Legal Grouper – Without a Boat!

My mission this weekend was to nail a keeper gag grouper for a batch of fresh grouper nuggets. My plan was to hit Merry Pier in St. Pete Beach just before sunrise loaded with a box of frozen sardines, and see if I could coax one off the ledge just north of the pier. This is usually pretty easy when there is a south wind and an incoming current, but this weekend the breezes were out of the north, and the tides were stagnant. Didn’t mater. I pulled a few short tails before getting the 23″ grouper that I was looking for:

Meanwhile, the pompano bite has slowed in Blind Pass (although there has been a 4 foot ‘cuda cruising around 76th Ave). There are small snook here and there, but nobody’s really catching them. Sharks have shown up in Boca Ciega Bay (got about a 20 pound spinner shark over the weekend, and was bitten off by SOMETHING much bigger). Whitebait is starting to show up at Merry Pier, although the greenbacks remain confined to the beaches, jetty and Blind Pass. Tarpon are rolling thick at sunup. No sign of snapper yet, but it won’t be long. There are still occasional flounder being caught here and there. Mullet are all over the place. With a 3 day weekend coming up, I may try to get one more grouper in before the season closes.

3 Responses to “Legal Grouper – Without a Boat!”

  1. Robert Neff Says:

    Great articles! Have a couple questions for the person who runs this blog. I am trying to find out the email and name of the person who runs this blog. Photographer here and am interested in shooting the fishing. Have short tubeworm video

  2. Robert Neff Says:

    You dont have to post this but it is in line with your article.
    Event Tweeting – Photo Essay
    Pelicans at Merry Pier Waiting for Grouper Filets

  3. Steve Says:


    Thank you for your comments. Sure, a fishing shoot sounds like fun. I’m Steve Schwalb, and my email is Look forward to hearing from you.