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Top 5 Gamefish to Catch in Clearwater, Florida

Top 5 Gamefish to Catch in Clearwater, Florida

If you’re looking for a fishing destination that offers something for everyone, look no further than Clearwater, Florida. With its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters and abundant fish species, Clearwater is an angler’s paradise. Whether you prefer to cast your line from the shore or take a deep sea charter boat out into the Gulf of Mexico, there are plenty of prime spots to reel in Redfish, Grouper and other tasty catches. So come discover why Clearwater has become one of Florida’s premier fishing destinations today.

From Redfish and Snook to Trout and Tarpon, there are plenty of opportunities for anglers of all levels. This guide will provide an overview of the five most popular fish species that can be found in Clearwater – so read on to find out more about each one.


Redfish, a species of fish found in warm, shallow waters. It is known for its bright red color and distinctive scales, along with its ability to adapt to different habitats. It is also highly sought after for its meaty texture and flavor.

Redfish is one of the most sought-after species in Clearwater, Florida. This delicious fish favors brackish waters and is renowned for its strength and size. The average Redfish found in Clearwater can weigh anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds, though some have been caught weighing up to 40 pounds. To observe Florida regulations Redfish need to be between 18” and 27” in length to be harvested, and in Clearwater, only 1 fish per person or 8 fish per boat are allowed each day.

Redfish are known for their hard-fighting spirit, which makes them a great challenge for anglers. They prefer warm weather and feed on crustaceans, shrimp, small fishes, and even other Redfish! Because of its popularity with anglers, fishing for Redfish in Clearwater has become a serious sport.

Redfish can usually be found near shoreline grass beds or around oyster bars during the fall months when they’re spawning. When targeting these fish, it’s important to use light tackle as they tend to spook easily when larger lures or heavier weights come into play. Whether you choose a charter boat or decide to fish from shore, you won’t be disappointed by the redfish opportunities in Clearwater, Florida.

There are multiple tournaments held every year that allow amateur anglers to compete against seasoned professionals. In addition to tournaments, there are also plenty of guides available who can help you find the best spots to land your catch.

Redfish need to be between 18” and 27” in length to be harvested, and in Clearwater, only 1 fish per person or 8 fish per boat are allowed each day


With an elongated body, this game fish is found in brackish and salt waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Snook are prized for their delicious flesh, known for having a mild yet slightly sweet flavor. They can reach lengths of around three feet and weigh up to 30 pounds. With their strong fighting spirit when hooked, they make a great sport fish for anglers looking for an exciting catch.

Snook is another popular species in Clearwater, Florida, that attracts anglers from all over the world. Known for their aggressive fight and distinctive patterns, this prized fish is a favorite among experienced anglers and novice fishermen. However, they do have a season from September to mid-December. You must have a valid fishing license and Snook stamp to fish for them and only one fish per day as long as they are 28” to 32 “ from the tip of the tail to the chin.

Found in estuaries, bays, and nearshore waters, Snook are an abundant species throughout Florida, with Clearwater proving to be a particularly ideal spot for finding them. These ancient creatures have been around for more than 50 million years, making them one of the oldest living fish on Earth. Snook prefer warm waters and usually stick to shallow depths of less than 10 feet. They feed mainly on shrimp and small baitfish but will also go after larger prey such as crabs and squid if conditions are right.

When fishing for Snook in Clearwater, you’ll want to use light tackle with smaller hooks to target their small mouths better. You’ll typically find them near structures such as docks, jetties, and mangroves, where they can hide from predators while still having access to plenty of food sources.

Anglers come from far and wide to experience the thrill of catching a snook in Clearwater’s vibrant waters – it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Fly fishing enthusiasts, novices, and pros alike travel here in search of this ancient predator that will test your skills as an angler every time you reel one in. Whether you choose to wade out or take a charter boat, Snook fishing in Clearwater promises some of the most exciting catches around.


