Skyway Bridge Pier Fishing Tips

Tampa Florida’s Skyway Bridge Fishing Pier

Guide to Fishing at the Tampa Skyway Bridge

Fishing at the Tampa Skyway Bridge is an experience like no other, especially when targeting Tarpon and Grouper.

Open 24/7 and known for its rich action-packed and accessible fishing facilities, the Skyway Bridge is a prime destination for anglers looking to land these giant saltwater fish species.

combat fishing action on the skyway bridge

This detailed guide will delve into everything you need to know for a successful fishing trip at this iconic location.

broken Fishing rod goliath grouper fishing skyway bridge fishing pier

Introduction to the Tampa Skyway Bridge

The Tampa Skyway Bridge, officially named the Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge, stretches across Tampa Bay, connecting St. Petersburg in Pinellas County to Terra Ceia in Manatee County.

The bridge itself is part of I-275 and is a recognized symbol of Florida. After the old bridge was partially destroyed in 1980, the new structure was completed in 1987, featuring a cable-stayed design.

What makes this location particularly special for anglers is the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, which utilizes remnants of the old bridge as fishing piers on the north and south sides of the bay.

Watch Video: Skyway Fishing Pier

Skyway Fishing Pier Tips

Here are some tips to increase your fishing opportunities next time you visit the Skyway Fishing Pier:

Know the Tides:

Fishing is often most productive during moving tides. High tide and the first couple of hours of outgoing tide usually see the best action. Use a tide chart specific to the Skyway area to plan your trip.

Use Live Bait:

Live bait such as shrimp, pinfish, and crabs are highly effective in attracting local species. The natural movement and scent of live bait can prove irresistible to nearby fish.

Fish at Night:

Consider night fishing for a chance to catch species like snook, tarpon, and sharks, which are more active and less wary in the dark. The pier is open 24 hours, and lighting along the structure attracts baitfish, which in turn attract larger predators.

Target Seasonal Fish:

Be aware of what species are most likely to be around during different times of the year. For example, tarpon generally appear during the warmer months, while sheepshead can be more abundant in cooler months.

Use the Right Gear:

Due to the variety of fish and the strong currents near the pier, using heavier tackle can be advantageous. A medium to heavy rod with a strong line (20-30 lb test) is recommended, especially when targeting larger fish like tarpon or grouper.

Pay Attention to Weather Conditions:

Fish activity can vary with weather changes. Overcast, breezy days can lead to better bites as fish are less spooky and more active than on bright, calm days.

Learn from Locals:

Spend some time observing or chatting with regular anglers. They can offer valuable insights into what’s biting and what techniques or baits have been successful.

Facilities at the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

The park is renowned for being the longest fishing pier in the world, offering ample space and opportunity for anglers of all skill levels. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the fishing piers allow for both daytime and nighttime fishing adventures. Facilities include:

fishing floridas skyway bridge pier

Ample Parking:

Directly adjacent to the fishing areas for easy access.

Bait Shops:

Located on both the north and south piers, these shops offer a variety of live and frozen bait, fishing tackle, and snacks.


Clean and accessible restrooms are available for anglers’ convenience.

Picnic Areas:

For those who want to take a break and enjoy the beautiful views of Tampa Bay.

World’s Longest Fishing Pier

Pier Hours

24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Entry Fees

$4 per vehicle, plus $4 per adult


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


Contact Info

catching big tarpon from the skyway fishing pier

Targeting Tarpon

Tarpon, also known as the “Silver King,” are highly sought after by sports fishers for their impressive size and acrobatic leaps when hooked. They can grow to be over 200 pounds and live in both salt and freshwater.

fishing goliath grouper from tampa skyway fishing pier

Best Times to Fish for Tarpon

Tarpon season at the Skyway Bridge runs from late spring through summer, with peak activity from May to July. During this time, tarpon migrate through the waters of Tampa Bay, following the warm currents.

hooked up tarpon fishing skyway bridge fishing skyway misfits

Techniques for Tarpon Fishing

Effective tarpon fishing techniques include:

Live Baiting:

Use mullet, crabs, or pinfish. Position your bait at varying depths to find where tarpon are feeding.

Artificial Lures:

Large streamers, plastic worms, or poppers can be effective, especially during the early morning or late evening.

netting goliath grouper dehooking skyway fishing pier tampa florida

Targeting Grouper

Grouper are bottom-dwelling fish known for their size and strength. The most common types around the Skyway Bridge are gag grouper, red grouper, and the formidable Goliath grouper.

