September Fishing Report

September started out hot as late summer here can be, and the fishing was hot as well. From the first week of the month we saw anglers catching a variety of good fish, including lots of keeper Flounder, Spanish Mackerel, Spotted SeaTrout, and large over-slot RedFish. We also had Mangrove Snapper, Lane Snapper, and HogFish caught. In addition, Sheepshead were taken by those who tried fishing next to the pilings with small hooks and bits of shrimp.

Many small Cobia were caught and released this month, with all the larger fish outmauouvering the anglers. Black SeaBass were frequently caught, but only a few keepers over 10″ were taken home.

During the middle of the month we had some squalls, which dampened the fishermen, but didn’t hurt the fishing too much. We had a lot of fishing action before the storms, with Pompano, Croaker, LadyFish, and more species landed. Lots of small Gag Grouper are feeding around the rubble and pilings off the end of the pier.

The normal Spanish Mackerel daytime bite has been sporadic. Some days we see them with some abundance, and other days we don’t. The waters have been black with small fry surrounding the pier, and this attracts schools of Jack Crevalle and Blue Runners. Once small fish are surrounded, the feeding frenzy ensues, and for a few minutes we see a “Jack Attack”.

Snook season opened Sept. 1st. and since that time we have not seen any slot-sized fish of 28-33 inches kept. A few undersize Snook have been seen in shallow waters underneath the pier in the swim zone, and it appears that the larger fish have moved into the passes and bay already.

Spotted SeaTrout have shown up in some numbers, with a few fish taken during daytime hours. The best time for the Spotted SeaTrout by far has been late at night. The later it gets, the more fish are seen. An hour before dawn there are hundreds, if not thousands of Spotted Trout working the lights. Small lures can be used to good effect, while live baits always are a good bet too.

A Red Tide outbreak and bloom was reported in the Gulf of Mexico to our north. We have been monitoring it, and it did not enter our waters to any noticeable extent. We have seen no fish kills here, or seen any other signs of an outbreak.

We are pleased to tell everyone that our fishing hours have been extended this year. We will be open 24 hours for 9 months of the year.

March 1st – November 30th   we are open 24 hours for fishing.

Dec 1st- Feb 28th  – Sun-Thurs 6 AM -9:30 PM    Fri-Sat 24 Hours

Good Luck Fishing!


August Fishing Report

Colin from Essex, UK with Flounder

Colin from Essex, UK with Flounder

August usually brings us some of the hottest weather and highest water temperatures of the year. We saw water temperatures climb just shy of 90 degrees for much of the month. My advice to fishermen this time of year is to fish early in the morning, before sunrise if possible, and then also late at night. During the heat of the day, many of the fish tend towards inactivity. There are flurries of action during the heat of the day, but the most consistent fishing is found both early and late.

Flounder have been biting well all summer, with keepers well above the 12-inch minimum practically every day. Most of the flatties have been taken on live shrimp, but lures also work well for those who use them. The soft-tail grub lures work best if tipped with a small piece of fresh shrimp. Flounder will also take a flashy small spoon, smaller twitchbaits like the Mirro-Lures we sell, or even chunks of cut fish. Of course, small live fish are always a good producer for Flounder.

Sydney Schneider with a big Spanish Mackerel

Sydney Schneider with a big Spanish Mackerel


We saw the Spanish Mackerel bite inconsistent in August. One day we would see a flurry of Mackerel, and then we might not see them again for a few days.

Pompano were caught with some regularity in August, with mornings the best time. Live shrimp and the goofy jigs were the best baits.

Mangrove Snapper were abundant here this month, with fish ranging from undersized to well over the 10-inch minimum. A few Mangos went about 15 inches.

Various reef fishes were seen, including HogFish, Puffers, SpinyBox, and SpadeFish. We also saw a few Lookdown, or MoonFish, and a Permit or two. One Whiting measured 17 inches.

Small Gag Grouper, locally called Grass Grouper, were caught and released. A fair number of Sheepshead were seen feeding around the pilings, and could be enticed to bite by small morsels of fresh cut shrimp or small crabs.

Steve from Clearwater Spotted SeaTrout

Steve from Clearwater Spotted SeaTrout

Spotted SeaTrout were most frequently taken well after dark. It seems that the fish show up closer to the baithouse, moving further towards the end of the pier as the night progresses.

