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Where to Move to Tampa Area

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  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,676 AG
    That sucks.   I know when it's time to move up, i'll have to sell my boat but being boatless has to be a crappy feeling.   
    You don't need fun to have alcohol
  • anglingarchitectanglingarchitect Posts: 1,492 Officer
    I have live in Temple Terrace since 1982, bought a lot for $10,000.009 (none of those left) love it, you get more house for the money than South Tampa or St Pete. Small town feel.
    rent my beach house
  • New2FlNew2Fl Posts: 76 Greenhorn
    I have to disagree with Soda.  Fishing opportunities are endless in the Tampa/St.Pete area without a boat.  More piers and wadeable shore lines than you can count. Its really a kayaking paradise if that is your thing. The only fishery you're really shut out of is the grouper, kingfish, and tarpon.  Even these species can be caught from piers occasionally.  Problem is if your close to these areas you're probably living in a congested and/or high crime area. 
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,709 Captain
    I grew up split between Seminole and St Pete.  I'm a native and have been here 42 years.  Lot's of good advice here, I'll break things down for you as I see it, at a very high level:
    • Tampa:  Yep, wants to be like Miami.  Worse traffic, attitudes and it's stupid expensive anyway.  Fishing without a boat is going to be somewhat limited and crowded.  If you try fishing south tampa on the bay, your car/truck stands a good chance of getting broken into.  Tampa, honestly, probably has the worst crime.  Definitely the worse neighborhoods.  There are places you want to avoid.
    • St Pete:  Very hip as stated BUT tremendous access for fishing, especially shore/wade fishing.  This is where I live now and I love it.  I live on the "south side" too.. don't listen to what people say about crime, that's just old news.  It's not bad at all.  No worse than anywhere else.  I wouldn't necessarily say there are places to avoid but you wouldn't want to live in certain areas.  Compared to other places, the traffic really isn't that bad.  Only when the Rays are in town, and that's going away.  Also stupid expensive.
    • Clearwater:  Also great shore fishing opportunities.  Reasonable prices on houses maybe more likely?  Scientology has tremendous influence on the city as the largest property owner.  The closer to downtown you are, the weirder it gets.
    • Safety Harbour:  Nice little area but also getting expensive.  Good fishing on the bay with fair access.  Prob one of your best commute options to Tampa.
    • Seminole/Largo:  Ok access for shore fishing, but you have to hunt for it.  Fishing the intracoastal you won't really find much in the way of grass around here though.  Unless you run south to Baypines and then access is limited by foot.  Depending on location the commute down ulmerton, to tampa, will be brutal.  If you are further south, in Seminole, and you can take Bryan Dairy to Tampa, that is a breeze.
    • Gulfport:  this is a little community nestled in St Pete.  Right next to the beach.  You can find reasonable prices here but there is a catch.  One street to the next can vary widely in demographic.  That's why you can find deals.  The better neighborhoods are pretty expensive.
    • SE Tampa Bay:  I'm not as intimately familiar but this area in general, I would suspect to have to best prices on real estate.  There's not as much going on (shopping, dining, etc), so less desirable to the mainstream.  The fishing is good though and lots of different places to check out.  And places that are more isolated like Bishop Harbour.  Quick synopsis of general knowledge of these places; 1. Gibsonton: yep carnie town 2. Apollo Beach:  I've never been but they either used to, or still do mine sulphur there.  Been told you can smell it in the water...   3. Suncity is a retirement community.  The walmart parking lot has an area designated for golf carts lol
    • Dunedin:  depending on where you commute to in Tampa, this could work.  It's an 'artsy' community but lots of breweries and such.  Kinda like St Pete, but nowhere near the scale.  Different in it's own way.  Fishing access is kinda limited.
    • Oldsmar:  Again, depending on where in Tampa you commute to this could work.  It has maybe the most pockets of 'old time' florida left in the bay area.  Getting pretty busy though.  Fishing without a boat will limit your access.

    My advice.. I had some friends move from oklahoma here once.  They moved to tampa.  Then orlando.  Then back home.  They did it all wrong.  You want to be as close to the beach as possible. ESPECIALLY, if your into saltwater fishing.  Don't justify something that adds challenge to your fishing.  Make going fishing as easy as possible!