Best Times to Fish for Grouper

Grouper can be caught year-round, but the best months are from June to September, when the water temperatures are warmer and the fish are more active.

setting up ballyhoop landing net skyway bridge

Techniques for Grouper Fishing

Bottom Fishing:

Use heavy tackle and strong lines because grouper often retreat into rocky crevices after being hooked.

Live Bait:

Ideal baits include squid, sardines, and pinfish. Drop your bait near underwater structures where grouper like to hide.


Attract grouper to your area by releasing a chum slick into the water.

catching live bait on the skyway fishing pier

Using the Ballyhoop Net

The Ballyhoop net revolutionizes how anglers can catch live bait. Its unique collapsible design allows for quick deployment and retrieval, making it an indispensable tool at the Skyway Bridge.

Here’s how to use the Ballyhoop net effectively:

Deploying the Net:

Simply toss the net into the water and let it sink. The hoop design keeps the net open, allowing schools of baitfish to swim in.

Retrieving the Net:

Pull the net up once you see that baitfish have entered. Its design minimizes escape, ensuring you get ample bait.

Handling and Storage:

The Ballyhoop is easy to handle and can be stored compactly, making it ideal for use on crowded piers.

Skyway Bridge Tampa Fishing

Local Expertise:

Skyway Misfits and GrouperMVP

Learning from experienced anglers can drastically improve your fishing skills. The Skyway Misfits, a group of seasoned pier fishers, and GrouperMVP, known for his focus on big-game fishing, are invaluable resources.

They offer insights on local conditions, bait preferences, and tackle recommendations. Following their YouTube channels and social media platforms will keep you updated on the latest techniques and fishing reports.

Conservation and Regulations

Fishing at the Skyway Bridge is regulated to ensure sustainability of fish populations. Always check the latest Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) regulations regarding size limits, bag limits, and season dates. Practice catch and release whenever possible, especially with species like tarpon and Goliath grouper, which are crucial for maintaining the ecological balance in Tampa Bay.

A Florida Fishing Adventure for All Anglers

Fishing for tarpon and grouper at the Tampa Skyway Bridge offers an unparalleled opportunity to engage with some of the most exciting marine species in Florida.

By preparing adequately, utilizing effective gear like the Ballyhoop net, and respecting local regulations and ecosystems, anglers can enjoy a fulfilling and sustainable fishing experience.

Remember to leverage the knowledge of local experts and immerse yourself in the vibrant fishing community at the Skyway Bridge. Happy fishing!

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Tampa Florida Bridge Fishing with Crab for Monster Fish

Tampa Bridge Fishing using Crab for Monster Fish

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Tampa Bridge Fishing for Giant Fish

In this episode from Landed Fishing, Captain Shaw joins forces with Hog Squad Fishing and Tsunami Fishing Tackle for a memorable fishing adventure beneath the bridges in Tampa Bay, Florida.

A must-watch for anyone interested in the strategies and excitement of catching big fish, specifically massive black drum, using crabs as bait.

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Using Crabs as Bait: Saltwater Fishing

Crabs are an exceptional choice for bait when targeting large fish like black drum. In this episode, Captain Shaw and the crew delve into why crabs are so effective.

The natural diet of black drum includes crabs, making them an irresistible and authentic bait. Learn how to properly rig the crabs to ensure they attract the drum, and they demonstrate the technique in action.

The use of crabs not only mimics the drum’s natural prey but also increases the chances of catching the larger, more elusive fish.

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Tackling the Giants: Fishing Gear and Technique

This episode also provides invaluable insights into the gear necessary for such a task.

Captain Shaw and his companions discuss the specific rods, reels, and line types that best suit the hefty challenge of reeling in black drum.

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Detailed explanations help viewers understand the importance of using sturdy gear that can withstand the struggles of large, powerful fish.

Watch Video: Catching Giant Fish Under Bridges

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Catching BIG Black Drum in Tampa Bay

Each year, large groups of black drum congregate in the Tampa Bay area, providing a perfect opportunity for anglers to experience the thrill of catching these giants.

The migration patterns vary from year-to-year but make certain times of the year particularly fruitful for targeting black drum, and this episode perfectly captures one of those peak moments.

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Book Your Tampa Fishing Charter

For those inspired by the episode and interested in trying their hand at catching some impressive black drum themselves, consider booking a charter.

You can fish with Captain Shaw through the Florida Fishing Company or with Captain Devan at Hog Squad Fishing. Both captains are experienced and knowledgeable, and they can provide an unforgettable fishing experience in the fruitful waters of Tampa Bay.

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When Sharks Attack these schools of Bull Drum

Bridge Fishing: Bull Drum vs Bull Sharks

Join us as we head out to the Bridges in Tampa Florida for some BIG Black Drum with Hog Squad and Rad Reeling Fishing.

