Shamrock Poll
What fish do you target the most?
Team Shamrock

Fish Species



Description: Barracuda are gray in color, with a greenish-blue color cast on top, white-silvery below; several irregular, small dark blotches on lower side; 18 to22 diagonal dark bars on upper side (not always evident); caudal fin is dark with white tips; 75 to 87 lateral line scales; no fleshy tip on jaw; Sharp protrudiding teeth.

Where found: Barracuda young live in inshore seagrass beds and around deepr water structure that offers protection from predators; adult Barracudas range from inshore channels to the blue waters of the open ocean.

Most barracuda targeted in Tampa Bay are caught around bridges, priers, and bird racks where they lay in ambush, feeding on Tampa Bay's wide variety of bait fish. Barracuda are also taken along Tampa's shipping channels, gulf wrecks and artifical reefs. 

Size: Barracuda can grow to 6 ft. long.

Florida State Record: 67lb    IGFA World Record: Barracuda 85lb  

Remarks: Most attacts on people have occurred when they were wading or swimming in turbid water while wearing bright objects, attempting to spear a barracuda, or carrying speared fish; flesh of smaller fish apparently not poisonous, but larger fish sometimes very toxic due to ciguatera; no safe, reliable way of recognizing toxic fish.

Shamrock Fishing Charters target barrcuda in Tampa Bay during the summer months: late May- early Aug.

Tampa Barracudda Report. There are alot of nice barracuda in the 4-5 foot range in the bay around the markers and the Skyway Bridge, however enticing them to chew has been another story.




Description: Bonefish are a silvery color with a bluish or greenish back; slender, round body; snout long, conical, aiming downward and overhanging lower jaw; dark streaks between scales on upper half of body with faint crossbands extending down to lateral line; extremities of dorsal and caudal fins are shaded with black. Bonefish are a highly prized game fish and are sought after by shallow water fly fishermen around the globe. Although, bonefish are valued as an awesome fighting fish, the quality of meat is poor and bonefish are rarely eaten.

Similar Fish: Ladyfish, Elops saurus

Where found: Bonefish are Primarily inshore fish, inhabiting shallows of the Florida Keys; found in shallows often less than 1 foot deep, usually over lush grass flats, occasionally over white sand.Unfortunately, bonefish are not indigenous to the waters of Tampa Bay.

Size:  Bonefish range from 3 to 5 pounds.

Forida State Record: 15lbs. 2oz.    IGFA World Record: 19lbs.

Remarks: Bonefish travel in loose schools; roots out shrimp, shellfish, crabs, and fish from the bottom; spawns offshore, eggs hatching into ribbon-like larvae that metamorphose into fish-like form at about 2 inches and move inshore. 

Shamrock Fishing Charters do not target bone fish. Unfotunately bonefish are not commonly found in the waters of Tampa Bay.





Description: Sheepshead are a silvery color; with 5 or 6 distinct vertical black bands on their sides, not always the same on both sides; prominent buck teeth, including incisors, molars, and rounded grinders; no barbels on lower jaw like that of the black drum; strong and sharp spines on dorsal and anal fins. Also refered to as "Convict Fish" due to their black and white stripes.

Similar Fish: black drum, Pogonias cromis; Atlantic spadefish, Chaetodipterus (black drum have barbels on lower jaw, sheepshead do not; vertical barring on sides of black drum and spadefish disappear as fish mature; spadefish have small, brush-like teeth).

Where found:  INSHORE species of sheepshead are often found around oyster bars, seawalls and in tidal creeks; moves NEARSHORE in late winter and early spring for spawning, gathering over debris, artificial reefs and around navigation markers.

Size: INSHORE Sheepsheads , 1 to 2 pounds; OFFSHORE sheepshead, common to 8 pounds.

Remarks: Sheepshead  feeds on mollusks and crustaceans such as fiddler crabs and barnacles; famed nibblers, prompting the saying that "anglers must strike just before they bite!

Florida State Record: 15lb 2oz    IGFA World Record Sheepshead: 21lb 4oz

Shamrock Fishing Charters catch sheepheads all year round in Tampa Bay, but "Sheepies" are best targeted in the winter months during their spawn. Tampa winter time sheepshead fishing can be nothing short of spectacular during the months of: Dec-Feb!


                                             6lb Sheepshead, caught in the Little Manatee River on Eupro tackle!

                                 1/4oz Jig-head baited with frozen shrimp does the trick for John Werner of Tampa, FL.

Tampa Sheepshead Fishing!

It's that time of year again in Tampa Bay, the sheepshead are begining their spawn and  it's going to be sheepshead on! Sheepshead make for awesome table fare. Some folks refer to sheepshead as the'' poor man's grouper'' because their so tasty, yet you don't have to burn 200 gals. of fuel in an offshore pursuit of them like many anglers do  when targeting offshore grouper. Shamrock Inshore  Fishing Charters specializes in Tampa Bay winter time Sheepshead and flounder inshore fishing trips. The bag limits for sheepshead are 15 fish per angler & 10 per angler for flounder. A gag grouper closer goes into effect Jan. 1st. 2011 so, book your ''poor man's grouper" trip today by calling Captain Sean Hagen with Shamrock Fishing Charters! Great fun for the wee ones and the not so wee ones, as well! 

Tampa Sheephead Report. We continue to catch sheepheads in the 2-4lb range, but all in all this years winter sheepshead season was a big disappiontment.


Spanish Mackerel


Description: Spanish mackerel have a  green color on their  back, shading to silver on sides, golden yellow irregular spots above and below lateral line; front of dorsal fin black; lateral line curves gently to base of tail.

Similar Fish: cero, S. regalis; king mackerel, S. cavalla. Young king mackerel are often mistaken for spanish mackerel.

Where found: Spanish mackerel are caught INSHORE, NEARSHORE and OFFSHORE, especially over grass beds and reefs; absent from north Florida waters in winter. Exspect mammoth schools of spanish mackerel to invade Tampa Bay during the SPRING and FALL mackerel runs! 

Size: average catch for spanish mackerel is less than 2 pounds (20 inches).

