An Angler’s Info to Deep Sea Fishing in Clearwater

In Clearwater, it merely feels pure to easily seize your rod and hit the waters. As you allow the attractive white sandy seashores behind, go to the turquoise waters of Tampa Bay, and switch to the distant reefs and offshore playgrounds, you acknowledge you’re in for some fantastic angling. Positive, deep sea fishing in Clearwater is the gem on this spot’s crown.

An aerial view of Clearwater Beach, with a view of the fishing pier, hotels, and the Gulf of Mexico

Each time you resolve to hit the offshore waters, there’s one factor fascinating able to take your bait. And the guidelines of potential catches is solely one in all many causes to fish the deep waters of the Gulf!

On this info, we’ll do our best to interrupt down the varied sport species you presumably can aim inside the bluewater, along with introducing you to probably the greatest offshore spots, deep sea fishing legal guidelines, and further.

By the purpose you’re completed finding out, you’ll know what you presumably can anticipate out of your Clearwater deep sea fishing journey. So let’s dive in.

Prime Clearwater Deep Sea Catches

Two anglers in Clearwater with freshly caught Hogfish

Quite a few locals proper right here say that these waters are blessed with vary. There’s on a regular basis one factor biting, regardless of everytime you resolve to hit the waters. The one issue you need to keep in mind is that the extra you go, the bigger the fish are.

The deep sea fishing grounds begin in federal waters 15 miles off the coast. And in addition you might must journey 50+ miles to go looking out your Tuna and Billfish, along with large Amberjack, Snapper, and Grouper.

Nevertheless it absolutely goes with out saying that the reward is definitely undoubtedly well worth the journey. Let’s take a greater take take a look at ’em.

Tuna & Blue Marlin

Three smiling anglers on a boat holding a Tuna each, Clearwater, FL

Within the case of Tuna fishing, you presumably can come all through Blackfin, Bluefin, and Yellowfin varieties. Blackfins are additional widespread than Yellowfin and Bluefin, although none of them is that easy to go looking out.

The recipe for a worthwhile Tuna fishing journey in Clearwater is loads of luck and loads of journeys. For Blackfin Tuna, you presumably can really persist with waters merely 40 ft deep. Nonetheless, for the alternative two, you’ll must go extra out.

Must you be up for a tough journey, when’s probably the greatest instances to hunt for Tuna? The transient reply is, each time you want it! Tuna might be discovered all 12 months lengthy, although you might want to seek for them between March and Would possibly, or October and December to maximise your potentialities.

An angler fishing for Blue Marlin that is shown on the surface of the water

Must you be a diehard Marlin fan, you’ll be surprised to check that you’ll uncover your favourite Billfish when deep sea fishing in Clearwater. Blue Marlin is on the menu anyplace all via the Gulf’s offshore waters. You’ll need to go to weed traces, current modifications, and temperature breaks anytime between April and October.

Whereas landing a Blue Marlin of any measurement is sure to have you ever ever bragging, you presumably can really go for an in a single day journey to shoot for that trophy catch. Some anglers fish alongside the 1000-fathom curve, the place the continental shelf drops, and fantastic battles occur.


A man holding a Shark on a boat, with the shoreline in the distance behind him

Who hasn’t dreamed about stopping an enormous Shark? Shark fishing in Clearwater is all regarding the thrilling movement of battling these enormous and spectacular monsters. The offshore waters are dwelling to Blacktip and Spinner Sharks, along with the occasional Bull and Hammerhead.

There are two points you need to take into consideration when planning a Clearwater Shark-looking journey. Firstly, you’ll want to go between Would possibly and August. Secondly – and most importantly – keep in mind that many Sharks are protected. Get in a position to launch your catch once more to the water as shortly as you’ve taken a picture.