Captain Shaw Bridge Fishing Tampa Florida

Captain JC from Rad Reeling Fishing

Captain Dylan from Hog Squad Fishing

Choosing the Right Rig: Knocker Rig vs. Carolina Rig

When fishing for large black drum in Tampa Bay, the choice of rig can significantly impact your success. This choice is often influenced by factors such as location, tide, and the behavior of the fish.

Captain Dylan hooked up with Big Bull Drum under Tampa Bridge

Get Hooked Up with Hog Squad Fishing

tampa florida bridge fishing with crabs for monster drum saltwater fishing hog squad 14

Bridge Fishing: Knocker Rig

The Knocker Rig is particularly effective in areas with strong currents or deeper waters where bait needs to be kept at the bottom.

This rig allows the weight to slide directly down to the hook, knocking against it, which helps in keeping the bait in place amidst strong water movements.

It’s excellent for fishing directly beneath bridges or in channels where black drum might be feeding during moving tides.

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Bridge Fishing: Carolina Rig

The Carolina Rig, on the other hand, is better suited for areas where a more delicate presentation is needed.

This rig features a weight fixed on the line some distance from the hook, using a leader. This setup allows the bait to move more naturally in the water, mimicking live prey effectively.

It’s ideal for shallower waters or when fishing over grassy flats where drum may be wary of overhead shadows and disturbances.

Both rigs have their advantages depending on the fishing conditions. Anglers need to consider the tide—for light-biting fish and better sensitivity the Knocker Rig might be the better choice.

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Tsunami Fishing Tackle: Gearing Up for BIG Fish

In the episode, there’s palpable excitement about testing out gear from Tsunami Fishing Tackle. Landed Fishing is eager to see how their equipment fares against the legendary Florida tarpon. Tsunami’s reputation for durable and high-performing tackle makes them a promising ally in this challenging endeavor.

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The episode hints at future sessions where the crew will employ Tsunami rods and reels, which are known for their strength and reliability, crucial factors when dealing with the power and size of tarpon.

tampa florida bridge fishing with crabs for monster drum saltwater fishing hog squad 37

This focus on gear testing is not just about the thrill of the catch but also about providing viewers with real, actionable insights on what works best in specific fishing scenarios. By stacking Tsunami’s gear against such formidable fish, Landed Fishing aims to offer viewers a thorough assessment of tackle performance in extreme conditions.

tampa florida bridge fishing with crabs for monster drum saltwater fishing hog squad 02

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, this episode from Landed Fishing is not just entertaining but also educational, packed with tips and techniques for successfully fishing with crabs and tackling some of the largest fish in the Gulf Coast. Don’t miss out on the action, and consider booking your next fishing adventure in Tampa Bay to experience it firsthand.

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Netting Pass Crabs Bait for Catching Tarpon

Catching Pass Crabs for Tarpon Season

Netting Pass Crabs: A Family-Friendly Adventure Florida

As summer draws near, Florida’s anglers gear up for one of the most exhilarating fishing seasons—the Tarpon season. Known for their sheer strength and acrobatic leaps, Tarpon are a prized catch among sport fishermen worldwide. In Florida, a unique and cost-effective method of baiting these mighty fish involves netting pass crabs on a falling tide, an activity that combines family fun with practical fishing preparations.

Catching Pass Crabs on a Falling Tide

This episode, coming straight from the beautiful waters of Sarasota, Florida, dives into the prep work for the 2024 Florida Tarpon and Permit season.

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A Family-Friendly Activity

Netting pass crabs is presented as more than just a fishing chore; it’s a fun and educational activity for families. Participants learn about the local marine ecosystem while engaging in a hands-on activity that teaches patience and technique. It’s a perfect way for families to bond over a shared interest in nature and fishing.

What are Pass Crabs?

Pass crabs, small crabs found in the waters around Florida, are a top choice for baiting Tarpon and other finicky saltwater species like Permit. These crabs are typically swept out into the open during falling tides, making them accessible for netting. While pass crabs can be bought for about $3 each, catching your own not only saves money but also adds an engaging element to the fishing experience.

It’s all about strategy and timing, and we’re here to show you how it’s done.

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Watch Episode: Netting Pass Crabs for Catching Tarpon

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How We Do It

Join us as we take you through the steps of skillfully navigating the waters and using nets to catch these elusive crabs. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a curious viewer, this episode is packed with actionable tips and engaging tactics.

Techniques for Successful Crab Netting

In the video, Captain Randall demonstrates effective techniques for netting pass crabs. The key is to use a long-handled dip net and to gently scoop the crabs from the water without causing harm. It’s important to move swiftly yet steadily to capture the crabs as they are carried out by the tide.