Florida State Record: 12lbs.    IGFA World Record Sheepshead: 21lb 4oz.

Remarks: Spanish mackerel are best eaten smoked or try them grilled and blackened at O'Briens Irish Pub and Family Restaurant. O'Briens is Famous for their mackerel HOOK-N-COOK! Ask Captain Sean for details.

Shamrock Fishing Charters target spanish mackerel in Tampa Bay spring-fall.


                                                   A good day of fishing for Big E and Lil' E of  Stockton CA.

                                                   Nice spanish mackerel & redfish with Shamrock Charters!


King Mackerel



Description: The king mackerel's back color is a iridescent bluish green; sides silvery, streamlined body with tapered head; no black pigment on front of dorsal fin; lateral line starts high and drops sharply below the second dorsal fin; young fish often have yellow spots like those of the Spanish mackerel. Also, refered to as "Kingfish" or "Kings."Large king mackerel on the west coast of Florida are often called "Smokers", for their uncanny ability to peel the line off an anglers spool at an alarming rate of speed! Some say causing the line to almost smoke, hence the name "Smoker!"

Similar Fish: cero, S. regalis; Spanish mackerel, S. maculatus.

Where found: King mackerel NEARSHORE and OFFSHORE, occasionally taken from piers running into deep water.

Size: King mackerel are Common up to 20 pounds.

Forida State Record: 90lbs.    World Record: 90lbs.    Florida Ties World Record

Remarks: schooling fish that migrates fom south Florida waters in winter to more northerly waters in spring; Gulf population thought to be separate from Atlantic population, with considerable mixing in winter from Cape Canaveral past Key West; spawns in midsummer OFFSHORE; feeds on small fish and squid. In Tampa Bay St.Patrick's Day usaully marks the begining of the spring king mackerel run which may last  into early June. Where as Labor Day usaully marks the begining of the fall king mackerel run which can last into November. During Dec-Jan. large schools of kingfish  are common in the waters south of Naples.

Shamrock Fishing Charters target Tampa Bay kingfish during fall and spring mackerel runs. Captain Sean Hagen and Captain Sean Rice troll with a variety of live and artifical baits on planners or down-riggers. Shamrock Fishing Charters, also offers the option to  anchor over hard bottom and float live baits on balloons.


                                                 Capt. Sean Hagen with Kingfish. Fishing hard bottom in late fall.

                                                                     Kingfish caught trolling silver spoons.

Corned Beef & Kingfish In Tampa Bay!

 March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, usually  marks the begining of kingfish season in Tampa Bay. No wonder it's Shamrock Fishing Charters favorite Holiday! The end of March means the start of spring and the arrival of "Smoker'' Kings! Baitfish will be balled up in the Bay as spanish and king mackerel gorge themselves in ravenous feeding frenzies! If you've never experienced a mackerel blitz, you won't want to miss it. During a mackerel blitz the water explodes as fish grow wings and propel from the water to the sky, chasing baitfish heading in every direction! It's truly a sight to behold, but what you better "be holding'' is your rod  and holding it  tight, 'cause it's gonna be fish on and on on on...............! Don't miss the action book your spring Kingfish charter today! 










Description: Pompano have a greenish gray back, shading to silvery sides; fish in dark waters showing gold on throat, pelvic, and anal fins; deep flattened body with small mouth; no scutes; 22 to 27 soft dorsal rays; 20 to 23 soft anal rays; origin of anal fin slightly behind origin of second dorsal. Pompano are one of Tampa Bay's finest eating fish and a blast to catch on Eupro light tackle!

                                                                         Tampa Bay Pompano


 Similar Fish: permit, T. falcatus, palometa, T. goodei. The permit is deeper bodied; dorsal body profile not strongly angled at insertion of second dorsal fin; pompano rarely grow larger than 6 pounds, permit common to 40 pounds.

Where found: Pompano-INSHORE and NEARSHORE waters, especially along sandy beaches, along oyster banks, and over grassbeds, often in turbid water; may be found in water as deep as 130 feet. Tampa's North Shore bridges are renowned pompano" HOT SPOTS!"

Size: Pompano are usually less than 3 pounds.

Florida State Record: 8lbs. 4oz.    Florida Holds World Record For Pompano.

Remarks: Pompano spawn OFFSHORE between March and September; feed on mollusks and crustaceans, especially sand fleas; local movements are influenced by the tide, and seasonal movements are influenced by temperature.





Description: Permit are a gray color, dark or iridescent blue above, shading to silvery sides, in dark waters showing golden tints around breast; small permit have teeth on tongue (none on pompano); no scutes; dorsal fin insertion directly above that of the anal fin; 17 to 21 soft anal rays.

Similar Fish: pompano, T. carolinus. The permit is deeper bodied; dorsal body profile forms angle at insertion of second dorsal fin; pompano rarely grow larger than 6 pounds, permit common to 40 pounds.

Where found: Look for permit OFFSHORE on wrecks and debris, INSHORE on grass flats, sand flats, and in channels; most abundant in south Florida, with smaller specimens from every coastal county.

Size: Permit are common up to 25 pounds.

Florida State Record: 56lbs. 2oz.    World Record: 56lbs.2oz.    Florida Ties World Record For Permit.

Remarks: feeds mainly on bottom-dwelling crabs, shrimp, small clams, and small fish.


                                                         38lb permit caught in Egmont Key Pass on live crab.

                                                                             good work Capt. James!





Mangrove Snapper (Gray Snapper)


Description: Mangrove Snapper are dark brown or gray in color with reddish or orange spots in rows along the sides; dark horizontal band from snout through eye (young only); two conspicuous canine teeth at front of upper jaw; dorsal fins have dark or reddish borders; no dark spot on side underneath dorsal fin. Mangrove snapper or Mango snapper as they are often called in Tampa, are an awesome table fare. Also referred to as Gray snapper.

Similar Fish: cubera snapper, L. cyanopterus.

Where found: juveniles INSHORE in tidal creeks, mangroves, and grass beds; adults generally NEARSHORE or OFFSHORE on coral or rocky reefs.

