A PORTRAIT OF THE TAMPA BAY ESTUARY
Popular Sports Fish
In many cases, a license is required for saltwater fishing. Contact the Florida Marine Patrol for license requirements, as well as for information on size and bag limits and seasonal closures.
Found near channel edges on sandy bottoms, near tidal passes and docks.
Use live shrimp, sand fleas, sardines, pinfish, or jigs bounced along bottom as you drift.
Redfish / Red Drum
Found near docks and pilings, deeper holes and channels during warmest and coolest months; around grass beds and oyster bars.
Use live shrimp fished on bottom or free-lined, or use soft-bodied jigs bounced slowly on bottom, or use small gold spoons.
Found near bridges, docks, or seawalls, and pilings.
Use live shrimp, sand fleas, or hermit fiddler crabs on small hook. Fish just off the bottom. On first tug, lower the rod and then strike hard. Skin fish before eating.
Found in canals, tidal creeks, and other deep, warm waters in cool months; near tidal passes and mangrove fringe at high tide.
Use live pinfish, small mullet, shrimp, or sardines free-lined or fished with a bobber or use jigs and minnow-like lures. Beware of the snook's razor-sharp gills.
Found in seagrass beds when water temperatures are moderate, and deeper waters adjacent to beds during warmest and coolest months.
Use live shrimp or pigfish (grunts) fished near bottom by free-lining or under a popping bobber, or use soft-bodied and fish-like lures. Cast with jigs or surface plugs as you drift.