Dock Fishing and Tagging St. Petersburg, Florida

Dock Fishing and Tagging in St. Petersburg Florida

Unlike the more commonly depicted offshore excursions, the docks along the St. Petersburg shoreline provide fun opportunities for anglers to reel in a variety of species, without heading far from shore.

Dock Fishing St Petersburg Florida

Dock Fishing in St. Petersburg

Dock fishing is an accessible and effective way to fish, making it perfect for visitors and locals alike. The piers and docks in St. Petersburg are strategically positioned along nutrient-rich waters, attracting a diverse range of fish species. It’s an ideal setting for those new to fishing as well as seasoned anglers looking for a convenient spot to cast their lines.

Dock Fishing St Petersburg - Catching Grouper

What Can You Catch?

Anglers fishing from the docks in St. Petersburg have successfully caught a variety of fish, including:

dock fishing grouper fish tagging st petersburg florida april 2024 2

Grouper:

Known for their fight and size, grouper are a common catch and offer a rewarding challenge for any angler.

catching sheepshead dock fishing st petersburg florida aril 2024

Sheepshead:

With their distinct black and white stripes, these fish are not only fun to catch but also excellent to eat.

catching big speckled trout fishing st petersburg docks april 2024

Speckled Trout:

A favorite among local fishermen, speckled trout can be found in abundance around the docks.

Caught Orange Tilefish St Petersburg Florida

Orange File Fish:

This less common but beautiful fish made a special appearance in the video, showcasing the unexpected surprises dock fishing can offer.


The video also highlighted some ‘big hits’ — powerful fish that manage to escape before they can be landed. These moments add an element of excitement and challenge to dock fishing, promising adrenaline-pumping action.

Fish SpeciesBest Bait to Use
SnookLive shrimp, pilchards
RedfishCut bait, live shrimp
Spotted SeatroutLive shrimp, soft plastics
TarponLive mullet, live crabs
SheepsheadFiddler crabs, shrimp
Mangrove SnapperCut bait, live shrimp
FlounderMinnows, small fish strips
Black DrumShrimp, crabs
Jack CrevalleSmall lures, live baitfish

Watch Video: Dock Fishing St. Petersburg

Tagging Fish in St. Petersburg

An interesting aspect of the video is its focus on fish tagging, done in collaboration with Gray FishTag Research. This non-profit organization is dedicated to marine research and conservation. They provide fish tagging kits to anglers, who can then tag the fish they catch and release. This helps scientists gather valuable data on fish migration patterns, growth rates, and habitat utilization, contributing to sustainable fishing practices.

Education is Key to a Successful Fishery

dock fishing grouper fish tagging st petersburg florida april 2024

How to Participate in Fish Tagging

Anglers interested in contributing to this research can participate by:

Getting a Tagging Kit:

These are often available through local bait shops or directly from Gray FishTag Research.

Tagging Caught Fish:

After catching a fish, you can quickly and safely attach a tag provided by Gray FishTag Research before releasing it back into the water.

how to gray fish tagging tampa bay st petersburg florida

Reporting Your Tag:

Each tag has a unique identification number. Anglers are encouraged to report the catch on the Gray FishTag Research website, adding to the valuable research database.

Tips for Successful Dock Fishing

Choose the Right Time: Early morning or late evening are typically the best times for dock fishing, as many fish species are more active during these periods.

dock fishing with live shrimp st petersburg florida

Use the Right Bait:

Live bait such as shrimp or small fish tends to attract more attention from inshore species.

Be Patient:

Fishing requires patience, especially when you’re targeting bigger fish like tarpon or redfish.

Dock fishing in St. Petersburg offers a unique blend of convenience, variety, and excitement for anglers of all levels. With opportunities to catch a diverse array of fish and contribute to marine conservation efforts, it’s an activity that promises more than just a good catch; it’s a chance to be part of a larger community effort supporting healthy and sustainable fisheries.

dock fishing st petersburg florida april 2024

For those interested in seeing dock fishing in action in St. Petersburg, check out the latest video from Landed Fishing, which not only showcases the thrill of the catch but also highlights important conservation efforts through fish tagging with Gray FishTag Research.

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Year-Round Fishing Tampa Florida Skyway Bridge

Year-Round Fishing Tampa Florida Skyway Bridge

Fishing Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge

The Skyway Bridge, officially known as the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, spans Tampa Bay, Florida, and is a well-known landmark for both its architectural beauty and its incredible fishing opportunities.

Year Round Fishing

Spring and summer around Florida’s Skyway Bridge is prime time for anglers.

In spring, you’re looking at a mixed bag – trout, snook, and redfish are all on the menu. It’s like the fish are just as excited about the warmer weather as we are, and they’re hungry.

landed fishing tampa skyway bridge sea pro 250

Come summer, it’s all about tarpon. These guys are the main event, and trust me, they put up a fight that’s worth the effort.

Let’s Go Fishing

The Skyway Bridge is not only iconic for its picturesque views but also for the saltwater fishing experience that thrives around its structure, including the bridge legs and the lush mangroves at its ends.

The bridge itself, along with the adjacent mangrove-lined shores, provides an ecosystem that supports a wide variety of fish species.

SeaPro 250 Tampa Inshore FIshing Skyway Bridge

Catching Grouper Tampa Skyway Bridge

Fishing Skyway Bridge Tampa

mangrove snapper fishing skyway bridge florida

Anglers can choose to fish near the bridge legs, or venture into the mangroves surrounding the bridge for a more secluded experience.

Skyway Pier Fishing Information

Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, built on the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge, stands as the world’s longest fishing pier. This unique spot, open 24/7, allows anglers to park just feet away from their fishing spot, offering convenience and the chance to fish under the lights at night. Catch snook, tarpon, grouper, and more saltwater fish.

World’s Longest Fishing Pier

Pier Hours

24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Entry Fees

$4 per vehicle, plus $4 per adult

Location

4905 34th St. South #5000
St. Petersburg FL 33711

Phone

Contact Info
727-865-0668

https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/skyway-fishing-pier-state-park

catching Florida Snook Skyway Bridge

Catching Florida Snook in Tampa

Going after snook around the Skyway Bridge is where the fun’s at. Aim for late spring to early fall, especially when the sun’s just rising or setting. These fish hang around the bridge legs and the mangroves.

What’s the best bait for Snook in Florida?

Live bait works well here—think shrimp, greenbacks, threadfins or other small fish. Snook are all about the stealth in shallow waters, darting out to snag their meal. You gotta be sneaky and quick. The fight?

Oh, it’s on. Snook are fighters, using every trick to shake the hook.

Gear up right, stay patient, and the rush of landing a snook? Totally worth it. It’s all about the thrill and playing the game smart.

