The Florida city of Clearwater is one of the state’s finest angling destinations, with a huge number of organised fishing trips on offer.
Situated in Tampa Bay on the state’s west-central Gulf Coast, and home to a large natural harbour and shallow estuary, Clearwater’s offshore seas are a prime spot for hooking popular culinary fish such as grouper and snapper, while the inland waters around Clearwater beach yield species such as spotted sea trout, sheepshead and redfish. If you’re considering a fishing expedition in Clearwater, here are five of the best charter adventures currently available.
Guests can expect an action-packed day of fishing on this 8-hour excursion, available both inshore and offshore depending on your preference. The trip can also be catered to suit your level of experience and age of anglers, with family options a particular speciality. Aboard a 21-foot Rabco Marine center console vessel, you can choose to start the adventure with lunch on a local island organised by your crew. You’ll then have the rest of the day to target fish species such as Kingfish, Cobia, Black Seabass, Sheepshead, Mangrove Snapper, and many more. Fishing tackle, bait, and licenses are all included in the price. From $800 per group (max 2 people; $50 for additional guests).
Extended Full Day Trip – Offshore
If you have the time and budget, you can extend your trip to an extravagant 12 hours of offshore fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Suitable for all levels and ages, your vessel for the day will be a 27-foot Grady White, from which you’ll cast your line into the area’s cavernous waters known for their deep sea fishing in pursuit of Mahi Mahi, Amberjack, Cobia, Red Snapper, Blackfin Tuna, and King Mackerel. If the conditions align, you might even catch live bait along the way to help you reel in the offshore predators. Your captain will provide you with all equipment required, including rods, reels, and tackle. From $2,000 per group (max 4 people; $149 for additional guests).
4 Hour Trip – Night Fishing
Fishing at night can be a magical experience and this four-hour trip will certainly leave you with long-lasting memories. Aboard a 22-foot Aquasport center console bay boat, you’ll head out to sea early evening, spending the ensuing hours on the prowl for the night bite. Along the way you’ll target multiple species, including Snook. Redfish, Tarpon, Trout, and Sheepshead. At the end of the trip, your crew will even clean and fillet your catch. All gear and fishing licenses, plus ice-cold water, are inclusive of the tour cost. From $424 per group (max 2 people; $25 for additional guests).
2 Hour Morning Trip
Ideal for those wanting to dip their metaphorical toes into the fishing waters, this two-hour morning trip is popular with families whose kids might not have the patience or stamina for a longer stint at sea. Aboard a 22-foot Pathfinder 2200V bay boat, you’ll get to learn some of the basic fishing techniques while traversing the local waters. Among the species you might catch are Spanish Mackerel, Red Grouper, Mangrove Snapper, Grunt, and Bonnethead Shark. Your captain will provide all the gear you need, including rods, reels, tackle, live bait, and lures, plus fishing licenses, and will also clean and fillet your catch if you’re planning to cook it later. From $250 per group (max 2 people; $50 for additional guests).
2 Hour Sunset Trip
There’s no doubting the highlight of this alternative two-hour trip, which ensures you get to witness one of the area’s stunning sunsets – with some fishing tagged on if you so wish. Heading out on a 22-foot Skeeter bay boat at the optimal time of early evening, you can tailor your adventure to either head nearshore or to a private island to marvel at the sun setting over the horizon. As for fishing, your guide specialises in the catch and release of popular local inshore fish, such as Spotted Seatrout, Snook, Redfish, and Black Drum, so it would be a shame not to partake. All equipment is provided if you do choose to give it a go. From $250 per group (max 2 people; $50 for additional guests).