    My suggestion, of course, as an unofficial ambassador of St Pete, is, move to St Pete!  I do actually contend that it offers the best shore access of all the areas, and the largest area wise.  When you get a boat, it is one of the best home bases to hit all areas of the bay and get offshore.  Why do I live exactly where I live, in Pinellas Point?  I'm 5 min to downtown (more dining options than you can ever imagine), I'm 5 min to I275.  I'm 10 to the Skyway.  I'm 15 min to Ft Desoto.  I'm 15 to the Beach.  By the way, all those travel times are the same by truck or boat.  I'm 30 min to tampa, sarasota or clearwater.  I have a boat ramp, 1 mile from my house, that ALWAYS has an empty parking spot. 2 more within a 5 minute drive (including maximo park), both of which always have ample parking.  Maximo can get tight but it is a convenient launch.



    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,676 AG
    New2Fl said:
    I have to disagree with Soda.  Fishing opportunities are endless in the Tampa/St.Pete area without a boat.  More piers and wadeable shore lines than you can count. Its really a kayaking paradise if that is your thing. The only fishery you're really shut out of is the grouper, kingfish, and tarpon.  Even these species can be caught from piers occasionally.  Problem is if your close to these areas you're probably living in a congested and/or high crime area. 
    I haven't lived there so I didn't mean to infer that not having a boat in the area is a death sentence, I was just stating how much I would hate not having one and how much it would suck not to have one in general.  We use ours for more than just fishing, we like to cruise the lakes here in Lake county on weekends I can't get out early enough to go fish or don't want to trailer the boat 190 miles both ways.   That and the ever-present fear that once you get rid of one you won't get another.  

    I'm sure with all the piers, bridges there are tons of opportunities to catch pretty much everything i can catch from my boat.   And I love to fish that area.   
    You don't need fun to have alcohol
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    @spangler thank you for taking the time for such a well thought out post! I'm going to send that to the wife. 

    @Soda Popinski not having a boat sucks.  I am used to it, but it doesn't exactly get me pumped up for driving to a spot when I know it could be crowded or the fishing dead. Once we have a house that is the next step, well that and buying a vehicle to pull it.  I sold my pickup when I moved.  We definitely want the boat for more than just fishing too, especially since my family is very water oriented and when they visit it will be nice to take them out without renting.  

    Captain Todd Approves

  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,676 AG
    There are a ton of flats around there i would think a kayak would get you into fish and you could launch it all over the place.    I saw one of those cat style kayaks for 500 bucks on FB the other day, you could put a folding chair and a trolling motor on that thing. 
    You don't need fun to have alcohol
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,709 Captain
    No prob.  I think,also maybe, I gave more weight to the commute from Safety Harbour, without stating that, a commute from St Pete or Clearwater offer THE best options as far as that is concerned.

    Enjoy!  You'll love it here ;)
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • New2FlNew2Fl Posts: 76 Greenhorn
    spangler said:
    I grew up split between Seminole and St Pete.  I'm a native and have been here 42 years.  Lot's of good advice here, I'll break things down for you as I see it, at a very high level:
    • Tampa:  Yep, wants to be like Miami.  Worse traffic, attitudes and it's stupid expensive anyway.  Fishing without a boat is going to be somewhat limited and crowded.  If you try fishing south tampa on the bay, your car/truck stands a good chance of getting broken into.  Tampa, honestly, probably has the worst crime.  Definitely the worse neighborhoods.  There are places you want to avoid.
    • St Pete:  Very hip as stated BUT tremendous access for fishing, especially shore/wade fishing.  This is where I live now and I love it.  I live on the "south side" too.. don't listen to what people say about crime, that's just old news.  It's not bad at all.  No worse than anywhere else.  I wouldn't necessarily say there are places to avoid but you wouldn't want to live in certain areas.  Compared to other places, the traffic really isn't that bad.  Only when the Rays are in town, and that's going away.  Also stupid expensive.
    • Clearwater:  Also great shore fishing opportunities.  Reasonable prices on houses maybe more likely?  Scientology has tremendous influence on the city as the largest property owner.  The closer to downtown you are, the weirder it gets.
    • Safety Harbour:  Nice little area but also getting expensive.  Good fishing on the bay with fair access.  Prob one of your best commute options to Tampa.
    • Seminole/Largo:  Ok access for shore fishing, but you have to hunt for it.  Fishing the intracoastal you won't really find much in the way of grass around here though.  Unless you run south to Baypines and then access is limited by foot.  Depending on location the commute down ulmerton, to tampa, will be brutal.  If you are further south, in Seminole, and you can take Bryan Dairy to Tampa, that is a breeze.
    • Gulfport:  this is a little community nestled in St Pete.  Right next to the beach.  You can find reasonable prices here but there is a catch.  One street to the next can vary widely in demographic.  That's why you can find deals.  The better neighborhoods are pretty expensive.
    • SE Tampa Bay:  I'm not as intimately familiar but this area in general, I would suspect to have to best prices on real estate.  There's not as much going on (shopping, dining, etc), so less desirable to the mainstream.  The fishing is good though and lots of different places to check out.  And places that are more isolated like Bishop Harbour.  Quick synopsis of general knowledge of these places; 1. Gibsonton: yep carnie town 2. Apollo Beach:  I've never been but they either used to, or still do mine sulphur there.  Been told you can smell it in the water...   3. Suncity is a retirement community.  The walmart parking lot has an area designated for golf carts lol
    • Dunedin:  depending on where you commute to in Tampa, this could work.  It's an 'artsy' community but lots of breweries and such.  Kinda like St Pete, but nowhere near the scale.  Different in it's own way.  Fishing access is kinda limited.
    • Oldsmar:  Again, depending on where in Tampa you commute to this could work.  It has maybe the most pockets of 'old time' florida left in the bay area.  Getting pretty busy though.  Fishing without a boat will limit your access.

