Posts Tagged ‘Tampa Bay fishing Charters’

Tampa Bay Redfish

Temperatures have been hot but so has the fishing charters in Tampa Bay. The Tampa Bay redfish bite has been on fire. We are wrapping up our summer time fishing and getting ready to transition into our fall redfish run.

The redfish spawn starts in September and lasts through November. Redfish school up on our area grass flats to feed and prepare to spawn. We will see fish ranging from 4lbs up to 20lbs. We will be fishing light tackle gear. Penn Conflict spinning reels and Penn Legion rods. 1/0 Daiichi circle hooks with 18”-24” 25lb Berkley Pro Spec fluorocarbon leader. Bait of choice will be cut pinfish or live sardines.

Tampa Bay Redfish

The Tampa Bay snook bite should start to heat up as temperatures cool down a little. Most fish are starting to move from the beaches and staging in there fall areas. Snook will be eating heavily to prepare for the cooler months ahead. Fish will range from 3lbs up to 12lbs with some bigger females over 15lbs. We will be fishing with the same gear as the redfish.

Trout fishing charters has been steady all summer in Tampa Bay. As temperatures fall, look for schools of fish to move onto our grass flats along with the big “Gator” trout. Trout are great species to learn how to fish artificial lures. They are easily fooled and will usually eat throughout the day. I usually start with topwater plugs in the morning, then move to soft plastic jerk baits, as the sun gets high in the sky. They will also eat live or cut bait.

To book a Tampa Bay fishing charter with fishing guide Captain Will Shook, call 813.732.5971 or email


Fishing Has Been Hot!

The bite has been hot coming out of spring. Look for things to stay hot all summer.

The redfish bite has been strong all spring. We will continue fishing redfish most of the summer. We are fishing light tackle spinning gear with live and cut bait, with great success.  We mainly have been getting overslot fish, ranging 10lbs up to 15lbs with a few keepers mixed in. Fishing the grass flats, ranging in depths of 2′-3′, have been productive. A grass flat with good tidal flow and what we like to call a “alive”, are good characteristics for holding redfish.

Tampa Bay Redfish

The snook bite has slowed down a little for me but should start to pick up. Snook spawn season starts this month and fish will schooled up eating heavily to prepare for spawn. We will be fishing around our area beaches, passes and bridges for snook. Good tidal flow is a most for catching good snook. Live bait has been the key to getting snook to eat. Light tackle spinning gear is the setup. Fish range from 25″ up to 35″ with some bigger 40″ available. It is catch and release only and we are sure to handle each fish with extreme care. Take a quick picture and release unharmed.

The trout fishing has been consistent. Fishing the grass flats has produced some nice fish. As temperatures on the flats get to hot, look for the bigger fish to move deep. Trout are ranging 17″-20″ with some bigger one mixed in. We can stay on a consistent bite all summer.

May starts tarpon season. Will started out the season with a couple tarpon ranging in the 80lb class range. We lost a dozen fish well over the 125lbs class. Look for things to heat up and continue through June. We have started to fish the beaches and passes. Live threadfins, live crabs and cut bait, are baits of choice. Most fish are caught on spinning gear. A fight ranging between 15-35 minutes is not uncommon. Our fish range from 60lbs up to 200lbs. I still have some availability in May and June. Call me know. 813.732.5971


Summer Time

Fishing Tampa Bay during the summer can be challenging, but with a little planning you can be successful. The key to summertime fishing is to get out early, before the heat and afternoon thunderstorms come.  Another key to summer fishing is to fish the flats early in the morning. As temperatures rise on the flats, move to deeper, cooler waters.

40" Tampa Bay Snook

Tampa Bay snook fishing this summer has been great. We are not seeing the huge number of small ones this year but are catching some big ones. Fishing live sardines on a 30lb Berkley Pro Spec Fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook has been the ticket. We are using light tackle spinning gear while targeting snook, which makes for an exciting and challenging fight when trying to land a trophy sized snook.