Size: offshore catches common 8 to 10 pounds. Inshore they range from l-6lb.

Florida State Record: 16 lbs., 8 ozs.

Remarks:  Mangrove snappers spawn June through August; feeds on crustaceans and small fish. Watch out for their teeth they don't call  'em snappers for nothing!

Tampa Mangrove Snapper Report. Look for good numbers of magrove snapper in the 1-6 lb range to be showing up at tampa inshore wrecks. Bahaia Beach & Port Manattee should soon be productive. Also, the rock jetty on the middle span of Tampa's Sunshine Skyway Bridge should soon be producing nice mangrove snapper!






Description: Amberjack have a dark stripe (variably present) that extends from nose to in front of dorsal fin and "lights up" when fish is in feeding mode; no scutes; soft dorsal base less than twice the length of the anal fin base. Amberjack are commonly referred to as AJ among Tampa fisherman. 

Similar Fish: other Seriola.

Where found: Offshore species associated with rocky reefs, debris, and wrecks, typically in 60 - 240 feet of water; sometimes caught near shore in south Florida; juveniles associated with floating objects and may occur in water less than 30 feet deep.

Size: Amberjack are Common up to 40 pounds.

Florida State Record: 142lbs.    World Record: 155lbs.

Remarks: Largest of the jacks; thought to spawn off shore throughout most of the year; feeds on squid, fish, and crustaceans.


Jack Crevalle


Description: Jack Crevalle have bluish-green to greenish-gold back and silvery or yellowish belly; soft dorsal and anal fins almost identical in size; prominent black spot on operculum (gill cover); black spot at the base of each pectoral fin; no scales on throat.

Similar Fish: other Caranx.

Where found: Jack Crevalle are common in both INSHORE waters and the open sea.

Size: Jack Crevalle usually grow 3 to 5 pounds.

Florida State Record: 57lbs.   IGFA World Record Jack Cravalle: 57lbs.14 oz.

Remarks: Jack Crevalle tolerate a wide range of salinities; schools corner a school of baitfish at the surface and feed with commotion that can be seen at great distances; feeds mainly on small fish; peak spawning occurs OFFSHORE from March through September.


                                                     Drag pulling jack crevalle landed on ultra light Eupro tackle!

                                                      Shamrock Anglers having a blast battling jack crevalle in

                                                               Little Manattee River with Capt Sean Hagen!

Giant Jack Of Tampa Bay!

The winter season in Tampa Bay attracts huge schools of giant Jack crevalle to Bay area rivers. These rivers run a few degrees warmer than gulf and bay waters and are a santuary to a wide variety of fish. Jack Crevalle are just one of the fish species to spend their winter vacation up river. Often these huge schools of jack can weigh upwards of twenty pounds. They are ravenous feeders and will usually inhale just about anything an angler casts in their path. Jack Crevalle are spectacular fighters and never give up to the very end. Jack weighing over the 10lb mark are a true blast to catch on Eupro ultra light tackle. Jack will rival any gamefish of their size inregard to their tenacious fighting abilty and utter true grit. If you want to match your mettle against the Giant Jack of  Tampa Bay Shamrock Fishing Charters will put you on 'em!

Shamrock Fishing Charters are able to target Jack year 'round in Tampa Bay! 







Description: A flounder's body color is brown, its shade depending on color of bottom, with numerous spots and blotches; 3 prominent eye-like spots forming a triangle; one spot on lateral line, one above, one below; numerous white spots scattered over body and fins (albigutta, white-spotted); strong canine-like teeth; caudal fin in shape of wedge, its tip in the middle. One of Tampa's best tasting gulf fish!

Similar fish: southern flounder, P. lethostigma (no eye-like spots; color pattern is key to distinguishing the two species).

Where found: INSHORE on sandy or mud bottoms, often ranging into tidal creeks; occasionally caught on NEARSHORE rocky reefs. Flounder are often taken around oyster bars in Tampa Bay.

Size: Flounder are common to 2 pounds, generally smaller than southern flounder.

Florida State Record: 20lb 9oz.    Florida Holds World Record For Southern Flounder.

Remarks: hatches into usual fish form, but right eye migrates over to left side early in life; a bottom dweller; thought to spawn OFFSHORE; feeds on crustaceans and small fishes.


                                                     St. Petersburg flounder caught on live sardines by Angler Ed.

                                                           Nice work Eddie, way to work that shell bottom!  

Drift Fishing For Flounder In St. Petersburg!

Now is the time to catch flounder in St. Petersburg. Captain Sean Hagen of Shamrock FishingCharters specalizes in winter time flounder fishing. Captain Sean targets flounder by drifting deep water cuts over sand and shell bottom. Using Eupro Tackle, Captain Sean rigs a 1/2oz  slip sinker to 18" of 25lb IT flourocarbon, ties on a 1/0 hook, baited with a small to medium size live sardine. After postioning boat up current he drifts over targeted areas, keeping rod tip up he slowly bumps his line. Captain Sean only retrieves the scope of his line at the end of  each drift or when reeling in a flounder. The trick is to casaully drag your sinker over the bottom, bumping it now and again in an attempt get the attention of the Mr. Flounder. Flounder hold tight to the bottom usually blanketing theirselves in the sand, so when you bump your rod tip the sinker creates a sediment puff on the bottom, triggering a reaction bite from the flounder. The flash and scent of a crippled sardine in combination with "the Puff" often proves too much to resist; you may be suprised to find how the many flounder you can pick-off  working the same patch of real estate using the "drift" tecnique.

Shamrock Fishing Charters target flounder in St Petersburg During the months of December thru Febuary!






Description: Dolphins are bright greenish blue above, yellow on sides, with capability of flashing purple, chartreuse, and a wide range of other colors; body tapers sharply from head to tail; irregular blue or golden blotches scattered over sides; anterior profile of head on adult males is nearly vertical; head of females more sloping; the single dark dorsal fin extends from just behind the head to the tail; anal fin margin concave and extending from anus to tail. Dolphin are also known as dorado or mahi mahi. Male dolphin are refered to as bulls while females are often called cows.

