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Deep Sea Fishing in Tampa: A Beginners Guide


While almost the whole of Florida is great for deep sea fishing, some places are better than others. And even though fishing locations like Destin and Key West are probably the most famous, Tampa doesn’t need to hide behind them. Deep sea fishing in Tampa provides a great opportunity to get on the water and explore a wide variety of angling spots.

Tampa is only about 30 to 40 miles away from the deep waters. This means you can target almost any Florida fish you can think of on a full-day trip. We’ve put together a guide that covers all the basics – from fish species to fishing techniques, and where to go. So, what can you expect from a deep sea fishing trip in Tampa? Keep reading and find out!

Top Deep Sea Fish in Tampa

We’ll start with the main stars of your trip: the fish! As we mentioned before, you can find a wide variety of deep sea fish off the coast of Tampa. What you’ll target just depends on the amount of time you want to spend on the water. From big game classics to bottom fish, you’ll have trouble deciding which species to go after first. Here’s the list of common and popular catches.


We’ll start with the most famous game fish: Marlin! Tampa’s waters are home to both White Marlin and Blue Marlin. This means you get to target two very similar but also different beasts. Blue Marlin will impress you with their sheer size (they can grow to sizes over 1,000 pounds). While White Marlin will take your breath away with the spectacular fight they put up. You should definitely be ready for a workout either way.

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While you can catch these deep sea species on a day trip, hardcore Marlin anglers often prefer to spend at least one night on the open ocean. That way they can reach and fish along the 1000-fathom curve. Here, the continental shelf drops dramatically, forming ideal hunting grounds for Marlin. You can find them between April and October, with the high season running in summer from June to August.

Blackfin Tuna

Looking for more big game? Then you’ll be happy to hear that you can find several different Tuna species in Tampa. The most common Tuna is the Blackfin, but you may also hook Yellowfin or a Bluefin if you’re lucky. Blackfin Tuna can be caught in waters just 40 feet deeop, since they like to hunt around the structures. But for Yellowfin and Bluefin, you’ll have to go further out.

Even though getting to these fish might require a longer journey, they make up for it by being around all year. So no matter when you can make time for a longer fishing trip, you’ll have a good chance of finding them. If you want to maximize your chances, head out between March and May, or October and December and land these world-famous beasts.

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