November 9th, 2015
October 5th, 2015
September 22nd, 2015
August 31st, 2015
OK, no cobia. That’s the bad news. The good news – pretty much EVERYTHING else is biting! Big mangrove snapper, black drum, keeper grouper, snook, mackerel, flounder – you name it. Snapper have been the primary target at Merry Pier, and limits of 12″-15″ are common. Drum and redfish are hiding under the dock, along with the occasional snook. And flounder are showing up in the slips – mostly smaller, but a few nice ones mixed in. Grouper are scarce compared to previous years, but legal size fish have been landed the last couple weekends. All-in-all, a great time to get out and drop a line.
August 24th, 2015
August 17th, 2015
July 6th, 2015
Had a great weekend fishing the Merry Pier in Pass-A-Grille. Saturday found tons of bait swarming the structure, and plenty of hungry fish around. Big mangrove snapper, macks, small grouper – even an ‘almost legal’ 31″ cobia. Sunday was good, too, despite Saturday night’s heavy rains. More snapper, plus flounder, a 20″ gag grouper, a few big stingrays, and a 10″ lane snapper. My Birthday was Sunday, and it was a great time. Looking forward to the 3 day weekend coming up!
May 20th, 2015
St. Pete Beach fishing has entered the typical summer patterns. Bait has shown up, and although plentiful, it mostly remains small. Flounder, redfish and black drum have virtually disappeared, while cobia have yet to show up. Snapper and Key West grunts are now the staple at Merry Pier, with mangrove snapper ranging from 7-14″, with an average length of 9.99999 inches.
Grouper have been spotty, and small. I have yet to see a legal size gag caught. Seems to me like a lot of the structure inshore that used to hold big grouper may have been gradually covered with drifting sand, so what was once a couple feet of relief is now mere inches. Or, maybe it’s something else – the water temp, the bait, who knows? I’ll keep trying, though. Some highlights from the last month:
April 28th, 2015
OK, first the bad news. No sign of greenbacks yet (although the glass minnows are thick). No cobia. No big grouper. Snook season is over. Flounder are small, few and far between. Merry Pier is swarming with filefish, puffers, pinfish, sailor’s choice, and cowfish.
The good news – nice mangrove snapper are showing up, and black drum are cooperating. Sunday, my brother and I landed 4 black drum in the 7-10 pound range, with two bigger ones getting away. Throw in some 10″ to 14″ snapper, and you have the makings of a great fish dinner… or three…
March 30th, 2015
Another snook season closes this week, and, while I managed to catch a few, they all remained shy of the slot minimum size. Oh, well…. At least there’s plenty of non-snook action firing up. I managed a nice 7 pound black drum Saturday at Merry Pier in St. Pete Beach. Also on the menu are the season’s first mangrove snapper – they are still spotty, but there are a few 10″ to 14″ fish along with the smaller specimens. Meanwhile, the redfish have completely disappeared. But, on a whim, I decided to see if the out-of-season gag grouper were around. And, yes, they are. My friend Juan got a 23″, and we pulled in a bunch of 15″ to 20″ gags using frozen sardines. Fishing remains steady, but not great. Still no sign of the bait schools that will soon be clouding the waters. Any day now…