Why Catch Your Own Bait?

In the world of saltwater fishing, everything follows a hierarchy. To catch a legendary fish like the silver king (tarpon), you first need the right bait.

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And what’s better than pass crabs? These crabs are tarpon’s snack of choice, and catching them is an art in itself.

This episode focuses on hand-catching these crabs using nets during a falling tide, a method that guarantees freshness and quality—just what you need to attract a mighty tarpon.

The Best Time to Net Pass Crabs

The optimal time for netting pass crabs is during a falling negative tide, which occurs when the tide level is below the average sea level. This phenomenon causes the crabs to rush out with the outgoing waters, making them easier to capture. Captain Randall, a seasoned Floridian fisherman, emphasizes timing in his fishing video, guiding viewers on how to plan their crab-catching adventure according to tidal movements.

The Best Time for Bait Catching

Captain Randall shares his seasoned insights on why hitting the waters a third of the way into a falling tide offers the best chances.

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This timing isn’t just a guess; it’s calculated for maximum efficiency. The falling tide helps put you on the maximum flow of the crabs, making it more likely and easier to scoop them up.

Bonus Tip: Planning around the peaks that present negative tides can significantly boost your chances of netting pass crabs.

DIY Crab Holding Tank

After netting, ensuring the crabs’ survival until they’re used as bait is important. If you don’t have the luxury of buying bait or living on or near the water, Captain Randall shares a do-it-yourself guide for building a crab holding tank back at home.

This simple setup involves a basic aerated tank that keeps the crabs healthy and vigorous, ready for a fishing trip. Materials for the tank can typically be found at local hardware stores, and the build is straightforward enough for family participation.

DIY Bait Holding System

In this must-watch segment, Captain Randall takes us through a clever DIY project designed to keep your bait fresh and lively for the entire fishing season. Perfect for anglers who live near the water and want a cost-effective solution to store live bait, this episode showcases a simple yet efficient setup using everyday items that won’t break the bank.

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Building a Budget-Friendly Bait Holder

Captain Randall’s DIY setup begins with a standard $100 water tub from Tractor Supply. This 100-gallon tub is durable and spacious enough for the task, but Randall recommends filling it with about 50 gallons of water or less to optimize space and ensure the crabs have ample room without overcrowding.

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Aerating the Water

The key to keeping the bait alive and healthy is proper aeration. For this, Captain Randall installs a commercial-grade dual air stone aerator.

This system efficiently oxygenates the water, mimicking the natural environment of the pass crabs and ensuring they stay vigorous and fresh—just what you need to attract tarpon.

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Protecting Your Setup

Understanding the Florida climate, Captain Randall also highlights the importance of keeping the system out of direct sunlight to prevent overheating and maintain a stable environment for the crabs. His setup includes a protective cover that shields the tub from the harsh sun while keeping the water cool.

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Why This System?

This DIY solution not only saves money but also gives you the freedom to maintain a steady supply of live bait. For tarpon anglers, having quick access to lively pass crabs can make a significant difference in your fishing success. Plus, it’s an enjoyable project that adds an extra layer of self-reliance to your fishing prep.

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Get Hooked on Fishing!

Don’t miss out on the rest of our exciting season. Each episode builds on the last, from preparing your gear to landing the catch of a lifetime.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel Landed Fishing to stay updated with Captain Randall’s adventures. Learn from the best, and see firsthand why fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is a must-do for anyone travelling to Florida who loves the thrill of the catch.

Keep Watching

Loved this episode? There’s more where that came from! Continue watching our series to follow Captain Shaw and his crew through an exciting year of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Each episode is a new adventure, with tips, tricks, and tales that any fishing enthusiast can learn from.

Whether you’re here for the fishing insights or just for the thrill of the sea, subscribing to our channel ensures you’re never left out of the boat.

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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


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


Contact Info

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

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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


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

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


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.


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


Captain Dylan Rodden
(714) 661-6550

Tampa Florida Fishing Guide


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


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.


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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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.


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


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


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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How to Catch Cobia in the Gulf of Mexico

Catching Cobia in the Gulf of Mexico

Welcome aboard, fellow anglers! Today, we’re diving deep into the art of catching one of the Gulf of Mexico’s most exhilarating game fish – the Cobia.

Captain Randal Cobia Caught in the Gulf of Mexico

The Cobia: A Fish Worth the Fight

Cobia isn’t just another fish; it’s a prized catch for both its challenging fight and delicious taste. Likened to the yellowtail kingfish, cobia’s firm, pleasant meat makes it a sought-after catch for the dinner table. But it’s the thrill of the catch that truly draws anglers. These creatures can grow up to six feet and weigh nearly 100 pounds, providing a battle reminiscent of a rodeo at sea.

cobia fishing offshore tampa florida Physicians Gone Fishing

About the Cobia, Habits and Diet

Cobia thrives in deep waters but loves the edge where shallow meets deep, especially around structures that break the monotony of the ocean floor.