Similar Fish: Pompano dolphin, C. equisetis. The pompano dolphin has squarish tooth patch on tongue (oval tooth patch on dolphin) and fewer dorsal rays (48 to 55 versus 55 to 65 on dolphin).

Where found: Offshore in warm waters.

Size:  Dolphin are common up to 30 pounds.

Florida State Record: 77lb 12oz.   IGFA World Record Dolphin: 87lb

Remarks: Dolphin are one of the fastest-growing fish, thought to live no more than 5 years; swimming speed is estimated at 50 knots; spawns in warm ocean currents throughout much of the year; young found in sargassum weed; feeds on flying fish and squid. Considered strictly as an offshore species.


                            Capt. Sean Rice with dolphin caught offshore. Dolphin also referred to as Drado or Mahi Mahi

                                   make excellent table fare. Dolphin generally found out towards the ''Middle Grounds''.

                                                          This one was taken while trolling bluewater.







Description: Cobia are a long, slim fish with broad depredded head; lower jaw projects past upper jaw; dark lateral stripes extends through eye to tail; first dorsal fin comprised of 7 to 9 free spines; when young, has conspicous alternating black and white horizontal stripes.

Similar fish: remora, Echenis naucrates

Where found: both INSHORE and NEARSHORE inhabiting inlets, bays, and among mangroves; frequently seen around bouys, pilings, and wrecks.

Size: Cobia are common up to 30 pounds.

Florida State Record: 130lb 1oz    World Record: 135lb 9oz

Remarks: spawns in spring and early summer' feeds on crabs, squid, and small fish.


                                       Cobia  boated at Skyway Bridge. Cobia can often be caught around structure

                                         such was the case with this Brown Bomber hooked close to the Skyway

                                                               bumpers. Cobia are game fish and good fighter!

Winter Time Cobia Fishing Around Tampa Bay Power Plants!

 Tampa winter time cobia seek warm waters of  local Bay area Power plants. Bay's Big Bend and Gandy power plants are where Shamrock Fishing Charter Captain Sean Hagen & Captain Sean Rice target winter time cobia. Look for cobia around the flow of the warm water run off and the surrounding grass flats of Apollo Beach and Weedon Island. Tampa cobia can be spotted piggy-backing manattees or shadowing the large schools of rays both drawn to area by the plants expulsion of warm water. Cobia are usually not discriminate when they are feeding , but placement and presentation of bait is vital when attempting to hook a cobia. Captain Sean Hagen's live baits of choice include pin fish, Ladyfish and jumbo shrimp! When using artificals Captain Sean Hagen goes to a 1/2 oz white bucktail or a 10 inch black eel. Cobia are a horse of a fish when  hooked and a guaranteed drag screaming ride! They dont call cobia "The Brown  Bomber" for nothing and if you want to find out why, just try boating one green! For some great Tampa Bay inshore cobia action contact Captain Sean Hagen with Shamrock Inshore Fishing Charters.

Shamrock Fishing Charters catches cobia all year long in Tampa Bay!







                                      If  fishing is like a religion, than Tarpon fishing

                                            must be the high church!


Description: The Tarpons last ray of dorsal fin is extended into a long filament; one dorsal fin; back dark blue to green or greenish black, shading into bright silver on the sides; may be brownish gold in estuarien waters; huge scales; large bucket mouth that points upward. Tarpon are also, known as Sabalo, Poon or the Silver king! Tarpon are caught on a variety of live, cut, and artifical baits using fly, conventional and spin rods.

(Similar Fish: as juveniles) ladyfish, Elops saurus.

Where found:Tarpon are primarily INSHORE fish, although adult fish spawn OFFSHORE where the ribbon-like larval stage of the fish can be found.

Size: most angler catchs 40 to 50 pounds.

Florida State Record: 243lb    IGFA World Record Tarpon: 283 4oz  

Pro Tarpon Tournament Series Record Weigh- Ins:

Mens PTTS Record Tarpon: 216 lb                                    Womens PTTS Record Tarpon:

All Time World Record Tarpon Caught On Fly Rod: 202 lb (20 lb tippet)

Remarks: Tarpon are slow growers; matures at 7 to 13 years of age; spawning occurs between May and September; female may lay more than 12 million eggs; can tolerate wide range of salinity; juveniles commonly found in fresh water; can breathe air at surface due to a unique air bladder; feeds mainly on fish and large crustaceans.



                               Tarpon fishing in Tampa Bay is an awesome adventure! Jump your tarpon in Tampa Bay.

                                  We have some of the best tarpon fishing in the world! Fight your poon at the famous

                                  Skyway Bridge, Egmont Pass , Bay beaches or some of Capt. Sean's super secrete

                                           tarpon spots! A guaranteed good time and memory that will last for ever!

Booking Now for 2011 Tarpon Season!

It's pre-dawn on a week day, but instead of glaring into the tail lights of some jerk who just cut you off in traffic on your way to work, you're enjoying a cheddar orange sunrise on the calm waters of Tampa Bay! You're thinking, my God can life get any better than this? Then it happens; your rod gets that sweet  bend in it; line burns off the spool so fast, you swear you see smoke. It's not until the captain shouts," Poon On !" that you realizes this is actually happening! Suddenly, a whole is knocked through the water and the" Megalops Atlanticus" appears, his silvery scaled armor reflecting the orange light of the morning sun; his prehistoric head shaking at your hook in defiance! Behold, the angry sea god and bow to the Silver King!

Just another day at the office for Shamrock Fishing Charters during tarpon season, but one never taken for granted. If Captain Sean Hagen could only choose one word to desribe why he became a fulltime charter captain, that one word be Tarpon. Captain Sean Hagen rather be guiding for tarpon in Tampa Bay than doing anything else. He dedicates himself to educating others about tarpon fishing and prides himself for being able to locate and catch  tarpon when others can't. Whether your a seasoned tarpon veteran or wanting to jump your first poon, Captain Sean Hagen is the Tampa tarpon guide for you! Now booking for 2011 tarpon season!