Watch Episode: Skyway Bridge

In this episode, Captains Randall (FloridaFishingCo) and Dylan @hogsquadfishing  team up for an unforgettable fishing adventure at the Tampa Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

From catching bait to searching for Trophy Snook, join us as we explore the bridge’s rock piles to snag some mangrove snapper. Follow the professional guides as they catch grouper and even sneak a chance at battling the area favorite, tarpon. As conditions change, they navigate to the mangrove-lined coasts, targeting snook and redfish.

Watch Episode: Tampa Snook

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About Fishing the Skyway Bridge

seapro with suzuki outboard skyway bridge fishing tampa florida

Home to the Silver King:

The Skyway Bridge area is renowned for its Tarpon fishing, earning it the nickname “Home to the Silver King.” These legendary fish are sought after for their impressive size and acrobatic leaps, making the area a bucket-list destination.

mangrove_snapper fishing tampa skyway_bridge

Bridge Structure Makes an Artificial Reef:

The underwater structure of the Skyway Bridge acts as an artificial reef, attracting saltwater fish. This includes snook, red drum, sheepshead, and mangrove snapper, creating a fishing hotspot year-round.

Record-Breaking Catches:

The waters around the Skyway Bridge have witnessed some record-breaking catches, particularly tarpon, which have been reported to weigh over 200 pounds.

Skyway Fishing Spots Tampa Bay Florida

A Fishing Spot with a View:

Not only is the Skyway Bridge area known for its fantastic fishing, but it also offers anglers incredible views of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing here provides a unique experience.

Night Fishing Adventures:

The Skyway Bridge is not only a day-time fishing haven; it’s also a popular spot for night fishing. The bridge is illuminated at night, attracting baitfish and, subsequently, larger game fish, offering anglers a unique and productive fishing experience under the stars.

Whether you’re out there at dawn or chilling under the stars, it’s the place to be. Just remember, it’s not just the heat that’s intense – the fishing is too. Gear up and get ready for some action.

Fish Species Best Times to Catch
Snook Late spring to early fall (May-September)
Tarpon Summer months (June-August)
Red Drum (Redfish) Fall (September-November)
Spotted Seatrout Spring and fall (March-May and September-November)
Sheepshead Winter to early spring (December-March)
Mangrove Snapper Late summer (July-September)

Florida Fishing company

Inshore Fishing Tampa Skyway Bridge Mangroves

Common Fish Species and Best Catching Times

Snook

Best Time to Catch: Late spring to early fall (May-September)

Locations: Mangrove edges and bridge legs, especially during early morning or late evening.

Tarpon

Best Time to Catch: Summer months (June-August)

Locations: Open waters around the bridge and mangrove channels. Early morning or late evening is ideal for these majestic fighters.

Red Drum (Redfish)

Best Time to Catch: Fall (September-November)

Locations: Shallow flats near the mangroves and around bridge pilings. Look for them during moving tides.

Mangrove Snapper Fishing Tampa Skyway Bridge

Spotted Seatrout

Best Time to Catch: Spring and fall (March-May and September-November)

Locations: Grassy flats and shallow areas close to the mangroves. Dawn and dusk offer the best opportunities.

Sheepshead

Best Time to Catch: Winter to early spring (December-March)

Locations: Around the bridge legs and pilings. These fish are attracted to structures where barnacles and crustaceans live.

Mangrove Snapper

Best Time to Catch: Late summer (July-September)

Locations: Mangroves and bridge structures. They are more active during the late evening and night.

Tampa Fishing Charters

Tampa Florida Fishing Charter

HOG SQUAD FISHING

Captain Dylan Rodden
(714) 661-6550

Tampa Florida Fishing Guide

FLORIDA FISHING COMPANY

Captain Randall Shaw
(352) 388-1155

Tampa Mangroves Fishing Florida

Skyway Bridge Tarpon Fishing

Fishing for tarpon by the Skyway Bridge in Tampa is a blast if you’re up for a challenge. The best time to catch Tarpon near the Skyway Bridge is from June to August, during the early mornings or late evenings.

They love hanging out around the bridge and the mangrove channels. You’ll want to use live bait like crabs or mullet, or even some shiny lures to grab their attention.

The waters here are perfect for tarpon because they’re deep with strong currents, making for some epic battles. You need to be patient and ready with the right gear. When you hook one, brace yourself for an intense fight; these guys are known for their dramatic jumps and don’t give up easily.

tampa florida hog squad fishing

Pro Fishing Tips:

Skyway Fishing Tips and Techniques

Equipment:

Depending on your target species, you’ll need a variety of gear, from light tackle for trout to heavier setups for tarpon and snook.

Live bait such as shrimp, crabs, and minnows often yield the best results, but artificial lures can also be effective, especially for trout and redfish.

Tides and Weather:

Pay attention to the tides and weather forecasts.

Fish activity often increases during moving tides, and certain species are more active under specific weather conditions.

Conservation:

Protect the areas we fish, practice catch and release when possible, especially for species that are out of season or below legal size.

This helps maintain the health and balance of this incredible fishery.

Some of the Best Fishing Opportunities in Florida

The area around the Tampa Skyway Bridge undoubtedly touts some of the best fishing opportunities along the Florida coast, with a chance to catch species throughout the year.

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Beginners Guide Slow Pitch Jigging Fishing Rods, Reels and Jig Type

A Beginner’s Guide to Slow Pitch Jigging

A Beginner’s Guide to Slow Pitch

Fast jigging involves rapid, mechanical rod movements to create a lively action in the lure, targeting aggressive predators with a high-speed retrieve.

Slow pitch jigging, on the other hand, focuses on a more deliberate and rhythmic lifting and falling motion of the lure, mimicking an injured or weakened prey, enticing bites from a variety of fish species, and often requiring less physical exertion from the angler.

Slow Pitch Fishing Tampa Video 2024

About Slow Pitch Jigging:

Slow pitch jigging is not just a fishing technique; it’s a new approach to experiencing the water, a blend of skill, patience, and strategy.

Slow Pitch Jigging, for its effectiveness and the unique challenge, attracts the attention of anglers looking to refine their skills and enjoy fishing in a whole new way.

Captain Randall Florida Fishing Co

Captain Shaw, a seasoned host of Landed Fishing and a professional guide for the Florida Fishing Company.

He shares his expertise and insights into this intriguing fishing method, offering beginners a comprehensive overview of slow pitch jigging, its key differences, Jig Types from traditional techniques, and how to get started.

Watch Video: Slow Pitch Jigging

In the slow pitch series opener captain Shaw showcases different styles of jigs and explains their specific applications, guiding beginners through the process of choosing the right jig for their fishing conditions.

