St. Petersburg, Florida is located on the Gulf of Mexico just across the Bay of Tampa and here we will discuss why people love fishing in St. Pete FL. The city was founded in 1888. To decide who the city would be named after, its founders flipped a coin. Peter Demens, the man who introduced the railroad industry to the region, won the coin toss and named the new city after Russia. St. Petersburg, Florida holds the Guinness World Record of having the most consecutive days with sunshine (365 days per year) between 1967 and 1969. This is the perfect example of Florida’s “Sunshine State” nickname. So, St. Petersburg, Florida, is appropriately named the “Sunshine City.”
St. Petersburg, Florida’s fifth-most populous city, has a population of close to 275,000. Many consider St. Petersburg one of the best places to visit in Florida. It was even honored in Conde Nast Traveller Magazine’s Readers Choice Awards as one of the top places to visit. Because of its historic locations and iconic Gulf Coast beaches, St. Petersburg is often referred to as the “perfect getaway”. A vibrant arts scene can also be found in the city. St. Petersburg’s fishing is another highlight. Because of its excellent weather, location on Tampa Bay, and easy access to the Gulf of Mexico, St. Petersburg has been a popular destination for both inshore and offshore fishing. Charter fishing is an important part of the maritime industry in St. Petersburg. Each year, thousands of tourists and locals visit fishing guides and captains to charter fish.
St. Petersburg Fishing
Because of its unique location on a peninsula, St. Petersburg makes a great place to fish. Hot saltwater fishing is available nearby, with the Gulf of Mexico to its west and Tampa Bay to its east. Fishing in St. Petersburg is excellent, whether you’re flat-fishing in the Bay or going offshore to fish for grouper and snapper.
St. Petersburg offers excellent fishing off the beaches and in Tampa Bay
Florida’s largest estuary is Tampa Bay. It covers more than 400 miles and is home to over 200 species. You can find the classic Florida inshore fisherman’s favorites, such as snook, redfish, and tarpon. There are also numerous backcountry mangrove systems and grass flats that allow for fishing. The Bay is home to thousands of game fish. All of the natural structures have made the Bay a historical habitat. You can launch from St. Petersburg to enjoy Tampa Bay’s unique fishery.
As the spring heats up on St. Pete Beach. King mackerel and Spanish mackerel as well as cobia and tarpon can all be found within a mile of the shore. This makes for great fishing. King mackerel or kingfish is one of St. Petersburg’s most sought-after game fish. There are two “King of the Beach” kingfish tournaments each season: one in the autumn and one in the Spring. The King of the Beach tournament, which offers more than $225,000 in prizes and is hosted by the Old Salt Fishing Foundation. Over the past ten years, this Madeira Beach nonprofit donated more than one million dollars to regional charities.
St. Petersburg is the ideal place to enjoy the spring and fall kingfish runs. They can weigh in excess of fifty pounds and are well-known for their hard-fighting style. In the 1970s, there was a huge kingfish population. In 1978, the kingfish population was so large that a fleet made up of commercial captains from Florida Bay, north of the keys, formed a circle around a school covered in netting. Each boat was filled to its maximum capacity in two hours.
Many anglers claim that the Gulf of Mexico has the best grouper fishing in the world. St. Petersburg offers excellent deep-sea fishing. There are many wrecks and reefs offshore that provide the ideal habitat for Goliath grouper and red grouper. Bottom fishing is also a popular way to catch snapper and red snapper. Although fishing within ten miles of the shoreline is possible, it can sometimes take more than fifty miles to reach the best honey holes, structures, and ledges where you are most likely to catch monsters. To ensure safe and enjoyable deep-sea fishing adventures, it is a good idea to hire Salty Knots Fishing Charters.
Fishing In St. Pete FL – Tips
Tarpon – You can catch tarpon all year, but May to June is the best time to tarpon fish. This is when thousands of giant spawning Tarpon arrive! The average migrating Tarpon weighs at least one hundred pounds. It’s also possible to catch a tarpon that is more than two hundred pounds some pushing two-fifty. This is a very special time for tarpon fishing! Anna Maria Island lies in the Bay’s hot zone, which attracts spawning tarpon. Bean Point Pass is located north and is famous for its tens of thousands of tarpon that arrive at peak migration time each year. Longboat Pass is a tarpon-feeding ground to the south.
Kingfish fishing is best when the water temperature stays in the 70s. Kingfish can be caught by slow trolling through areas using bait. Blue runners are their favorite, but kingfish can also be caught on spoons, plugs, and other live or cut bait. Kingfish have razor-sharp teeth, so it is important to have a strong leader when you fish for them.
St. Petersburg’s snapper and grouper fishing is available to anyone who lives within a reasonable distance. You will find a solid rock reef bottom, as well as large drop-offs just a few hundred meters from the shore. In the winter, it’s best to fish close to shore. In the summer heat, however, you will need to fish further offshore. Trolling is also very effective in winter.
St. Petersburg Seasonal Fisheries
Fishing is an all-year affair in St. Petersburg. Use the best St. Petersburg fishing charters, Salty Knots Fishing. Tarpon fishing is best between March and October with peak season from April through July. There are many snapper species that can be caught during different seasons. Fall and spring are the best times to catch Kingfish.
St. Petersburg Fishing Spots
- Tampa Bay
- Old Tampa Bay
- Hillsborough Bay
- Sarasota Bay
- Boca Ciega Bay
- Passage Key Inlet
- Hillsborough River
- Alafia river
- Little Manatee River
- Big Manatee River
- Bunces Pass