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Tampa Bay Area Sandbars

Old 05-16-2019, 06:22 PM
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Default Tampa Bay Area Sandbars

So I'm lucky enough to live at the north end of Tampa Bay, just north of the Courtney Campbell. I keep the boat on the lift behind the house which is awesome for afternoon fishing trips up here. The boss, aka wife, enjoys fishing from time to time, but really likes just heading out on the boat and hanging out at the sandbar. Problem is, its about a 15 mile run to get down to Weedon Island and even farther to the other areas. I have a smallish bay boat that is set up pretty much for fishing, so not super comfortable for a bumpy long ride. Do I have any other options other than pulling the boat out and trailering somewhere closer? I don't mind the run down there, but we all know the bay can get pretty snotty pretty quick. Or does anyone have any tips on making that run if it is the normal chop? Thanks fellow THTr's!
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:47 PM
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I'd also like to hear suggestions if there are any. Im
in the same vicinity as you and would love to boat out to St Pete but it's too long a ride in my boat and is typically choppy and sometimes sketchy near the skyway if the wind is blowing just right.. Luckily I keep my bay boat trailered at my house and typically tow it if I want to visit the sandbars or do offshore fishing.

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Old 05-17-2019, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by hardyharrell View Post
So I'm lucky enough to live at the north end of Tampa Bay, just north of the Courtney Campbell. I keep the boat on the lift behind the house which is awesome for afternoon fishing trips up here. The boss, aka wife, enjoys fishing from time to time, but really likes just heading out on the boat and hanging out at the sandbar. Problem is, its about a 15 mile run to get down to Weedon Island and even farther to the other areas. I have a smallish bay boat that is set up pretty much for fishing, so not super comfortable for a bumpy long ride. Do I have any other options other than pulling the boat out and trailering somewhere closer? I don't mind the run down there, but we all know the bay can get pretty snotty pretty quick. Or does anyone have any tips on making that run if it is the normal chop? Thanks fellow THTr's!
Not many places to hide if the wind kicks up from the SW or NE. Iíve had a long slog taking it on the chin heading back to the gandy boat ramp from the skyway. Not fun. Iíd trailer to the beachside from Clearwater north. From there you have many options within a few miles.
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:29 AM
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One decent area is the old Georgetown apartments area just north of Gandy bridge on tampa side. A few little sandy beach areas in shallow water. Water does get pretty skinny in some places on low tide though.

But if youíre looking for water even close in color to blue or green, itís intercoastal or gulf.
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:25 AM
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Are you referring to this area?
Anyone know what that little cove is there?

I live by Tampa Bay Downs and frequently put in at Philippe Park or SH ramp. Would be nice if there was a sand bar up that way. There's one bar south of Picnic Island but it's literally all rocks but you'll see people still hang out there. I don't fish much in the bay since I'm generally offshore. Mainly run down to Hula Bay or Getaway to just run the boat and have lunch.




Last edited by steelcityfishanddive; 05-17-2019 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:19 AM
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I believe that is the area he was referring to,
we call it the toilet bowl, based on its shape.
Iíve lived in upper tampabay for 16 years now, if the wife wants blue-green water you going to be running a bit.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Hicks 2 View Post
I believe that is the area he was referring to,
we call it the toilet bowl, based on its shape.
I’ve lived in upper tampabay for 16 years now, if the wife wants blue-green water you going to be running a bit.


It ain't the toilet bowl because of it's shape. It's from whats in the water Dan!

West of the Skyway is the only place I would want to be swimming. After living here my entire life getting in the water in the upper bay is not appealing at all. Plenty of enough no swim/high bacteria warnings to convince me.

What you gonna do without the Avenger Dan?
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:00 PM
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We don't need any sand bar rendezvous points up here north of the CCC or the Howard Franklin. Keep the circus further south, please.

The jet skis are bad enough already...don't need to add any fly paper to attract more...
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by crboggs View Post
We don't need any sand bar rendezvous points up here north of the CCC or the Howard Franklin. Keep the circus further south, please.

The jet skis are bad enough already...don't need to add any fly paper to attract more...
Super helpful! Thanks!
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:09 AM
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Google earth Double Branch, take the left fork at the mouth, up stream a bit is a small sand bar to hang out at. Maybe not what you are looking for because the current can be strong but a decent close run for you.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:13 AM
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Donít go right, very shallow. Hang here and you can fish the deeper water or wade around.
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Old 05-20-2019, 01:54 PM
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There's a new waterfront restaurant opening in june by gandy on the Tampa side, called The Salt Shack. I'm looking forward to another option that's easy to get to by boat.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by rob130 View Post
Google earth Double Branch, take the left fork at the mouth, up stream a bit is a small sand bar to hang out at. Maybe not what you are looking for because the current can be strong but a decent close run for you.
Zoom out a little further and see what kind of shit you will be swimming in.