Tarpon are large, silvery fish found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. Tarpon have a large, humped head, a long snout, and an upturned mouth. Their scales are tiny and iridescent. The dorsal fin is located near the tail and has heavy spines. Tarpon are strong swimmers with powerful tails that propel them through the water quickly. They feed on small fish, shrimp, crabs, squid, and organisms from the bottom of the ocean, such as worms and clams. Tarpon often leap from the water when hooked by fishermen; they have even been known to break off fishing lines with their powerful jumps.

Tarpon are one of the most sought-after and impressive species in Clearwater, Florida. These powerful fish can reach lengths of up to 8 feet and can weigh over 200 pounds – no small feat! Known for their acrobatics, tarpon can often be seen leaping out of the water in an attempt to throw off anglers. They’re also known for their hard fighting spirit, making them a challenge even for experienced anglers. They feed on a variety of baitfish such as mullet, shad, pilchards, herring, and anchovies, as well as crustaceans like crabs and shrimp.

Tarpon are found mainly in estuarine waters but will also venture into bays and seagrass beds during certain times of the year. The best time of year to catch tarpon in Clearwater is during the spring months of late April through early June, when water temperatures reach an optimal level for tarpon activity. They prefer warm waters with temperatures of 75 – 90 + degrees, so they’re also found during summer months when temperatures rise. While they are found most of the year, they are a strictly catch-and-release fish.

When fishing for tarpon in Clearwater, it’s important to use heavier tackle with strong leader lines since these fish have sharp teeth that can cut through regular lines. Many anglers also prefer using live bait such as pinfish, grunts and crab since it may help increase your chances of success. There are many charter companies available providing guided tours to prime areas around Clearwater’s vast coastline.

While there is no guarantee that an angler will land a tarpon in Clearwater, the challenge of trying to do so is part of what makes it so exciting! With its warm climate, an abundance of shallow flats and deep channels and abundant marine life, Clearwater is an ideal place to go looking for these majestic fish. Whether you’re just starting as an angler or are an experienced pro looking for a new challenge, fishing for tarpon in Clearwater provides a thrilling experience that you won’t want to miss out on.

Speckled Sea Trout

Speckled Sea Trout are a species of inshore marine fish that can be found in the coastal waters of the western Atlantic Ocean to Texas, including the Gulf of Mexico and parts of the Caribbean. These fish are typically silver-gray with dark spots scattered over their body, giving them their unique “speckled” appearance. They grow to lengths up to about 24 inches and have slender bodies with deeply forked tails. They feed mainly on crustaceans like shrimp and crabs but can also consume small fish when available. Speckled sea trout are considered an important game fish and are popular targets for recreational anglers due to their aggressive behavior when hooked. They are also widely sought after by commercial fishermen as they are highly prized in restaurants and markets around the world

Speckled Sea Trout in Clearwater, Florida, are one of the most sought-after gamefish in the area. These fish are a favorite among experienced anglers and novice fishermen.

Found mainly in nearshore waters, bays and estuaries throughout Florida’s Gulf Coast, they’re most commonly found during the cooler months when water temperatures drop slightly. Speckled sea trout can grow to be up to 16 inches long and weigh up to 8 pounds – an impressive size for this species. The best time to catch them is usually during the spring spawning season or fall when water temperatures begin to cool off a bit.
They feed mainly on shrimp, small baitfish, and squid but will also go after larger prey, such as crabs, if conditions are right. When fishing for speckled sea trout, it’s important to use light tackle with smaller hooks so you do not spook them, as in clear waters, they can see the larger hooks.

Because of its shallow flats, deep channels and abundance of food sources like shrimp and other baitfish, Clearwater is a prime spot for catching speckled sea trout – especially during wintertime when populations peak due to migration patterns. Whether you choose to wade out into shallower areas or take a charter boat into deeper waters, Clearwater promises some of the most exciting catches around.


