Tampa Bay & Clearwater Light Tackle, Deep Sea & Fly Fishing Guides, tampa bay &  clearwater light tackle deep sea and fly fishing guides, tampa fishing guides, clearwater fishing guides, st petersburg fishing guides, tampa fishing charters, clearwater fishing charters, st petersburg fishing charters, tampa deep sea fishing, clearwater deep sea fishing, florida fishing reports, florida fishing guides, florida tarpon fishing, florida snook fishing, florida deep sea fishing, florida flats fishing guides, florida fly fishing




Click on Images Below to Enlarge




Map It




Click HERE for a list of our Fishing Charter Captains


Click HERE to view a recent fishing report





Click for Saint Petersburg, Florida Forecast


Please use your browser's "Back" button to return to the Florida Light Tackle Charter site.



About:  Although Tampa is a relatively young city, the history of the area stretches back to the 16th century. In 1519, Ponce de Leon landed with his three small ships on the peninsula that he later named Florida. He visited what was to become Tampa Bay in 1521. Panfilo de Narvaez, another Spanish explorer, landed at Tampa Bay in 1528 with 300 men. Like many Spanish tourists of the time, de Narvaez wasn't interested in the beauty of the area. He wanted gold, and the Indians told him he'd find it. From Tampa Bay, he led his company of men up the peninsula in a arduous expedition in which all but a few of the party (including de Narvaez himself) died. Four of these, led by Cabeza de Vaca, wandered overland for 7 years before finding a haven in Mexico.

Yet another Spaniard, Hernando de Soto, landed in the bay area in May of 1539. Like the unfortunate de Narvaez, he also wanted gold. With the help of Juan Ortiz, a de Narvaez survivor who had acquired a passable command of the local languages, the de Soto expedition trekked as far as the Mississippi River. Also like de Narvaez, de Soto didn't find any gold. Only half his company made it back, and de Soto wasn't one of them.

The bay area was empty of white settlers until 1823, when a New York City pioneer named Robert J. Hackley moved in and built a plantation. In 1824, the federal government moved Seminole Indians to a reservation nearby after displacing them from their land in North Florida. Following the establishment of the reservation, the government built Fort Brooke to oversee it. The settlement that grew up around it also took on the name Fort Brooke, but this appellation was later changed back to the original Indian name--Tampa.

The area grew in both population and importance. During the Civil War, Tampa was an important port for the Confederacy, sending out vital salt, citrus, and other supplies out on blockade runners until the Union Navy captured the town. Real growth didn't occur until much later, when industrialist Henry B. Plant built the railroad that connected it with Jacksonville and North Florida (1884). During the 1880s and 1890s, Plant spent millions of dollars developing the tourist industry in Tampa, building the $3.5 million dollar (a lot of money at the time) Tampa Bay Hotel, which now houses the University of Tampa.

Vicente Martinez Ybor, a tobacco processor, established the cigar industry in 1886 in what is now Ybor City, turning the area into one of the world's biggest producers of cigars. During the Spanish-American War, Tampa Bay was an important point of embarkation for American troops (including Teddy Roosevelt) going to fight the Spanish in Cuba.

Real-estate speculation brought a sizable population boom in the 1920s, and now, the city of Tampa (which had fewer than 1,000 people when the Union Navy captured it during the Civil War) and the surrounding communities are home to over two million people. The seat of Hillsborough County and home to MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa's main industries include citrus canning (it's the citrus canning capitol of the world), shrimping, fabricated steel, electronic equipment, cigars, beer, paint, and fertilizers, and of course, tourism.




As of 12/18/03, This page has been viewed  Hit Counter  times.