Inshore and Wade Fishing
No boat? No budget for a custom charter? No problem. There are plenty of places to fish in the St. Pete/Clearwater area. Pier fishing and bridge fishing are especially popular. You might find redfish, trout or snook on the line when casting in the shallows, though the one that makes most people's day is the Spanish mackerel. This species is aggressive and fast, and catching one is guaranteed to be a highlight of your day.
Wade fishing is also an easy and effective way to catch some of the tastiest fish in Florida, and it’s fun for beginners and veterans alike. Wade fishing doesn’t require any specialized equipment. Use a spinning rod rigged with 12-pound test line and some artificial lures – top-water plug, gold spoon and some assorted jigs work fine. Don’t forget to bring hooks, split shot and floats if you plan to use live shrimp. (Helpful tip: Keep an eye on seabirds such as pelicans and blue herons. You do not want to get them on the line.)
Where The Fish are Biting
Offshore charter boat outfitters, as with all the other details, will handle the logistics of figuring out exactly where the fish are biting.
If you’re going to fish inshore, you’ll have to do some of the planning. Fortunately, there are plenty of great places locally to cast a line. Some of the better-known spots for pier fishing include the Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier and Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach.
Wade fishing spots are found in the St. Pete/Clearwater area as far north as Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs, to the trout- and snook-rich waters of Honeymoon Island State Park, to the sands of Clearwater Beach all the way south to Pass-a-Grille Beach. Down at the southern tip, Fort De Soto Park (the crown jewel of the county park system) is well known for its fat redfish and the Spanish mackerel that congregate near the park’s twin piers. In north St. Pete, you’ll find Weedon Island Preserve, with its maze of mangrove-lined waterways. The water here is shallow and riddled with oyster bars, a prime habitat for inshore species.