Tampa Bay, FL Inshore and Offshore Fishing Charters
Although there’s some confusion about the origins of Tampa Bay’s name, historians believe that European explorers mistakenly named it after the Calusa word that described nearby Charlotte Bay. Regardless of how it earned its name, Tampa Bay quickly developed into an industrial hub. During the Civil War, the Battle of Tampa devastated the local economy and accompanied a painful naval blockade. Fortunately, the area’s port facilities were quickly rebuilt. By the early 20th century, sumptuous lodgings like the Tampa Bay Hotel had turned the region into a nationally renowned vacation destination for wealthy travelers. These days, Tampa Bay is home to a diverse, innovative population.
Tampa Bay is located in west-central Florida. It’s positioned at the intersection of a number of major thoroughfares, including Interstates 75 and 275 as well as U.S. Highway 92 and Florida Highway 600. The area’s landscape is generally flat and sports several freshwater and brackish lakes that provide important habitats for migratory birds. Undeveloped areas are covered with a mix of pine forests, grasslands, open estuaries and citrus groves. Outside of a handful of commercial zones, most of the region’s development is low-density. Other major bodies of water in the area include Hillsborough Bay and Old Tampa Bay.
Population and Demographics
The population of Tampa Bay continues to expand steadily. As of the most recent Census count, it stood at about 350,000 and was projected to top 400,000 before 2025. Although much of the area has been built out, ongoing residential development and increasing density have added to the local headcount since the turn of the 21st century. Tampa Bay’s diverse economy has attracted thousands of professionals from higher-cost cities in the northern and western United States, and its mild climate has proven instrumental in drawing retirees and owners of vacation homes.
Things to Do in Tampa Bay, Florida
During the fall, local sports fans head down to Raymond James Stadium to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on other NFL teams. The stadium also hosts a number of other events throughout the year, including college football matchups and monster truck rallies. Outdoorsy locals can visit the Sulphur Springs area to jog around its many water features or admire the historic Sulphur Springs Water Tower. Students and teachers alike frequent the Museum of Science and Industry, a massive facility that showcases the history of 20th century innovation. The Tampa Museum of Art delights culture buffs, and the Lowry Park Zoo is popular with local families.
Climate and Weather
Like the rest of central Florida, Tampa Bay enjoys a subtropical climate that’s known for its gentle breezes, humid summers and mild winters. Thanks to the bay’s warm waters, it’s extremely rare for frosts or freezes to occur in coastal locations. Although these events are more common on the area’s northern and eastern fringes, they rarely cause serious problems. During the early fall months, elevated tropical storm activity leads to increased rainfall and windy conditions. Mild, relatively dry conditions prevail from late October through late April.
Fishing Charters in Tampa Bay, Florida
Captain John O’Hanlon is proud to connect Tampa Bay residents and visitors with exciting offshore and inshore fishing opportunities that won’t break the bank. For three decades, Mr. O’Hanlon has been licensed to fish and navigate in the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. His intimate knowledge of rich coves and favorable bottom structures allows him to point his clients to the most favorable fishing grounds in any season. Mr. O’Hanlon offers offshore, inshore and flats fishing services in half-day, full-day and three-quarter-day packages. Since he’s Coast Guard-certified and enjoys a fearsome reputation as a former tournament fisher, “Captain John” can be trusted to keep his charges safe and entertained throughout the day.
Mr. O’Hanlon has also developed a reputation as a friend of the region’s environment. During the 1990s, he pioneered the Net Ban and helped set up several intracoastal no-engine zones. Collectively, these moves led to a rebound in population figures for several key marine species and earned Mr. O’Hanlon respect within the broader maritime community. He was also honored to serve as the chapter president of the Northern Suncoast division of the Coastal Conservation Association. These days, he’s just happy to help area residents secure Snook, Redfish, Shark, Mackerel and Trout all year long.