Grouper, Snapper and Snook Still Hot

Tampa Bay Grouper

Pictured above is a nice 24″ grouper my friend Mike pulled in yesterday from the Merry Pier in St. Pete Beach. It hit a live shrimp with a couple split shot about 20″ off the dock. I caught a few smaller grouper, but no keepers.

The snapper bite is red hot right now. The fish are running a little small, with most in the 9-11″ range. There are a few 12″ to 14″ fish mixed in, if you have the patience to weed through the smaller ones. They are hitting just about everything, with live shrimp and small whitebait being the top choices. I probably caught over 50 this weekend, and although I didn’t keep any, I would have had no trouble putting together a quick limit.

There are still snook hanging around the Pier, and now that the season has closed, they seem to be a lot easier to catch. Sunrise, and after dark are the best times to hook a bruiser linesider. The snook have also been active in Blind Pass. I saw one today that would have gone at least 40″.

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17 Responses to “Grouper, Snapper and Snook Still Hot”

  1. jayt Says:

    thats a nice catch. My family and I have been coming down to pass a grille for about 6 years, I love the merry pier and have met and know pretty much everyone who works on the miss pass a grille. I’ll be coming down on the 5th, and staying until the 11th. I usually am on the pier from sunup until well into the night. I usually fish early and late for snook, and grouper and snapper in the daytime. If you get a chance stop by and say hello. I’ll be the guy with long curly hair and a gloomis hat on. look forward to meeting you

  2. Steve Says:


    I’ll be on the lookout for you this weekend. Good fishing!


  3. caribou Says:

    I am new to the site but if there is any one local interested in getting together to do some fishing from the peir I will be traveling down that way from the 10 to the 16th from way north i am a bit of a rookie on peir fishing but have fished a lot of other ways and places, just looking to meet some other fisher man and have a good morning fishing.


  4. Steve Says:


    I’m sure I’ll be down at the Pier- unless I have a chance to get offshore. Just ask around for ‘Steve’ and I’ll show you where the fish are.

  5. caribou Says:

    sounds great steve where should i ask around at the bait store also when do you normally head down mornings nights ect. I appreachate it

  6. Steve Says:


    Since it’s July, I usually head down early. The bait store opens at 7. After five or six hours, the sun gets pretty brutal this time of year. Anyway, they all know me at the bait store. And, there shouldn’t be too much of a crowd this time of year.

  7. caribou Says:

    cool do you get there before 7am and are you there most of the week, I will probably try to get over two day and can plan them around you if you are going to be there certin days, and by all means i am not looking for you to spend your morning guiding me , just looking for a little help/ advice and some good conversation on a morning fish.

  8. caribou Says:

    hey steve you are talking about the merry peir

  9. Steve Says:


    Yup, Merry Pier, my ‘home away from home’. I’m generally there Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and usually around 7 a.m. I’d be happy to show you where the various species are hanging out (i.e. grouper on the NE corner in the rocks; snook by the 2nd – 5th set up pilings, etc). I’ll be happy to share my thoughts on tackle and techniques, too. Just don’t bring any wire leaders unless you’re after sharks, though…


  10. caribou Says:

    I was going to rent equipment at the bait shop, so i figured i would find you first get your advice what i needed and then get what i needed from the bait shop, as i have too much other stuff to travel with to bring gear

  11. Steve Says:


    Yeah, they’ve got decent tackle available for rent. I usually carry a few spare rods, too.

  12. caribou Says:

    If you want I would rather throw you the loot for the equipment use bait hooks ect if you want no pressure, just let me know. I should know what day i am thinking of comming down tomorrow. either sat or sun.

  13. Steve Says:


    Yeah, I always have plenty of leaders, swivels, hooks, weights, etc. By the way, high tide will be around 7:50 a.m. this Saturday- should be good fishing!

  14. caribou Says:

    cool then i will see you sat morning,

  15. caribou Says:

    hey steve do you know of a good party boat that goes out around there the wife and kid want to go out on a boat on sat afternoon after they go lay on the beach while were fishing.
    any help would be great thanks
    see you sat

  16. Steve Says:


    Miss Pass-A-Grille ( departs from Merry Pier on a full day trip (8 to 4) on Saturdays, with a half day trip on Sundays. The Getaway ( will be happy to accomodate your schedule, if they’re not already booked. Give ’em both a call!


  17. caribou Says:

    cool thanks I will look in to it and see you tomorrow morning you are getting there around 7