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Tampa Bay Sports
The West Central region of Florida is a hot-bed of professional sports. Championship winning teams make their full time homes here and it's a popular spot for Spring training. West Central Florida has the Super Bowl Champs - Tampa Bay Bucs, Stanley Cup Champion winning Tampa Bay Lightning and baseball teams galore! For those who would rather participate than be a spectator, West Central Florida has scuba diving on pretty neat artifical reefs and some of the world's best Golf courses and of course FISHING!
Baseball
                   Tampa Bay Rays 2008 AL Champs
                   Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training
                   NY Yankees Spring Training
                  Cincinnati Reds Spring Training
Football   Tampa Bay Buccaneers    SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS 2003
Hockey   Tampa Bay Lightning
STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS 2004
hockey players defending their net
Raymond James Stadium home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
 
Golf in Tampa Bay Florida
a group of men putt on the golf greens
golf driving range players in the distance
Bardmoor Golf & Tennis Club
13 year host to the JC Penny Classic

TPC Tampa ~  where the deer & alligators play

Belleview Biltmore ~ an American favorite since 1925

Saddlebrook ~
world headquarters of the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy
The following reviews, from a local golfer, of some popular golf courses in the Tampa Bay area
Cove Cay - was PRIVATE when I first golfed it about 10 years ago, it's semi-private now (this coarse is bad a##) in my opinion.

Mangrove Bay - is a classy course for St Pete (municipal) very well kept.

Mainlands - is a good course for a quick game of HACK THE BALL which is where I belong. They don't put a lot into upkeep but its a nice long course for a quick game. (editor note: the Mainland website states "we have recently undergone tremendous renovations, successfully lengthened the course & topped the greens with lush Bermuda Tifdwarf grass".)

Twin Brooks - is a nice little par 3 if you want to do some walking NO CARTS and they have driving course if you just want to hit some balls.

OakFord - THE BEST LOCAL COURSE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. I had a deer run across the fairway when I was there, also seen a fox that day. Grand Re-Opening Monday, December 15, 2008 - fresh greens and new management.

golf driving range pond in forground
four golf carts parked in a row
Dive St. Pete -  Dive with the Manatee in Crystal River & Homosassa River.

Jim's Dive Shop - St. Petersburg. Air fills, equipment rentals, classes, retail store, located across the street from  the Bay Pines boat ramp/park. Same location since 1986.

EZ Scuba - Tampa. Sales, service, air fills, rental equip, Spearfishing! PADI classes & more.

Florida Underwater Sports - Sarasota. Sales, service and a Shark's tooth dive, SERIOUSLY! PADI - classes & more.

Dive Clearwater - Clearwater. Wreck, reef and spearfishing. Capt Rod is the 'star' of a locally produced TV segment, Sunken Ship.
Local SCUBA diving shops & charters
woman underwater in scuba gear
coral reef, looe key, florida
woman scuba diving pink fins and snorkle
red flag with white diagonal stripe, international symbol for divers
 
Blue Crabs ~ plenty found in shallow waters on Florida's shorelines. Fun and pretty easy to catch with a thin rope & an old chicken leg tied to the end. Bring a small dip net if you don't want to grab them with you hands and watch your toes, they'll grab em'. A boiling pot of water with some Old Bay seasoning & you've got a tasty treat! The shores leading to and in Fort Desoto are usually good spots to find these tasty treats. Local.
Bay Scallops ~ Bay scallops (Argopecten irradians) can be fished in state waters from the Pasco-Hernando county line to the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County from July 1 to September 10 each year. The bag limit is two gallons of unshucked animals per person per day or one pint of meat per person per day. A saltwater fishing license is required if you harvest bay scallops from a boat or use snorkel gear but not if you wade in and collect without snorkel gear. A day trip from Holloway Haven.
Record setting fish caught in Florida
see the official state winners

Freshwater trophy winners
Saltwater trophy winers
couple on a boat holding a grouper
IGFA ~ International Game Fish Association. If you fish, you know this non-profit. They practice conservation, responsible & ethical angling through science, education, rule making and record keeping. You don't have to set a world record to be recgonized with their new catch certificates, a great gift for Dad or any other special angler you know.
Take Me Fishing - You could fish this site for hours. More fishing information than you could pack in your cooler. Fish by state, city and even add to your search, local guides, marinas & more!
Florida Sportsman Online Magazine, West Central Florida info. Weather, local charts, the gear you need and lots more fishing stuff.
Captain Mel - Tampa Bay's favorite fishing radio host for 25 years, Captain Mel Berman brought the fish to his listeners! Sadly, the Captain passed away in 2010, but his words live on! You can still get reports, fishing tips, tide charts & more from local experts who have taken the helm of Mel's website.
Florida Fishing Information
 
Jack's at John's Pass, Madeira Beach, center console boats...