The Rise of Slow Pitch Jigging

Slow pitch jigging has taken the fishing community by storm, captivating anglers with its methodical and strategic approach to catching fish.

Unlike the vigorous and fast-paced action of high-speed jigging, slow pitch jigging emphasizes a more deliberate and rhythmic technique, focusing on enticing fish with the slow, fluttering descent of the jig.

Slow Pitch Jig hook accessories options

What is Slow Pitch Jigging?

Slow Pitch Jigging involves a series of controlled lifts and falls, allowing the jig to flutter and glide through the water, mimicking the erratic movements of prey.

What’s the Advantage of Slow Pitch Jigging?

Slow Pitch Jigging can be effective in targeting species that are not usually attracted to fast-moving lures, offering a broader range of possibilities for catches.

Slow Pitch Jigging reel LastKing

Pro Insights: Geared Up for Success

Check out a recent video released on Landed Fishing, Captain Shaw dives deep into the essentials of slow pitch jigging, starting with the critical selection of gear.

Slow Pitch Jigging Rods Reaper Fishing Rods

For 2024, Reaper Fishing Rods and KastKing reels will be our gear of choice.

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The right combination of rod and reel not only enhances the effectiveness of the technique but also ensures a more enjoyable and less strenuous experience for anglers.

Comparing Slow Pitch Jig

Jig Selection: Matching the Hatch

One of the key aspects is the selection of slow pitch jigs. The variety in shapes, sizes, and colors can be overwhelming, but understanding the basic principle of “matching the hatch”—selecting a jig that resembles the local prey of the target species—can significantly increase your chances.

Slow Pitch Jigs

Slow Pitch Jig tackle storage

Slow-Pitch Jig Types

Slow pitch jigging employs specific types of lures designed to mimic the natural movements of injured prey in the water.

Flutter Jigs:

These are thin, symmetrical lures that flutter as they fall, mimicking a dying fish.

Effective in various water columns and can attract strikes during the fall.

Leaf Jigs:

Named for their leaf-like shape, these jigs fall slowly and erratically, imitating a wounded baitfish.

Slow descents and sudden, unpredictable movements.

Knife Jigs:

Long and slender, knife jigs sink quickly to the desired depth and then can be worked slowly to create an enticing action.

Deeper water where you need to get the lure down quickly but still want to maintain a slow presentation.

Sliding Jigs:

These lures have a center-weighted design, allowing them to slide through the water with a unique, horizontal action.

Simulating a fleeing or injured prey fish when jerked gently.

Demersal Jigs:

Specifically designed for bottom-dwelling fish, these jigs have a flat bottom and a weighted head.

Maintain a horizontal orientation when lifted and dropped, closely mimicking the movements of prey on or near the ocean floor.

Squid Imitating Jigs:

These lures mimic the look and movement of squid, a common prey for many target species.

Designs often includes tentacle-like features that move in the water.

Octopus Jigs:

Similar to squid-imitating jigs, these lures replicate the appearance and motion of an octopus. They often feature soft, flexible materials that create a more lifelike movement in the water.

Each type of jig can be effective for slow pitch jigging, depending on the target species, water conditions, and depth. Anglers often experiment with different lures to find the most effective one for their specific fishing situation.

Fishing Technique: A Dance Below the Waves

Slow pitch jigging is more than just dropping a lure into the water; it’s an art form that requires a bit of skill over the rod’s movements to imitate a wounded or dying fish.

Captain Shaw breaks down the technique, highlighting tips such as the importance of rhythm and precision in jig manipulation.

Slow Pitch: Next Steps

For those eager to learn more about slow pitch jigging, this video serves as an essential primer, offering a foundation on which to build your skills. With the popularity of this fishing technique beginning to catch on, now is the perfect time to explore slow pitch jigging and experience the unique challenges and rewards it offers.

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Chassahowitzka River Kayaking Springs

Exploring Old Florida, Chassahowitzka River

backcountry springs homosassa Florida

Exploring Old Florida

In a recent episode of Landed Fishing, Captain Shaw and his family adventure to picturesque Homosassa, Florida. Our journey north in the RV brings us to the heart of Old Florida,the Chassohowitzka River. Here we set out to explore Florida backcountry springs, the area’s natural beauty and the laid-back lifestyle that defines this hidden gem of the Gulf Coast.

the monkey bar homosassa florida

Local Homosassa Hot Spots

Before taking to the waters, we dive into the local culture and cuisine, visiting iconic spots like MacRae’s, The Monkey Bar, Crumps and the Old Florida Cracker. Each location offers a unique taste of Homosassa’s rich history and amazing hot spots, from fresh seafood to classic Floridian fare.

homosassa river locations

In a move that adds a touch of leisure and flexibility to their adventure, a golf cart rental from Sass Style Rentals. Easy exploration of the local area but also adds a fun and leisurely pace to our stay, allowing us to soak in the sights and sounds of Homosassa in true Floridian style.

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Florida Fishing company

Kayaking Chassahowitzka River

The shallow Chassahowitzka River, flowing through five thousand acres of Wildlife Preserve is a paddler’s paradise, offering multiple springs, unique features and true Florida flora and fauna. Watercraft rentals as well as a boat dock for public launching are available at the Chassahowitzka River Campground

chassohowitzka river kayak

Watch Video: Chassahowitzka River

New Episode now Available!

The Chassahowitzka River

Nestled in the heart of Florida’s Nature Coast, the Chassahowitzka River, affectionately known as “The Chaz,” offers a kayaking experience that feels like a journey back in time to Old Florida. With its crystal-clear springs, dense mangrove forests, and abundant wildlife, this river serves as a gateway to the untouched natural beauty that Florida is renowned for.

chassohowitzka river crystal clear springs 1

Historical Significance:
Homosassa Springs, a focal point for human and wildlife activity for millennia, remains largely unchanged since a 1924 declaration dubbed it the world’s most beautiful river and springs.

The springs served as a leisure spot for early 20th-century train passengers​.

The Homosassa Springs area has been attracting people for thousands of years, from Florida’s earliest inhabitants to tourists from around the world today.

Home to Nearly 30 Springs: The Homosassa main spring is the largest within the Homosassa Springs Group, which consists of nearly 30 springs.

This group discharges an impressive 65 million gallons of water daily. These springs form the head of the Homosassa River, which flows for 8 miles before reaching the Gulf of Mexico

Early in the 1900s, Homosassa Springs was a popular train stop where passengers could picnic and swim in the springs while waiting for trains loaded with cedar, crabs, fish, and spring water​

Homosassa Florida Clear Water Springs

The highlight of this episode is undoubtedly the Chassahowitzka River and it’s beautiful crystal-clear springs. With our kayaks and paddleboard procured for the adventure, we set out to explore the local waters and hidden springs that make this river a jewel of the Nature Coast.