When is the best time to fish for tarpon in Tampa Bay? 

Although there are resident tarpon who reside  in Tampa waters year round, the most productive months to target tarpon in  the bay( Traditionally tarpon caught in bay & gulf waters are migratory tarpon ranging from 80-200lb) are the May through the end of July. During the months of August and September Shamrock Fishing Charters also targets tarpon in Tampa's river etuaries. River tarpon, unlike bay tarpon are mainly juviniles in the 5-50lb range, but are an absolute blast to catch on utlra light tackle!

When are the Hill Tides and are tarpon most active during these tides?

Hill Tides occur during the summer months of June and July. Hill Tides are the major tides of the year and evolve around the new and full moon phases of June and July. During a hill tide, tidal movement reaches its highest piont of the year. Extremely powerful currents between low and high tides flush an abundance of bait fish and crabs out into the bay. These baits become pray to other fish, particularly tarpon. During hill tides tarpon become very aggressive in their feeding habits and gorge themselves in tarpon feeding frenzies!

What is the Tampa "Crab Chew" and when does it occur? 

The Crab Chew is a natural phenomiumn that occurs every year in Boca Grande Pass and Tampa Bay. It only happens on a hill tide (and up to 4 days before and for days after ) during full and new moon phases. The crab chew occurs on the out going tide. Pass and blue crabs are drawn to the top of the water by the magical lure of the moon. The crabs are then swept out through the bay and passes by the strong out going currents of the hill tide. As thousands of crabs funnel through the passes they spark insane feeding frenzies among hungry pods of poons awaiting an easy meal! It is not uncommon tojump 10 to 20 or more tarpon during a good crab chew!

What can I exspect when hooking a tarpon?

The average size tarpon caught on Shamrock tarpon trips during the summer months is 80-120lb. When an angler hooks into a fish this size they are in for a lenghty battle. Depending on the anglers experience level and the fighting spirit of the tarpon the battle often averages 20 to 45 minutes. Shamrock Fishing boats are equiped with tarpon chairs and fighting belts to aid anglers in their fight with the Silver King.

Can I keep my tarpon? 

 The FWC requires a $50.00 tarpon tag inorder for angler to posses or harvest a tarpon. Howevever, Shamrock captains practice a policy of catch and release inregards to the taking of tarpon. Pictures are always welcomed and the weight of the tarpon can accurately be obtained using the length and girth sytem of measurent for the purpose replica mounts. Note: unless you are a big hammerhead or bull shark the taste of tarpon probally would not agree with you. Tarpon are sought after for sport only. Since the introdution of replica mounts and the strict practice of no kill tournaments there should be no reason to harvest such a magnificent  creature, but that is just the opinions of Capt. Sean Hagen & Capt. Sean Rice.

Can I get pictures and video of myself fighting a tarpon?

Absolutely, Shamrock Fishing Charters encourages clients to bring their cameras & video equipment with them on the trip. Per request Shamrock captains will take pictures of you fighting your tarpon. Shamrock Fishing Charters use both video and still shots. These will be compiled and sent to you via email. Memories that will last a life time! 

For more information on tarpon fishing and local tarpon fishing reports vist TTR .Tampa Tarpon Report is the Tampa Bay area's tarpon fishing headquarters. TTR provides tarpon fishing reports, facts, tips, hot-spots and tarpon fishing charters to Tampa Bay, St Petersburg and Boca Grande tarpon anglers. Check us out at




















Description: terminal mouth, slender body, small scales; last dorsal ray not elongated; head small and pointed.

Similar Fish: juvenile tarpon, Megalops atlanticus.

Where found: INSHORE fish, in bays and estuaries; occasionally enters freshwater, occurring in tidal pools and canals; often forms large schools and harasses bait at the surface.

Size: 2 to 3 pounds.

Florida State Record: 6lb 4oz    World Record: 8lb

Remarks: known to spawn OFFSHORE, ribbon-like larvae very similar to Albula and Megalops, peaking in fall; adult feeds predominantly on fish and crustaceans; leaps when hooked.




LadyFish A Big Hit With Jr. Angler

Jr. Angler Jesse Temple, a member of the Plant City's O'Briens Fishing Club enjoys landing some nice ladyfish & spotted sea trout. Jesse caught  a variety of inshore fish while fishing with her father, Jim & Captain Sean Hagen. During Jesse's inshore fishing exscrusion, aside from lady fish and spotted sea trout she landed some nice bluefish, mangrove snapper, flounder, small gag grouper and even a late Nov. snook! Good job Jesse! Our Obrien's Jr. Angler of the month!Keep "Fishing Like A Pro" with  EUPRO Tackle!-Shamrock Inshore Fishing Club Report.

Ladyfish can be taken year 'round in Tampa Bay and thru out the west coast of Florida.







Description: Triple Tail's head and body variously mottled, tan to dark brown; fins (except spinous dorsal and pectroal fins) almost black; pale olive band across base of caudal fin; broad, dark brown bar from eye across cheek below corner of preopercle, and another from upper corner of eye to beginning of dorsal fin; two dark streaks on top of head, behind nostrils; upper profile concave at nape; edge of preopercle strongly serrated.

Size: Triple Tail can get up to to 42 inches.

Florida State Record: 40lb 13oz    Florida Holds The IGFA World Record For Tripletail.

Triple Tail are usaully targeted in weedlines, around floating debree and holding close to crab pots along beaches. Triple Tail feed on small fish and shrimp and make excellent table fare.



Tarpon Snook



Description: Only snook with 7 anal fin rays (others have 6); lower jaw curves upward; compressed body; prominent black lateral line extends through tail; tips of pelvic fin reach beyond anus.

Similar Fish: Other Centropomus.

Where found: INSHORE in south Florida; frequently in fresh water.

Size: Usually less than 1 pound (12 inches).

IGFA World Record Tarpon Snook: 3lb 2oz

Remarks: Maximum size of 16 to 18 inches; feeds on small fish and larger crustaceans; young are nurtured along mangrove shorelines; rare on Florida's west coast.


