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Find A Guide

Old Tampa Bay

Pinellas County, Florida.

Old Tampa Bay ends in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

135654880.59 miles (218315435.69 sq kilometers)

About The Old Tampa Bay

About Old Tampa Bay, FL

Old Tampa Bay is part of the group of bays comprising Tampa Bay, the largest estuary in Florida. Spanning 12 miles long and 6 miles wide, Old Tampa Bay is located in the northwest arm of Tampa Bay and lies in Pinellas County. It connects to Middle Tampa Bay and Lower Tampa Bay on its south to meet the Gulf of Mexico.

The average depth of Old Tampa Bay is between 1.8 to 4.5 meters. The bay’s entrance has a wide dredged channel that spans through Port Tampa, an important shipping port on the eastern shore. Above Port Tampa, a bridge connecting St. Petersburg and Tampa called Gandy Bridge can be found.

The abundant shores of the whole Tampa Bay have been the major source of food for Native Americans. Due to the population decline from warfare and diseases, these shores did not have settlements for more than a century. In 1821, after the United States had taken over Florida, communities here started growing. At present, the whole of Tampa Bay is home to commercial and recreational waterways.

Old Tampa Bay Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Old Tampa Bay, FL

Located near the Gulf of Mexico, Old Tampa Bay benefits from the wide angling opportunities here together with other bays or estuaries nearby. The variety of fish that can be found here are Southern flounder, redfish, snook, speckled trout, and black drum. The redfish and snook are two of the sought-after “big 3” catches in Tampa Bay.

The seagrass beds in the estuarine environments of Florida are important in supplying food, stabilizing sediments, and providing habitat for some fish. Along the shallow grass flats and mangrove-fringed shores in Old Tampa Bay, redfish and speckled trout can be found foraging for small baitfish and crustaceans. The black drum may be caught here, too, but they forage along shorelines and shell bars also. These fish are commonly targeted by anglers using fly fishing or casting with medium-action spinning rods.

Hanging around the docks, jetties, and bridges are the bottom dwellers snook and Southern flounder. These two are the common species caught by fishermen through casting or jigging when bottom fishing. For heavily fished areas, small live baits may work best.

Although Old Tampa Bay fishing mostly involves light tackle, plenty of other fishing styles can be explored here. The most convenient way to fish here is by renting a fishing charter, but if you prefer fishing from land, there are beaches, bridges, and piers in the area for a perfect fishing spot. Kayak fishing is also available for those who want to squeeze through the mangroves that cannot be accessed by the fishing charters.

Old Tampa Bay Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

Old Tampa Bay is an excellent location for year-round fishing. Redfish, also known as the king of the Tampa Bay flats, remain tailing in the shallow grass flats of around 3 feet deep throughout most of the year and then migrate to up to 8 feet deep during winter. Snook are also available year-round, but they are best caught from spring to fall. For those who want to avoid fishing in the hot weather, night fishing is a productive option.

Speckled trout is one of the best catches throughout the year because of their abundance. Just like redfish, they remain in the shallow grass flats most of the months but drift to deeper waters during winter. Another abundant fish that can be caught year-round and almost everywhere in Tampa Bay is the Southern flounder. Since they prefer colder water, it is easier to catch them during the cold season.

Old Tampa Bay Fishing Charters & Fishing Guides

address

Clearwater, FL

24ft - 6 guests

Starting as low as

$400

address

Saint Petersburg, FL

24ft - 4 guests

Starting as low as

$500

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality

Old Tampa Bay is an excellent location for year-round fishing. Redfish, also known as the king of the Tampa Bay flats, remain tailing in the shallow grass flats of around 3 feet deep throughout most of the year and then migrate to up to 8 feet deep during winter. Snook are also available year-round, but they are best caught from spring to fall. For those who want to avoid fishing in the hot weather, night fishing is a productive option.

Speckled trout is one of the best catches throughout the year because of their abundance. Just like redfish, they remain in the shallow grass flats most of the months but drift to deeper waters during winter. Another abundant fish that can be caught year-round and almost everywhere in Tampa Bay is the Southern flounder. Since they prefer colder water, it is easier to catch them during the cold season.

Old Tampa Bay Weather Forecast

Fri

87°F

Clouds

Highs

87

Feels 99

Winds

8mph

Humidity

71