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1st time on a boat in Champa Bay--where to fish?

New guy Alert!! We have been shore fishing since moving down here (with moderate success at best) and next weekend (Feb 27) we are finally going to rent a boat and try some inshore fishing. We are getting the boat for the day in Madiera Beach. Looks to be an 80 degree day. We don't really care what we catch just want to find some consistent action. Won't have enough boat to get out in the gulf so I was thinking about heading towards the Skyway Bridge, maybe somewhere near Maximo Park. 

I'm not looking for people to reveal their secret spots but any insight on areas to fish would be much appreciated. 

Replies

  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,344 Moderator
    Barnacle Bill's boat rental?
  • seminoledqseminoledq Seminole, FLPosts: 5 Deckhand
    Barnacle Bill's boat rental?
    Yessir!
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,344 Moderator
    Cool, they have pretty decent equipment, they run out of the city marina where I keep my boat. Can't help you with an  inshore report, however, I'm sure somebody will chime in. Can't hurt to ask around at the dock and ship's store for some direction/pointers.
  • KylieWongKylieWong Posts: 36 Deckhand
    Sheepshead man. Go to the sky way or the misener bridge...the one along 275 closest to Maximo and scrape some barnacles or chum with frozen crab chum. Get it close to the pilings and you should catch sheepshead and black drum along with small grouper and snapper...with some keepers mixed in. Use live shrimp and break some in half to get the scent in the water when using them

  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 15,403 AG
    go over to John's pass and rent one of those tiki huts with a 10hp kicker on it :D 
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • Baldy00Baldy00 Seminole, FLPosts: 28 Deckhand
    New guy Alert!! We have been shore fishing since moving down here (with moderate success at best) and next weekend (Feb 27) we are finally going to rent a boat and try some inshore fishing. We are getting the boat for the day in Madiera Beach. Looks to be an 80 degree day. We don't really care what we catch just want to find some consistent action. Won't have enough boat to get out in the gulf so I was thinking about heading towards the Skyway Bridge, maybe somewhere near Maximo Park. 

    I'm not looking for people to reveal their secret spots but any insight on areas to fish would be much appreciated. 

    Looks like great weather to take your rental out. (Low winds and small seas) You'll never go wrong with KylieWong's suggestion. You can go to a local bait shop and pick up a top shots map for the numbers to near shore reefs and public numbers.
  • shempshemp Posts: 681 Officer
    Up to you, but if you have a boat to run to the skyway from mad beach, you probably have a boat to make it into the gulf.  That said, I would avoid the crowds, tides and craziness of misner/skyway and stay up in boca ciega and the intercoastal.  The docks on the backside of TI/Mad beach south of the tom stewart should all have a mixed bag around.  Does the rental have a trolling motor?

    Feel free to PM me as well
  • seminoledqseminoledq Seminole, FLPosts: 5 Deckhand
    shemp said:
    Up to you, but if you have a boat to run to the skyway from mad beach, you probably have a boat to make it into the gulf.  That said, I would avoid the crowds, tides and craziness of misner/skyway and stay up in boca ciega and the intercoastal.  The docks on the backside of TI/Mad beach south of the tom stewart should all have a mixed bag around.  Does the rental have a trolling motor?

    Feel free to PM me as well
    No trolling motor so we'll have to toss the anchor when we find a spot. The mangroves up here around Pineapple Key look like a great spot but I know it can get real shallow at lot tide. We also thought about Gulfport. 
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,344 Moderator
    edited February 25 #10
    Good advice from Shemp.
  • shempshemp Posts: 681 Officer
    If you are ok risking an anchor, there are a lot of bridges in boca ciega bay...great places in general to drown a shrimp on a light knocker rig
  • seminoledqseminoledq Seminole, FLPosts: 5 Deckhand
    We'll have to keep our eye out for the right bridges. I know some of the bridges we have fished from shore have signs not to anchor because of whats under the water. 

    I appreciate all the info @shemp
  • seminoledqseminoledq Seminole, FLPosts: 5 Deckhand
    I forgot to post an update. We tried to go over near Eckard and Maximo PArk but got a little intimidated by some shallow water and tons of boat traffic. The two places we ended up anchoring up and fishing were just before the Tiera Verde bridge then up near Pineapple Key. Caught one Spanish Mack, a few bonnetheads, a whiting and some **** catfish. All in all it was a good first day on the water for us.
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