Hubbards Marina, John's Pass, Madeira Beach, Deep Sea charter

Gulfstream Sportfishing Charters, Clearwater Beach Marina, FL. Three vessels to choose from, 40, 50 & 51 feet.

Queen Fleet Deep Sea Fishing, Clerwater Beach Marina, FL. Two vessels, 75 & 90 footers - carry up to 150 people.

Anclote Adventure, New Port Richey. Rent a pontoon to fish or cruise the islands of Anclote Key. 727-505-3274

Tierra Verde Boat Rentals, Tierra Verde (near St.Pete Beach) deck boats, center consoles & bowriders 21 to 24 foot.

Dolphin Deep Sea Fishing, Tarpon Springs. Family owned and operated, since 1947. 80 ft vessel, 12 & 24 hr trips.
brass fishing rod holders, with four rods on top of a boat
marina full of boats sail and motor
Fishing Charters and Boat Rentals
 
If you're lucky enough to fish - anywhere - more then once or twice a year - "you know". The bite, where you can safely go and much more is based on the TIDE. Incoming or Outgoing tide - you'll want this information before you fish in Florida, especially if you plan to fish the flats or intercoastal. Please note: Tide charts are not intended to be  used as a navigational tool - but it goes without saying, low tides mean watch where you're going! Remember the rhyme - "Brown, brown - run aground..." Where do you find a tide chart? Most stores that sell tackle, bait or marine fuel will gladly provide you with a free pocket size tide chart. If you want to view Florida tides online, the FWC uses this chart - www.saltwatertides.com

Know your waterway navigational markers;  The "3R" rule "Red Right Returning" is the essential rule of thumb for using the lateral system. This means that when entering one body of water from a larger body of water (i.e. returning to a harbor from a bay or sound), keep the red aids to starboard (right) side and green aids to port (left) side. All markers are intended to be used with nautical charts. Florida local nautical charts can be obtained at most marine/fishing businesses.

Know your saltwater fish & closed seasons. One of the best sources to ID saltwater fish in Florida is the book "Sport Fish of Florida" by Vic Dunaway. It has a photo reference of 231 species, food values, methods of catch & ranges. Vic's book is small enough to fit in most dry boxes and many gear bags/boxes. You'll like it so much, get 2, keep one onboard & one at home.
Fishing Hooks - Florida has NEW laws!
logo for save our seabirds, non-profit
warning sign on marina gate, watch for manatees
view of wake behind 200hp motor
Florida Fish and wildlife conservation commission
Florida Fishing "Know Before You Go"
 
boat anchored offshore, fishing rods aboard
Fishing Licenses - Do I need one? Where do I get one? What can I fish for with my license? Where can I fish? Did you know? You CAN buy a Florida fishing license on the phone or even at a "mega-store". All of this informtion and more can be found here, on the FWC website.
Licenses may also be purchased from county tax collectors or their subagents, who are generally located at tackle shops, fish camps, hardware stores and sporting goods stores. In addition to the license stamp fees listed above, agents are entitled to a $0.50 fee. License fees are set by the Florida Legislature and are subject to change
FOR AN INSTANT FLORIDA FISHING LICENSE DIAL
1-888-FISH FLORIDA [1-888-347-4356

From fresh water ponds in local parks to the Gulf of Mexico, fishing is one of the most popular sports in West Central Florida. In most cases, if you see water - there are fish in it - get your gear. (note: there are very few places, marked private, usually small lakes & ponds, best to avoid them) Have you no boat? No worries, we'll list some of the most popular fishing charters and boat rentals in the area. shore fishing, pier fishing and bridge fishing is available as well. No rod & reel needed ~ dare we forget 'fishing' for Blue Crabs & Scallops? Looking for lobster? Spiny lobster are far & few between in this area, if you're lucky you may find one diving the rock ledges. Best to head down to the Florida Keys, if you want to catch enough for dinner.
before you go
charter & rental
info fish Florida
sunrise from gulf of mexico fishing rod in view, no land in sight
blue marlin hooked on a fishing line
Fishing in Tampa Bay Florida
 
crab & scallop
 
boats at a marina, high masted sailboats
Drinking alcohol & boating in Florida
Business listings on this site are posted for the visitor's information. Advertisement paid or non-paid is not to imply endorsement or affiliation with any businesses. Holloway Haven Cottages makes every effort to list reputable businesses.
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