They’re not shy, often swimming near the surface, making them a prime target for sight fishing. These saltwater fish are opportunistic, feeding on shrimp, crabs, and smaller fish, often trailing sharks to snatch leftovers.

Fishing Videos on Catching Cobia

Our adventures near Louisiana’s oil rigs and offshore from Tampa, Florida, showcased the diverse habitats cobia thrive in. Near oil rigs, the structures below the surface create an underwater haven for cobia, making them a hotspot for anglers looking to land a big one. Off Tampa’s coast, the open water challenges your fishing skills, testing your ability to spot and attract cobia in vast, open waters.

Are Cobia bottom feeders?

Understanding Cobia’s Feeding Habits

Cobia are not bottom feeders by limitation but by opportunity. Both adults and large juveniles have a diverse diet, heavily featuring blue and crabs. They also feast on various shrimp species and fish, including small sharks, rays, and skates, making their diet a reflection of the rich marine environments they inhabit.

cobia fishing charter in the Gulf of Mexico

Where and When to Find Cobia

From the shores of Virginia down to the Gulf of Mexico, Cobia can be caught by anglers. In Florida, the Gulf waters off Florida’s Coast are renowned for their cobia runs.

These fish migrate, moving north to south with the seasons, with peak times in the northern Gulf from March through October. If you’re fishing Florida’s nature coast or the northern panhandle in early spring or seeking deeper waters in summer, knowing their migratory patterns is key.

Where is the best place to catch Cobia?

Prime Locations for Cobia Fishing

The Gulf of Mexico is a vast playing field for cobia fishing, offering opportunities year-round. However, peak seasons bring the best action. Early spring sees offshore waters in the Panhandle bustling with cobia, while summer heats up the nearshore waters along the Gulf’s coast. Knowing these peak seasons and locations can significantly increase your chances of a memorable catch.

anna maria florida fishing charters

What month is Best for Cobia fishing?

Timing Your Cobia Fishing Adventures

For the finest cobia fishing experience in Florida, aim for March through October, and sometimes into November, when cobia populate the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Those willing to venture out for longer or overnight trips have the chance to fish cobia throughout the year, including the Southern waters, albeit with a bit more patience required.

Best Times for Catching Cobia off Florida’s Coast

City Best Time to Catch Cobia
Pensacola March – May
Destin March – May
Panama City March – May
Tampa March – June
Sarasota March – June
Fort Myers March – June
Miami April – June

What size hooks for cobia?

Choosing the Right Hook Size

For those targeting cobia, selecting the appropriate hook size is crucial. Hooks between 7/0 and 9/0, whether “J” hooks or circle hooks, are recommended. Brands like Gamakatsu, Owner, and Eagle Claw are reliable choices, ensuring that your gear is up to the task. Moreover, a sturdy swivel in the 100- to 150-pound class, such as Billfisher or Spro, can help for managing these powerful fish.

offshore saltwater fishing tampa florida ep53

Best Baits for Catching Cobia

What’s on the menu for cobia? Pinfish are a top choice, their frantic movements irresistible to prowling cobia. But the cobia’s diet is diverse, so don’t hesitate to offer shrimp, crabs, or even cut bait.

Remember, variety is the spice of life, and for cobia, a spread of bait can prove irresistible, especially if it mimics their natural prey.

What is the best lure for cobia?

Selecting the Perfect Lure for Cobia

When it comes to lures, a majority of cobia fishing guides swear by jigs. About eight out of ten will tell you that a jig is their go-to lure for catching cobia, thanks to its effectiveness.

Cobia have a penchant for eels, so lures that mimic eels are especially successful. Whether you’re an amateur or a seasoned angler, remember that an eel-like jig could be your ticket to a successful catch.

Fishing Techniques for Catching Cobia

Cast and Retrieve

A tried and true technique that works wonders. Cast your bait, and with short, sharp retrieves, you mimic the erratic motion of prey.

A firm hook set is crucial when you feel that distinct thump – cobia are tough, and securing your hook means everything in that initial moment.

Sight Fishing Cobia

Spot your target, cast your line, and let the bait do its magic. This method requires patience and precision, allowing the bait to sink as the cobia investigates.

The thrill of hooking up with Cobia and hearing that reel scream is incredible, as any angler with the opportunity to catch these fish will tell you.

catching cobia in the gulf of mexico scaled

Will Cobia eat cut bait?

