Shark Fishing Tampa Bay, FL

One of the world’s most powerful and enigmatic game fish, shark are plentiful around the coast of Florida. A wide variety of sharks are found on the state’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts, making it a premiere destination for anglers who want to land a trophy fish. Captain John O’Hanlon loves guiding new and experienced anglers on their pursuit of one of Florida’s many sharks.


Shark populations and fishing are carefully managed in Florida. Thanks to this careful management, the shark population in the Tampa Bay area is diverse and includes more than a dozen different types of shark. Among the most well known and prevalent are Blacktip, Hammerhead, Bonnethead and Lemon Sharks. Blacktip and Bonnethead tend to be most popular with anglers. Tampa Bay is considered an important nursery area for sharks with many varieties choosing to deposit eggs in bays.

Anglers must be aware that not all varieties of shark can be caught or landed in Florida. The following species are considered prohibited and cannot be kept for trophy purposes: Atlantic Angel, Basking, Bigeye Sand Tiger, Bigeye Sixgill, Bigeye Thresher, Big Nose, Caribbean Reef, Dusky, Galapagos, Great Hammerhead, Lemon Shark, Longfin Mako, Narrowtooth, Night, Sandbar, Sand Tiger, Scalloped, Seven Gill, silky, Sixgill, Smalltail, Smooth Hammerhead, Tiger, Whale and White Sharks.

When is Shark Fishing Season?

May-August tends to be the best time to catch shark, but non-prohibited shark species can be fished any time of the year in Florida. As with any angling expedition, though, knowledge and planning are key. Capt. John will be happy to talk to you about the type of shark you want to land so that you can choose the best date possible for your expedition.

Where to Catch Shark

While many have the perception that shark can only be caught in deep water, most sharks in Tampa Bay waters can be found just offshore and in bay areas. These game fish put up a fight similar to a large tarpon. Capt. John knows some of the best shark spots in the Bay and will guide you to a location where you’re likely to land an impressive catch.

How to Catch Shark

Shark are caught using fresh bait. The type of bait used depends on the type of shark that you want to catch and where you’re fishing. The captain will provide the correct bait for your expedition. The real fun of shark fishing is waiting for a bite and doing the hard work to land a shark on your own or with your friends.

Shark Fishing Charters

Captain John O’Hanlon Fishing Expeditions offers shark fishing charters for small groups. We’ll be happy to help you design the best expedition for your needs and experience.