    My advice.. I had some friends move from oklahoma here once.  They moved to tampa.  Then orlando.  Then back home.  They did it all wrong.  You want to be as close to the beach as possible. ESPECIALLY, if your into saltwater fishing.  Don't justify something that adds challenge to your fishing.  Make going fishing as easy as possible!

    My suggestion, of course, as an unofficial ambassador of St Pete, is, move to St Pete!  I do actually contend that it offers the best shore access of all the areas, and the largest area wise.  When you get a boat, it is one of the best home bases to hit all areas of the bay and get offshore.  Why do I live exactly where I live, in Pinellas Point?  I'm 5 min to downtown (more dining options than you can ever imagine), I'm 5 min to I275.  I'm 10 to the Skyway.  I'm 15 min to Ft Desoto.  I'm 15 to the Beach.  By the way, all those travel times are the same by truck or boat.  I'm 30 min to tampa, sarasota or clearwater.  I have a boat ramp, 1 mile from my house, that ALWAYS has an empty parking spot. 2 more within a 5 minute drive (including maximo park), both of which always have ample parking.  Maximo can get tight but it is a convenient launch.




    Wow.  I wish I could have read this before I moved here. LOL  I live in Pinellas and do most of my fishing there but I'm surprised that you say Tampa doesn't have good fishing areas without a boat. What about the rivers that run into Tampa Bay like Hillsbourough? Again I don't fish Tampa much and I've been here 4 years you've been here 40 so I'll defer to you. I considered locating in Tampa when I moved here, based on your post glad I didn't.  Just one suggestion for the gentleman that started this thread, based upon what you're saying maybe the Kenwood area would be a good fit for him?

  • humblerhumbler TampaPosts: 130 Deckhand
    There are plenty of public wading/shore fishing spots in Tampa. I've been doing it for many years. I live in Carrollwood and am 15-30 minutes from a lot of different flats. 30 minutes to Honeymoon Island, a great family beach spot and lots of different fishing.
    You really need to get a first hand look at the traffic situation you would be dealing with going into and out of downtown Tampa at rush hour from whatever area you choose.
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    I'll be working near the south side of the airport in spruce Street, so I assume I'll want to be west of there?

    What's the traffic like on 60, 580, 275 and 92 like, especially the morning commute?  

    Captain Todd Approves

  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,244 Moderator
    Stop and go during morning and evening rush hours.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,004 AG
    edited April 2018 #44

    mplspug said:
    I'll be working near the south side of the airport in spruce Street, so I assume I'll want to be west of there?

    What's the traffic like on 60, 580, 275 and 92 like, especially the morning commute?  
    You're screwed no matter the direction because of where your work is.  There are really no easy commutes there.

    One area I didn't see mentioned that would be on my list if I were you would be Safety Harbor -- some bay wading right there, Lake Tarpon close, under a half hour to airport, and less than that to Clearwater Beach depending on the time.  Either that or somewhere more in central Pinellas like Clearwater or south -- but I'd not want to be you commuting across the HF/275 bridge or the Causeway (SR60) in the morning, even if it is only 3 days a week.