Snook were frequently caught and released this month, with all the fish returned to the water as the season was not opened until Sept. 1st. Snook were biting large free-lined Shrimp and live fish like Sardines, Pinfish, or Grunts.
A few Lane Snapper were seen, along with some Whiting, Jack Crevalle, Silver Trout, and Blue Runner.

Capt’n Tom

Capt’n Tom

A Red Tide bloom was noted offshore in the Gulf of Mexico in an area north of us. We saw no dead fish here or other effects. Monitoring of the Red Tide is ongoing, with reports of fish kills coordinated by the FWC.
Good Luck Fishing!


Summer Fishing Photos


July Fishing Hot!

Shaun from the UK holds a Snook

Shaun from the UK holds a Snook

July fishing on Pier 60 was great. Although the month started out with some hot windy squally weather, the fish were biting hard. Tropical Storm Arthur churned off the other side of Florida, while over here the Snook were feeding heavily. Rains and squalls didn’t stop the fish from biting, and we had plenty of the Linesiders caught and released. Snook season is set to re-open Sept. 1st. The bag limit will be one fish per day, and keepers will be slot-sized between 28-33 inches here in the Gulf of Mexico. Snook have been feeding on large live shrimp, small scaled sardines, or large live baits like Pinfish, Grunts, or even LadyFish.

Spanish Mackerel were here on and off throughout the month. The Macks are usually a mainstay of the daytime fishing here, but when the water temperatures rise to the low-90’s, they tend to move off to cooler, deeper water.

Joe Carbone from New Port-Richey with Redfish catch and release

Joe Carbone from New Port-Richey with Redfish catch and release

We saw a good number of Sheepshead this month, along with a smattering of large Whiting. Jack Crevalle, Blue Runners, and LadyFish were consistently caught. Mangrove Snapper fishing was pretty good this month, with quite a few keepers and many undersize fish caught. A few keeper Black SeaBass were seen, along with some Gag Grouper. Other reef fish seen in July included Key West Grunt, PufferFish, Spiny Puffers, SpadeFish and CowFish.

Flounder have been a consistent catch here, with many keepers over the 12-inch minimum. We saw quite a few larger “doormat” Flounders as well. The Flounder are mostly taken on live shrimp, but are also enticed by many of the grub-tail lures available. The chartreuse green color is my favorite, tipped with a bit of fresh shrimp. The Flounder has a mouth full of sharp teeth, and is a formidable predator that swims up the water column to feed. The Flounder strike is subtle; you may only feel a heaviness that increases as you take the slack out of your line. Many Flounder are lost at the surface as the angler pulls the head up out of the water. That’s when the Flounder gives a shake of his head and will throw the hook if you are not careful.
night-fishing
Spotted SeaTrout fishing was pretty good at night, but the fish were feeding very late. On many evenings the fish would congregate under the lights, but refuse to bite until after midnight. Usually by that time of the night we are out of live shrimp, so successful fishermen bought their bait early, or have used lures like the soft grubtail tandem lures, or perhaps a suspending twichbait like the MirroLures we carry.

As usual, plenty of small Sharks of many species were caught and released this month, and certainly some of the unknown strikes that emptied spools or yanked rods over the side were due to some kind of Shark.

Capt’n Tom

Capt’n Tom

Summertime fishing is most successful early in the morning, or late at night. The days can be good off and on, but the heat of the day is taxing on the angler.

Good Luck Fishing!


June Fishing Report

June 2014 Pier 60 Fishing Report

June was a great month to fish off Clearwater’s Big Pier 60. The weather was nice, and the fish were varied and plentiful. As the summer progresses, waters heat to a point where we see the waters turn a bit greenish with algae. June, however, is early enough in the season to have clear waters and few storms. Conditions were good for anglers and sightseers alike. Some of the species we saw in June included:

Denis from Dunedin with Pier 60 Cobia

Denis from Dunedin with Pier 60 Cobia

Tarpon
Cobia
Snook
Pompano
Spanish Mackerel
LadyFish
Flounder
Sheepshead
Mangrove Snapper
Spotted SeaTrout
Whiting
Key West Grunt
CowFish
PufferFish
Jack Crevalle
FileFish
Remora
StingRay
BonnetHead Shark
BlackTip Shark
King Mackerel
Great HammerHead Shark

Good Luck Fishing!