The Redfish bite has been hit or miss, but look for these fish to start to school up as spawning approaches in the fall. Trout fishing has slowed a little, but getting a few keeper size fish each trip has been normal. If you are looking to keep rods bent, the spanish mackerel have been plentiful.

To book a Tampa Bay fishing charter with Capt. Will Shook, call 813.732.5971


April 1 Fishing Report

The Tampa Bay fishing charters redfish bite has been hot regardless of our colder than normal temperatures. We have been around 15 degrees below normal, but it hasn’t bothered the redfish. They have been hitting a variety of baits. Live scaled sardines and cut bait have been our baits of choice. We have been fishing a 25lb Berkley Pro Spec fluorocarbon leader and 1/0 Daiichi circle hook with great success. An 8’, 8-17lb class Penn Legion rod has been a must to make the long cast. Look for the redfish bite to continue all of April.

Tampa Bay Monster Redfish

38" Tampa Bay Redfish

Snook fishing has slowed down a bit due to the colder temperatures. As the weather continues to get back to normal, the snook fishing should follow.

The trout fishing has been consistent and should continue throughout April. St. Pete fishing charters has produced some nice trout caught on both low and high tides. Fishing live scaled sardines has worked well. Finding the schools of mullet and working the school has been the best way to find quality fish.

To book a fishing charter with Captain Will Shook, call 813.732.5971


3/6/13 Fishing Report

The bite for Tampa Fishing Charters started to heat up before the last cold front. Things should get back to normal soon and then game on! The snook have been hungry and are willing to take most live baits. I fished the last day before the cold front and we managed to catch multiple average-sized fish. After weeding through the smaller ones, a 36” decided she wanted to eat. David from Minnesota hooked into a snook of a lifetime. After a few tense moments, he landed a trophy snook.

Tampa Bay Snook Fishing

The redfish have started to show up in decent numbers. I have had to work hard for them, but with a little persistence, we have managed a few quality fish. The key is to arm yourself with a variety of baits and find out what they are willing to eat.

Trout fishing has been hot and will continue to stay hot. We have been fishing a variety of depths and locations. Deeper grass flats around 4-6 feet and grass flats with as little as 12” have produced great fish. The key is to move around until you find fish.

To book a Tampa Bay fishing charter with guide Capt. Will Shook, call 813.732.5971 or visit


February Fishing Forecast

February is upon us, but it feels more like March.  Temperatures were about 15 degrees above normal last month.  Not sure if February will stay true to last month, but if so, spring is coming early.  The fish in our region last month have been in a transition phase.  Most fish have been on the move, thinking spring has come early, so it is important to move around to find fish.  The snook bite continues to be steady, redfish have been hit or miss, and the trout bite has been outstanding.


The trout bite has been solid all year and should stay that way this month.  Areas from downtown to Joe’s Island are holding some nice trout.  We are getting them on a variety of baits.  White bait and shrimp are the live options.  Soft plastics rigged on a jig head are another.  I prefer fishing trout with soft plastics because you can cover more ground.  I like to use a D.O.A. C.A.L. Shad tail, pearl body with ¼ ounce chartreuse or red jig. Experiment with colors and other baits to find your favorite.

Tampa Bay Fishing Charters

Tampa Bay Redfish Charter


We are still fishing for snook with success and it’s January.  If the warm weather sticks around, continue to target snook.  Snook have been moving around a bit, but if you can find them, you will have success. A couple of things to look for when trying to find snook are moving water and ambush points/structure. Areas in and around Alafia River, Little Manatee, and Cockroach Bay have been holding fish.  The key is to have live white bait.  A perfect setup is a 25lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader with a #1 or 1/0 (depending on size of bait) Daiichi circle hook.


