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When it comes to fishing the Manatee River, it can be the best place to be in the winter time and even in the dead of summer.
You see, Tampa Bay has 5 main rivers that feed it and all of them are spring fed that has a water temp. of 72 deg. year round. This makes it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Fish don't like temperature changes so the more consistent the water temp. is the better the fish are going to be there and ready to eat!
There are all kinds of different places to fish from grass ledges, docks, old bridges, and the list goes on. The key to fishing and being productive in any river in the bay is being on the water in the fall to see where most of the fish go for the winter season.
The river also has protected areas and bayous that you can get in, even if the wind is blowing so hard that it's almost impossible to fish in unprotected water. These places can be your ticket to a successful day in the winter months. This is yet another reason we have outstanding fishing 12 months a year in this area!
Captain Shawn Crawford
Florida Sportfishing Outfitters offers fishing charter boat services in the Tampa, Florida, area. Enjoy a fishing charter in both shallow and deep waters aboard a customized Privateer® boat led by Captain Shawn Crawford. As a sixth-generation Floridian, Captain Crawford believes that 10 percent of the fishermen catch 90 percent of the fish.
Captain Crawford has more than 27 years of experience, and has earned many clients through the word of mouth. He gives seminars throughout the year, and teaches the finer points of fishing. He knows just about everything there is to know about the waters around Tampa Bay, like Longboat Key!
Captain Crawford and Sandi Adams won the 5th Annual Ranger Boats/Evinrude™ Outboards Saltwater Flats Fishing Championship Tournament held at the Bahi Beach Island Resort Marina in Ruskin, Florida, with a 145.5-inch catch. The prize was worth more than $24,000. The Megalops team (Captain Mark Rankin, John Yingling, and Louis Garcia) came in second with a 145.25-inch catch. Both teams had a double slam, catching three fish each day. Ernie Rubio caught the largest snook at 32.25 inches on the Megabite. Frank Heter caught the largest red fish at 32.5 inches on the Wrench'Em In. His teammate, Jim Stanek, caught the largest trout at 26.25 inches.