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Hook and Cook In Tampa Bay

Tampa and St Pete are towns that seems custom-made for amazing fishing. Between the famous shallows of Tampa Bay and the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, you’re never far from a productive fishing spot. We’ve compiled the go-to guide for the best fishing day around the bay during the winter months, and where to bring your catch for a world class meal straight from the dock! Here’s what you need to know to hook and cook west coast! 

Top Winter Catches Around the Bay

If it swims in the shallows and lives in the Gulf, you can pretty much guarantee it’s in the waters around Tampa Bay. The Bay provides such a wide variety of aquatic life. It’s not uncommon to catch several species on any given outing.

Most anglers are after the “Big 3” – Tarpon, Redfish, and Snook. Other local species include Trout, Jack Crevalle, Grouper, Snapper, Cobia, Ladyfish, Mackerel, Flounder, and a variety of Sharks. All of these and many more call Tampa Bay their home throughout different parts of the year.

Where to Cast a Line? A Few Choices

The Gulf waters, Tampa Bay, and countless near-by waterways are riddled with fish throughout the winter. You’ll usually have two choices around these areas. Head into the Gulf for bottom fishing for fish like groupers and snappers. Or hit one of the bays or passes to chase species like speckled trout and redfish. Let’s go over what to do to ensure you have the best chance for the catch of day anywhere in the bay.

Structure Fishing

Bridges and docks can be fish magnets in the wintertime around the Tampa Bay Area. This is because water clarity isn’t usually an issue for the local catch. Fish in these areas tend to be less affected by the constantly changing weather as they do fish on the flats and in other areas, and no matter which way the wind is blowing, docks in protected areas can usually be found that will offer anglers the chance to catch a few fish. Seawalls, jetties, oyster bars, and artificial reefs are other productive areas to do some bottom fishing. Sheepshead, black drum, redfish, flounder, grouper, snapper, and snook will all be found in these spots.

Bottom Fishing in the Gulf

Winter is considered the best time to deep-sea fish in Florida. This is because of its cooler water temperatures, especially from January to March. The waters are around 65 Fahrenheit nearshore and 70-75 offshore. There are also more fish available during this time as they come closer to shore, searching for food and a warmer climate. More fish means more variety for you to catch!  Some of the best eating fish that call Tampa Bay home can be caught right during the winter months by simply changing gears and moving out to some deeper water.

Flats Fishing

The flats are affected more by the constant changes in conditions than any other spots.

Anglers fishing the shallow flats will find that the hard northeast winds combined with winter low tides will often times find their favorite flats totally exposed. However, extreme low tides can offer some outstanding fishing to patient anglers. Due to the extreme low tides and lack of water, fish will gang up in deeper depressions, holes, and channels. Once fish are located, anglers can either anchor and fish the area thoroughly, or motor back around quietly at idle and make another drift.

St. pete boat club


Hook and Cook West Coast

It’s a time honored Florida tradition: seaside restaurants that will cook your catch after a long day on the water. For the avid fisherman, there’s nothing better than taking your proud catch you’ve worked hard for that day and turning it into a delicious meal right from the water. Thats what hook and cook west coast is all about!

Call ahead to let the location know you’d like to cook your catch at the following restaurants near your Tierra Verde Gulfstream Boat Club. Then relax, and enjoy!

Friendly Fisherman – 150 John’s Pass Boardwalk, Madeira Beach, 727-391-6025 www.gofriendlyfisherman.com

Crabby’s on the Pass – Inside the Johns Pass Marina – 12754 Kingfish Dr, Treasure Island, FL 33706 – (727) 300-0191 http://www.crabbysonthepass.com/

Sea Critters Café in St. Pete Beach – 2007 Pass-a-Grille Way, 727-360-3706, www.seacritterscafe.com

Maritana Grille – Inside Don Cesar Hotel – 3400 Gulf Blvd., 727-360-1882, www.loewshotels.com/don-cesar/dining



Enjoy the East Coast Winter with Gulfstream Boat Club

For the avid fisherman, there’s nothing better than taking your proud catch you’ve worked hard for that day and turning it into a five-star meal right from the water. Sit down, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor at any of the locations we have mentioned and more.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or to book your next boating trip.  Want to try your hand at inshore fishing or charter a boat to conquer the open seas? We can help you make your next trip unforgettable.

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