March Madness in the Gulf of Mexico off St. Petersburg, Florida

March Madness in the Gulf of Mexico off St. Petersburg, Florida

Table of Contents

What would happen if, for March Madness, we replaced basketball with… fish? You read that correctly, welcome to the 2024 (and very first) YACHTFISH Fishing Charters’ annual March Madness tournament.

The rules are simple; it’s fish vs fish, as we determine what is the best fish to catch in St. Petersburg. Elimination after elimination until we reach the final winner. Of course, this is all theoretical, so if you really want to be a judge yourself, then book a private YACHTFISH Fishing Charter from St. Petersburg, Florida.

OK, first up we’re not going to bore you with 68 different fish like they do with 68 basketball teams. No, let’s leap to the Elite 8.

“Ladies and gentlemen, you join us here today with the final 8 fish ready to battle it out to be the nation’s greatest fish. Our criteria are simple; only the best catches and most exciting fighters will survive.”

Let’s get down to it:

Elite Eight

Tarpon vs. Snook

Tarpon enters the court with an impressive reputation on its side, but it won’t be easy for the Silver Kings today, as they’re up against the popular Snook.

Doubling their opponent in maximum growth size (8 ft), Tarpon towers over the Snook and overpowers them with their incredible leaps and hard runs.

Snook tries to win us over by reminding us how delicious they are. But it’s the Tarpon who takes the victory, serving the Snook up on a plate.


Shark vs. Red Fish

You join us for a battle of two icons of the Gulf here. Sharks aggressively enter the court, the crowd gasping at the sight of their sharp teeth and versatile team. Hammerhead at point guard, Blacktip power forward.

But wait, here comes the Red Fish! Their drumming sound is making the crowd go wild and the thought of them being grilled up is hard to resist.

But the shark counterattacks. How could we ever reject the chance to catch a fish like that? You can’t!


Kingfish vs. Grouper

Streamlined and stunning, Kingfish make an epic start by taking our breath away with their looks. But when it comes to fish battles, they can’t handle the might of Team Grouper.

They go all in on the Goliath Grouper, who dominates the court. This one’s the size of a small car! Unbelievable scenes. Grouper swipes the floor.


Snapper vs. Wahoo

Our final Elite 8 match sees the delicious Snapper up against the silvery-white, elegant Wahoo.

March sees Wahoo at their very best, so they swamp the court early. The crowd is going wild. Reaching speeds of 60mph they hunt down the Snappers all over.

But can Snapper come back? The thought of enjoying a fresh, soft, delicious, flakey… (the announcer begins to drool and announces Snapper as the winner).


Final Four

“Welcome back to St. Petersburg, where we’re about to witness the Final 4 of YACHTFISH Fishing Charters March Madness 2024. We’ve got some true giants of the Gulf lined up, let’s get down to the action:”

Tarpon vs. Shark

Tarpon has the home advantage, as the tourists have flocked to cheer on The Gulf’s most popular catch.

But those Sharks are relentless. Weighing up to 220 lbs, the Black Tips are a sight to behold.

But this isn’t fiction, this is reality, and Sharks are never as mean and scary as people think. The Tarpons have experience on their side, they’re prehistoric after all!

We can’t deny our hearts pound harder than anything when the Sharks surface, but the Tarpon wins it at the bell with an acrobatic leap out of the water!


Grouper vs. Snapper

Woo, what a battle we have in store here as two brutes of the Gulf of Mexico go head to head. Our Charter Captain Nick tries to calm things down, as the Grouper start pushing their incredible weight around.

There’s a 110 million Snapper in the Gulf alone, so they swarm the court. But Grouper is the king of coming up from the deep (see our St. Petersburg deep-sea fishing charters), so they go for the 3-pointer! It lands!

Snapper gives up the fight though. They’re relentless, there’s water splashing all over. Can they make a comeback? No. This is March, if it was June Madness they might have a better chance. But in March, the Snapper isn’t quite at full power. Game over!



“Here we are folks, the YACHTFISH Fishing Charters March Madness 2024 grand finale.

It’s the Silver Kings vs the beasts, Grouper!”

The Silver Kings are open season all year, so they’re ready for this. Anglers from all over have got their eyes on the court and are hoping their favorite fish comes out on top!

But Grouper is no pushover, as we know. Gag Grouper, Red Grouper and Black Grouper line up, in an attacking formation. They’re going for it.