    Let me know when you get settled, I'd be happy to take you out fishing and give you a good view of what swims under the aforementioned bridges after dark.

    Good luck in your search, MPLS....Mike
  • fishinggfishingg Posts: 38 Deckhand
    Dunedin, Ozona, Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    I assume my hours will be flexible and that should help a little with my commute...if I can become a morning person.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,244 Moderator
    My wife used to work in that area, she shifted her hours from 9-5 to 7-3, it made a huge difference in the commute from Oldsmar.
  • Gypsies CallGypsies Call Posts: 257 Deckhand
    So - I read through this entire post, and there is absolutely lots and lots of great info from others.  One question I have that may help to narrow your search a bit...

    What type of fishing do you like to do... if you are an offshore guy, then being closer to the coast with easy access to open water is important.  Gas prices and expect a long ride once you get to open water in the gulf (25 miles + to get to 60+ feet...).  If you choose Ruskin and the South Shore area, you are a long way from the gulf!

    If you are a bass fisherman/inshore type of guy then that is a whole lot of difference. There are great fisheries for snook, trout and redfish near those areas.  

    Also - when you say "work" do you intend to work in Tampa, St. Pete, or where?  Unless you already know where you are going to work, that too makes a huge difference on living choices.

    Hope this helps.


    Gypsies Call
    SWO LCDR, USN-Retired
    Sea Chaser 200 Flats Series
    Old Town Predator Kayak
  • humblerhumbler TampaPosts: 130 Deckhand

    mplspug said:
    I'll be working near the south side of the airport in spruce Street, so I assume I'll want to be west of there?

    What's the traffic like on 60, 580, 275 and 92 like, especially the morning commute?  
    You're screwed no matter the direction because of where your work is.  There are really no easy commutes there.

    True, just pick an area you like and deal with the traffic the best you can. If you choose Pinellas county the bridges are slow but ok most of the time but an accident on the Howard Franklin or the CCC and you are screwed.
    One good thing, Cypress Point Park is a few minutes from your work and has some excellent wade fishing once you figure it out.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,004 AG
    humbler said:
    One good thing, Cypress Point Park is a few minutes from your work and has some excellent wade fishing once you figure it out.
    That's a good area and tip.
  • Mango TangoMango Tango Posts: 2,019 Captain
    I like NE St Pete.   I am 1 block from Tampa Bay.  The ramp that gets me out of Johns Pass into the Gulf is west 9 mi.

    St Petersburg airport is 20 to the N and TIA to the NE across the Howard Frankland.   People call when they land and I am there when they walk out with their bags.

    NE St Pete is close to the Gandy bridge, Howard Frankland bridge and the Cross Town expressway so MacDill AFB and downtown Tampa are about 30 min.   The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is 20 m S.

    Good Luck

  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    So - I read through this entire post, and there is absolutely lots and lots of great info from others.  One question I have that may help to narrow your search a bit...

    What type of fishing do you like to do... if you are an offshore guy, then being closer to the coast with easy access to open water is important.  Gas prices and expect a long ride once you get to open water in the gulf (25 miles + to get to 60+ feet...).  If you choose Ruskin and the South Shore area, you are a long way from the gulf!

    If you are a bass fisherman/inshore type of guy then that is a whole lot of difference. There are great fisheries for snook, trout and redfish near those areas.  

    Also - when you say "work" do you intend to work in Tampa, St. Pete, or where?  Unless you already know where you are going to work, that too makes a huge difference on living choices.

    Hope this helps.


    Like I said I am boatless for the time being, so I am an inshore fisherman.  Even when I get a boat, it won't be for steaming off shore.  Near shore on calmer days maybe, but that's it.

    Like I said I'll be working by the airport.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    humbler said:
    One good thing, Cypress Point Park is a few minutes from your work and has some excellent wade fishing once you figure it out.
    That's a good area and tip.
    I'll be in town 4 days this week and I was thinking about going over there to just hang out.  I don't think I'm bringing a pole though.  Well maybe.  I'll have a lot of time to kill in the evening.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,709 Captain
    New2Fl said:

    Wow.  I wish I could have read this before I moved here. LOL  I live in Pinellas and do most of my fishing there but I'm surprised that you say Tampa doesn't have good fishing areas without a boat. What about the rivers that run into Tampa Bay like Hillsbourough?

