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Zebra Marine 18ft Skiff
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey yall,

My girlfriend and I are new to Tampa and fishing in general. I am a semi-professional sailor and have grown up around boats my entire life, but looking to get into fishing for recreation and to explore more of Tampa Bay. We purchased an old Zebra Marine 18ft flats boat with a 2 stroke Yamaha 115 to get us started. Boat needs some work but the motor runs good and it gets us out on the water- now we just need to figure out what the hell we’re doing!

We plan to primarily fish flats for reds, snook, tarpon, jack. We have 2 7ft medium action rods with 3500 and 2500 reels respectively. We pretty much have only thrown live shrimp and caught nothing but catfish around Davis Island. I’m hoping to get some advice from some more experienced fisherman and hopefully make a couple friends to go fishing with. We’re both in our early 20’s so budget is a bit tight right now, but planning on picking up a cast net and possibly another rod to go after some bigger stuff.

Any advice is greatly Appreciated!

-Mitch
 

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889 Posts
Hey yall,

My girlfriend and I are new to Tampa and fishing in general. I am a semi-professional sailor and have grown up around boats my entire life, but looking to get into fishing for recreation and to explore more of Tampa Bay. We purchased an old Zebra Marine 18ft flats boat with a 2 stroke Yamaha 115 to get us started. Boat needs some work but the motor runs good and it gets us out on the water- now we just need to figure out what the hell we’re doing!

We plan to primarily fish flats for reds, snook, tarpon, jack. We have 2 7ft medium action rods with 3500 and 2500 reels respectively. We pretty much have only thrown live shrimp and caught nothing but catfish around Davis Island. I’m hoping to get some advice from some more experienced fisherman and hopefully make a couple friends to go fishing with. We’re both in our early 20’s so budget is a bit tight right now, but planning on picking up a cast net and possibly another rod to go after some bigger stuff.

Any advice is greatly Appreciated!

-Mitch
Welcome aboard! Sounds like you guys are on the right track!
 

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I don't live there, but my son does. sister and her 2 sons do and they all fish the bay.
Its a great fishery, but all catch and release in the past 2 or 3 years due to red tide issues.

I'm mainly an aritficial person, but most people there use live baits. The Bay is loaded with bait and people say fish just don't eat artificial's. Most cats net pilchard, threadfin, mullet or catch pinfish to use for bait. My son has 25 Pathfinder so he fishes the bay and offshore, but offshore its a haul 25 miles out is still 80-90 feet deep, and another 20 miles to get to 100 feet.
When I've fished the bay with him, or the nephews, its all over the perimeter of the bay, south site, in the flats within a couple hundred yards of the mangrove's or up in and around the mangroves in the creeks. Because of where my son lives there is a good launch off Gandy. Head out, find bait, net bait, head for the mangroves, throw pilchards, get tired of releaseng Snook and Redfish.. go home.

I've heard many tails and stories of from the nephews of Snapper in the Bay on an artificial reef, but many anchors are lost on that structure. Also trolling the shipping channel edges for grouper, and the towers for Cobia during certain times of the year. You also get a shot every year for big Tarpon off the beaches a certain time of year, mostly caught on crabs when they migrate through.

The nephews were born and raised in Tampa, lived on the hillsborough, where they get Snook and tarppn off the dock, river and fished all their life , my son has only been there about 5 years. all in their 30's now.
I plan to move there within the next couple years to be near the grand kids.
 

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Zebra Marine 18ft Skiff
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't live there, but my son does. sister and her 2 sons do and they all fish the bay.
Its a great fishery, but all catch and release in the past 2 or 3 years due to red tide issues.

I'm mainly an aritficial person, but most people there use live baits. The Bay is loaded with bait and people say fish just don't eat artificial's. Most cats net pilchard, threadfin, mullet or catch pinfish to use for bait. My son has 25 Pathfinder so he fishes the bay and offshore, but offshore its a haul 25 miles out is still 80-90 feet deep, and another 20 miles to get to 100 feet.
When I've fished the bay with him, or the nephews, its all over the perimeter of the bay, south site, in the flats within a couple hundred yards of the mangrove's or up in and around the mangroves in the creeks. Because of where my son lives there is a good launch off Gandy. Head out, find bait, net bait, head for the mangroves, throw pilchards, get tired of releaseng Snook and Redfish.. go home.

I've heard many tails and stories of from the nephews of Snapper in the Bay on an artificial reef, but many anchors are lost on that structure. Also trolling the shipping channel edges for grouper, and the towers for Cobia during certain times of the year. You also get a shot every year for big Tarpon off the beaches a certain time of year, mostly caught on crabs when they migrate through.

The nephews were born and raised in Tampa, lived on the hillsborough, where they get Snook and tarppn off the dock, river and fished all their life , my son has only been there about 5 years. all in their 30's now.
I plan to move there within the next couple years to be near the grand kids.
I don't live there, but my son does. sister and her 2 sons do and they all fish the bay.
Its a great fishery, but all catch and release in the past 2 or 3 years due to red tide issues.

I'm mainly an aritficial person, but most people there use live baits. The Bay is loaded with bait and people say fish just don't eat artificial's. Most cats net pilchard, threadfin, mullet or catch pinfish to use for bait. My son has 25 Pathfinder so he fishes the bay and offshore, but offshore its a haul 25 miles out is still 80-90 feet deep, and another 20 miles to get to 100 feet.
When I've fished the bay with him, or the nephews, its all over the perimeter of the bay, south site, in the flats within a couple hundred yards of the mangrove's or up in and around the mangroves in the creeks. Because of where my son lives there is a good launch off Gandy. Head out, find bait, net bait, head for the mangroves, throw pilchards, get tired of releaseng Snook and Redfish.. go home.

I've heard many tails and stories of from the nephews of Snapper in the Bay on an artificial reef, but many anchors are lost on that structure. Also trolling the shipping channel edges for grouper, and the towers for Cobia during certain times of the year. You also get a shot every year for big Tarpon off the beaches a certain time of year, mostly caught on crabs when they migrate through.

The nephews were born and raised in Tampa, lived on the hillsborough, where they get Snook and tarppn off the dock, river and fished all their life , my son has only been there about 5 years. all in their 30's now.
I plan to move there within the next couple years to be near the grand kids.
Sounds awesome! Thanks for the help!
 

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Welcome to Tampa Mitch!
There is some phenomenal fishing out here and this time of year the water gets pretty clear in the bay and the fishing is on fire! I live in oldsmar and fish the bay on a daily basis, I also make my way up into Tampa around Davis island every now and then. If you ever wanna drop over by the bridges or safety harbor shoot me a message abc I’ll drop you some pins on the map to fish. Or I may possibly be out on the boat myself and in that case I’d be happy to show you some great spots!
 
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