Pilchards are also very hardy and will remain alive all day. Although delicious when smoked, they have oily meat that may taste slightly fishy if cooked other ways. Het is niet erg als er nog wat tomatensaus op de pilchards achter blijft. They are a fun fight, and their minimum size is 12″. Sarasota Bay doesn’t have as many snook as the lower end of Tampa Bay, but they average larger in size. Sometimes they are biting so fast the captain has trouble keeping up with taking them off the hook for his customers.  They are easy to hook they hit so hard sometimes they almost hook themselves and when the schools are really thick you literally can’t keep you bait in the water they hit it so fast.  They pull hard for there size and run very fast.  Captain Matt fishes them with live greenbacks, a small hook, and a wire leader on light tackle.  They have very sharp teeth so be aware when taking them off the hook.  Some people think Spanish Mackerel are wonderful to eat others really don’t like them at all so they are not for everyone as far as eating.  Personally Captain Matt likes to eat Spanish Mackerel. © 2015 Captain Matt. Usually found offshore, they congregate in certain areas of nearshore structure and debris on the ocean bottom. —Tarpon – Tarpon are some of Florida’s strongest fighters, and will burn the arms of any angler. Ive gotten the right cast net, gotten the right ingredients for chum, and been researching the best places to try to go. Tampa Bay hotspots include the Double Branch and Rocky Creek areas at the upper end, Big Island and Weeden Island (mid‐bay) and Pinellas Point, Fort Desoto and Terra Ceia to the south. Sarasota boasts many snook in the 30 plus inch class, some have even been upwards of 50 inches. Tarpon fishing in Tampa Bay is regarded as the best in the world.  Tarpon is the ultimate sport fish in the world!  Tarpon have tremendous stamina, they are extremely strong, they are very acrobatic leaping 15ft into the air, and they grow to over 200 pounds.  It’s for this reason they are such a sought after trophy.  Anglers come from around the world come to fish for tarpon in Florida.  Tampa Bay is largest estuary in the state and receives the largest migration of tarpon.  Anna Maria Island sits on the southern tip of Tampa Bay and is considered the tarpon capital of the world.  Tarpon migrate in by schools of thousands.  Anna Maria will have schools of tarpon at times that seems to stretch for miles. Single or multi boat trips available. Get In touch with Captain Matt. Pilchards burn lots of oxygen and have a brisk heart rate…they need to be kept in fresh recirculating water to remai at peak condition.   Captain Matt’s favorite bait is live greenbacks, occasionally he uses pinfish or cut dead bait.  In the winter if the water is cold shrimp is the bait of choice.  Anglers also catch them on artificial jigs and plugs.  Redfish are a staple for Tampa fishing charters.  Captain Matt really enjoys teaching his customer how to catch redfish on light tackle. He really enjoy teach his fisherman how to fish for mackerel in Tampa bay. A 10 to 12 foot net with 3/8 mesh will do the trick when cast netting bait in deeper water. Snook fishing is phenomenal in the Tampa Bay area this time of year, and you can typically catch the big ones. It’s that time of year where things are ready to hit the boiling point in Tampa Bay! They are bruisers, and swim hard for the rocky bottom as soon as they are hooked in an attempt to escape. —Grouper – Two different species of grouper are commonly caught near Anna Maria Island, and they are the gag and red grouper. They are more commonly caught around wrecks using crabs and shrimp. Their main food sources are pilchards, thread fin herring, and shrimp. —Kingfish – Kingfish, or king mackerel are known for their speed and ability to make screaming runs when hooked. Whitebait is my overall #1 pick for inshore live bait.Here are some facts about whitebait (and why I choose this as my favorite inshore live bait fish): 1. Usually, they are found near structure, and their eyesight and intelligence makes them a worthy adversary. —Sea Trout –  Sea trout are a beautifully spotted fish, much like its freshwater counterpart. Haal de pilchards uit het blik en scheid de tomatensaus van de pilchards. Use this page to identify and learn about your catch! Anglers saltwater fishing from piers on the east coast, the Sunshine Skyway Pier in Tampa Bay, and in the Panhandle near Destin will catch them from the piers at times. *Capt. Tampa Bay Speckled Trout (spotted sea trout) ... Large speckled trout (20 – 30 inches) in Florida feed primarily on other fish such as pilchards, mullet, and shrimp.  Most snook run from 20 to 30 inches long.  Trophies in this day and age are 36 inches or better.  Capt Matt’s largest snook was 44 inches and near 30 pounds.  Captain Matt loves to teach is customer how to catch snook in Tampa Bay. Pompano are the small subspecies of permit and fishing for pompano in Tampa Bay can also be a lot of fun!  Though not as large topping out around 6 pounds they fight hard, are exciting to target and much like permit are amazing to eat.  Captain Matt’s favorite bait for pompano is heavy yellow jigs and flies.  At times he also uses weighted live shrimp.  Most of the pompano are caught inshore on the grass flats and along bay area beaches during the cooler months.  Sometimes there are small permit mixed in with them.  In the summer they can also be caught around bridge pilings.  Both species are some of the most beautiful that swim in the ocean. Fishing for sheepshead in Tampa Bay can be very good especially during the cold days during the winter months.  