More fishing and more catching! As you’d expect, the waters around St. Pete and Clearwater Beach are teeming with fish. Looking to catch dinner from a local fishing pier? Drop a hook for jacks, mackerel and permit on an inshore trip around Tampa Bay? Head out on a fishing charter for a thrilling day of deep-sea fishing for grouper, snapper and amberjack? You’ll definitely find it all here.
Watch our videos about catching - and eating - fresh fish while on vacation in beautiful St. Pete/Clearwater.
No Boat Required: Fishing Piers, Beach and Surf Fishing
Fish are so abundant in local St. Pete/Clearwater that you don’t even need a boat to catch them. Fishing piers, which are sprinkled around the area, provide a quick and easy way to drop a line. Skyway Fishing Pier State Park says it’s home to the “world’s longest fishing pier.” On sections of the old bridge repurposed when the new Sunshine Skyway was built, park your car within a few feet of your spot and fish for snook, king mackerel and sheepshead.
Great Fishing Spots
On the downtown St. Pete waterfront, the new St. Pete Pier has a fishing deck overlooking Tampa Bay. Need gear or bait? Gator Jim’s Tackle has that plus beach clothing and snacks.
Drive south to Fort De Soto Park, home to two fishing piers – one on the bayside with views of the Sunshine Skyway, and a 1,000-foot pier on the Gulf side. One of the simplest forms of fishing is beach or surf fishing, and the sleepy community of Pass-A-Grille Beach is a great place to do it.
Inshore Fishing: Quiet and Serene
Our topography is very fish (and fisherman) friendly, with lots of shallow water and numerous small islands adding nooks, crannies and vegetation where fish love to hide. A kayak’s shallow draft (just 2-3 inches) means you can go where other boats can’t. Poke around mangrove roots for snook (excellent fighters), redfish and a variety of snappers including mangrove snapper (fun to catch and good eating). Weedon Island Preserve, south of the Gandy Bridge, is a quiet spot with mangrove tunnels leading to bays that are home to redfish and snook in winter.
In summer, migrating tarpon that weigh 200 pounds and more visit the bay and St. Pete Beach areas. The “silver kings” – so called because of their large, shiny scales – are among the most popular gamefish.
Deep-Sea Fishing: On the Trail of the Big Fish
If your idea of fishing fun is blasting out into the Gulf of Mexico in search of grouper, red snapper, wahoo, yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi, consider joining a party boat for a day of deep-sea fishing. For a more personal experience, book a private fishing charter, which may go farther out into the Gulf in pursuit of larger fish up to 100 miles from land. John’s Pass Village in Madeira Beach, St. Pete Beach and Clearwater Municipal Marina all have multiple companies offering half- and full-day charters.