Mahi Mahi & Amberjack

An angler on a boat holding a freshly-caught Amberjack in Clearwater, FL

It goes with out saying that pretty Mahi Mahi and delicious Amberjack are amongst anglers’ most favourite catches on Florida’s west-central coast. These species are unbelievable fighters that reward you with vital meat in case you resolve to keep up your catch. And, in truth, in case you deal with to land one!

The best time to hunt Mahi Mahi is from April to November, although you could want elevated potentialities of catching one all through summer season. Amberjacks, or “reef donkeys,” as a result of the locals choose to call them, are moreover obtainable over wrecks, and buildings, and are available inside the Gulf of Mexico within the summertime.

Grouper & Snapper

Two smiling anglers on a boat holding two Groupers each, Clearwater, FL

Whereas large Goliath Grouper tend to hold round pretty close to shore, you would be questioning which bottom dwellers you presumably can encounter extra out. Successfully, the Clearwater Grouper guidelines consists of Scamp, Purple, and Gag. The Middle Flooring area is among the many many most interesting spots to seek for an enormous Grouper.

Must you’re after one factor solely a bit tastier, you presumably can go for Purple Snapper when the season permits. It would take a while to get to probably the greatest Snapper fishing grounds, but it surely absolutely’s undoubtedly valued it.

It’s on a regular basis a great suggestion to plan ahead and easily reserve various weeks in June and July to hit the rocky reefs 20 miles out and previous!

King Mackerel & Wahoo

A angler posing with a King Mackerel on a boat

Lastly, King Mackerel and Wahoo are two of probably the most well-liked targets on Clearwater trolling journeys. These species are wonderful for a lot of who don’t want to journey too far out since they usually come pretty close to shore.

When’s probably the greatest instances to e-book a Kingfish and Wahoo fishing journey? “Smoker Kings” migrate up and down the coast within the spring and fall. It’s not a foul idea to bottom fish first after which hit the reefs in your method once more to fish for these unhealthy boys.

And whereas Wahoos are among the many many hottest targets, they aren’t that straightforward to go looking out. Must you’re feeling lucky, hop aboard for trolling movement anytime from Would possibly by September.

Clearwater Deep Sea Fishing Strategies

There are a variety of productive strategies for deep sea fishing in Clearwater that it’s best to seek out out about. We’re talking about trolling and bottom fishing. Which one to try depends on what sort of fish you’re hoping to catch.

Must you don’t have an express aim in ideas and easily want to land irrespective of’s biting, you presumably can merely try every. It’s on a regular basis a great suggestion to hunt the recommendation of your captain to see in case you may try trolling and bottom fishing multi-function journey.

A smiling angler on a boat in Clearwater, FL, with a freshly caught Grouper


Trolling is the plain method in case you’re making an attempt to catch one thing from Mahi Mahi and Tuna to Sailfish, King Mackerel, and Wahoo. Since you’ll be going for larger fish in deeper waters, your captain might use outriggers with various traces inside the water.

One of many many benefits of this technique is that you’d be capable of have any number of traces inside the water at an equivalent time. Like that, you’ll have the power to cowl additional flooring and enhance your potentialities to hook into one factor enormous. Get in a position to do loads of reeling in, though!

Bottom Fishing & Deep Dropping

To catch bottom dwellers just like different types of Grouper, Snapper, and even Hogfish, you’ll have to try bottom fishing. This technique is sweet everytime you don’t intend to journey too far out. Must you do, then your captain might provide to try deep dropping with electrical reels.

A photo of two trolling rods with the ocean in the background.

Deep dropping is acceptable for considerably deep waters. We’re talking over 1,000 ft! Must you’re trying this technique, you’ll most undoubtedly be a minimal of 150 miles offshore. Proper right here, you’ll be specializing in Swordfish, deepwater Groupers, Snappers, and Amberjack amongst others. A couple of of those journeys can finalize your complete nighttime, notably in case you’re after Swordfish!

