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Popular Inshore Fish Species In Tampa

Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest estuary system. It has multiple freshwater inlets, backcountry areas, grass flats, intercoastal waterways, deepwater areas, oyster bars, and mangrove islands. In this, the area is home to a wealth of inshore gamefish, both residential and seasonal.

Below we will talk about the big 4 species that are most often sought after, but this area includes so many more. Species such as cobia, sheepshead, snapper, cobia, permit, black drum, grouper, various shark species, flounder, Spanish mackerel, various jack species, and so much more.

That said, let’s look at the Big Four: Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, and Sea Trout!

Tampa Bay Slam means you caught a snook, redfish, and sea trout.

Tampa Bay Grand Slam means you caught all four species.


a picture of a tarpon jumping after being hooked by a fisherman in tampa bay

The Tarpon is a world-renowned gamefish, known as The Silver King, due to its massive size and aggressive fight. Tampa Bay is home to both resident and seasonal Tarpon (as part of the annual migration).

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a picture of a fisherman holding a snook caught in Tampa Bay

Snook are hard fighting ambush predators that put on a show and aggressive hook set. This species can be found among the mangroves as well as in open inshore waters when baitfish are running heavy.

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a picture of a reedfish being held by a fisherman in tampa bay

Redfish are a sight fishing favorite, as well as a favorite for table fare. These are bottom-feeding fish that will aggressively attack a wide variety of baits. They can be seen pushing water over their backs cruising the shallows.

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Sea Trout

a picture of a fisherman holding a sea trout caught in tampa bay

Sea trout are a readily available gamefish that will also hit a wide variety of baits in a wide variety of conditions. They make for excellent eating as well as a fun day on the water. Shots at huge trout are to be had in Tampa Bay.

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