Baiting Cobia

Cobia are not picky eaters when it comes to cut bait. A variety of small, legal-sized fish such as croaker, spot, pigfish, gray trout, and bluefish serve as excellent bait, with eels being a particular favorite in many areas.

Fresh menhaden and bluefish make for effective cut bait, catering to cobia’s opportunistic feeding behavior.

Are Cobia hard to catch?

The Challenge of Catching Cobia

Cobia presents an enticing target for anglers of all skill levels. They’re considered relatively easy to catch, aligning well with the preferences of novices and experts alike.

Besides the sport, cobia are praised for their taste, offering a delicious, healthy, and sustainable option for anglers aiming to enjoy their catch at the dinner table.

Saltwater Fish Worth the Catch

Catching cobia in the Gulf of Mexico is an adventure that combines skill, knowledge, and the thrill of the hunt. It’s a test of your angling abilities and a chance to experience a catch of a lifetime!

Embedding these insights into our strategy enhances our approach to cobia fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, ensuring we’re well-prepared to tackle these incredible saltwater fish.

Offshore Fishing Cobia Tampa Florida

Offshore Fishing Cobia Tampa Florida

Alright, fishing enthusiasts, let’s dive into the blue (Gulf of Mexico) that’s as thrilling as it is instructive.

Offshore Fishing Tampa Florida

Catching Cobia in the Gulf of Mexico

In episode 53 of the Landed Fishing video series, we join Captain Randall and the dynamic duo Steven and Audrey from the Physicians Gone Fishing YouTube Channel. These folks aren’t just dipping their toes in the water; they’re plunging into the heart of the Gulf of Mexico with an ambitious plan.

Watch Now: Catching Cobia in the Gulf

Physicians Gone Fishing

Thank you to our guests Steven and Audrey! If you haven’t already go check out their channel!

About Catching Cobia: Episode 53

Over two adrenaline-packed days, the crew sets their sights on the classic art of bottom fishing and jigging, targeting the ever-elusive snapper and grouper. Their bait strategy? A diverse buffet ranging from live pinfish, white bait, and shrimp, to an impressive collection of artificial lures. They’re leaving no stone unturned, or should I say, no bait unbitten.

Battling Cobia Fishing in the Gulf

But here’s where the story takes a turn towards the epic. After a long push 60 miles off Florida’s west coast, they find themselves at a location known as the steps, near a freshwater spring lying in the depths of about 140 feet. Just when you think it’s another routine catch, they stumble upon a large group of migratory cobia.

cobia fishing offshore tampa florida Physicians Gone Fishing

About Cobia

Cobia are migratory fish in the Gulf of Mexico – strong, elusive, and a prize catch for any angler.

In the Episode

With their flat lines out, the team hooks up on what promises to be the catch of a lifetime. But, there’s a twist. The gear they’ve brought to this underwater showdown is, to put it mildly, underpowered for the task at hand. The giants of the gulf decide to take the lightest tackle rod, equipped with only 20lb fluorocarbon and 30lb braided line. To the fishing novices out there, that’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Saltwater Fishing with Captain Randall in the Gulf of Mexico

What unfolds is a David vs. Goliath battle between the mighty cobia and our intrepid anglers. It’s a testament to the unpredictability of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and a stark reminder that in fishing, as in life, preparation meets opportunity.

So, what can aspiring anglers take away from this epic tale? First, always respect the unpredictability of the sea and its inhabitants. Second, gear up appropriately – while the light tackle provides an exhilarating challenge, it’s crucial to match your gear to the potential size and strength of your quarry.

Catching Yellowtail Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico

Fishing the Entire Water Column

As a general rule of thumb when fishing in the Gulf it often helps to fish the entire water column, meaning to have lines out at various depths to ensure you cover from the surface to the bottom when fishing offshore.

Lastly, embrace the adventure. Fishing is as much about the experience and the stories as it is about the catch.

Catching Yellowtail Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico

To all the anglers out there dreaming of their big Gulf of Mexico adventure, let episode 53 of Landed Fishing be both a cautionary tale and an inspiration. The Gulf is vast and filled with challenges, but for those willing to brave its depths, it offers rewards beyond measure. Happy fishing!

Learn to Catch Cobia

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Starting a Fishing Charter Business

Starting a Fishing Charter Business

Starting a Fishing Charter Business

Captain Randall Shaw has spent a decade mastering the seas as a fishing charter captain, and now he’s rolling out the welcome mat for you to join the ranks of successful charter operators.

captain randall shaw

Our captains online course on LandedFishing Teachable, “How to Start a Fishing Charter Business,” is your golden ticket. If you’ve got a burning passion for fishing and a dream of turning it into your livelihood.

anna maria florida fishing charters scaled

Want to be a fishing Charter Captain?

