As the captain and owner of Skyway Sportfishing, I take great pride in my business and the ability to show people the wonders of the ocean. Our motto is service first and foremost. We listen to your wants and needs and execute them to our fullest ability.
Nearshore Fishing Off Of Tampa Bay
I can honestly say, after fishing all over the world for the past 17 years, the nearshore reefs off Tampa Bay are very healthy fisheries. The fishery revolves around live bait. There is an abundance of pilchards, threadfin herring, pin fish, and cigar minnows in the area most of the year. The Spring and Fall runs of fish are amazing, with the Winter and Summer months taking a bit more work to catch fish. In the Winter cold fronts will push the bait and the fish to deeper warmer water. This can make fishing more challenging during the fronts. But when this happens there are usually fish on the bay reefs willing to cooperate. In the Summer water temps can get very warm, causing fish to again move out to deeper water. Usually we will then have to chase them a bit further offshore to get the bites we want. There is an abundance of fish in the Gulf of Mexico, and it is one of the most fun fisheries in the world. I am very blessed to be fishing and sharing these waters with my clients.
Fishing Techniques Used
We use a variety of techniques to catch the fish in the Gulf Of Mexico. We use the lightest tackle possible. All spinning gear except for shark fishing. Inshore rods with 4000 size reels are used to bottom fish for snapper, grouper and anything else on the bottom. All of my clients will have their own inshore rod with a light weight and hook to fish the bottom. Simultaneously we will have rods deployed for pelagic fish and sharks. We cover all of the water columns to find what fish are biting the best. On days the pelagic fish are biting good (kingfish, amberjacks, blackfin tuna, and false albacore) we will concentrate on these fish with live bait and lures with light offshore rods and 6000 size reels. Sometimes on the boat it can be pure chaos, with bottom rods and surface rods all hooked up at the same time and not enough people on board to catch all the fish!! When live bait is available, I will catch enough to live chum. I wake up early and catch the bait in my cast net before I meet my clients. Then we will head offshore to a wreck or reef and anchor. We will use the live bait to chum the fish around the boat. And only use some of the bait in the well as “hook bait” to catch the fish. When live bait is not available, I have many pounds of frozen bait that we cut in chunks and throw out for chum. We then deploy large whole frozen sardines or cut squid and bonito to fish the surface and the bottom. Some days the frozen bait works better than the live bait, depending on the mood the fish are in.
Fish We Catch
There are so many different fish in the Gulf of Mexico that sometimes it is hard to choose which fish to target. Some people want only edible fish, while others just want to bend a rod with a hard fighting fish. Most of the time the edible fish are caught off of the bottom. But, some of the hardest fighting fish are in-edible and caught on the surface. It really depends on what you as the client prefer to catch.
Surface Fish We Catch
Little Tunny Tuna (False Albacore)
Bottom Fish We Catch
Key West Grunt