I've only fished around Tampa Bay a couple of times and not with great success (that is more my fault than the fishing qualities). You should be able to catch redfish, sea trout, lady fish, jack etc. Look into Fort Desota State Park when you are down there. It is at the southern end of St Petersburg, near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. There is some wade fishing to be done there.
Between the Professional 8wt and the TiCR or TiCRX you should really cast them to see which works better for you. The TiCR & X are much faster action rods. Byron and Paula both prefer the action of the Professional series for their 9wt rods.