and refreshing change for the both of us.
Karen had never caught a bass before. I have only been bass fishing a handful of times over the past 30 years. My fish catching expectations were low but we were both eager to get out of the house and spend a few hours getting some fresh air and enjoying nature on the Hillsborough River.
I gave Karen a quick lesson on how to use our lure of choice. It was and still is my go to artificial bait of choice. The common black plastic worm rigged Texas style.

texas style rig

Karen caught on quickly as we started working the Lilly pads and brush that lined the river. It was long as she patiently worked that soft plastic worm across the pads that she had the first large mouth Bass she had ever caught on the line.
social distancing

It wasn’t a giant bass but I was proud of her that she caught on so quickly and was able to put one in the boat. It was now my turn. I saw what I thought was a bass come up and strike some small minnows that were in the middle of the river. I made a cast and let my worm sink to the bottom and then started slowly crawling it across. I felt the strike and I quickly did my best Bill Dance hook set I could! This felt like a good one. Not a monster but hey I will take it. After a quick picture I sent him back to grow up.
fishing charters

We worked our way down river and caught a few more fish. All the while we were taking in the sights of  the birds and other wildlife that call the river home.

hillsborough river





We came across this cormorant spreading his wings and soaking up the sun.

We also saw some of the local reptilians sunbathing as well.





It was a beautiful morning spent with my best friend. I encourage you all to take this time while social distancing is our new norm to get out and do something different. Even if its just finding a little spot away from others on a river bank or lake. Check your local area to find some local parks that may still be open to the public. A breath of fresh air and a little bit of change will be good for you.
As a final note I would like to ad. Tampa Flats and Bay Fishing Charters will resume business as usual as soon as local and state authorities lift the Stay Safe at Home order.
We will also continue to take reservations for any charters that may take place after April 30th, 2020. Any Tampa fishing charters that would have to be canceled do to travel restrictions or a Stay Safe at Home order will be refunded or rescheduled at your request.

Thank you for stopping by.
Capt. Steve Betz


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