The Chassahowitzka, or “The Chaz” as it’s affectionately known, offers kayaks and paddlers an incredible experience in one of Florida’s most pristine aquatic environments.

the crack chassahowitzka river kayaking 1

backcountry springs homosassa Florida

As we explore the river’s meandering paths, surrounded by lush greenery and the calming sounds of nature, the natural springs they explore serves as a reminder of the untouched wilderness that still thrives in parts of Florida.

Name of Spring Estimated Time to Get There
Seven Sisters Spring Approximately 5 minutes by kayak
The Crack Varies, follow Crab Spring then Blue Spring for guidance
Chassahowitzka Main Spring Approximately 350 feet from the boat ramp
Crab Creek Springs Short distance downstream from the boat ramp
Ruth Spring Downstream, past Potter Creek
Blue Spring About 1/2 mile downstream from Crab Creek
Baird Creek Near Blue Spring, downriver
No-Name Spring Upstream from the campground, past residential canals
Buford Spring Located inside the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, requires entrance through the WMA

Notable Homosassa Locations

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park: A sanctuary for native wildlife, including manatees, birds, and other animals.

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins: Historic site from the Civil War era, offering insight into the region’s past.

Chassahowitzka River: Popular for kayaking, fishing, and nature tours.

Crystal River: Known for snorkeling and diving, especially for interactions with manatees.

Annual Scallop Season: Attracts divers and snorkelers to the area’s clear waters for scallop harvesting.

River Safari’s Manatee Tour – Take a guided tour to see manatees up close in their natural habitat along the Homosassa River.

Old Homosassa Market – Explore this local market offering fresh produce, handmade crafts, and unique gifts.

MacRae’s of Homosassa – A waterfront restaurant serving seafood and American cuisine, offering picturesque views of the Homosassa River.

Homosassa Civic Club – Check out community events and activities hosted at the Homosassa Civic Club, which is within walking distance.

The Freezer Tiki Bar – A laid-back waterfront bar offering drinks, live music, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Monkey Island – Take a short walk to Monkey Island and observe the monkeys living in their natural habitat.

Homosassa River RV Resort – If you’re interested in RV camping or just want to explore the area, this resort is within walking distance and offers various amenities.

Florida’s Scalloping Season

The annual Florida scallop season in Homosassa, part of the broader Levy, Citrus, and Hernando counties region, spans from July 1 through September 24. During this time, enthusiasts can collect up to 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell per person or 1 pint of bay scallop meat, with a maximum of 10 gallons per boat or 1/2 gallon of scallop meat​

homosassa crystal river scallopi

A Journey Through Old Florida

This episode of Landed Fishing offers more than just a glimpse into the recreational opportunities in Homosassa; it’s a deep dive into the heart of Old Florida. From the warm hospitality of local establishments to the natural beauty of the Chassahowitzka River, and Florida’s Nature Coast.

Want to Visit Homosassa?

For those inspired to explore Homosassa and its surroundings, this episode serves as both a guide and an invitation to discover the Gulf Coast, promising adventures and memories that will last a lifetime.

chassohowitzka river kayaking

Launching Your Adventure

Your journey can start at the Chassahowitzka River Campground, where kayaks can be rented or launched. This spot, although very popular especially on sunny weekends, offers not just access to the river but also the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, possibly spotting playful dolphins, graceful manatees, and a myriad of bird species along the way​.

natural springs chassahowitzka river homosassa florida

Highlights Along The Chaz

Seven Sisters Spring: Just a short paddle from the Chassahowitzka Campground, this spring is famous for its cluster of underwater caves, connected by tunnels that daring snorkelers can explore in a single breath​ (impulse4adventure)​.

The Crack: A more secluded natural spring, offering a serene spot to cool off after navigating through a narrower and darker path filled with lush vegetation and potential wildlife sightings, including alligators. The journey to The Crack, culminating in its crystal-clear waters and iconic rope swing, is an adventure in itself.

Homosassa Wildlife Encounters

The Chassahowitzka River is a hotspot for wildlife enthusiasts. From the gentle manatees that frequent its waters to the elusive dolphins and otters, and even the birds of prey soaring above, the river is a haven for diverse species, providing unforgettable encounters for those who navigate its waters​.

exploring chassohowitzka river crystal clear springs

Conservation and “No-Trace” Principles

As a visitor, respect this pristine natural environment. The popularity of The Chaz means that every kayaker and adventurer plays a role in preserving its beauty and health for future generations. Adhering to no-trace principles and avoiding disrupting the wildlife are small but significant ways to contribute to the conservation efforts​.

floridas nature coast

Complementing Your Visit

While the kayaking experience alone is worth the trip, the surrounding area offers more to explore. From the historic Chassahowitzka Hotel to local dining favorites and nearby attractions like Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and Crystal River Archaeological State Park, the region is rich with activities that can enhance your next adventure on The Chaz​​.

Kayaking the Chassahowitzka River is not just an outdoor activity; it’s an immersion into the very essence of Florida’s natural splendor.

the crack chassahowitzka river kayaking

The Crack – Chassahowitzka

The Crack” is a secluded sulfur spring which can only be accessed by paddle craft and is located on the Chassahowitzka River in the southern region of Citrus County.

Whether you’re paddling through the Seven Sisters Spring, exploring the beauty of The Crack, or simply enjoying the wildlife, The Chaz is a Florida destination that promises an adventure filled with peace, beauty, and the unforgettable charm of Old Florida.

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Digital Services Quick-Turn Video and Digital Creator

 

Quick-Turn Digital Production for Your Product, Service or Brand

Working Together to Enhance Your Brand’s Reach

Partner with Landed Fishing and hook into our network of fishing channels and enthusiasts through our multi-channel + multi-format approach. We offer a variety of ways for your brand to connect with our audiences across various platforms.

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Become a part of the story and become a pivotal supporter with bookend logo credits and in-video promotional segments in our weekly episodes.

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For those with a vision that stretches beyond the horizon, our long-term brand partnerships offer a deep dive into multi-format digital content.

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Let your product be the catch of the day with our dedicated review pages in episode sponsored slots or review videos.

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Step it up and feature your brand in a 30 to 40-second segment within our episodes, presenting your products or services in action when they are most engaged.

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Extend your reach further, build links or improve search by showcasing your brand on our website and on FinCatchers.com, a new fishing forum and valuable resource for captains and anglers.

Opt for in-depth reviews or editorial features to build credibility and connect with our community.

