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I have showed you how to find the rock piles, the Deeper Sonar allows you to obtain the details. Why I like using the Deeper: You can pinpoint fish, structure new piles that might skirt the outside of your regular piles that don’t get pressured as much.
Free lining allows you to cover the most water while being extremely effective. If you enjoyed today’s Skyway tackle tip, be sure to like, share and subscribe.
So be sure to check out our tips to find a local favorite, the gag grouper (Mycteroperca microbes). The piers make for a great site seeing adventure as well, and there are copious amounts of wildlife and scenic views.
Skyway Fishing Pier State Park's story is one of turning tragedy into a fortune. After the Skyway Bridge was struck by a freighter, rendering it unsafe for continued use, it was shut down and replaced.
Eventually, the State of Florida turned the old structure into one of the longest public fishing piers in America. The destruction of the bridge allowed anglers to fish some of the best Tampa Bay waters 24/7.
Anglers catch several local species, including shook, black sea bass, Spanish mackerel, cobra, sleepyhead, and mangrove snapper, but one of the favorites is grouper. However, successfully targeting these trophies does require some specific equipment, the best bait, and a little secret that we are going to share with you shortly.
Every successful angler knows that the key to big fish is a good bait. The Best bait fish such as pinkish, grunts, yellowtail jack, or fresh mackerel are the ticket.
Bring along a second lighter rod, tie on a Sabik rig tipped with shrimp pieces, and find pinkish or yellowtail jack. Best of all, if your bait runs low, you can drop your line back over the side and reload your cooler without ever leaving your spot.
Most places on the pier offer the possibility of success, but why not tip the odds in your favor? Review local charts and identify drop-offs shoals, or man-made reefs adjacent to the Skyway.
Fish the rock piles formed when portions of the bridge collapsed. The rock rubble is located by finding the existing bridge supports that contain the extra cross brace, which starts after the 2nd bathroom.
Fish finding apps, like the one available from DEEPER, allow you to cast a bomber like depth finder, reel it in and get an incredibly detailed view of the area, including water depth, temperature, contour, and even fish hanging in the area. You've got the gear; the bucket is full of bait, and your chair marks your spot, so now it is time to try our secret tip for Skywaygrouper.
Your live bait can run free and as natural as possible, making it more inviting. You can use the tide to reach rock piles and other structures outside your normal casting range.
Heavy current can make it difficult for smaller bait fish to dive deeper into the water column, so they may need a small amount of weight for help. Head for deeper water when the sun is at its brightest, so keep in mind this will also impact how your live bait behaves.
When free lining, how you hook your bait is super crucial if you want the desired results. Well, you want your bait to swim down to the structure erratically to trigger the big grouper bite.
When tossed near the structure, pinkish tend to swim towards it in an attempt to hide from predatory fish. The key when free lining is to let out the line with an open spool SLOWLY.
The idea is to allow the bait fish to swim with the tide; if you do not, then your bait will wear down and ultimately drown while coming to the surface. You have to get familiar with your tides and moons so you can pick and choose the best windows to snag a couple of keeper grouper.
There are many variables to consider that decide whether you will be miserably fishing for hours or if you will have success reasonably quickly. You can't catch fish on the couch or computer, they do require skill but most importantly, perseverance and time.
1 At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, a few Spanish mackerel were caught early before the latest front, but nothing since. Decent whiting have been caught, but the water has been churned up, reports Big Pier 60 Bait & Tackle (727-462-6466).
2 At Madeira Beach, nearshore there are dogfish around a depth of 30 to 70 feet on live shrimp. The black fin tuna bite is picking up for the pelagic anglers, reports Capt.
4 At Fort De Soto Park, sleepyhead up to 5 pounds are biting around the bridges, the area docks and the marina. At the pier, sleepyhead are on the pilings, but the water is churned up, reports Joe Berlin of Terra Verde Bait and Tackle (727-864-2108).
The shallow reefs and rock piles are holding good numbers of keeper grouper. There’s plenty of snooks, redfish and trout in Terra Can Bay and the mouth of the Manatee River, reports Capt.
“There’s a phenomenal gag grouper bite in Tampa Bay right now,” reports Capt. 6 At Anna Maria, redfish up to 30 inches are up around the docks of Palma Sold and on the west side of the sound around Key Royale.
Good-sizes nook are holding at the Rod and Reel Pier, but they’re finicky on the bite, reports Moore. Redfish, trout and a few snooks are biting around Miguel Bay, Terra Can Bay, the mouth of the Manatee River and south to PERCO Bayou and the surrounding flats, reports Capt.
7 At St. Petersburg, the gag grouper bite is solid on most structure, around the bridges, the reefs and along the shipping channel. Redfish have moved real shallow and cut bait on the bottom is producing in the deeper holes on the low tides.
• At Homosassa, the offshore gag grouper bite has been good using live pinkish, but cooler water has made the fish sluggish. Live shrimp are the best bait, but soft plastics along the rocky points along the north shorelines will produce, reports Capt.
• At Fort Pierce, lane snapper are biting offshore on the bottom at a depth of 50 to 80 feet. The Melody Lane Pier and the bridge catwalks are producing sand perch, sleepyhead and black drum.
The oyster bars and mangrove edges in the river are also producing sleepyhead, reports the Fishing Center of St. Lucie (772-465-7637).