You catch ‘em, they cook ‘em  - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay
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You catch ‘em, they cook ‘em 

You catch ‘em, they cook ‘em 

Why are these restaurants so al-lure-ing? They cook any angler’s catch of the day, no fuss, no muss. 

By T. Michele Walker 

From the stunning sunsets to the year-round warm weather, it is almost impossible to list the many benefits of living in or visiting Greater Tampa Bay. At the top of that list, though, has to be the area’s boating and fishing –– some of the best in the country.  

The Gulf Coast boasts the finest deep-sea fishing imaginable and has been called the “Grouper Fishing Capital of the World.” Fishermen, and women, will also find that Mackerel, Tuna, Hogfish and even Barracuda are plentiful in the waters just beyond the bay. 

What if a visitor is staying at a local hotel with no access to a kitchen? Or is perhaps not in the mood to stand by the grill after a long day on the Gulf? Thankfully, there are several restaurants in GTB that will happily prepare local fishers catch of the day. 

“We have been preparing self-caught fish for three years, and it’s something our customers really love and appreciate,” said Jason Kelley, lead server and part-time manager at The Big Catch at Salt Creek.  

Kelley said the restaurant sees a wide variety of fish. “We see a lot of Groupers, but you never know what people are going to bring in the door.”  

For those who spend time at the popular John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk in Madeira Beach, there is the Friendly Fisherman Restaurant, a busy establishment that sits next to Hubbard’s Marina. This pesca-partnership might be the perfect way to enjoy the catch and cook experience. Simply book a charter with Hubbard’s –– then have it cooked to order at the Friendly Fisherman for the freshest fish in town. 

For something truly special, try having the day’s catch smoked by the pros at historic Ted Peter’s Famous Smoked Fish.  

“If someone brings in their fresh catch, we’ll absolutely put it in the smoker and smoke it for you,” said Megan Sciascia, server at Ted Peter’s. “You do have to clean it beforehand, and we don’t serve it in the restaurant, but you can take it home for dinner.”  

In business for over 70 years, Ted Peters has perfected the process of smoking fish over a smoldering fire of red oak, a process that takes between four to six hours. It may take some time, but it is worth every moment. 


Catch and Cook Restaurants in Greater Tampa Bay 

Ted Peter’s Famous Smoked Fish 

1350 Pasadena Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 


The Big Catch at Salt Creek 

1500 2nd St S, St. Petersburg, FL 


See Also

Friendly Fisherman Restaurant 

150 Boardwalk Place E W, Madeira Beach, FL 


Red, White & Booze (formerly known as the Sea Critters Café) 

2007 Pass-a-Grille Way, St Pete Beach, FL 


Maritana Grille located at Loews Don Cesar Hotel 

3400 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 


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