What Can You Catch This Winter Fishing in St. Petersburg, Florida?

What Can You Catch This Winter Fishing in St. Petersburg, Florida?

Table of Contents

Did you know there are many exciting fish to be caught when fishing in St. Petersburg this winter? Florida is in a great position despite the dropping water temperatures. The water is still warmer than elsewhere and the air is usually in the 60-75 degree range. This creates the perfect environment for the fish and the fishermen!

Winter is also a great time to be on the water in St. Petersburg as an abundance of waterfowl migrating from the north show up and join the Dolphins and Manatees everywhere. Be sure to keep an eye out for the famous white Pelicans and pink Flamingos! We welcome you to reserve a charter with us today or to purchase a Fishing Charter gift certificate.

Here are some of YACTHTFISH Fishing Charter’s top picks waiting for you this winter in St. Petersburg:

Inshore Fish to Catch This Winter in St. Petersburg

Red Fish

Winter fishing in St. Petersburg sees Red Fish around the shorelines of St. Petersburg and St. Pete Beach enjoying the mangroves, sand bars, deep channels, and shallow flats.

Also known as Red Drum, they’re great fun to catch and you can take one back to a local restaurant for a delicious flakey, soft meal (of course, you can release them too).

Redfish are very popular with anglers in St. Petersburg during winter because they are found in schools ranging from 30 to 60 hungry fish.

  • Copper to pale silver color
  • Distinct eye spot on the tail
  • Elongated body
  • Round dorsal profile
  • Big fights


Snook Winter fishing in St. Petersburg is extremely popular and guaranteed to provide an unforgettable experience. Suitable for anglers of all skill levels, Snook will gather around the docks, bridges, and coastlines searching for food. You will enjoy an explosive fight with a fish that never gives up. Few fish are as much fun as catching a huge Snook! Oh, and they taste great too.

  • Slender bodies
  • High dorsal fins, divided
  • Distinct lateral line on each side
  • Sloping foreheads with large mouths and protruding lower jaws


Winter fishing in St. Petersburg marks the reopening of Flounder season, allowing for some of the best Flounder action all year. Flounder requires patience, but the reward is sweet and delicious!

YACHTFISH Fishing Charters often try bottom fishing near inshore docks and bridges with access to deep water. Using bait such as Bull Minnows or Shrimp works well.

  • Flat, disc-shaped bodies
  • White on the right
  • Brown, gray, or olive on the left
  • Three distinct dark brown spots near the tail, pointing toward the head
  • Other spots found closer to the head

Speckled Trout

Speckled Trout are always hot in winter and we expect to catch good numbers in sizes ranging from 12-24 inches. St. Petersburg and the surrounding areas offer great dark canals and action in the flats. Live shrimp is your best bet for luring Speckled Trout near the bottom.

  • Silver with a rainbow hue
  • Black spots on their backs
  • Canine-like teeth (Very sharp!)
  • Soft dorsal fin with scales

Mangrove Snapper

Found just about everywhere in Florida, Mangrove Snapper are a perfect battle for kids and new anglers. These delicious Snappers are great fighters and love to take refuge in the mangroves and grass flats.

  • Red-orange spots and stripes on their sides
  • Elongated dorsal fins
  • Prominent rays
  • Dark red outlined dorsal fins

Read Related: How to Choose the Best Fishing Charter in St. Petersburg, Florida

Deep-Sea Fish to Catch This Winter in St. Petersburg

Red Grouper

Groupers are also hot in St. Petersburg during Winter! These big tasty beasts are deep-sea hunters but also head inland more during the cooler months. YACHTFISH Fishing Charters find them on rocky bottoms in monster sizes: between 5 and 10 lbs and up to 2 ft long!

Groupers are a real test of your metal, making for an incredibly exciting day on the water. Think you’re up for the challenge?

Regulations allow us to catch 2 per person within the 4 grouper boat aggregate.

  • Compact bodies
  • Small scales
  • Dark reddish brown heads and bodies
  • Pink and red shading on their bellies
  • White and black spots


Amberjack are aggressive, predatory fish that put up a stunning fight all year round. Every winter we head to their usual hiding spots around reefs, wreckages and structures.

