4th of July Fishing in St. Pete Beach

Spent a few hours on the Merry Pier Wednesday. Turns out there was a problem with the live shrimp delivery… long story short, there were no live shrimp, and I didn’t feel like making the run up to Gulf to Bay Bait and Tackle. So, I bought a box of frozen spanish sardines, just to see if any gag grouper were still lurking by the Pier.

Yup, they were there. I hooked up right away, and lost a big one to the pilings. I proceeded to catch a couple of decent ones (~14″-16″), when I got another huge hit. The fish ran into the pilings, but remained hooked. The seesaw battle continued for a couple of minutes, with a clearly legal grouper visible below. Finally, the line parted, and the fish returned to the depths. When a big grouper is hooked like that, they tend to emit a ‘distress signal’, which shuts down the bite immediately. And that’s exactly what happened.

There were several pods of small tarpon rolling within casting range, so I hurled sardines their way, but no takers, and I wrapped up early. The plan was to go down to the Bon Aire resort to watch the St. Pete Beach fireworks display, but we never quite made it, watching instead from our neighbors balcony. Good thing, too, ’cause there were a couple large explosions during the finale, which actually shook the house. Turns out there was a malfunction, and about a dozen people at Bon Aire received minor injuries. The blast shattered a number of beach facing windows in the motel. Yes, never a dull moment here in St. Pete Beach….

2 Responses to “4th of July Fishing in St. Pete Beach”

  1. JoeFab Says:

    I can’t wait to get down there. Three more days!!! I will make sure to bring plenty of frozen squid, my size 8 hooks and yards of steel leader!!! LOL!!!!

  2. Steve Says:

    Don’t forget the socks and sandels…

    Another tourist tip- don’t set the rod down when snook are around. I saw one go flying under the dock on the 4th!