    Yeah, maybe I wasn't entirely fair about that either.  Biases may be showing lol

    I haven't personally fished, Tampa, from shore a whole bunch.  But I am pretty familiar with the area and lived there for a spell.  If you live somewhere in Tampa where you can access Pinellas, which is where Honeymoon is, then yeah there's plenty of access.  Other than a handful of waterfront parks and the bridges, I don't know where I'd even suggest to someone in Tampa to check out.  Of course, I haven't driven every inch of coast line in Tampa like I have in Pinellas :D
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • cracker4112cracker4112 Posts: 826 Officer

    spangler said:
    New2Fl said:

    Wow.  I wish I could have read this before I moved here. LOL  I live in Pinellas and do most of my fishing there but I'm surprised that you say Tampa doesn't have good fishing areas without a boat. What about the rivers that run into Tampa Bay like Hillsbourough?

    Yeah, maybe I wasn't entirely fair about that either.  Biases may be showing lol


    Lol Spangler, having read this entire thread, and as a 44yo Tampa native who has only lived here except for college, I would have said all the same things about St. Pete that you did about Tampa!  I refrained lol.
  • Gypsies CallGypsies Call Posts: 257 Deckhand
    Missed the part about you working at the airport... 

    My .02... 

    If not a boat, consider a kayak.  Check out upper tampa bay park on double branch... lots of reds and snook in the holes - especially fall and winter.   

    Moving westward, its fairly easy to get to the airport +/- 45 minutes from Palm Harbor area... I drive it regularly because my work has my flying out frequently...

    On the coast I fish mainly up toward Tarpon Springs and the mouth of the Anclote River... hardly a day goes by without getting a couple reds, along with an occasional flounder, sheepshead, and/or mangrove snapper.  Plus, if you like trout, St. Josephs sound is loaded with them.  

    Take your time though.  There are several fishing clubs... one meets at the Crystal Beach Community Center in Palm Harbor - getting with a group like that can help meet people and learn more about the area.  I'm sure there are other groups around also...

    Good luck!
    Gypsies Call
    SWO LCDR, USN-Retired
    Sea Chaser 200 Flats Series
    Old Town Predator Kayak
  • sk018sk018 Posts: 2,958 Captain
    New2Fl said:
    I have to disagree with Soda.  Fishing opportunities are endless in the Tampa/St.Pete area without a boat.  More piers and wadeable shore lines than you can count. Its really a kayaking paradise if that is your thing. The only fishery you're really shut out of is the grouper, kingfish, and tarpon.  Even these species can be caught from piers occasionally.  Problem is if your close to these areas you're probably living in a congested and/or high crime area. 

    I agree.  The wade fishing is GREAT.  I wade mostly Sarasota and there are some good spots.  But, when I have to drive to Tampa or Clearwater I cant stop starting out the window at all the great looking places to wade.  A lot less hassle than a full day in the boat.  Park the truck walk in the water surrounded by mangroves and flipping mullet for a couple hours is as good as it gets.

    It beats gassing boat, launching, driving offshore, cleaning boat etc...Unless you are meat fishing.  Even then, Flounder, trout, reds, sheeps etc all available from land

  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,004 AG
    mplspug said:
    humbler said:
    One good thing, Cypress Point Park is a few minutes from your work and has some excellent wade fishing once you figure it out.
    That's a good area and tip.
    I'll be in town 4 days this week and I was thinking about going over there to just hang out.  I don't think I'm bringing a pole though.  Well maybe.  I'll have a lot of time to kill in the evening.
    I'd bring a pole if I were you.  That area is what I'd call a transition area -- the fishing gets good there in the spring and fall when the water is warming/cooling.  It's not as good in the heat of the summer or cool of the winter (although not a bad spot for trout in the winter).  The biggest snook I ever saw in person (44") was caught there by a friend when we were wade fishing -- it was in early April.
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    I'll be going back once a week until September.  I'll probably bring a pole next week.

    Checked out Cypress point park.  Looked promising with the tide being out.  I imagined what it would be like with the tide up.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 11,879 AG
    Looks like we are moving to Palmetto.  It's a bit of a drive, but the payoff is living in a quiet neighborhood, but still close to beaches/salt and breweries.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,004 AG
    Nice.  Found a house yet?
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