Flats Fishing in Tampa Bay & Boca Grande
Flats fishing is a general term we use for fishing the inshore areas for snook, redfish, trout, cobia, permit, pompano, spanish mackerel, sharks, and even kingfish. During our flats fishing charter in Tampa Bay we fish for several types of these fish, the most common of these fish are the snook, redfish, and trout. On most charters we are able to catch all three of these species along with others types of fish on a single days charter. During the spring and fall we get a migration of spanish mackerel, and kingfish. Most years the best months are March, April, October, and November for the spanish and kings. These months are also some of the best months for snook and redfish and sometimes we are able to catch all of these species on a single charter.
Winter Flats Fishing
Flats fishing Tampa Bay during the winter we mainly fish for large gator trout, and redfish. The trout fishing at this time of the year is insane. It’s not uncommon to catch 50 or 60 trout in two hours of fishing. These trout can sometimes be up to 30 inches long and weigh almost 10 pounds. The redfish fishing during the winter is not as good as the trout fishing, but they are availabble to catch. The snook fishing can be slow during the winter months because they are very sensitive to the cold weather. During the winter we fish with both artificial baits and live bait.
Spring Flats Fishing
The spring time flats fishing is the best of the year. This is when we get our large schools of bait fish in from offshore. These baits are known in our area as whitebait, greenies, and sardines. This is the natural bait for the Tampa Bay area and when they show up the game fish of the flats become active and eat everything in sight. The snook come out from their winter homes to fatten up for their summer spawn. The redfish school up in large schools on the flats. The trout also gather in large schools for their migration offshore for the summer. The spanish and king mackerel are invading the beaches and artificial reefs looking for an easy meal. The cobia are roaming the flats looking for food. The sharks are also showing up looking the eat anything that moves. During the spring most of the fishing is done with live bait. This is a very easy and productive way of fishing for all of the types of game fish.
Summer Flats Fishing
During the summer from Mid April till October I only tarpon fish. You can see my tarpon pages on this website.
Fall Flats Fishing
During the fall flats fishing in Tampa Bay it is very similar to the spring fishing. We are able to catch most of the same types of fish using the same methods to catch them. The big thing that happens in the fall is the redfish school up in very large schools for their spawn. Sometimes we will get on a school with over 500 redfish in it. This is when we have those days of catching 50 or 60 redfish on a single days charter.