Although the Tampa, Florida, area is known for long stretches of sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico and saltwater fishing, numerous freshwater lakes and inland waterways provide opportunities for bass fishing. Guides, charters and clubs exist in the Tampa region to help you land bass. If you are fishing the waters make sure you have a valid Florida fishing license.
Lake Tarpon is a 2,500-acre lake 10 miles west of the city in Palm Harbor. The lake has bass fishing (in addition to other sport fish.) Watch out for the alligators and under no circumstance should you feed them. Anglers report good luck with silver spoons, red plastic worms, and Rapala minnows when fishing the lake for bass. Large mouthed bass are in the lake. There are two public access points for the lake, A.L. Anderson Park and John Chesnut, Sr. Park. According to the Florida Fishing Information, Pinellas County, Lake Tarpon is considered one of the better sport fishing lakes in the state.
Hillsborough River State Park
If hiring a guide is not your cup of tea, bass fishing is possible at Hillsborough River State Park, in the northeastern end of the city. The park is road accessible and bass fishing from the water's edge is possible. Take care to watch for alligators, and other obstacles. Light tackle or live bait such as night-crawlers are good methods for landing bass at the park. Practice catch-and-release to help maintain the health of the bass fisheries at the park. Carry your fishing license to present to park rangers or fish wardens.
State of Florida: Hillsborough River State Park
15402 North US Highway 301
Thonotosassa, FL 33592-2318
According to the folks at Bassonline, Lake Toho is a prime lake to go for the species. Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho to locals) is east of the city of Tampa. Bassonline reports that the Florida Fish and wildlife conservation commission (FWC) has listed Lake Toho holding good populations and sizes of largemouth bass. The bass at Lake Toho strike on artificial lures, fly fishing gear or with live bait, so there are options depending on your style of angling. Rattling crankbaits, soft jerkbaits used in the open part of the lake or along edges where there is vegetation during summer and fall has been reported to provide positive results by the folks at Osceola County Florida Fishing.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.