The 8 Best Fishing Spots in Tampa Bay

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Updated: October 4, 2023
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Florida has some of the best fishing spots in the nation. While here, you aren’t limited to freshwater or saltwater fishing. Tampa Bay is an excellent area to fish. You can spend all day fishing on a boat in the center of a deep lake, or fishing on a pier by the beach. But where in the Tampa Bay area can you fish? Follow along to discover the best 8 fishing spots in Tampa Bay.

1. Edward Medard Conservation Park

One of the best fishing spots in Tampa Bay is the Edward Medard Conservation Park in Hillsborough County. Previously, this lovely park was called the Pleasant Grove Reservoir Park. While visiting this local park, you can hike, bike, kayak, and fish. Bird watching is another popular activity to do in the Edward Medard Conservation Park. The main attraction of the park is the Edward Medard Reservoir. The reservoir has a maximum depth of 33 feet and a surface area of 770 acres. Some fish common within this body of water are sunshine bass and channel catfish.

Striped bass caught by angler

Striped bass are commonly stocked in the Edward Medard Conservation Park.

©Steve Brigman/

2. Safety Harbor Pier

Another excellent fishing spot in Tampa Bay is the Safety Harbor Pier. This pier is also a family-friendly marine park. The Safety Harbor Pier is a charming, calm, and peaceful fishing spot. You can spend all day on the pier, just bring a chair, hat, and sunscreen. While here, you can also participate in bird watching. If you’re lucky enough, you may spot dolphins or manatees while on the pier.

3. Lake Tarpon

Lake Tarpon is another wonderful fishing spot in Tampa Bay. This lovely freshwater lake is only about 10 miles away from Tampa. Lake Tarpon is a large lake with a surface area of 2,534 acres. Lake Tarpon’s two largest tributaries are South Creek and Brooker Creek. The catchment area of the lake is 52 square miles. Lake Tarpon is one of the best lakes in Florida to fish for largemouth bass.

Lake Tarpon features some of the best bass fishing in western Florida.

Lake Tarpon has a surface area of around 2,500 acres.

©Greta H/

4. Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

The next best lake on our list of fishing spots in Tampa Bay is the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park. This state park is in Hillsborough County. It was established in 1994 and is operated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. While on the pier, you can enjoy a wonderful saltwater fishing experience. The bridge and park are open 24 hours a day, meaning you can even fish at night! Common fish anglers catch while fishing from the Skyway Pier include tarpon, grouper, red snapper, and black sea bass.

5. E.G. Simmons Conservation Park

Have you ever heard of the E.G. Simmons Regional Park? It’s an excellent Tampa Bay fishing spot in Ruskin. To visit, you must pay a fee of $2 per vehicle for up to 8 people. In the summer, the park is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., while during the winter it’s open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. E.G. Simmons Regional Park is a popular park. It consists of 200 acres of mangrove swamp. Fishing is just one fun activity to enjoy in the park. You can also kayak. Rentals are available in the park.

6. Ballast Point Park

Another excellent fishing spot in and near Tampa Bay is the Ballast Point Park in Tampa. Construction of the park began in 1862. The park was originally known as Jules Verne Park but was renamed in 1903. While you can spend all day enjoying the 600-foot-long fishing pier, the park also includes a children’s water park, playground, and picnic shelters/spots.

Ballast Point Park overlooking Hillsborough Bay and downtown Tampa, Florida

Ballast Point Park features a 600-foot-long fishing pier.

©Fotoluminate LLC/

7. Picnic Island Park

Although in no particular order, the seventh best fishing spot in Tampa Bay is Picnic Island Park. This lovely park is in Tampa. This peaceful island is small and perfect for a quick getaway. Picnic Island Park is beautiful. While here, you can watch the sunset, walk the beach, swim in the water, or fish on the pier. Also in the park are boat ramps.

8. Fort De Soto Park

Last but not least is the Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County. This park is massive. It’s about 7 miles south of St. Petersburg. Previously, the land the park sits on was inhabited by the Tocobaga Native Americans from about 1000 to 1500 ACE. The area was also used by the military in the 1800s. Fort De Soto Park is now open year-round and has two fishing piers, swimming spots, camping areas, and the Quartermaster Storehouse Museum. Apart from fishing, you can also kayak, hike, and bird-watching. Within the park, you can find over 300 species of birds.

Fort De Soto Park Florida

Fort De Soto Park in Florida is home to over 300 bird species.

©GB Design Den/

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Brian Lasenby/

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About the Author

Nixza Gonzalez is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics like travel, geography, plants, and marine animals. She has over six years of experience as a content writer and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. A resident of Florida, Nixza loves spending time outdoors exploring state parks and tending to her container garden.

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