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Integrate your advertising seamlessly among our rich library of fishing content, with options that range from pre-roll videos to custom sponsored posts and graphic ads and banners, tailored to fit your marketing strategy.

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How to Catch Red Grouper Fishing the Florida Coast Catch and Cook

Catching Red Grouper Off Florida’s Gulf Coast

Join the crew as they showcase

How to Catch Red Grouper in the Gulf of Mexico

catching red grouper st pete florida

Inshore + Offshore Fishing Tampa / St. Petersburg, Fl

Watch Video: Catch and Cook Parmesan Crusted Red Grouper

Catch and Cook

Fishing Tips and Tactics

Red Grouper are known known for their fight and flavor, red grouper are a prized catch among both novice and experienced fishermen along the gulf coast. Here’s how we landed a few of these sought-after bottom dwellers.

Go Red Grouper Fishing Tampa Florida

When to Go:

Spring is the ideal time to target red grouper, especially in waters 200 feet deep or more.

This period offers the best combination of weather and water conditions conducive to grouper fishing.

st petersburg catching red grouper parmesan crusted cook

Where to Head:

Departing from St. Petersburg, Florida, positions anglers within reach of fertile fishing grounds off the state’s west coast.

Areas with rocky bottoms, ledges, and artificial reefs are particularly productive as red grouper prefer these structures for habitat.

Red Grouper Fishing Gear

Fishing Gear:

Bottom fishing requires specific setups to effectively target red grouper. A sturdy, medium-heavy rod paired with a conventional reel spooled with high-capacity braided or mono but braided mainline is often preferred.

The rig setup should include a heavy-weight to keep the bait near the bottom and a strong circle hook to ensure a secure hookup.

Bait and Fishing Technique:

Live bait such as pinfish, grunts, and sardines are top choices for red grouper. When dropping bait, ensure it’s close to the structure to entice grouper out from their hiding spots. Patience and attention is key; grouper bites can be subtle before the fish attempts to run back to cover.

catch and cook parmesan crusted red grouper steaks

Parmesan Crusted Baked Red Grouper

For those looking to culminate their fishing adventure with a meal, red grouper is excellent when baked with a Parmesan crust, paired with pasta for a delightful home-cooked meal.

Red grouper lends itself well to various recipes, however here is how Captain Shaw prepared his Red Grouper steaks.

Red Grouper Recipe

Prep:10 mins

Cook:30 mins

Total:40 mins

Servings:4 servings

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cupJapanese Panko Breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cupParmesan Cheese(finely grated)
  • 3 tablespoonsUnsalted Butter Room Temperature
  • 3 tablespoonsMayonnaise
  • 3 Green Onions(green tops only thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoonWorchestershire Sauce
  • ½ teaspoonHot Pepper Sauce(tabasco or other)
  • 1 ½ tablespoonsLemon Juice(freshly squeezed, approx. 1/2 lemon)
  • add Salt And Pepper
  • 3-4  Gouper Fish Fillets
  • 2 tablespoonsFresh Flat-Leaf(parsely finely chopped

Prepping Red Grouper Fillets

mixing breading parmesan red grouper

Mixing Parmesan Panko Batter

mixing breading parmesan crusted red grouper

Applying Batter to Grouper Steaks

parmesan crusted red grouper catch and cook

Oven Baking Red Grouper

catch and cook parmesan crusted red grouper steaks

Protecting the Species

Practice catch and release when out on the water and always adhere to current size and bag limits for your area. Familiarize yourself with local regulations before heading out as it is illegal to target and keep certain fish species due to either season or permits.

st petersburg gag grouper

Inverted Fishing Charters

Whether you’re fishing with a guide like Captain Martin of Inverted Fishing Charters or setting out on your own, the thrill of landing a red grouper is an unforgettable experience.

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Goliath Grouper Fishing

The Ultimate Catch: Goliath Grouper Fishing Let's catch Goliaths! Expert tips, fishing techniques, and valuable insights to help you…

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Anna Maria Island’s Fishing Charters with Captain Randall

Anna Maria Island’s Fishing Paradise with Captain Randall

ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. — As a jewel in Florida’s vast coastal crown, Anna Maria Island (AMI) beckons with its beautiful beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and unparalleled fishing opportunities. Captain Randall of Florida Fishing Charters is on a mission to guide visitors through this idyllic setting, ensuring a memorable experience on your next trip to this coastal town that combines relaxation with the adventure of fishing, a year-round prospect on one of Florida’s most charming islands.

Captain Randall Florida Fishing Co

Anglers Island Paradise

Anna Maria Island is a vacationer’s paradise, coupled with the excitement of saltwater fishing against the backdrop of the Gulf of Mexico. “Here, every season brings a new fishing adventure,” Captain Randall says, sharing insights into the spring and summertime fishing prospects that make the island a fisherman’s dream.

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Anna Maria Florida Fishing Charters

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Anna Maria Fishing Charters

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Come Fish with Us

Captain Austin

Home ReelDeal Anglers Captain Austin Boca Grande Fishing Charters Boca Grande, Florida, is renowned for its exceptional saltwater fishing…

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Offshore Fishing w/ Light Tackle

Spring on Anna Maria Island is not just about the seasonal bloom; it’s also a teeming with rich inshore, nearshore or offshore fishing opportunities. Anglers can look forward to targeting snook, mangrove snapper, grouper, and the highly sought-after Silver King, aka. the tarpon. “Spring fishing here, offers a variety of species for both novice and experienced anglers. The waters around the island are bustling with life, providing an excellent chance to reel in a significant catch,” he notes, emphasizing his excitement for one of his favorite times of the Florida fishing seasons.

catching cobia off floridas coast

With the arrival of summer, the island transforms into a hotspot for a wide array of species, thanks to the warm waters. “The summertime heat brings out the best in our fishing grounds,” Captain Randall remarks. “It’s prime time for fishing enthusiasts to explore the waters, with the chance to catch everything from snook to redfish, and more opportunities for pelagic’s such as tuna, cobia and mahi.” The warm months are ideal for those looking to experience the diversity of Florida’s fishing opportunities for guests visiting the sunshine state, offering something for everyone.

Anna Maria Shark Fishing

To further assist anglers in their pursuit, particularly in catching the elusive “Silver King,” Landed Fishing is continuing to release instructional fishing videos. These guides enhance the fishing experience, covering tactics, baits, and tips on tackling a variety of saltwater fish.

anna maria island fishing locations

For those planning a visit, Captain Randall suggests not missing out on Anna Maria Island’s renowned spots such as Bean Point, Anna Maria City Pier, and the Rod and Reel Pier, each offering unique island life experiences. These locations are perfect for unwinding and getting the most out of your trip.