Swordspine Snook



Description: Smallest of the snooks; profile slightly concave; prominent lateral line outlined in black (not solid), extends through caudal fin; color yellow-green to brown-green above, silvery below; giant second anal spine, hence the name; largest scales of all snook.

Similar Fish: Other Centropomus.

Where found: occurs in INSHORE estuarine habitats from south Florida to as far north on east coast as St. Lucie River.

Size: Usually less than 1 pound (12 inches).

IGFA World Record Swordpine Snook: 1lb 9oz

Remarks: Full-grown adults are less than 12 inches long; mangrove shoreline habitat serves as nursery area for young; rare on Florida's west coast; prefers only slightly brackish or fresh water.


Fat Snook



Description: Deeper body than other snooks; color yellow-brown to green-brown above, silvery on sides; black lateral line extends onto tail; mouth reaches to or beyond center of eye; usually no dusky outer edge on pelvic fin, as in other snooks; smallest scales of all snooks.

Similar Fish: Other Centropomus.

Where found: INSHORE spcies found in mangrove habitat; found commonly in fresh waters; occurs more in interior waters (as opposed to estuarine waters) than other snook.

Size: A small species, rarely more than 20 inches.

IGFA World Record Fat Snook: 10lb 14oz

Remarks: Usually found in fresh water; mangrove shorelines serve as nursery grounds for young.


Common Snook



Description: Snook have a distinct lateral line; high, divided dorsal fin; sloping forehead; large mouth, protruding lower jaw; grows much larger than other snooks; pelvic fin yellow.

Similar Fish: Other Centropomus.

Where found: from central Florida south, usually INSHORE in coastal and brackish waters, along mangrove shorelines, seawalls, and bridges; also on reefs and pilings NEARSHORE. There is a abundant snook population in Tampa Bay. Tampa is home to huge estuaries which support large populations of juvinile snook, redfish, and tarpon.

Size: most snook  catches average 5 to 8 pounds.

Florida State Record: 44lb 3oz    World Record Snook: 53lb 10oz

Remarks: Snook spawn primarily in summer; cannot tolerate water temperatures below 60 degrees F; can tolerate wholly fresh or saltwater; schools along shore and in passes during spawning season; feeds on fish and larrge crustaceans.


                          Snooking on the South Shore in Tampa Bay. Snook fishing provides great action & lots of fun!

                                 Pound for pound and jump for jump they are one of the funnest fish in the bay to catch!

                                                   For a drag screaming good time book your snook trip today!

Snook fight like bass on steroids! If you enjoy bass fishing you will be hooked on snook fishing! Shamrock Fishing Charters specialize in snook fishing Tampa Bay. Fish for these line siders off the beach, grass flats and backcountry!

At present the FWC has issued a moratorium on all Florida snook. It is not certain when  snook season will reopen. The reason for the closer is a result of the 2010  fish kill (brought about by excessive cold cold wheather ), inwhich it is estimated that over 700,000 snook died in the bay area alone. Snook populations are rapidly recovering and catche numbers continue to increase. 

Tampa Snook Report- Shamrock Fishing Charters Reports nice catches of slot size snook using white bait along  Tampa Bay's South Shore mangrove shore lines. For more details and up to date Tampa & St Pete Snook Reports go to Reports and Click Current.








Description: Color light gray or brown; large adults with elongated caudal-fin rays; reddish brown spots on sides that tend to be grouped into lines; some yellow around corners of mouth.

Similar Fish: Yellowmouth grouper, M. interstitialis.

Where found: Nearshore reefs off the northeastern coast, and on offshore reefs in the Gulf.

Size: Scamp are generally smaller than gags or blacks.

Florida State Record: 25lb 4oz    World record: 29lb IGFA

Remarks: Spawns in late spring; feeds on small fish, squid, and crustaceans; undergoes sex transformation from female to male as it becomes older.


Yellowmouth Grouper



Description: Color tan or brown with darker spots, or a network of spots, fused into lines; distinct yellow wash behind the jaws; yellow around the eyes; outer edges of fins yellowish.  

Similar Fish: Scamp, M. phenax.

Where found: Offshore over reefs and rocks; not as common as scamp in the Gulf; range limited to southern Florida.

Size: Yellowmouth Grouper are Common up to 15 pounds.

*Florida State Record: 28lb    IGFA World Record Yellowmouth Grouper: 22lb 8oz

*Not reconized by IGFA


Remarks: Undergoes sex reversal, young individuals female, older individuals becoming male; young fish are bicolored, dark above white below; feeds on small fish and crustaceans.


Yellowfin Grouper



Description: Color highly variable greenish olive or bright red with longitudinal rows of darker black blotches over entire fish; outer one third of pectoral fins bright yellow; lower parts of larger fish with small bright red spots. Also refered to as "Strawberry Grouper" on the West Coast of Florida.

Similar Fish: Black grouper, M. bonaci; other grouper.

Where found: Offshore on reefs off southern portions of Florida.

Size: Common to 20 pounds.

Florida Holds The Yellowfin Grouper IGFA World Record.

Remarks: Undergoes sex reversal from female to male in latter part of life; specific name translates to "venomous," alluding to the fact that this fish, perhaps more frequently than other groupers, is associated with ciguatera poisoning; feeds on fish and squid.


Red Grouper


Description: Red Grouper are brownish red; lining of mouth scarlet-orange; blotches on sides in unorganized pattern; second spine of dorsal fin longer than others; pectoral fins longer than pelvic fins; squared off tail; margin of soft dorsal black with white at midfin; black dots around the eyes.

Similar Fish: Nassau grouper, E. striatus.

Where found: Red Grouper are bottom dwelling fish associated with hard bottom; juveniles OFFSHORE along with adults greater than 6 years old; fish from 1 to 6 years occupy NEARSHORE reefs.

Size: Red Grouper are common up to 15 pounds.

Florida State Record: 42lb 4oz    Florida Holds The IGFA World Record For Red Grouper.

