Merry Pier Fishing

The Merry Pier in Pass-A-Grille provided some great fishing this weekend. Plenty of variety, steady action… and the Pier was surprisingly uncrowded for Memorial Day wwekend.

Snapper- The snaps are back! After a long hiatus, the mangrove snapper are beginning to return to their haunts in the shadows under the Pier. It’s still very early in the season, so they’re running small; but still, out of a couple dozen, there were some foot long specimens. They’ll be joing me for dinner tonight!

Snook- Now that the snook season has shut down, the snook are ready to feed. They key was large, lively shrimp free-lined under the dock as the tides surged outward. The snook tended to be in the shallows, with some literally inches from the seawall. Sizes ranged from about 22″ to over 30″. And, for each snook caught, there were 2-3 that were lost- hey, that’s snook fishing!

Grouper- The grouper bite was slow, but I did manage to pull out a couple of 13-14″ gags from the rocks in the front of the dock. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a legal grouper landed in Pass-A-Grille.

Mackeral- Yeah, there’re still hanging around. Not big schools, but a fish here and a fish there. Seems now that the Macks are running a little bigger than ususal, too. Just wait till the greenbacks come in.

Sheepshead- Yeah, you heard right. Sheepshead. Just when you thought they’d all departed for the summer, I managed to pull a 14″ one from among the Mangos. It was released unharmed.

Trash Fish- Rounding out the mix are the ususal undesireables, including sand perch (aka squirrelfish), pinfish (some actually pretty big), cowfish, etc.

Still too windy for offshore, although the Getaway did go out on a half day and returned with 2 scamp, a gag, and a very healthy mangrove snapper. Maybe later today….

5 Responses to “Merry Pier Fishing”

  1. Mike Estep Says:

    I want you to know I really enjoy you postings. I follow your posting almost every week. I visited Pass-a-grill last year and will be retuning on June 19-26. I hope to do some fishing at the Merry Pier. Hope to get some pointers from you as I really enjoy fishing but don’t have a clue about the pier fishing there. Keep up the good job. Big Mike Estep

  2. Steve Says:

    Big Mike,

    Thanks, much appreciated. Fire me a note when you’re headed this way, and I’ll be happy to show you where the fish are!


  3. Tim Says:

    OK Steve,

    Let’s put it to the test this weekend.
    Ready for some action…


  4. Mike Estep Says:


    Just a word or two from you on advise. I plan to bring 20-25# braided, sound right? Last year I fished from the sea wall at the Holiday Inn in St Petersburg. Got a few Black Tip sharks but every night got broke off by big hits fishing 17# mono. Maybe snook? And what about lure fishing, is it worth while or should I stay with live bait. One more question please, weights, what sizes. I’m and old bass fisherman from Cincinnati, so I need all the help I can get. Will be there June 19-26 and plan to get my line wet every night. Beach during the day time with family. Thanks Steve. Again, love reading your post. Tight lines….Big Mike

  5. Steve Says:

    Big Mike,

    20-25# braided should be fine (unles you plan to target sharks). Those break offs on 17# mono could have been big snook, but were more likely larger sharks- what were you using for bait?

    There are circumstances where I fish lures, but hanging out at the Merry Pier is more about relaxing, having fun, and fishing lures canbe strenous.

    Weights, sizes, etc. depend on where you’re fishing, and what you’re fishing for. I generally keep 3 rods in the car- light, medium and heavy.