Anna Maria Island offers more than just fishing; it’s a sanctuary for those seeking adventure or a peaceful retreat. From kayaking and paddleboarding to enjoying the local cuisine, the island caters to all preferences.

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AMI – Vacation Paradise with Coastal Charm

“Anna Maria Island represents the heart of Florida’s coastal charm, blending the thrill of fishing with the beach life”. Whether you’re angling for a trophy catch or soaking in the sun, Anna Maria Island promises an enriching and unforgettable escape.

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Guide to Inshore and Nearshore Fishing in Florida’s Central West Coast

Fishing Adventures from Anna Maria Island to Tampa Florida

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or someone looking to dip their toes in the water, this area, especially around Anna Maria Island and the greater Tampa area, is an angler’s paradise. Let’s dive into the best spots for inshore and nearshore fishing, the fish you might reel in throughout the year, and why Captain Randall and the Florida Fishing Company should be your go-to for an unforgettable fishing adventure.

Where to Fish: Top Spots You Can’t Miss

Fishing Anna Maria Island Slack Tide Shark Thumbnail

Fishing Anna Maria Island

Rod n Reel Pier:

This isn’t just a fishing spot; it’s an institution and a staple to the Anna Maria area. With a laid-back atmosphere and stunning views, it offers fantastic opportunities for catching a variety of fish right off the pier. You don’t even need a boat. Just bring your gear, grab some bait, and you’re set.

The Sandbar Restaurant:

Fishing in the waters just off a restaurant that serves some of the freshest seafood around. The Sandbar Restaurant isn’t just a dining destination; the surrounding waters are rich with fish, making it an ideal spot for inshore fishing before rewarding yourself with a delicious meal.

Florida Fishing Gasparilla

Holmes Beach:

For those who prefer the an on-shore challenge of beach fishing, Holmes Beach is your spot. With miles of shoreline, you can find your perfect fishing oasis. Early mornings or late evenings are golden, both for the peace and the active fish.

Kingfish Boat Ramp:

A vital addition for those looking to launch their own boats or join a charter.

Located on the north end of Holmes Beach, it provides easy access to the prime fishing waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

cobia fishing charter in the Gulf of Mexico

Fishing the Greater Tampa Bay Area

Skyway Fishing Pier State Park:

Near the iconic Skyway Bridge, this state park offers the longest fishing pier in the world. Yes, you heard that right. You can fish 24/7 here, targeting species like snook, tarpon, and grouper. It’s a must-visit for any angler interested in fishing the area.

Johns Pass:

This bustling hub is not just for shopping and eating; it’s also a fantastic fishing spot. With boat rentals and charter opportunities, you can head into the waters for a memorable fishing day. The pass is especially known for its clear waters, making it easier to spot your next catch.

offshore fishing yellowtail snapper in bay boat saltwater fishing ep53

Florida Fishing Company

Captain Randall and Florida Fishing Company:

Your Go-To Florida Fishing Charter

Why go at it alone when you can have the expertise of an area local like Captain Randall at Florida Fishing Company? Whether you’re looking for an inshore fishing trip around Anna Maria Island or venturing nearshore in the greater Tampa area, these folks know where the fish are biting. Offering a range of personalized fishing adventures, Captain Randall and team cater to anglers of all levels, ensuring you have the best experience possible.

Our Review of the Ballyhoop Collapsible Nets

Fish Through the Seasons: What You’ll Catch

The beauty of fishing in Florida’s central west coast is the sheer variety of fish available year-round, as well as those seasonal gems that make every trip unique.

Central Florida Year-Round Angling

Anna Maria Inshore Snook Fishing Florida

Snook:

A favorite among anglers for its fighting spirit.

Fishing for Snook

Snook fishing is a thrilling experience that combines the need for strategy, skill, and a bit of luck.

These elusive fish are prized for their explosive strikes and hard-fighting nature, making them a top target for anglers in Florida’s inshore waters.

Snook can be found around structures like docks, seawalls, and mangroves, as well as along sandy beaches and passes where currents bring in baitfish.

Live shrimp, pilchards, and small pinfish are top baits, though artificial lures such as jerkbaits and topwater plugs also prove effective. Fishing for snook requires a good understanding of their habitat and behavior, especially since they are highly sensitive to changes in water temperature and salinity.

Chasing a Record Bull Redfish

Redfish:

Known for its distinct tail and delicious taste.

Fishing for Redfish

Fishing for Redfish, or red drum, are one of the most sought-after inshore game fish, renowned for their spirited fight and distinctive spot(s) near the tail.

Anglers targeting redfish often find success in shallow waters with grass flats or around oyster bars and mangrove roots, where these fish like to feed.

Live bait like mullet or crabs works wonders, but spoons and soft plastics are also effective.

The thrill of hooking a redfish is its powerful run, making them a favorite among light tackle enthusiasts.

Whether you’re sight fishing in clear, skinny water or casting into schools in deeper bays, fishing for redfish offers an exhilarating challenge that rewards with both sport and table fare.

Catching Speckled Trout in the Gulf of Mexico

Spotted Seatrout:

A staple in inshore fishing, perfect for beginners and experts alike.

Fishing for Speckled Trout

Fishing for Spotted sea trout, also known simply as speckled trout, hold a special place in the hearts of inshore anglers.

These fish are abundant in the shallow coastal waters of bays and estuaries, making them accessible and enjoyable targets for anglers of all skill levels.

Early morning and late evening are prime times to target trout, especially when they are feeding on small baitfish near seagrass beds, flats, and drop-offs.

Live bait such as shrimp and mullet are effective, but spotted sea trout also eagerly strike a variety of artificial lures, including soft plastics rigged under popping corks and topwater baits.

Florida Mangrove Snapper Fishing

Fishing for Mangrove Snapper

Mangrove snapper, also known as gray snapper, thrive in the sheltered waters of mangroves, estuaries, and reefs, making them a popular target for inshore anglers. These fish are renowned for their wariness and sharp teeth, demanding both stealth and precision from fishermen.

Using light tackle, live shrimp, or small fish as bait can be particularly effective in enticing them. Fishing around structures such as dock pilings, mangrove roots, and underwater debris during the higher tides increases the chance of a successful catch.

Red Snapper Fishing Clearwater Florida

Fishing for American Red Snapper

Red snapper is a prized offshore game fish known for its vibrant red color, found in deeper waters around reefs, wrecks, and oil rigs. Fishing for red snapper requires heavier tackle due to their habitat in deeper waters and their robust fighting spirit.

Anglers often use cut bait, such as squid or sardines, although live bait can also be highly effective in attracting these fish. Successful red snapper fishing often involves heading out on a boat to significant depths, where fish finders can help locate the ideal spots near underwater structures.