Grouper is a large saltwater fish that can grow up to 8 feet in length and weigh up to 800 pounds. It has a broad, flat body with a jutting lower jaw and large eyes set near the top of its head. Grouper is popular for its mild flavor and firm texture, which makes it a great choice for grilling or baking. It’s also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and protein. Grouper are found in temperate and tropical waters around the world, but most commercially-fished grouper comes from the United States, the Caribbean or South America. The most common varieties of grouper include Black Grouper, Yellowedge Grouper, Gag Grouper, Scamp Grouper and Red Grouper.

Grouper, one of the tastiest fish in Clearwater, Florida, boasts impressive size and strength. They offer an exciting fight that can challenge even the most experienced anglers. Grouper are usually found in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico and along the coasts of Florida. They prefer to live in coral reefs and around rocky structures on the seafloor, where they feed on smaller fish, shrimp, crabs, and mollusks.

To keep them from heading to the ledges and rocks, circle hooks and relatively heavy tackle should be used. Many anglers also prefer using live bait such as squid, anchovies and crab since it may help increase their chances of success. Many charter companies are available that bring you to the prime areas around Clearwater’s vast coastline.

Grouper fishing is a rewarding experience that promises some of the best catches around! With its abundance of shallow flats, deep channels and rich marine life, Clearwater is definitely one of Florida’s premier fishing destinations for this powerful game fish. The cooler months of winter present a perfect opportunity to snag a trophy-sized grouper due to migration patterns that bring more into inshore waters during this time.

For anglers looking for a thrilling and rewarding fishing experience, grouper in Clearwater, Florida, is the way to go. Come down to Clearwater today and try your luck at catching one of these powerful gamefish – we promise you won’t be disappointed.

One Of The Best Places In Florida For Fishing

The top five fish in Clearwater, Florida, are Redfish, Snook, Speckled Sea Trout, Tarpon and Grouper. Each species can provide a thrilling experience for anglers looking to catch big gamefish or have some fun while exploring the waters around Clearwater. With their unique characteristics and abundance in this area, they’re sure to keep novice and experienced fishermen busy all season long! Whether fishing from shore or out on a boat, take advantage of the amazing opportunities that await you in Clearwater when hunting down any of these prized catches.

Honorable Mention: Red Snapper

Red Snapper is a type of fish found in the warm waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It has a reddish-pink coloration with white spots and can grow to a length of up to 90 centimeters. It is an important commercial fish species for recreational and commercial fishing, as well as for consumption. Red snapper can live up to 50 years and feed on smaller fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, squid, and shrimp. Anglers highly prize them due to their taste and fight when caught. As a result of overfishing and habitat loss, Red Snapper populations have decreased significantly in some regions since the 1990s, with protective measures such as spawning closures being implemented in some areas to ensure sustainability.

Red Snapper is a popular fish species found in the waters off of Clearwater, Florida. The clear, warm waters off Clearwater provide an ideal habitat for Red Snapper, resulting in a very healthy population. They are prized for their sweet flavor, flaky texture, and delicate white flesh.

The majority of Red Snappers caught in Clearwater are up to 20 inches long and weigh up to 10 pounds in weight. Anglers typically use cut bait or live bait to catch these delicious fish. Those looking to reel in a Red Snapper should use light tackle and keep an eye out for signs of schooling activity around structures such as rocks or wrecks. There are various techniques used to catch Red Snapper, such as jigging or trolling. Depending on their preference and skill level, anglers can choose what works best for them to land their catch.

Red Snapper season in Clearwater, Florida, is a time of great excitement and activity for both local residents and visitors alike. This popular fishing destination located on Florida’s Gulf Coast is home to some of the most sought-after game fish, including Red Snapper. The season runs from June 1st through September 30th each year and offers anglers the chance to catch one of the most prized catches in the area.

For anyone looking for an exciting outdoor experience during Red Snapper season in Clearwater, Florida, there are tons of knowledgeable guides ready to help you at every turn. They will take you out into deeper waters to give you the best chance of catching your own trophy fish.

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