Tampa Bay is one of the indisputably best places for anglers in Florida. As Florida’s largest open water estuary with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico and spanning approximately 400 square miles, it boasts over 200 species of fish and fishing opportunities that rival anywhere in the state of Florida. The diversity of Tampa Bay’s ecological system affords spring anglers great opportunities to land many of our most sought-after game fish, including snook, redfish, trout, and tarpon.
Spring heralds water temperature changes, migrations, and spawning season. March sees many species coming out of their winter hiding places and hungry for action. This is why this time of year draws anglers from around the globe to catch a wide variety of fish, sometimes several species in any given trip.
Spring Fishing for Snook in Tampa Bay
Every spring, when waters warm up, anglers can be on the lookout for our elusive snook.
When water temps hit 70F, usually between late April and early May, snook will move out from the backwaters to the beaches. While snook can be found year-round here, most snook enthusiasts prefer the spring bite when beach snook tend to feed more aggressively in anticipation of the summer spawn. Because they are nocturnal feeders, they are more active at night. Night fishing is popular for snook, and anglers often seek them out near docks, bridges, mangroves, jetties, and seawalls.
Spring Fishing for Redfish in Tampa Bay
Redfish is one of the most popular flats sport fish in the Tampa Bay area.
While Redfish can be found throughout the year, early March through the end of October is the best time to fish for them, with the pattern of warming waters triggering their seasonal activity on the grass flats in and around Tampa Bay. Spring through fall, you can usually find them in large schools in the shallow waters of the flats or along mangrove shorelines, usually in no more than two to five-foot deep water.
Spring Trout Fishing in Tampa Bay
Speckled trout is one of the most abundant sport fish in Tampa Bay and is always a favorite with locals and visitors alike.
They can be caught throughout the entire bay area, along the beach, and in the shallow flats. During the colder months, they can be found in the deeper waters, both off the beach and in the Intracoastal waters. Spawning for trout takes place from April through September, but the earlier spring spawning months tend to be the best time for catching larger trout.
Spring Tarpon Fishing in Tampa Bay
While many head down to Boca Grande to fight the spring migration crowds, up here in Tampa Bay, we believe that we rival their tarpon reputation.
Tampa Bay has a strong spring and summer tarpon fishery, and throughout the peak of migration season, you will consistently see tarpon being reeled in from 80 to 140 pounds in the bay. During the summer, you may be lucky enough to hook into a 200-pounder. All tarpon fishing in the state of Florida is catch and release and the state of Florida maintains very strict statewide regulations when it comes to tarpon.
Reef & Reel Supports Your Lifestyle on the Water
The fishing opportunities in Tampa Bay and the St. Pete area draw anglers from around the country and around the world. If what you’re looking for swims in the Gulf and the shallows, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to find it here in Tampa Bay.
At Reef & Reel, we offer gear and products that support your lifestyle on the water. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just want to look the part, we offer a vast array of tackle, rods, reels, lures, and apparel to make sure your day on the water is a well-equipped one. Check us out at Reefandreel.com.