Common Central Florida Fish Species

Fish Species Best Time to Catch
Snook Spring (Best), Summer (Better), Fall (Good)
Redfish Fall (Best), Spring (Better), Summer (Good)
Spotted Sea Trout Winter (Best), Spring (Better), Fall (Good)
Tarpon Summer (Best), Spring (Better)
King Mackerel Fall (Best), Spring (Better)
Grouper Winter (Best), Fall (Better)

The Gulf of Mexico is a vibrant fishing destination that offers a wealth of opportunities for both inshore and offshore anglers throughout the year. The region is known for its diverse range of species, including redfish, speckled trout, flounder, snook, grouper, snapper, kingfish, and more. Fishing techniques and successful catches can vary greatly depending on the season, targeted species, and specific locations within the Gulf.

Gulf Fishing Seasonality

Gulf Seasonality and Prime Times for Fishing

  • Spring brings warmer waters and increased activity among fish. Anglers can expect to catch redfish, speckled trout, and cobia during this season.
  • Summer is peak season, especially for offshore fishing, where snapper, grouper, and kingfish are among the top catches. The Gulfstream plays a significant role during this time, attracting a variety of predatory gamefish due to its nutrient-rich waters.
  • Fall offers some of the best fishing opportunities, with redfish, flounder, and speckled trout being popular targets. The variety of fish available makes this a great time for anglers to explore different techniques and locations.
  • Winter, while more challenging due to cooler temperatures, still offers the chance to catch sheepshead, redfish, and speckled trout. It’s a testament to the Gulf’s year-round fishing potential.

tampa tarpon

Seasonal Fishing:

Tarpon (Spring and Summer):

The “Silver King” of sportfish, tarpon fishing is a thrilling experience, especially around the Skyway Bridge and in Tampa Bay.

Fishing for tarpon is one of the most exciting experiences an angler can have. These fish are renowned for their impressive size, often weighing over 100 pounds, and their incredible aerial acrobatics when hooked.

King Mackerel (Fall and Spring):

Fast and furious, these fish are a test of skill and patience. These silver speedsters are known for their explosive hits and powerful, long runs, making them a coveted target for sportfishing enthusiasts.

Typically found in nearshore and offshore waters, king mackerel migrate along the coast, following warm currents and the abundance of baitfish

Grouper (Fall and Winter):

Nearshore wrecks and reefs are hotspots for these bottom dwellers, offering a hefty challenge to anglers.

Grouper fishing often takes place near wrecks, reefs, and ledges, where these bottom-dwellers like to hide. The thrill of hooking a grouper is unmatched, as they put up a formidable fight, making the victory of landing one all the more rewarding. Grouper species vary in size and color.

An invitation to Come Fish Florida

Florida’s central west coast, particularly around Anna Maria Island and the greater Tampa Bay area, is a fishing paradise that offers something for every angler.

From the historic Rod n Reel Pier to the iconic Skyway Bridge, each spot has its charm and fish species to target. And with the expertise of Captain Randall and the Florida Fishing Company, you’re in for an unforgettable fishing adventure.

So pack your gear, set your sights on the horizon, and get ready to reel in the big one. Happy fishing!

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Fishing Experiences from Anna Maria to Tampa Florida

Fishing Charters Anna Maria to Tampa Florida

Anna Maria Island, FL – From the beautiful shores of Anna Maria Island to the bustling Tampa Bay area, Captain Randall is steering anglers towards unforgettable fishing experiences along Central Florida’s Gulf Coast. With over a decade of expertise in the Gulf of Mexico waters, he now casts a wider net, offering a blend of educational resources and hands-on charter services that cater to both seasoned anglers and those new to the sport.

Captain Randall, the seasoned fishing guide behind Landed Fishing and the Florida Fishing Company, invites fishing enthusiasts to embark on a journey that is centered in the waters around Anna Maria Island and extends up into the vibrant fishing grounds of Tampa Bay and nearshore Gulf Coast.

Captain Randall Florida Fishing Co

Florida Fishing company

Anna Maria Florida Fishing Charters

Building on a successful legacy as the force behind one of Louisiana’s largest fishing charter operations, Louisiana Fishing Charters, Captain Randall brings his years of experience and ambition to Florida’s central west coast. His proven track record in creating unforgettable fishing journeys for anglers of all skill levels in Louisiana has set the stage for his next venture. With a deep understanding of what makes a fishing charter operation thrive, as well as a training course for aspiring anglers looking to start a fishing charter business, Captain Randall is eager to elevate the fishing experience for many from Anna Maria Island to Tampa, blending his passion for the sport with the unique beauty and diversity of Florida’s waters.

This unique approach not only highlights the diverse fishing opportunities available along this stretch of the Gulf Coast but also underscores his commitment to providing a comprehensive and enjoyable fishing experience.

Specializing in a variety of fishing adventures, Captain Randall’s charters cover the spectrum from inshore pursuits of trout and redfish around Anna Maria Island to the excitement of nearshore fishing for Tarpon, Grouper, Snapper, and sharks. His intimate knowledge of the local waterways and fish behaviors ensures an enriching experience for all of his guests that goes beyond the catch itself.

“The 2024 season has already shown us spectacular offshore Cobia catches and action-packed encounters around the nearshore wrecks and reefs,” said Captain Randall. “Our goal is to not just offer a day out on the water but to create lasting memories and stories that our guests will share for years to come.”

Captain Randall and the Florida Fishing Company offer a variety of fishing trips along Florida’s west central coast, including Tampa, Anna Maria Island, and Bradenton. Chartered trips range from inshore fishing for redfish, speckled trout, and snook, to nearshore trips targeting grouper, cobia, and snapper. Florida Fishing Co. also organizes scalloping trips during the Florida Scallop Season. Prices vary depending on the trip type and party size, with specific seasons recommended for certain fish like tarpon and grouper.

For more details, visit his charter website at floridafishingco.com.

The Tampa area, a haven for anglers, offers many fishing opportunities that for every preference and skill level of angler. From the sheltered inshore bays where redfish and trout in the seagrass beds to the adrenaline-pumping nearshore reefs and sunken wrecks, home to tarpon, grouper, snapper, and shark! The Gulf coast diversity of habitats ensures a rich and often action-packed fishing experience.

These waters provide not just a fishing adventure but a chance to experience first-hand the vibrant marine life that characterizes Florida’s central west coast. Whether you’re a seasoned angler seeking the thrill of a challenging catch or a family looking to create lasting memories on the water, the Tampa area’s aquatic playground promises an incredible fishing adventure.

anna maria florida fishing charters

Beyond the thrill of the chase, Captain Randall enriches the fishing community with valuable insights through his websites and the Landed Fishing YouTube channel. Here, anglers can dive into a sea of fishing videos and tutorials, gaining knowledge and inspiration for their next outing.