Look close and see that your in the drainage area for a cesspool of shit that flows into the upper bay. The place does not flush well and is the reason waterfront properties are a little more affordable in the area. Follow the flow of Sweet Water Creek that also dumps in the upper bay.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rob130 View Post
Google earth Double Branch, take the left fork at the mouth, up stream a bit is a small sand bar to hang out at. Maybe not what you are looking for because the current can be strong but a decent close run for you.
That bar is primarily jon boats, smaller skiffs, and paddle craft. Very tough for larger boats to access from the outside.

The honest answer is that there aren't really any sand bar "destinations" this far up in the bay.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
Look close and see that your in the drainage area for a cesspool of shit that flows into the upper bay.
The biggest problem around here is the crap flowing out of Lake Tarpon down past Safety Harbor. The water is WAY dirtier over there than on the outside of Mobbly, Double Branch, and Rocky Creek.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:36 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. I fish a few days a week at double branch and mobbly. Good fishing, but I think most of you are right about it not being great for swimming. I've hopped out of the boat a couple of times to wade with the fly rod, that's about it. Wasn't one of the reasons they built that new bridge on the Courtney Campbell to clean up some of that water? That's right at the end of the channel as I leave the canal of my neighborhood. I don't think it's made much of a difference yet. What say ye?
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by hardyharrell View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I fish a few days a week at double branch and mobbly. Good fishing, but I think most of you are right about it not being great for swimming. I've hopped out of the boat a couple of times to wade with the fly rod, that's about it. Wasn't one of the reasons they built that new bridge on the Courtney Campbell to clean up some of that water? That's right at the end of the channel as I leave the canal of my neighborhood. I don't think it's made much of a difference yet. What say ye?
There was a bridge there back in the 70's. It was a gator trout fishing hot spot and the water quality on the north side was much improved. Fishing back in those canals was really good back then also. I think it will improve over time. The bottom line is the upper bay water quality has suffered from all the development. I looked at a ditch draining into sweetwater/wastewater creek the other day and what was flowing in it was sick looking. That creek meanders all through what is now West Chase and flows almost all the way to Erlich Rd and sits on the edge of a sewer treatment plant.

Then of course, you Have the drainage of Lake Tarpon and all the mess that brings. The Brooker creek watershed drains most of all of NW Hillsborough counties crap as well. I have heard of people getting staff infections from Lake Tarpon.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by crboggs View Post
That bar is primarily jon boats, smaller skiffs, and paddle craft. Very tough for larger boats to access from the outside.

The honest answer is that there aren't really any sand bar "destinations" this far up in the bay.
And very redneck riviera
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
There was a bridge there back in the 70's. It was a gator trout fishing hot spot and the water quality on the north side was much improved. Fishing back in those canals was really good back then also. I think it will improve over time. The bottom line is the upper bay water quality has suffered from all the development. I looked at a ditch draining into sweetwater/wastewater creek the other day and what was flowing in it was sick looking. That creek meanders all through what is now West Chase and flows almost all the way to Erlich Rd and sits on the edge of a sewer treatment plant.

Then of course, you Have the drainage of Lake Tarpon and all the mess that brings. The Brooker creek watershed drains most of all of NW Hillsborough counties crap as well. I have heard of people getting staff infections from Lake Tarpon.
It'll take time but I think it will help a lot. I hope they do the same on the S side of Coopers Bayou.
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
There was a bridge there back in the 70's. It was a gator trout fishing hot spot and the water quality on the north side was much improved. Fishing back in those canals was really good back then also. I think it will improve over time. The bottom line is the upper bay water quality has suffered from all the development. I looked at a ditch draining into sweetwater/wastewater creek the other day and what was flowing in it was sick looking. That creek meanders all through what is now West Chase and flows almost all the way to Erlich Rd and sits on the edge of a sewer treatment plant.

Then of course, you Have the drainage of Lake Tarpon and all the mess that brings. The Brooker creek watershed drains most of all of NW Hillsborough counties crap as well. I have heard of people getting staff infections from Lake Tarpon.
With all of the development and the subsequent runoff, I donít think weíll see anything close to clean water that far up in the bay again. I hope Iím wrong though.
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