1. Shell Key- 27°39’07.0″N 82°43’00.9″W
2. Jackass Key – 27°39’32.4″N 82°43’13.4″W
3. Mullet Key Bayou – 27°37’27.2″N 82°44’05.1″W
4. Maintenance Hole Bayou – 27.626338,-82.715485
5. East Beach – 27°38’14.5″N 82°41’55.9″W
Seated at the mouth of Tampa Bay, Fort Desoto Park not only features some of the world’s finest beaches but also some of the best fishing and kayaking opportunities in the country. With just a few barrier sand islands separating Fort Desoto from the Gulf of Mexico, this area sees some of the most substantial tidal movements in all of Tampa Bay. As a result, it contains some of the most pristine water and lush sea grass beds the Bay has to offer. Likewise, many of the game fish we target take up residence in the area. Depending on the time of year Fort Desoto offers a vast array of angling opportunities and scenarios. Most notable are its schools of bull redfish, snook and tarpon along its beaches, wintertime gator trout, fall run of flounder, and the many different species of pelagics that pass through the region every spring and fall. Of all the areas Tampa Bay has to offer, Fort Desoto truly has it all.
6. North Skyway Rest Stop – 27°39’15.4″N 82°40’40.2″W
7. Clam Bar – 27°40’40.7″N 82°40’39.6″W
8. Maximo Park – 27°42’37.5″N 82°41’03.0″W
9. Bay Vista Park – 27°42’13.9″N 82°38’24.1″W
10. Coquina Key Park – 27°44’15.3″N 82°37’51.8″W
The area just inside of Tampa Bay, parallel and to the east of the Skyway Bridge is often referred to as Lower Tampa Bay. This region, like Fort Desoto, sees some of the strongest tides that occur in Tampa Bay. It’s clear water and healthy grass flats are host to numerous game fish. Along with its extensive grass flats and mangrove shorelines, this area also features residential canals and docks that are ideal for cold-water wintertime fishing. This area also sees its share of bull redfish schools, while also hosting gator trout during the winter, snook from the spring through fall, and excellent winter time fishing underneath its docks.
11. Bayou Grande – 27°49’16.6″N 82°36’20.4″W
12. Weedon Island State Park – 27°50’39.3″N 82°36’40.1″W
13. Gandy Causeway – 27°52’29.8″N 82°35’48.0″W
14. Big Island – 27°53’41.1″N 82°38’21.5″W
15. Courtney Campbell Causeway – 27°58’19.9″N 82°36’39.3″W
Upper Tampa Bay, often referred to as Old Tampa Bay, is located from roughly the Gandy Bridge north into Tampa Bay’s most northern reaches. Starting at Weedon Island and ending in Safety Harbor, Upper Bay’s terrain is considerably different from the lower reaches of the bay. Upper Tampa Bay features vast sand flats with less grass growth and contour, but equally impressive fishing opportunities. These sand flats are offer great visibility for the fly angler looking to score on some skinny water redfish. Contrary to the lower parts of the Bay, Upper Bay features areas with less current, more stagnant and sometimes even brackish waters making this an ideal region for fishing in the winter time. Upper Tampa Bay is fed by a number of estuarine creeks that are perfect for cold windy days during the fall and winter months. Anglers can expect to find snook and juvenile tarpon in the creeks, perfect flats for sight fishing redfish and gator trout, and even adult migrational tarpon during the late summer months.
16. Clam Bayou – 27°44’18.5″N 82°41’40.3″W
17. Jungle Prada – 27°47’18.6″N 82°45’14.8″W
18. Johns Pass – 27°46’43.6″N 82°46’43.0″W
19. Bay Pines – 27°48’47.0″N 82°45’43.4″W
20. Cross Bayou – 27°49’40.1″N 82°45’14.7″W
21. Millenium Park – 27°49’56.0″N 82°48’41.1″W
Boca Ciega Bay is situated from Tierra Verde Island north to John’s Pass. Much like Fort Desoto, its close proximity to the gulf creates clear and lush grass flats that are ideal for all of the main inshore species (snook, redfish and trout). Aside from its grass flats, Boca Ciega Bay also offers many residential canals and docks that are fantastic for fishing at night. Many docks feature lights off their ends, which attract bait fish and their predators. Anglers can expect to target snook, trout, juvenile tarpon and redfish from these docks at night in an exciting and unique night fishing charter. Nighttime charters are perfect for beating the summer time heat, while also exploiting one of the areas best fishing opportunities. Most notable of the area though is the Cross Bayou. The Cross Bayou is located due east of John’s Pass and offers two different launches from which to access its vast creek system. Somewhat like a miniature Everglades, the Cross Bayou offers countless mangrove islands, cuts and creeks that are full of fish. Anglers can expect to target juvenile tarpon year round, and snook during the fall through winter months. Redfish, sheepshead, blackdrum and many others are common as well.
22. Miguel Bay – 27°34’59.5″N 82°36’48.6″W
23. Joe’s Island – 27°35’04.7″N 82°36’47.4″W
24. Bishop’s Harbor – 27°36’05.4″N 82°33’06.8″W
25. Cockroach Bay – 27°41’13.5″N 82°31’14.1″W
The South Shore of Tampa Bay offers endless mangrove shorelines that have gone by largely untouched and undeveloped by humans. With its extensive shorelines come a large variety of fishing opportunities. From back water brackish creeks to crystal clear flats covered in turtle grass, the South Shore is a fishermen’s paradise. Year round anglers can expect to target snook, redfish, trout and tarpon. Many of our charters during the winter months will leave from one of our South Shore launches targeting fish during negative low tides trapped in potholes. During the spring and summer large schools of bull reds and migrating snook can be found all throughout the region’s mangrove shorelines and grass flats. During the winter gator trout invade the area and the snook can be found pushed back into the many creeks seeking warmer water. Aside from its fantastic fishing, the South Shore is the eco paddlers’ paradise. Its untouched shorelines are host to a plethora of wild life.