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Old 06-22-2011, 07:55 AM   #1
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Default tampa/clearwater fishing question

So I'm considering the possibility of relocating to the tampa/clearwater area in a few years and was curious if anyone here had any experience fishing that area. I know there's great bottom fishing but wanted to know how far out you have to go to get into 200+ feet of water? or the "edge" as we call it around here. Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:46 AM   #2
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I've fished there several times out of Anna Maria Island. Lots of ledges and live bottom offshore, Grouper seem to be found easier. We would fish 25-30 miles out to hit 65-70 feet of water. I think you have to go far to hit the "edge". Far as in 60 - 70 miles. Don't hold me to this but it seems like I've been told that once you hit 35 feet, the depth drops about 1 foot per mile.

I do think there are some artificial reefs there too but I've never fished them.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:51 AM   #3
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I grew up in Bradenton where i started spear fishing at 13. GREAT place for deep sea fishing. One thing about down there, you can go 25-30 miles out and be away from everyone, yet still be shallow enough to get all the dive time you need. Unlike up here in the north gulf, that area is littered with limestone ridges. Groupers are everywhere and you can load up on spiny lobster and enjoy great visibility. As far as the "edge", we never went out there as we wanted grouper and lobster, but I've heard it's 60 miles plus.

If you aren't certified for scuba, I'd make that the first thing I'd do down there so you can take advantage of the great spear fishing and lobster hunting!
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:41 AM   #4
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I'll concur with Ruger. At 25-30 miles out, there's no one. I can't ever recall seeing another boat out that far. It's not like here where you run through the pass around 6 am and there's 25 boats on the way out with you. I know there's a lot of people that fish down there but you really don't have a lot of competition like you do here.

Until recently, I had fished more out of Tampa Bay than out of Pensacola. I would equate the fishing down there to fishing around the Paradise Hole (without 17 other boats). You know, natural bottom areas, lots of fish and different species. I remember the 1st time I fished the Bridge Rubble, I got cut off about 15 times. I can't ever recall getting broken off out of Tampa and believe me, we caught nice fish.

And yes, the water is ultra clear.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:24 PM   #5
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I forgot to mention how great the fishing is right there in the bay and around all those bridges. I've caught grouper, flounder, reds, snook, sharks etc all around the Sky Way, HUGE flounder in Terra Cia as well as MASSIVE Rays that will tow your boat, monster specs under the I-75 bridge, big snook by Green Bridge, Tarpon/snook by Longboat Key, really the opportunities to fish are too numerous to list. Heck, I've even caught sturgeon before down there!
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:40 AM   #6
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Wow, sounds like a good place to fish indeed. Thanks for the info guys!
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