Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fort Desoto Pier Fishing

As you know, I am a local in the Saint Petersburg area, and though most of my saltwater fishing trips are further down south, but every once in awhile I will make a trip to the Fort Desoto fishing piers. In case you don’t know, Fort Desoto is one the best parks in the United States, there is a whole bunch of stuff that you can do there, there’s a beach, there’s canoe rentals, canals to fish, bridges to fish, and also a couple of fishing piers. The first pier is the long one, aka the Gulf Pier, I would say it is about a quarter mile from the beach to the end, which provides a lot of saltwater fishing ground. You will see that the pier is almost always full of anglers, and all the locals have their own ways of catching fish there. Unlike the rest of Fort Desoto park, both of the piers are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and they both provide good lighting up and down the piers.

The pier is free to fish, there are no charges or entry fees like a lot of the other fishing piers that are in the area, and with the right bait and tackle, you can get hooked up with some nice fish. Some of the fish you can expect to catch there are snapper, snook, sheepshead, and many other types of good edible fish. Me personally I am always going for the snook, but if I happen to get some nice snapper then they will be just as good. At night I usually will fish the other pier that they have, it is a lot shorter than the first one, and personally I like it better, but I always wind up going back and forth until I start to get some consistent fish biting.

The bait that you use is very important, you will see a lot of pier fisherman throwing their cast nets and getting a bunch of small shiners, then they will hook them and fish a couple feet down from where they got the shiners, do you see a problem with this? Now I am not saying you won’t catch any fish by doing this, but understand that your are lessening the chances of landing a good snook by doing this, I mean what do you think a snook will choose if he had the choice over shiners that he feeds on all day, or a nice big live shrimp that he may only eat seldom. So with that being said, I always bring with me a couple dozen live shrimp with me. When you first enter the park you will see that in a little plaza there is a bait and tackle shop there, and if you get there early enough in the morning you can get some nice size shrimp. The gulf pier of Fort Desoto park also has a bait shop, but I know that it used to open up late like around 10ish, so I always want to get a jump on everyone and get out there early, right about sunrise while the fish are still hungry. So if you are in the Tampa Bay area and want to try something different than saltwater fishing the sunshine skyway pier, head on over to Fort Desoto park and try some pier fishing over there, you might see me out there.


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2 comments:

sandman353 said...

Ft. Desoto piers are not open 24 hrs a day ,365 days a year. they close at 11pm sharp every night.

tighten up.

dwepproductionz said...

At the time this was written they were - thanks for the update though have not been there in years.