And it’s Grouper who dominate the opening quarter, bruising their way to win us (the judges of this contest) over. They’re unforgiving and to get them, you need quick reactions!

But quick reactions are exactly what Tarpon have in abundance. Exploding from the surface, they make the crowd’s jaws drop. This is an action-packed battle of the ages. Just like we’re used to on our Deep-Sea Fishing Charters.

Experience is everything in fishing. And you just can’t beat that Tarpon experience, they’ve got fish on their team who are as old as 60!

“The scores are even. There are seconds to go. But wait, the Grouper can’t see! It’s the Tarpon! Their shimmering silvery scales blind the Grouper and they win it at the bell! Unbelievable!”


The Silver Kings retain their crown!

We highly recommend advance booking, especially during March as it’s a very popular month.

Book a Private Fishing Charter in St. Petersburg, Florida


If you’d like to book a private deep-sea or inshore fishing charter in St. Petersburg, Florida for Spring Break, then look no further than YACHTFISH Fishing Charters. We’ll make this one of the most fun and unforgettable days your family will ever have!

YACHTFISH Fishing Charters has enjoyed over 20 years of experience in St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach, Tampa, and Clearwater while guaranteeing you a catch every time! We welcome all ages and all skill levels, from young novices to experienced anglers.

CALL or TEXT: YACHTFISH CHARTERS (727) 433-4200 to book a deep sea or inshore fishing charter in St. Petersburg today! Or BOOK NOW at

YACHTFISH will provide an unforgettable experience second to none with Fishing Charters departing daily from St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach, Tampa, and Clearwater.

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About the Author...
Matt Douglas

Matt Douglas

Captain Matt Douglas is the founder of YACHTFISH and is a licensed United States Coast Guard 100 ton Master Captain. Captain Matt grew up on the waters of Tampa Bay and lived and worked in Costa Rica for over 11 years. He has extensive experience in Central America, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and Florida. Captain Matt is a tournament-winning captain who has an intense passion for boating, fishing and creating life time memories for his Clients. These passions, combined with his experience, were the catalysts for YACHTFISH. Captain Matt is laser-focused on what he enjoys the most, and knows the best, in Tampa Bay and Costa Rica.
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Captain John & first mate Coop were great fishing guides. Our family of 6 had a great time and we caught a lot of fish. Thanks
Kurt Sellmeyer Avatar
My son and I fished with Captain Scott and 1st Mate Austin on June 21, 2024, out of St. Petersburg. We truly enjoyed our time out fishing with these guys. I can't say enough about their integrity and work ethic. While we didn't catch a ton of fish, we caught... read more
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Had an awesome time! Highly recommend these guys, nick was the best captain we could have! He was on it from beginning to end, really made the Father’s Day special for us. Thank you guys
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My 12 year old son and I booked our charter the night before and we had the BEST day. We were on the fish right away and the boat ride was so fun. Scott and Austin were unbelievable, and got my quiet son chatting and smiling from ear to ear... read more
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Incredible fishing trip - Sam and Maverick got us on fish fast and kept us catching the whole day. They were always trying new things to catch different types of fish and were super helpful and informative. Made our experience great!! Will definitely use Yacht Fish again!
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What a great trip this was. I have been on a lot of charters all over the country and out of the country and Sam and Patrick are two of the best captains I’ve ever had. I will definitely be coming back to fish with these guys in the future.... read more
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Great day on the water with Yachtfish. Captain Pat and Mate Hunter were very knowledgeable and friendly. They went out of their way to make it a great experience for everyone from the kids to the grandparents. Lots of action all day and a full fish box, can’t ask for more.
George Blanco Avatar
We booked on Saturday for Monday so I appreciate them fitting us in. We went with Captain Scott and it was amazing!!! He’s extremely professional and customer oriented. He was super patient with my partner who’s never fished before and made sure he had a great time. My balance is... read more
Kimberly Patterson Avatar
We booked a four-hour out of St. Pete Marina. One of our best trips ever. Capt. Scott was very knowledgeable and took us to several great spots. Caught fish, had fun, great value, what more could you ask? We will be back.
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I had a wonderful experience with Captain Johnny and Cooper! They were polite, kind, professional, and experts. Don’t let their age full you, they are extremely skilled! I enjoyed my experience, and highly recommend them! Planning my trip for next month with them!
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