sheepshead fishing in tampa bay

Fishing changes and so do tactics

Tampa Bay Fishing Charters

Fishing changes and so do the tactics. Well it is winter time but the weather in our area has been mild and spring or fall like for the most part. We have had a few minor cold fronts come through the area with temps dropping into the 50’s. For this semi native Florida boy that is pretty cold.

The effects of these cold fronts have effected our fishing a little but we have adapted and are still catching fish while fishing in Tampa Bay. Trout are still abundant and can be caught using live shrimp or jigs fishing around oyster bars and deeper areas with rocky bottom. Snook and Redfish(aka Red Drum) can also be caught using shrimp,crabs and live sardines. Artificial lures will also work. On our charters we mostly focus on using live bait but at times we do throw some artificial jigs and lures for trout. Sheepshead are abundant in the bay. These fish make great table fare with a delicate white meat with a flavor close to snapper. We have been catching sheepshead using few different methods depending on depth of water and tide movement. Fishing rocky bottom,artificial reefs and rocky shoreline structure with shrimp have proven to be productive.

Live bait is still around but not as plentiful as it was just a few weeks ago. Its being caught at bridges,markers and deep channels. A 3/8″ mesh,heavy cast net is needed to get these baits. It can be very time consuming so switching over and using live shrimp bought at the bait store has been the ticket for a lot of anglers.

January proved to be a very productive month. We caught a lot of slot sized (keeper) trout on charters along with a few redfish and some snook. Moving into February we switched gears and started fishing more for sheepshead. Many of my clients have been keeping a few to take for a lunch or dinner cooked either at home or at a local restaurant.

Keep in mind that on my charters anything you want to keep that is with in the guidelines of the regulations I will be more than happy to clean and bag up for you at the end of the charter.

Here are a few pictures from January’s charters.

trout fishing tampafishing in tampa baytrout fishing in tampa bay





February’s fishing in Tampa Bay has been good as well with many Sheepshead making a trip to the filet table.

sheepshead fishing in tampa baytampa bay fishing chartersfishing blooper


Some of my customers have been keeping a few fish to have them cooked at one of my favorite restaurants in Tampa. Carmines on 7th ave. in historic Ybor city will cook your catch in a variety of ways.  The price is reasonable and the causal atmosphere makes it a great place for anglers to go for lunch or dinner after some time on the water. They don’t offer this service on the menu but all I have to do is give Carmine a quick heads up you are coming and he will let the chef know.

Carmines Resturaun Tampa


Thank you for stopping by to read the reports. I hope your next fishing adventure is a successful one.

Book your Tampa Bay Fishing Charters with Capt. Steve


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