What is your Biggest fish? I am asked that almost every day on the way out of the marina. There are a few different big fish that we encounter on a regular basis. In our waters of Tampa Bay giant tarpon are abundant. They range from “small”, but are commonly 6 feet long and over 100lbs. That’s a big fish. A really big one will be around 7 feet long and 200lbs.
The fish have mostly finished the spawn and are returning with an appetite. One benefit of the latter half of tarpon season is the reduced fight times. While a hooked fish in April and May will punish you for over an hour, in late summer most are caught within 30 minutes. During the early season all the fish are mixed together, so you are just as likely to hook a 70 pounder as you are a 170 pounder. From now on, the fish seem to be bigger, or maybe the big females are just hungrier. We routinely release fish over 130lbs in late summer. My recommendation for July thru Sept? Book an early morning trip to beat the heat and catch a fish you’ll remember forever.
WHAT’S BIGGER THAN THAT?
Even bigger than the giant tarpon are the goliath grouper. They are the Biggest grouper, in fact they eat “keeper” grouper with routine. These kings of the shallow reefs commonly run 500lbs. And they do get bigger than that. Goliath grouper often require extreme tackle as they have to be prevented from reaching the reef when hooked. This is way easier said than done, and it can be a bit dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Goliaths will eat just about anything they can fit in their trashcan-size mouths. Favorite meals seem to be Jacks, Stingrays, Ladyfish, and Mackerel. Please inquire carefully and plan in advance for booking these trips, as additional prep is needed to tackle these beasts.
OK, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST AROUND?
Our biggest game to be had in our area is the sharks. The top of the food chain here includes the Great Hammerhead, Bulls, and the occasional Tiger. That said, a 300lb Nurse shark will completely wear you out too. One great thing about our fishery is the abundance of sharks. It seems very few are harvested in our waters, and we have plenty of them. The giant sharks are encountered most often near the mouth of the bay and along the beaches while tarpon fishing. Many a tarpon are pursued by sharks 10 times their size will on the hook. Some do not make it.
Inquire about such trips on the contact page or call direct 727 420 1435 and let’s talk.