Preparing And Cooking Your Catch In The Tampa Bay

You’ve caught the fish, but what’s the best way to prepare and cook them?

We often get asked about the fish species you’ll encounter on an inshore charter in Tampa Bay. The next most commonly asked question is: Are any of them any good to eat? And the answer to that question is yes, they are! We’ll look closely at five of our favorite fish to catch and eat in Tampa Bay.

Of course, there are many more fish that we could talk about, but for this article, we’ll be focusing on tripletail, snook, cobia, grouper, and snapper. If you love catching and cooking fresh fish, then Tampa Bay is a great place to do it.

Our Top 5 Eating Fish You’ll Encounter On An Inshore Tampa Bay Charter

Below are five of our favorite fish in no particular order to catch and cook while you’re on an inshore in Tampa Bay. 

 1.) Tripletails

Tripletail has a deliciously sweet flavor reminiscent of grouper and snapper. It has solid white flesh that isn’t too firm or flaky. The tripletail meat is excellent in various ways, including frying in batter or breadcrumb, soft poaching, steaming, and just about any method you can come up with.

2.) Snook

The snook has been illegal to catch commercially since the 90s, which was in part due to overfishing and to ensure that future generations can enjoy catching and eating this fantastic fish. The flesh of the snook is very firm, has a mild flavor, and comes away in large white chunks of goodness. The fish itself absorbs marinades and dressings very well, which makes it great for a variety of your favorite fish recipes. 

 3.) Cobia 

You’re going to have a tough time finding any cobia in a restaurant, so the only option you’ll have is getting out on the water and try to catch some for yourself. The coastal waters around Tampa Bay are a great place to start! The flesh of cobia is a bit firmer than, say, snapper or snook, but it has a delicious fresh buttery flavor that’s hard to find anywhere else. As an added bonus, it’s not as oily as other fish like swordfish or tuna. Grilled cobia on the BBQ is a great way to enjoy this delicious fish, and as it doesn’t have a massive amount of bones, you get a lot of fish from one filet with minimal waste. 

 4.) Grouper 

It’s one of the most commonly found fish on any menu, and for a good reason, grouper tastes impressive! It has delicious lean meat that has a distinct yet not overwhelming flavor, firm texture, and large flakes. The two most common grouper species you’ll encounter on an inshore Tampa Bay fishing charter are gag grouper and red grouper. Crumbed, battered, seasoned, or cooked straight on the BBQ are all ideal ways to enjoy the delicious flavor of Tampa Bay grouper.

 5.) Snapper 

One of the most significant advantages you have when catching snapper is that those small pan-sized fish are some of the best eating you’ll encounter when cooked whole. The meat stays moist and flaky, while if cooked right, the thin skin becomes super crunchy and oh so good! There are four main types of snapper you’ll encounter in Tampa Bay, including the lane snapper, mangrove snapper, mutton snapper, and red snapper. Pan-fried whole snapper will always be a favorite, but bigger fish can be fileted and fried, BBQ, steamed, and all will be amazing.

Preparing and Cooking Your Inshore Charter Catch In the Tampa Bay – Conclusion

There you go! Five of our favorite fish to catch and cook on an inshore charter trip around Tampa Bay. It’s never easy preparing a list like this. People have different tastes, and what fish one person likes, another may dislike. However, if you love fish as much as we do, you can’t go wrong with catching and cooking any delicious fish.

If you want to learn more about inshore charters in Tampa Bay or any of the delicious fish species on offer, please don’t hesitate to throw us a line! Our professional and friendly team is always happy to try and answer any inshore Tampa Bay fishing inquiries.

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