For those ready to cast their lines into the beautiful waters off Anna Maria Island or up visiting the Tampa area, booking a trip with Captain Randall is made easy at Floridafishingco.com.

catching amberjack along florida reefs wrecks

As the 2024 season unfolds, guests can anticipate not only the excitement of fishing but the warm hospitality and expert guidance that have become the hallmark of Captain Randall’s charters.

In a region celebrated for its rich fishing traditions, Captain Randall’s endeavors shine a spotlight on the incredible fishing opportunities of the Gulf Coast, from Anna Maria Island to Tampa.

Whether drawn to the quiet beauty of inshore fishing or the adventure of the open sea, anglers joining Captain Randall are in for a Florida fishing experience filled with stories, laughter, and the joy of the catch.

Landed Fishing Gear, Tackle Reviews and TV Episodes

Florida Fishing Company

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How to Catch Sheepshead in the Gulf

Guide to Catching Sheepshead in the Gulf of Mexico

The Ultimate Guide to Catching Sheepshead in the Gulf of Mexico

If you’re looking to add these striped fighters to your catch list, you’re in the right place. This guide equips anglers with the knowledge to effectively target Sheepshead, enhancing their fishing experience in the Gulf of Mexico.

Watch Video: Catch and Cook Sheepshead

New Video 3/20 @4PM EST

For those preferring lures, small crustacean imitations are your best bet. Catching Sheepshead requires patience and the right gear, with early morning or late afternoon being the optimal times for bites.

The best season for Sheepshead fishing is from late winter to early spring, aligning with their spawning period.

Sheepshead, known for their firm, white flesh, are not only fun to catch but also excellent to eat.

Where to Find Sheepshead

Sheepshead prefers cooler, deeper waters but moves inshore as it gets colder. They love structures like docks and bridges where barnacles and oysters are. Check with your local marina personnel and other anglers are great sources of info on where to find them.

Offshore

Look around structures and artificial reefs during the summer. That’s their summer hideout.

Nearshore:

From November to February, keep an eye on structures like rocks and marker posts. They like hanging around there.

Inshore:

During the cooler months, you’ll find them around piers, docks, and seawalls. They really like structures, huh?

When They Bite:

As the water cools down around November to late February, sheepshead start moving inshore. It’s like their vacation time. Watch the tide. When it moves, sheepshead are more likely to snack on your bait.

Fishing Gear for Sheepshead

Preferred tackle? Light spinning or bait casting.
A medium to stout rod that’s 6 to 7 feet long is ideal.
Go for 12-20 lb braided line with a 15-20 lb fluorocarbon leader.
Circle hooks are the way to go, specifically #1.0 size as smaller hooks work best.

Catching Sheepshead using Dead Shrimp

What’s the Best Fishing Rig for Sheepshead?

A Carolina rig with a short leader is your best bet to keep the bait near the bottom. Smaller hooks are preferred since sheepshead can be quite picky.

What’s the Best Bait?

When it comes to Sheepshead, live bait reigns supreme. Fiddler crabs, shrimp, and sand fleas are top picks. These critters mimic the Sheepshead’s natural diet, making them irresistible.

  • Early in the cold season, go for fiddler crabs, oysters, and clams.
  • Sand fleas are irresistible to them.
  • As winter progresses, shrimp becomes an acceptable bait.

Fiddler crabs, barnacles, oysters, clams, shrimp, and sand fleas are all on the menu. As the season kicks off, they’re all about crabs and barnacles. Mid to late season? Shrimp become their go-to.

Caught Sheepshead in Net

Do Sheepshead Bite Cut Bait or Lures?

Sheepshead can be finicky. While they prefer live bait, they won’t turn their noses up at cut bait, especially when it’s part of their preferred menu. However, live bait is more effective to trigger their predatory instincts.

Do Lures Work?

Yes, Sheepshead will strike at lures, but there’s a catch. They’re known for their pickiness.

Best Lures?

Choose lures that mimic their natural prey, like small crustacean imitations. Soft plastics that look like crabs or shrimp can do the trick.

Caught Sheepshead in Net

The Carolina, Jig head or drop shot rig, paired with size 1 to 4 hooks, is recommended for a successful catch.

Fishing Techniques for Sheepshead

Keep your line tight to notice the small taps. Use the bottom half of a shrimp for bait. Make sure your bait is close to the structure and check your rig often.

They have small mouths, so keep the bait small. Try scraping away barnacles to attract them and use slow-moving jigs.

Jigging for Sheepshead

A 1/4 to 1/2 oz jig head is your go-to. Pair it with a crustacean imitation for the best results. When jigging, a 1/4 to 1/2 oz jig head is ideal. Shore anglers can also find success near structures such as piers and jetties.

Fishing for Sheepshead in the Gulf of Mexico

Are Sheepshead Easy to Catch?

“Easy” might not be the word, but with the right approach, you can successfully catch Sheepshead. Patience and the correct bait or lure are key.

Timing Their Bites

Sheepshead are most active and likely to bite during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon.

Rigging It Right

The best rig? A Carolina rig or a drop shot rig works wonders. These allow your bait to sit near the pilings and structures Sheepshead love, without getting snagged.

Hooked on the Right Size

When it comes to hooks, smaller is usually better. Size 1 /0 to 4/0 hooks are ideal, allowing the bait to be presented more naturally.

Where to Catch Sheepshead in the Gulf of Mexico

Are Sheepshead Good Eating?

Absolutely. Sheepshead are delicious, with a firm, white flesh that’s excellent for a variety of dishes. Just be mindful of the regulations regarding size and bag limits.

Can Sheepshead be Caught from Shore?

Yes, you can catch Sheepshead from the shore, especially around piers, jetties, and other structures.

Catching Sheepshead in the Gulf

When is the Best Time for Catching Sheepshead?

Late winter to early spring is the peak season for Sheepshead along the Gulf Coast. They gather in larger numbers, especially around spawning time, making them easier to target.

Now that you’re equipped with the essentials for catching Sheepshead in the Gulf of Mexico. Remember, it’s about patience, the right bait or lure, and understanding their habits.

Cleaning Sheepshead

It’s a bit tricky due to their large rib cage. Keep the blade close to the spine and use a v-cut to remove any small bones.

Why Sheepshead?

They’re challenging to catch, fight hard, and taste great. You can catch them offshore, inshore, and from piers, making them a versatile target for all anglers.

Happy fishing, and may your lines be tight with the striped prize of the Gulf!

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