Late January through February is when they spawn and the action is the best, although they can be caught year round.  They are particularly known for being a great fish to eat. British Cured Pilchards Ltd or “The Pilchard Works”, as it is now more commonly known, started in 1905 to salt, press and export pilchards from Newlyn, Cornwall to Enrico Borzone in Italy. They average around 20″, but can grow to 20 pounds if conditions are right. In the river we have been casting baits under docks catching redfish, snook, mangrove snapper, and the occasional sheepshead. Fishing in Tampa Bay for redfish is one of local angler’s favorite past times on the flat.  The redfish is one of the ultimate flats fish, available almost year round.  They are targeted in very shallow water from 2 to 5 ft sometimes even shallower.  Many times they are caught by site fishing large schools that roam the flats.  When the water temperatures drop in the winter they can also be caught around deeper docks and structures adjacent to the flats in deeper water from 6 to 10ft.  Most of the reds in the bay area range from 15 to 34 inches.  Many times they run in schools of similar size.  It makes for a lot of fun and tired arms when Captain Matt chums in a school of bull reds on the flats.  Sometimes the action is so fast everyone in the boat is hooked up on fish ranging from 30 to 34 inches. Tarpon have tremendous stamina, they are extremely strong, they are very acrobatic leaping 15ft into the air, and they grow to over 200 pounds. They may be kept for harvest if their size is in the range of 18″ to 27″. These fish are strictly protected from harvest and are caught as a game fish only. These areas range from 15 to 25 feet deep so using a heavier weighted net and bigger mesh is required. Tampa Bay bridges produce year-round but the popularity increases as the thermometer rises. Their main foods are smaller fish and shrimp, but they will readily take artificial baits. They are also known for following large sharks and rays, and when spotted will readily take a well-casted bait. 14) King mackerel pier fishing. —Cobia – Cobia (ling) are large, strong, and great-tasting fish that often congregate near structure or debris while looking for food. Whatever the technique, a shark hookup is a guaranteed dose of adrenaline. They can be particularly leader shy and hook shy.  It is for that reason Captain Matt likes to use light leader small size 1 and 2 hooks.  Shrimp and especially small greenbacks are their choice bait.  Sometimes the captain can chum to the surface where his anglers can actually watch them eat there bait off the back of the boat.  Many times he uses light sinks so his fisherman can catch them off the bottom.  Mangrove snapper generally range from 10 to 25 inches.  The captain doesn’t like to keep them until they are about 14 inches or so.  They are tremendously good to eat and one of the best fish the bay area has to offer as far as table fair.  It a good thing they are very plentiful because they can be quite sneaky bait stealers and have a real knack at getting off the hook making them a tricky to fish to catch.  The challenge they present make a lot of fun to fish for especially when many times you get a bit every time you drop bait on the school.  Captain Matt love teaching his customers how to fish for Mangrove snapper.  After few minutes and a little practice anyone can have fun catching the spunky fighters. The bait we are talking about are pilchards or also known as the saltwater sardine. ... What to Throw: Live pilchards or shrimp (free lined or under a Paradise Popper XTreme popping cork), topwaters and synthetic shrimp. Fishing in Tampa Bay for red grouper is very popular and a lot of fun.  The species is very prolific and very easy to locate.  Much like their cousins the gag grouper they tend hang around wrecks, ledges and hard bottom offshore.  They are more of a offshore grouper, most are caught in deeper water six miles plus offshore in 40 ft or deeper.  A few do come in the bay a little shallow, but they are generally the smaller ones.   They are exceptionally good to eat and must me 20 inches to keep.  The average red grouper is around 16 to 23 inches, but large ones and run over 30 inches and are 15 or 20 pounds.  Captain Matt generally uses 65-pound class spinning tackle for them and his favorite baits are pinfish, greenbacks, threadfins, and squid.  His charters really enjoy them because when they are biting good they are very easy to catch and they put up a good fight, which makes it fun for all anglers of all skill levels.  Red grouper are generally a lot of the grouper you would buy when you go to the restaurant so there is no doubt they are great to eat!  Captain Matt always has a great time showing his customers the art of how to catch red grouper. When they move out to deeper waters they can be found around structure near the Skyway Bridge in Lower Tampa Bay … Speaking of small pilchards, it’s that time of summer where we have a new hatch of small baits flooding the passes, flats, and beaches. Gray snapper must be 10″ long, and harvest is limited to 5 per person per day. Matt will respond within 24 hours*. I believe around here the name "pilchards" is reserved for threadfin herring, a.k.a. Break out your ½ in (¼ sq.) We catch them with shrimp, pinfish, thread fin herring, and pilchards using heavy duty tackle and strong line. For over 450 years “Salacche Inglesi” – Cornish salt pilchards – was exported from Cornwall to Italy. These predators are caught in many different ways, from sight casting live pilchards on the flats to soaking a dead