Becoming a Full-Time Fishing Guide

Alright, diving straight into the heart of it, becoming a fishing charter captain is not just about loving fishing or being good at it. It’s a blend of skill, knowledge, business acumen, and patience. Here’s the scoop on what you really need to focus on:

Licensing and Certifications:

First off, you can’t skip the legal stuff. Depending on where you plan to operate, you’ll need a captain’s license from the relevant authorities.

With both in-class and online options finding the method that bests fit your schedule is a great place to start.

Boat and Equipment:

Your boat is your office. It doesn’t have to be a yacht, but it does need to be presentable, reliable, safe, and suited for the type of fishing charters you want to offer.

Equally important is your fishing gear and safety equipment. Keep everything up to snuff and be prepared for regular maintenance.

Knowledge and Experience:

Knowing your local waters like the back of your hand is non-negotiable. Fish patterns, safe navigation spots, and local regulations – you need to be an encyclopedia of your domain.

The Landed Fishing’s course can give you a leg up, but there’s no substitute for time spent on the water.

Business Skills:

Running a charter is running a business. You’ll need to manage bookings, marketing, customer service, and finances.

It’s not just about catching fish; it’s about creating memorable experiences for your clients. Word of mouth can make or break your business.


This is paramount. You’re responsible for every soul on board.

CPR and first aid certification, along with rigorous safety drills and a well-thought-out emergency plan, are your best friends.

Patience and People Skills:

Finally, this is a service industry. You’ll meet all sorts of clients, and not every day on the water will be perfect.

Being able to maintain a positive attitude, even when the fish aren’t biting, can set you apart.

anna maria florida fishing charters scaled

Learning What it Takes to be a Successful Charter Fishing Guide

For anyone seriously considering this path, the Landed Fishing’s Captains Course is a great starting point. It can provide you with the knowledge and credentials to set your charter business on the right course. After that, it’s about putting in the work, continually learning, and always striving to offer the best experience to your clients.

Market Research & Identifying Your Crew:

Knowing who you’re fishing for is step one. Shaw’s got the lowdown on pinpointing your ideal customers and tailoring your business to meet their expectations. It’s about finding your spot in the vast ocean of opportunities.

Choosing Your Vessel Wisely:

Your boat is more than just a boat; it’s the foundation of your guest’s experience. Shaw will guide you through choosing the right ship that aligns with your vision, ensuring it’s equipped to deliver unforgettable trips.

The sea of regulations and paperwork might seem daunting, but Shaw makes it navigable. He covers everything from getting licensed to ensuring your operation is above board and bulletproof in terms of safety and legality.

Marketing That Makes Waves:

In the digital age, your online presence is your storefront. Shaw teaches you how to build a brand that speaks volumes and how to effectively use social media to attract the right kind of attention.

Creating Unforgettable Journeys:

This is where your passion shines. Shaw emphasizes the importance of crafting experiences that keep customers coming back for more. It’s not just about the catch; it’s about the adventure and memories.

Steering Your Business Forward:

Running a successful charter goes beyond the open water. Shaw’s got strategies for managing your finances, scaling your business, and keeping the bookings coming.

cobia fishing charter in the Gulf of Mexico

Take the Helm: Become a Captain

Captain Randall Shaw’s course isn’t just about learning the ropes; it’s an empowerment platform for anglers ready to captain their destinies. If you’re serious about making your mark in the charter fishing world, this is your call to action. With Shaw’s expertise as your guide, you’re not just starting a business; you’re embarking on an adventure that could redefine your life.

Are you ready to transform your passion into a profession? Your journey begins here.

Mangrove Snapper Catch and Cook Fish Tacos Sarasota, FL

Mangrove Snapper Catch and Cook Blackened Fish Tacos

Nearshore Fishing for Mangrove Snapper in Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota, Florida, is renowned for its rich and diverse marine life, making it a prime location for nearshore fishing, particularly for Mangrove Snapper. This guide provides essential tips and insights to help both novice and experienced anglers in their pursuit of this sought-after fish.

Episode 48 of Landed Fishing

Mangrove Snapper Fishing Catch and Cook Blackened Fish Tacos

Join Captain Randall in this exciting episode as he ventures off the Sarasota coast for a holiday fishing trip. The team focuses on bottom fishing, targeting Mangrove Snapper, Grouper, and Key West Grunts.

The episode culminates in a delightful cooking segment where Captain Randall demonstrates how to prepare fresh Blackened Mangrove Snapper Tacos. Using Chef Paul’s seasoning and a Blackstone grill, he reveals a simple, five-ingredient recipe that’s not only quick to prepare but also incredibly delicious.