Clearwater Deep Sea Fishing Spots

Now that you have a clearer picture of what you presumably can aim and the best way, you’re most likely questioning the place deep sea fishing in Clearwater really happens. As we’ve already talked about, the extra you go, the bigger the catch. Subsequently, reserving a minimal of an 8 or 10-hour journey is without doubt one of the greatest ideas.

A happy angler showing off a fish caught over the reefs

Listed below are a couple of of our excessive picks in your Clearwater angling escapades:

  • The Elbow. An entire bunch of yards of reefs, snug corals, edges, and drop-offs round 100 miles offshore, The Elbow is an effective place to go everytime you’re planning an prolonged deep dropping journey.
  • Rube Allyn Reef. This is usually a large artificial reef not too faraway from shore. The Rube Allyn is positioned merely 11 miles from Clearwater. Proper right here, you presumably can seek for Smoker Kings all through spring and fall, along with the occasional Amberjack, Snapper, Barracuda, and Grouper.
  • Middle Grounds. Must you be looking out for the spot in your deep sea fishing journey, get in a position to hit the waters 100 miles offshore. The Middle Grounds are dwelling to a couple of the best fish species inside the Gulf along with Wahoo, Tuna, Amberjack, Snapper, and loads of extras.
  • The Mexican Pleasure. This shipwreck is positioned about 35 miles offshore and supplies fantastic fishing alternate options. You presumably can fish depths of 130 ft for Grouper, Amberjack, and Cobia, amongst others.
  • Treasure Island II Reef. This one is a bit nearer to shore – slightly below 27 miles away – and is a part of the Pinellas County artificial reef program. What’s on the fishing menu proper right here? One thing from Snapper and Grouper to Amberjack and Barracuda.

Clearwater Deep Sea Fishing Tournaments

A man holding fishing on a boat. He is holding a rod which is bent from the strain of reeling in a big fish.

Within the case of Clearwater, there are digital all-the-time fishing opponents occurring. Massive sports activities fanatics and aggressive anglers who’re up for way more pleasure can choose from various native tournaments.

Yearly, The Earlier Salt Fishing Foundation runs fishing competitions all via the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area. This group has been going for almost half a century, with a couple of prestigious tournaments that loads of anglers take part in. You presumably can take part within the King of the Seaside Kingfish Tournaments each in spring and fall, with $225,000 in cash prizes.

Alternatively, in the event you want to take it extra offshore, check out the Loop Billfish Match. This is usually a catch-and-release competitor that takes place each August. The Loop Billfish is a winner-takes-all event, with a minimal value of $50,000.

Fishing Licenses and Native Authorized tips

All anglers aged 16 or over must have a fishing license to go fishing in Clearwater. Nonetheless, in case you’re planning on fishing with a licensed structure, your permit will seemingly be included inside the worth. Your captain will need to have a specific federal permit to fish higher than 9 miles offshore, and by no means every boat has them. It’s on a regular basis a great suggestion to get involved alongside along with your captain prematurely to make sure you’re coated.

Lastly, keep in mind that there are closed seasons and species legal guidelines in place for lots of fully completely different fish species. Along with that, you would want to check out measurement and bag limits and examine additional about fishing seasons. This data is publicly obtainable on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Administration Council web site.

Deep Sea Fishing in Clearwater – Groupers, Tuna, and The whole thing in Between!

A man holding up a Red Snapper on a charter fishing boat

As a extremely must-visit trip spot, Clearwater has each little factor an angler desires for vital offshore fishing experience. Deep sea fishing in Clearwater is definitely one factor you obtained neglected anytime shortly. In reality, you presumably can go in case you’re in Tampa, St. Petersburg, or anyplace near. Let one in all many native captains share their info with you and take you chasing giant fish inside the Gulf of Mexico and previous.

Have you ever ever ever been deep sea fishing in Clearwater? What are the catches you’re most happy with? Would possibly you have one other spot to share with us? Inform us inside the suggestions below!

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