Tampa Bay is a large natural harbor and shallow estuary, well-known for its beautiful Gulf Coast beaches. The region seems customized for fishing. The best lakes for fishing in Tampa Bay include Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Fort DeSoto County Park, Bishop’s Harbor, and many more.
Florida has a diversity of different fish species. There is also no absence of great fishing piers, and many of them are free and open to the public. To ensure a pleasant and successful fishing experience, one must have sufficient knowledge about the timing, tides, and the circumstances that are optimal for catching fish.
If we’re talking about optimal conditions, then Tampa Bay’s lakes guarantee an excellent fishing experience. Although Tampa Bay has several water bodies, there are a few that certainly stand out. To help you get prepared for the summer, we’ve put together a guide to five of the best fishing piers in Tampa Bay.
1. Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier Bridge
Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier Bridge is known to be the world’s longest fishing pier, and it’s located right here in Tampa Bay! You can catch a variety of fishes here, such as Snook, Tarpon, Grouper, Cobia, Black Sea Bass, Spanish Mackerel, Red Snapper, King Mackerel, Sheepshead, And Pompano. However, which fish you catch depends upon the season and how far into the water you choose to go.
Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier Bridge is also the most convenient fishing point in Tampa Bay. The pier is well-lit during the night, so you can fish easily even after sunset. This is also excellent for people who are usually busy during the day or want to catch fish that are more common at night.
One of the best things about this fishing pier is the fact that it is open 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. However, before heading out to this fishing spot, be sure to check the Florida State Park website to book your tickets!
2. Fort DeSoto County Park
Fort DeSoto County Park has been one of the top Tampa Bay fishing piers for a long time. This fishing hot spot has two gorgeous fishing piers, the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. The Gulf Pier offers open-water access, which means species like Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, and sharks can be angled. On the other hand, the Bay Pier provides a more protected, calmer spot, which means species like Redfish, Snook, and Trout can be angled.
This fishing pier offers diverse fishing opportunities. Both sides of the fishing point offer a combination of low and high currents. The Gulf Pier stretches around 1,000 feet into the Bay Pier. Chances are you’ll see a few dolphins around this pier. The Bay Pier runs 500 feet out into more sheltered water. This pier is excellent for anglers with lighter fishing gear or those who are more interested in bringing dinner home.
3. Bishop’s Harbor
Bishop’s Harbor is a great fishing hot spot located along with the gateway of Tampa Bay. You can easily find inshore saltwater species like Redfish, Snook, and Trout here. Bishop’s Harbor is covered with mangrove shorelines and shallow flats that serve as primary habitat for these species. For this reason, Bishop’s Harbor is richly populated with fish.
This fishing pier has a sandy boat ramp and a little length of shoreline. You can use either one to get a kayak into the water, but be careful because the shoreline has about a foot and a half almost vertical drop.
There is no parking fee and no facilities at the ramp, so prepare accordingly. Another thing that fishermen must keep in mind before visiting this fishing hot spot is to check a local tide chart.
4. Edward Medard Reservoir
Edward Medard Park and Preserve, formerly known as Pleasant Grove Reservoir Park, is a freshwater pier in Tampa Bay. This reservoir is actually 770 acres of a reclaimed phosphate mine, filled with mystery, history, some folklore, and of course, plenty of fish. The reservoir was seized in 1970 and is very famous, with almost one-quarter million visitors annually.
Don’t let go of the opportunity to fish in the Edward Medard Reservoir in Hillsborough County! You’ll find plenty of Largemouth Bass and Sunshine Bass here. Since the reservoir is a broken phosphate mine, the bottom curves of the lake are uneven, with some areas stretching close to 33 feet. The depth variations and bottom irregularities make this fishing pier one of the best spots to experience freshwater fishing in Florida. This reservoir remains a favorite with all types of freshwater anglers due to how densely populated with fish it is.
5. Lake Tarpon
Lake Tarpon is the biggest lake in Pinellas County, with a surface area of 2,500 acres. Its watershed covers 52 square miles comprising the two major tributaries, South Creek and Brooker Creek.
Lake Tarpon is a great place to fish for Trophy Bass in the Tampa Bay area. Lake Tarpon always ranks in as one of the best fishing piers in Tampa Bay for freshwater anglers. Moreover, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission ecologists ranked the lake as one of the best bass lakes in the state of Florida.
Fishing here becomes more fun in the summers. Just a pair of sneakers and light fishing gear can help you catch fish. You can have an excellent fishing experience on Lake Tarpon, even during the hottest times of the day, during the summer months.
Tampa Bay is one of the most gorgeous regions in the United States. It has several lakes for both leisure and fishing activities that are a must-see for people who love to fish. Now that you are well aware of some saltwater and freshwater Tampa Bay fishing piers, all you need is the right equipment and a bit of technique to catch these amazing fish!
If you’re in search of a great catch or just want to enjoy the spectacular views, rest assured that you will find the best fishing piers in Tampa Bay.