Remarks: Red Grouper spawn in April and May; prefer water temperatures between 66 and 77 degrees F; undergoes sex reversal, young individual females becoming males as they age; lifespan of at least 25 years; feeds on squid, crustaceans, and fish.

                                                                      Tampa Bay Red Grouper







Nassau Grouper


Description: color light background with brown or red-brown bars on sides; stripe in shape of tuning fork on forehead; third spine of dorsal longer than second ; pelvic fins shorter than pectorals; black dots around the eyes; large black saddle on caudal peduncle.

Similar Fish: red grouper, E. morio.

Where found: range limited to south Florida; somewhat site specific; smaller individuals NEARSHORE, adults OFFSHORE on rocky reefs.

Size: most catches under 10 pounds.

Florida State Record: unknown    IGFA World Record Nassua Grouper: 38lb 8oz

Remarks: forms large spawning aggregations, making this species highly vulnerable to overharvest. NOTE: all harvest of this species is prohibited.


Goliath Grouper


Description: Head and fins covered with small black spots; irregular dark and vertical bars present on the sides of body; pectoral and caudal fins rounded; first dorsal fin shorter than and not separated from second dorsal; adults huge, up to 800 pounds; eyes small. Also, known as the "Jewfish".

Similar Fish: Other grouper.

Where found: Nearshore often around docks, in deep holes, and on ledges; young often occur in estuaries, especially around oyster bars; more abundant in southern Florida than in northern waters.

Size: Gloiath Grouper are the Largest of the groupers.

Florida State Record: 608lb    Florida Holds The World Record.

Remarks: Spawns over summer months; lifespan of 30 to 50 years; feeds on crustaceans and fish. NOTE: jewfish are totally protected from harvest in Florida waters. Tampa Bay and gulf waters are heavily populated with jew fish.


                                                                                TAMPA BAY JEWFISH!


Gag Grouper


Description:Gag Grouper are brownish gray in color with dark worm-like markings on sides; strong serrated spur at bottom margin of preopercle, less noticeable in large specimens; fins dark, with anal and caudal having white margin. Often confused with black grouper; tail of gag is slightly concave, black is square; gag has white margin on anal and caudal fins, black does not; under 10 pounds, gag's spur on preopercle is distinctive, where black is gently rounded.

Similar Fish: black grouper M. bonaci.

Where found: Adult Gag Grouper concentrate OFFSHORE over rocks and reefs; juveniles occur in seagrass beds INSHORE. In Tampa Bay keeper size Gag Grouper are plentiful in side the Bay.

Size: Gag grouper are common up to 25 pounds.

Florida State Record: 80lb 6oz    Florida Holds The IGFA World Record For Gag Grouper.

Remarks: forms spawning aggregations in water no shallower than 120 feet in Middle Grounds area, January through March; current reseach to identify similar aggregations off Atlantic coast is ongoing. Young gags are predominantly female, transforming into males as they grow larger; feeds on fish and squid


                                       Gag grouper Digging inside Port Manatee Produces some nice size grouper.

                                         Free lining live pin fish gets the job done. You cant beat the port for gag

                                                                            grouper in the Bay!

Trolling, Digging And Rodeoing Gag Grouper In Tampa Bay!

You don't have to go offshore to catch keeper size gags. Shamrock Fishing Charters grouper dig and troll the bays many rock piles, ledges and artifical reefs for gag grouper. Captain Sean Hagen and Captain Sean Rice have recorded many prime grouper spots over the years. Some spots are public knowledge while others are heavily guarded secretes. Clients may either choose to grouper dig or troll the bay. Whatever your decsion Shamrock Fishing Charters promises to work hard to put you on the fish! Shamrock Fishing Charters, also offer an alternative style of  grouper fishing which  we call Rodeoing Grouper! This technique is unique and not very well practiced among Tampa fishing guides. It involves free-lining pinfish(on spin reels) at the base of the bridge bumpers. The boat is never anchored and engine is kept running while only 1 or 2 anglers cast with the current towards the bumbers. The bail on reel is left open until bait has reached the back side of bumber. Little or no lead is used depending on the speed of the current. Alot of real estate can be covered while Rodeoing. You move from one bumber to the next, picking off grouper as you go. This style of grouper fishing is very effective, but requires constant postioning of boat by captain and perscion casting by anglers. To rodeo grouper sucessfully it takes a team effort! If you feel you are up to the task and want to give Rodeoing Grouper a try contact: Captain Sean Hagen at 1877-357-HOOK! Only 2 anglers permitted on all Rodeo Charters.


Black Grouper


Description: Black Grouper have olive or gray body coloration with black blotches and brassy spots; gently rounded preopercle.

Similar Fish: gag, M. microlepis; yellowfin grouper, M. venenosa.

Where found: OFFSHORE species; adults associated with rocky bottoms, reef, and drop-off walls in water over 60 feet deep; young may occur INSHORE in shallow water.

Size: Black Grouper is common to 40 pounds, may attain weights exceeding 100 pounds.

Florida State Record: 113lb 6oz    Florida Holds The World Record Black Grouper.

Remarks:  The black grouper spawns between May and August; protogynous hermaphrodites, young predominantly female, transforming in males as they grow larger; larger individuals generally in greater depths; feeds on fish and squid.



Lane Snapper



Description: color silvery-pink to reddish with short, irregular pink and yellow lines on its sides; diffuse black spot, about as large as the eye; the dorsal fin centered above the lateral line; outer margin of caudal fin blackish.

Similar Fish:mutton snapper, L. analis (anal fin rounded in lane snapper, pointed in mutton).

Where found: juveniles INSHORE over grass beds or shallow reefs; adults OFFSHORE; most common in south Florida.

Size: usually less than 1 pound.

*Florida Record:6 lbs., 6 ozs.

Remarks: spawns March through September; sexually mature at 6 inches; feeds on bottom, taking crustaceans, mollusks,Description: color silvery-pink to reddish with short, irregular pink and yellow lines on its sides; diffuse black spot, about as large as the eye; the dorsal fin centered above the lateral line; outer margin of caudal fin blackish.