As one of the largest members of the Jack family, they’ll push you very hard! They’re considered angry fish, with a short temper. They are a catch you can boast about for years to come.

They taste like a mix of Tuna and Mahi-Mahi, with a rich buttery taste.

  • Dark stripes on their heads, from the nose to the first dorsal fin
  • Blue or olive backs
  • Silver-white bellies and sides
  • They may have an amber or pinkish shade


Hogfish are one of the best-tasting fish you can catch this winter in St. Petersburg. The high season really kicks off in February, but even before then we’re set to find these hard-fighting Labridaes. They never give up, but are perfect for all anglers – regardless of age and skill levels. They’re guaranteed fun!

  • Long, pig-like snouts
  • Protrusible jaws
  • Thick lips
  • Canine-like teeth
  • Multiple spines on the dorsal fins, expanding into long filaments
  • Variations of color and sizes

Read Related: How to Choose the Best Fishing Charter in St. Petersburg, Florida


Our Shark fishing charters in St. Petersburg are active all year round and with mild temperatures, you can catch them this winter! Our known hotspots are teeming with these beasts. This is the ultimate St. Petersburg fishing charter experience, with few things more exciting and adrenaline-pumping than that first sight of a surfacing Shark!

They’re also perfect bonding moments for all the family or your friends, as you’ll never forget that day you all caught a Shark together!

Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin Tuna are open season all year, but the best time to catch them is in winter. Around the end of the year, they start to flock towards Florida, leaving us with a great chance of catching BIG Tuna on our St. Petersburg Deep Sea fishing charters.

Tuna can range from a small football size to over 200 lbs! And best of all, they’re delicious.

  • Metallic dark blue on their backs and upper sides
  • Yellow to Silver belly
  • Bright-yellow dorsal fin
  • Yellow stripes down their sides

Read Related: Florida’s Top 10 Trophy Game Fish That You Need to Catch

Book The Best Fishing Charter in St. Petersburg, Florida


If you’d like to book a winter fishing charter in St. Petersburg, Florida, then look no further than YACHTFISH Fishing Charters. With over 250 Google reviews and a 4.9 rating, you will not be disappointed!

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 private fishing charter in St. Petersburg today! Or BOOK NOW at www.yachtfish.com

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

Sharing is Caring...
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.
Related Posts...
Your St. Petersburg Fishing Charter Captain

from our happy Guests

We had such a great time with these guys. Captain Nick and Captain Scott we spent two day inshore fishing with. Both of them are great guys and we had a blast fishing with them. We went off shore with Captian Pat and Sam, these two guys kept us busy... read more
Jake Vagher Avatar
Captain Jon was knowledgable and caught so many fish we couldn't keep track including this huge shark. Highly recommend Yacht Fish!
Emily Taylor Avatar
Had an epic time on the water with Captain Scott. He took great care of our group, constantly found good spots for us, and made sure we were safe and having fun. Mostly fished sharks and bass and were able to catch a great sunset on the way in 10/10... read more
Drake Hougo Avatar
Although we didn’t catch many fish it was a really great day on the water with captain Johnny and first mate Cooper. Thanks for keeping our spirits up in challenging conditions. I’d highly recommend YAGHTFISH.
Joe Spratt Avatar
The St. Petersburg Fishing Charter team was friendly, knowledgeable, and committed to providing top-notch service. It was a pleasure to work with a company that puts such a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction.
sheldon sneed Avatar
We booked a trip very last min and they were able to accommodate us with minimal effort! The day out was great fun, the guys were polite and fun and they know their stuff when it comes to finding the fish. Some great fish and better memories! Hands down YACHTFISH... read more
Karen Murphy Avatar
What an amazing experience! We caught fish the entire trip with Captain Scott! He’s extremely knowledgable of all the different species. We are down from Indiana for family vacation and will definitely be booking again in the future!
Enrique Moreno Avatar
Booked a trip with Yachtfish and fished with captain Scott. Captain Scott was super awesome with our family and kept us on fish the whole trip. Can’t wait to do it again!
Kaitlyn Richins Avatar
Captain Scott was great! Got us on the fish.
Thomas Talbert Avatar
Great Day on water with Scott Edwards with Yachtfish group…very professional…Fun…and Productive!
Henry Lawson Avatar