bait and being patient. As we move through July and into August, we will face the warmest temperatures of the year both above and below the water line. Where pinfish appear brown in color and will actually stop to eat the chum, pilchards look more black in color, have thinner bodies and move more quickly through the slick. Bestrooi de pilchards met bloem en bak de visjes om en om bruin in de olijfolie. You can tell a whitebait from a threadfish by the size of its eye (the whitebait has a much larger eye, and is also much stronger and l… Tarpon is the ultimate sport fish in the world! Their season opens July 1, and they must be 20″ (red grouper) and 22″ (gag grouper). When targeting tarpon off the waters of Tampa Bay and Anna Maria, I like to focus on 3 points. Find the fish on your sounder. Purina tropical fish food powder mix. Tarpon fishing in Tampa Bay is regarded as the best in the world. Their favorite foods are shrimp and pilchards. —Permit – Permit are known for their ability to blend in with the sand in shallow water, and can be a worthy adversary on light tackle. —Mangrove/Gray Snapper – Mangrove snapper are a smart, fast, and feisty fish that inhabit our waters year-round. For this reason the captain’s home base in on the island of Anna Maria.  Tarpon can be caught in the area March through October.  During the months of May, June, and July tarpon fishing is at it’s prime.  This is peak migration and when the captain primarily switches over to exclusively tarpon fishing.  Most fish average 70 to 130 pounds the large ones can reach 250 pounds.  There have been some unofficial world record tarpon weighing 300 pounds, landed in Tampa bay, one of which was caught aboard Captain Matt’s boat.  Captain Matt fishes for tarpon with heavy tackle spinning rods loaded with 65-pound test.  Sometimes he steps up to 100-pound test when the tarpon action in really fast and his customer are hooking up two to three tarpon at a time.  The captain’s favorite bait for tarpon is threadfin shad, large greenbacks, small crabs, and sometimes dead bait.  He loves tarpon fishing more than anything he targets on the water.  He takes pride in having the capabilities to teach others how to fish for tarpon in Tampa Bay. Lesser Amberjack are there smaller cousin and run a lot small averaging 14 to 24 inches.  They are generally caught closer inshore from 5 to 20 miles out.  They are fun to catch on light tackle and are considered very good to eat.  The offshore waters of Tampa Bay have very good amberjack fishing throughout the year.  The greater amberjacks bite better in the cooler months and the lesser bite better in the warmer months, but both species can be caught year round. I use these large, live baits to attract strikes from trout looking to eat once in a day.  They are fun on light tackle and a favorite of Captain Matt’s fly fisherman.  Most of them average in the 7 to 15 pound range, but the captain has had clients catch them as large as 20 pounds.  Little tunny are not known to be great to eat, but the captain feels they are tasty when prepared as a medium cooked steak.   Good to eat or not they are really fun to catch and are a nice bonus when targeting other species.  They are very bloody and make great shark and goliath grouper bait.  Captain Matt especially enjoys teaching his customers how to fly fish for false albacore. —Redfish – Redfish are commonly caught around docks and oyster bars during the cooler months, and are bulldogs on light tackle. Here is a great tutorial on how to locate and cast net greenbacks & bait with the perfect chum. Up in the bay in the darker water or at night under the bridges live bait does work but at times the artificial soft plastic can be better. —Sharks – Many different species of sharks inhabit the local waters around Anna Maria, but the main species are black tip, black nose, spinner, lemon, bull, hammerhead, and bonnet head. Whippoorwills have been singing for about three weeks now and sure enough, snook are starting to eat a lot better. mesh nets or you’ll have a tough time cleaning out the gilled baits after you’ve thrown. The fishing in Tampa for kingfish is really good in the fall and spring.  That is the two times of year when the water temperate is in the mid 70s and the kingfish migration is passing the offshore area out of the bay area.  In the spring the kingfish migrate from south to north and then in the fall they come by again from the north heading south for the winter.  They are a true migratory pelagic fish much like migrating birds.  Kingfish are really exciting fish and one off Captain Matt’s offshore charters favorite species to target.  Kingfish are one of the fastest fish in the ocean, said to be able so to swim nearly 40 miles per hour.  The Captain’s favorite way to fish them is with live bait and live chum.  The captain literally chums them into a frenzy and when they are really biting is can be as fast the angler can cast their bait in the water.  Most Kingfish average 8 to 30 pounds; larger trophy fish are 35 to 40 pounds.  Tournament winning kings usually run over 40 pounds in the Tampa Bay area.  Most of the fish migrate from the beach to 30 miles offshore; some of the larger ones will actually run up in the mouth of the bay.  Kingfish are good to eat fresh as long as the meat is cooled quickly, like most pelagic fish.  It also is very popular in Florida for making smoke fish spreads.  Captain Matt personally really enjoys fishing for kingfish and it is one of his customer offshore favorites.  He likes teaching his anglers how to fish for Kingfish in Tampa. 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