Tips for Mangrove Snapper Fishing

Mangrove Snapper, also known as Gray Snapper, are commonly found around structures like docks, mangroves, and reefs. They are opportunistic feeders, which makes them a challenging but rewarding catch.

Best Bait and Tackle for Florida Mangrove Snapper:

Live bait such as shrimp, small fish, or crabs are highly effective. Use a light to medium tackle with a fluorocarbon leader to prevent the snapper from seeing the line. Circle hooks work well for these fish.

Time and Tide:

The best times to fish for Mangrove Snapper are early morning or late afternoon. Pay attention to tide schedules; moving tides can result in more active feeding.

Fishing Techniques:

Bottom fishing is a popular and effective technique. Position your boat over structure and drop your bait to the bottom. Be ready for a quick bite; Mangrove Snapper are fast and can steal bait easily.

Why Choose a Sarasota Fishing Charter?

A fishing charter in Sarasota offers an unforgettable experience. Local charters provide expert guidance, knowledge of the best fishing spots, and all necessary equipment. It’s a fantastic way to ensure a successful and enjoyable fishing trip, whether you’re a seasoned angler or trying your hand at fishing for the first time.
Fishing for Mangrove Snapper in Sarasota is an experience not to be missed. With the right techniques, bait, and a bit of patience, you’re likely to have a successful and memorable outing.

Mangrove Snapper Fishing in Sarasota, Florida: Your Questions Answered

What is Mangrove Snapper and Why Fish for Them in Sarasota?

Mangrove Snapper, also known as Gray Snapper, is a popular sport fish found in the Gulf Coast waters around Sarasota. They’re sought after for their fighting ability and delicious taste. Sarasota’s unique coastal habitats, like mangroves and seagrass beds, make it an ideal location for Mangrove Snapper fishing.

When is the Best Time to Fish for Mangrove Snapper in Sarasota?

The best time to fish for Mangrove Snapper in Sarasota is during the warmer months, from late spring to early fall. They are particularly active during the early morning and late afternoon hours.

What Type of Gear is Recommended for Mangrove Snapper Fishing?

A light to medium action rod with a spinning or baitcasting reel is ideal. Use 10-20 lb test line with a fluorocarbon leader to remain less visible in the water. Circle hooks sized 2/0 to 4/0 are effective for securing these quick-biting fish.

What are the Best Baits and Lures for Mangrove Snapper?

Live shrimp, small fish (like pilchards or sardines), and cut bait are excellent choices. For lures, small jigs and artificial shrimp can be effective, especially when fishing in clearer waters.

Where are the Best Spots to Find Mangrove Snapper Near Sarasota?

Look for areas with structure, such as near mangrove roots, docks, piers, and artificial reefs. The waters around Sarasota Bay, Longboat Key, and near the Skyway Bridge are known hotspots.

What are Some Effective Techniques for Catching Mangrove Snapper?

Bottom fishing is the most effective technique. Cast your bait near structures and let it sink to the bottom. Be alert, as Mangrove Snapper are known for their quick bites.

Are There Any Regulations or Limits for Mangrove Snapper Fishing in Sarasota?

Yes, there are size and bag limits for Mangrove Snapper in Florida. It’s important to check the latest regulations with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission before heading out.

Can Beginners Successfully Fish for Mangrove Snapper?

Absolutely! Mangrove Snapper fishing is great for anglers of all skill levels. Consider hiring a local guide or charter for the best experience, especially if you’re new to the area or to this type of fishing.

Are Fishing Charters Available for Targeting Mangrove Snapper in Sarasota?

Yes, numerous charters specialize in inshore fishing around Sarasota. They provide expert guidance, tackle, and knowledge of the best fishing spots, which is invaluable for targeting Mangrove Snapper.

What Should I Do with My Catch?

Mangrove Snapper is known for its delicious taste. You can grill, fry, or bake it. Local charters and guides often provide recipes or cooking tips to enjoy your catch to the fullest.

Fishing for Mangrove Snapper in Sarasota is a really fun experience, offering both a sporting challenge and a culinary delight. With the right gear, techniques, and local knowledge, you’re set for an exciting and successful fishing adventure on Florida’s Gulf Coast!

Netting Pass Crabs for Catching Tarpon
Netting Pass Crabs for Catching Tarpon
Skyway Bridge Fishing 2024 Grouper Snook Redfish Snapper
Skyway Bridge Fishing 2024 Grouper Snook Redfish Snapper
Beginners Guide: Slow Pitch Jigging Fishing Rods, Reels and Jig Types
Beginners Guide: Slow Pitch Jigging Fishing Rods, Reels and Jig Types