It’s that time of year and the sheepshead bite should be in full swing.  These fish will be preparing to spawn so they will be schooling up and eating on most reefs and rock piles.  They will also be hanging around most residential docks and other structures inshore.  Shrimp is the most common bait, but fiddler crabs may be more productive.  Size limit is 12” and you can keep 15 per person.  Be sure to only keep what you plan on eating and enjoy.

Best of the Rest

Flounder continue to keep rods bent.  Fishing the potholes on the flats continue to produce keeper size fish.  A pearl D.O.A. C.A.L. Shad tail under a popping cork has been working great.  Redfish have been hit or miss, but we are getting a few each trip.  Free line shrimp on 20lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader and a #1 Daiichi Bleeding Bait Hook.  If we get a major cold front and temperatures fall quickly, look to fish the TECO Power Plant.  The warm water discharge will hold a wide variety of species.


January Fishing Forecast

We are at the end of another great year of fishing.  I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  December was a warmer month than normal and the bite in our region showed it.  The redfish, snook, and trout bite has been outstanding.  If January stays warm, the bite should continue to be hot.  If temperatures cool to normal, it’s time to switch to winter tactics and species.


With the new rules from the FWC, the trout fishery will remain open all year.  A bag limit of 4 fish and a slot of 15”-20” remains the same in our region.  Trout are not as affected by water temps as other species, so look for the bite to be consistent whether the temperatures become cool or stay warm.  Live shrimp or artificial baits will work great.  I prefer a D.O.A CAL ¼ ounce chartreuse jig head with a pearl shad tail.  Areas around the Kitchen, residential canals around Apollo Beach, and Joe Island should hold plenty of trout.

My son Tyler first Snook


A species almost forgotten by me has made its way back into my heart.  It seems like the flounder bite continues to get better each year and with a lax bag limit (10 per day, 12” minimum), they are a great species to target this time of year for dinner.  I prefer to target flounder inshore.  I look for grass flats with plenty of potholes and work each pothole.  I prefer a Gulp! Shrimp rigged weedless with a 1/8 weighted Daichii Butt Dragger.  The key is to work as many potholes as you can.  Other areas with hard bottoms or sandy patches will hold flounder as well.

Power Plant

You will see this section in the next couple of forecasts.  I will update it with what’s biting.  The TECO power plant in our region has plenty to offer this time of year.  The hot water runoff from the power plant keeps the waters in the area around 75 degrees.  The warm temperatures attract many different species…Snook, redfish, trout, pompano, permit, cobia, sharks, and the list goes on.  It can also get crowded with beach fishermen.  Just bring along some common sense and be courteous of others.  Also, the manatees will use this area to survive the winter, so be on the lookout and follow all the signs for slow zones.

Best of the Rest

If the weather stays warmer than normal, look for the snook fishing to stay hot.  The key is white bait.  If you can get live scaled sardines (white bait/green backs) you will catch snook.  The redfish bite has been consistent and should continue through January.  Work areas around the rivers (Alafia, Palm, and Little Manatee River).  Live shrimp will work best.  Sheepshead will start to make a strong showing.  Rocks piles, bridge pilings, and docks are a good place to start.


Tampa Fishing Charters New Boat!

Hey folks! I finally got my new boat on Friday 10/5/12. So now, you all will be fishing aboard Miss Mae, my new 23′ custom built Aeon Marine boat. She has a custom built half tower with a little shade to offer some relief from our Tampa Bay sun. She has all new electronics and safety gear to assure a comfortable and safe Tampa fishing charter with me, Tampa Bay fishing guide, Captain Will Shook.

Tampa Bay fishing guide

Miss Mae

The fishing has been on fire my last couple of Tampa fishing charters. The redfish bite has been hot and should stay hot throughout the next few months. I have been fishing the schools of mullet using cut bait. I use a 25lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader with a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook.

The spanish mackerel bite has been heating up. I fished a few miles of St. Pete Beach and ran into a giant school of mackerel. I have been using a 2/0 Eagle Claw long shank hook with a 40lb Berkley mono leader. The long shank hooks help reduce cut-offs. Look for the King mackerel to start moving into our area as the water temperatures drop.