Similar Fish:mutton snapper, L. analis (anal fin rounded in lane snapper, pointed in mutton).

Where found: juveniles INSHORE over grass beds or shallow reefs; adults OFFSHORE; most common in south Florida.

Size: usually less than 1 pound.

*Florida Record:6 lbs., 6 ozs.

Remarks: spawns March through September; sexually mature at 6 inches; feeds on bottom, taking crustaceans, mollusks,



Black Drum



Description: Black Drum have a high arched back; 10 to 14 pairs of chin barbs; gray or black colored body in adults; young have 4 to 6 vertical bars; has cobbelstone-like teeth capable of crushing oysters; scales large.

Similar Fish: the vertical bars on juvenile black drum are somewhat similar to those on sheepshead Archosargus probatocephalus; spadefish, Chaetodipterus faber; red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus.

Where found: INSHORE fish common to bays and lagoons; bottom dwiller often found around ouster beds; also OFFSHORE.

Size: Black Drum are Common up to 30 pounds.

Florida State Record: 93lb    IGFA World Record Black Drum 113lb 1oz

Remarks: Black Drum are the largest member of the drum family; spawn nearshore in winter and early spring; feeds of oysters, mussels, crabs, shrimp, and occasionally fish; longevity to 35 or more years. 


                                       Professional drummer Paul Branigan from Ireland, drums up a nice black drum! 

                                               Can you believe this is first fish Paul has ever caught in his entire life.

                                                                                 Well played Paul!

Tampa Monster Black Drum!

Black Drum begin their spawn around late March in Tampa Bay! In March and April they Turn up on the Tampa Bay flats in large schools. These are all mature drum ranging from 30-60lbs. They are truly a blast to catch on Eupro light tackle! If you are interested in landing a 50lb MONSTER like the one Paul caught, give Shamrock Fishing Charters a call at 1877  357-HOOK. These Pig-a-pon-a-muss size drum are a Tampa attraction and Shamrock Fishing Charters usaully get booked up quick. So, if you don't want to miss the boat, reserve your trip as soon as possible!




Spotted Seatrout



Description: Spotted Sea Trout are dark gray or green above, with sky blue tinges shading to silvery and white below; numerous distinct round black spots on back, extending to the dorsal fins and tail; black margin on posterior of tail; no barbels; no scales on the soft dorsal fin; one or two prominent canine teeth usually present at tip of upper jaw. Spotted Sea Trout  also known as "Speckled Sea Trout" are actually classified in the drum family. Florida trout  exceeding 24'' are refered to as "Gator Trout" and should not be taken for harvest by angler, but released an allowed to breed.


Similar Fish: Other seatrouts.

Where found:  Spotted Sea Trout -INSHORE and/or NEARSHORE over grass, sand and sandy bottoms; move into slow-moving or still, deep waters in cold weather.

Size: Spotted Sea Trout common to 4 pounds on west coast, larger on east coast.

Florida State Record: 17lb 7oz    Florida Holds The IGFA World Record.

Remarks: Spotted Sea Trout mature during their first or second year and spawn INSHORE from March through November; often in association with seagrass beds; lives mainly in estuaries and moves only short distances; adults feed mainly on shrimp and small fish; prefers water temperatures between 58 and 81 degrees F and may be killed if trapped in shallow water during cold weather; longevity 8 to 10 years.


                                     Sea trout caught on the grass flats in St. Petersburg. This big trout was taken

                                        while soaking a cut threadfin. These two young'ens really tore up the trout

                                                                                      that day!

Spotted Sea Trout Fishing!

In 2005 the Tampa Bay Trout populations took a hard hit from red tide. Unfortunately the trout seemed to be effected the most. Well, it's been awhile and the trout fishing has never been better in Tampa Bay. I've seen more  yellow throated "Gator Trout" in the last few years than ever before. The sea trout fishing in Tampa and St Petersburg is absolutely awesome! If you dont believe me come and see for yourself. To book a trout fishing charter contact Captain Sean Hagen of Shamrock Fishing Charters at 1 877 357-HOOK!

Shamrock fishing Charters target spotted sea trout all year long in Tampa Bay!




Red Drum


Description: Red Drum have no barbels on their chin; copper bronze body, lighter shade in clear waters; one to many spots at base of tail (rarely no spots); mouth horizontal and opening downward; scales large. Red Drum are commonly refered to as as "redfish."

Similar Fish: black drum, Pogonias cromis.

Where found: juvenile Red fish are an INSHORE fish, migrating out of the estuaries at about 30 inches (4 years) and joining the spawning population OFFSHORE.

Size: Redfish commonly weigh up to 8-10lb.
Florida State Record: 51lb 8oz    IGFA World Record Redfish: 94lb 2oz

Remarks: Red Drum are an INSHORE species until they attain roughly 30 inches (4 years), then they migrate to join the NEARSHORE population; spawning occurs from August to November in NEARSHORE waters; sudden cold snaps may kill red drum in shallow, INSHORE waters; feeds on crustaceans, fish and mollusks; longevity to 20 years or more.


                                                     Battling bull redfish in St. Petersburg! Cathching plenty

                                                             big redfish on ultra light Eupro fishing tackle.

                                                                     "Fishing Like A Pro With Eupro"!

Battling Bull Redfish in Tampa Bay!

Redfish are caught in Tampa Bay year round. However, the bigger redfish or "Bull Reds" are typically caught  in the spring or during fall spawn, when migrating inshore from the Gulf. Bull Reds can be targeted on Tampa and St. Petersburg's inshore grass flats, April-May and October-November. These breeder size redfish range from 34"-40" plus inches. Bull Redfish are taken on a variety of live, cut and artifical baits by Shamrock Fishing Charters for more information on redfishing contact: Captain Sean Hagen at 1 877 357-HOOK!

Shamrock Fishing Chartrers target redfish all year long in Tampa Bay!

Tampa Redfish Report- Redfish fishing has been good and will only get better in April. Should be seeing more bull size redfish on St Pete grass Flats.

                                       Copyright 2011 Shamrock Fishing Charters All Rights Reserved | Fish Species.

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