"There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot." Comedian, Steven Wright.
The most common question I get working at the Bait House is “Where can I fish around here?” Because of the amount of tourists visiting us, I thought we could make some recommendations on where anglers can fish from shore and have some success. We have been blessed here at Clearwater Beach with many onshore piers, docks, and shorelines that regularly put out some great fish.
Pier Fishing – There are two fishing piers next to the Bait House and the Municipal Marina that consistently put out some great fish. Each of these piers has its own personality. The south pier has great fishing in the main channel as well as the structure from the piers pilings and those of the walking bridge located next to it. Great for Spanish mackerel and sheephead. The north pier offers the main channel as well as a large area of sea grass to the north. The sea grass holds a variety of snappers, spotted sea trout, and even cobia. The edge of the sea grass as it meets the main channel is a key spot for flounders. Pier 60 on the gulf side is a very popular place for anglers looking for migrating fish such as Spanish mackeral, king mackerel, whitings, sea trout, pompanos, and even sharks. Sand Key Park offers two fishing piers that have a history of putting out some large snook, redfish, as well as mangrove snappers and flounders. This is a great spot for families because they also offer a beach area for those who do not want to fish.
Anglers and sightseers on the North Pier at the Bait House
Shoreline Fishing - The Memorial Causeway is completely open to fishing. There is free parking at both ends of the causeway. Added to that, there are two bridges that anglers can fish under to get to the main channels. The shoreline of the causeway also has some great structures with areas of mangroves as well as beaches. Many anglers enjoy sitting on the seawalls as they fish. We have seen anglers fishing from the sea walls around the public library as well as city owned lots in residential areas. For those who prefer surf fishing, North Beach offers some great areas to fish from shore that are quiet and free of people. Try the Caladesi Island area if you really want to get away from the crowds.
Dock Fishing – Many of the area’s hotels, motels, and resorts have docks that are available for their guests to fish from. Dock fishing not only gets you out on the water but also makes for great structure to hold game fish. Snook love to hide under docks and sheephead eat the barnacles that grow on dock pilings. Check with the office where you are staying to see if they offer this amenity to you.
Please help keep our piers and shorelines clean for the next anglers. Remember that the Bait House has dock access for your boat and we can always be reached on your marine radio to check on bait availability. New tackle and gear arrive weekly. We also have rental rods and reels as well as aerated bait buckets for your day on the water. Thanks to those that email at Jim2988@msn.com and as always, Good Luck Out there!
Jim can be found daily at the Bait House - Clearwater Municipal Marina, phone 446-8134
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