The Tampa Bay fishing trout and snook bite will continue to heat up as we go through the month.

If you want to book a Tampa Bay fishing charter with Tampa Bay fishing guide Capt. Will Shook, call 813.732.5971 or email me at

Tampa Bay Redfish and Trout Fishing


Tampa Bay October Fishing Forecast

Fall is in the air.  Well, at least what we in Tampa, Florida call Fall.  That means shorter days and slightly cooler temperatures.  As we move through the month, the days get shorter and water temperatures begin to drop.  We will also start to see some mild cold fronts push through, cooling water temperatures. If you haven’t noticed, the common theme this month is water temperature.  Fish don’t have a calendar to notify them of the changing months. Therefore, they rely on the change in the water temperature.  Our temperatures will start to fall into the 70’s signaling to the fish that winter is approaching.  This means they will begin feeding heavily and packing on the weight for the approaching winter.


Tampa fishing guides for redfish were the hot target last month and will continue to be the hot target this month.  The bite has been outstanding in most all areas of Tampa Bay.  In our region, the same holds true.  The water clarity in our region hasn’t been the best, so sight casting schools of fish has been tough.  I have gone back to the basics…find the mullet and you are sure to find some redfish.  It will take some patience and work, but it will pay off.  Cut bait seems to be the best bait, and I prefer pinfish or threadfins.  Fish it free lined on 25lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader with a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook.

Tampa Bay fishing guide

Dinner Time


Tampa fishing charters snook season will remain closed until August 2013.  Catch and release action will heat up this month. The last few weeks of September were a little slow.  I believe they are in a transition period, but when the fish settle down and get prepared for the coming months, the bite should go off.  Our region is a great snook fishery.  It has plenty of estuaries you look for when snook fishing…good tidal flow, ambush points, mangroves, and plenty of food.  If you put all of these things together, you have a recipe for a perfect snook habitat.  I prefer live green backs fished free lined with a 30lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook.  If the live bait bite is not working and you know fish are there, try cut bait.


Tampa Bay trout fishing has slowed a little on the South Shore, but as temperatures cool, look for the bite to pickup.  We are getting into those months when you go out and target that trophy size fish.  As the water temps cool, the bigger fish will move onto the flats in search of food. I like working the potholes on the low, incoming tides.  Live or cut bait will work fished free lined with a 25lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook.  If artificial is your game, now is the time to work on the skills.  Trout are not too picky, so they are a good species to use artificials on.  Topwater plugs are a favorite of mine. Seeing a big trout explode on a topwater plug is exciting.  I usually fish them early in the morning and switch to a soft plastic jerk bait later in the day.

Best of the Rest

The spanish mackerel started to show up in our region late last month and should only get better.  Areas around the Skyway and the main ship channel will hold both spanish and king mackerel.  A chum block and plenty of live bait to chum with will draw attention from both species.  For spanish mackerel, long shank hook and 40lb leader should work.  If you are getting a lot of cut offs, switch to light steel leader.  For the king mackerel, steel leader is almost a must.  A 30-40 lb steel leader will work.  If you are running into a lot of short strikes, add a stinger rig.  Blue fish will also be hanging around with the macks.  Use the same setup as you use for mackerel fishing.

To book a charter with Tampa Bay fishing guide, Capt. Will Shook, call 813.732.5971 or visit


Tampa Snook Fishing is Hot!

Tampa Snook Fishing Charters

Tampa snook fishing charters have started to heat up as fish start to move around and prepare for the cooler months to come. Snook are starting to make their move from their summer time areas to their fall areas in good numbers. We have been fishing live scaled sardines around the mangroves with great sucess. Light tackle spinning gear makes it very challenging to land the hard fighting snook. We are also catching redfish and trout while snook fishing. Call now to book your Tampa Fishing Charter. 813.732.5971