Summer’s here, and dock days are getting hot- both the weather and the fishing. I had the pleasure of meeting Big Mike on the Merry Pier in St. Pete Beach on Saturday. By the time I arrived, Big Mike had already caught and released dozens of mangrove snapper- mostly small, but still fun to catch. And remember- the 8-11 inch snapper of June will be the 13-17 inch snapper of September!
Figured since Big Mike had travelled alll the way from Ohio for a little fishing, I should show off a bit. So… first cast, first shrimp, I promptly nailed a 32″ snook. It was a fun fight, and it was a battle to keep the fish out of the pilings. I thought this would be the start of a great day of snooking, but, alas, that was the only one of the day. I did end up catching about 3 dozen Snaps, keeping 4 foot longs. By 2 p.m., the sun was blazing, the current was slack, and the bar was calling.
On Sunday, I returned to the Merry Pier, joined by my friend Cletus from Tampa. We tore the snapper up, keeping 8 out of… who knows? 100? Most ran small, but there were plenty of 10-12″ fish mixed in. We picked up a nice 20″ redfish on the dock, and I caught a 16″ filefish, of all things. That was a first for me. We wrapped up midday. Sunday evening, we had a crowd over for blackened redfish, snapper & sausage, and grouper nuggest (from the offshore trip last week). There were no leftovers.