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By RICK R. FRAZIER
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 25, 2001
Check the information from four of the most popular piers in the bay area and decide which suits you.
Clearwater Beach's Pier 60 is noted mainly for its summer snook, but Bryan Griffin (13) and brothers William (14) and Duncan (12) McCartha come from Maitland each weekend to catch what the pier has to offer.
This weekend night the boys were catching silver trout, speckled trout and whiting. Among their releases were numerous speckled trout, including a "4- or 5-pounder," according to Griffin.
The weekend warriors do well most of the time. "Last weekend we caught 150 silvers," the elder McCartha said.
The 13- and 14-year-old used the same tandem jig rig, while the youngest liked a floating crankbait.
While each has his favorite lure, all agree that to catch the most fish, you have to work the shadow lines cast by the bright lights from the pier.
Redington Long Pier, with its rocky hard bottom, attracts its share of anglers.
Wilmington, Pa., native Earl "Butch" Kilmer and his wife vacation along the Pinellas coast. While his wife relaxes on the beach, he relaxes on the pier catching silver trout and whiting.
Winter resident Jim Brennan calls Hazlet, N.J., home until the temperatures chase him south. He spends February enjoying the great fishing. Most of his catches have been mainly whiting, speckled trout and butterfish.
Potter Pier, or the gulf pier at Fort De Soto, is getting reports of mackerel and pompano.
Angler Rod Rodriguez landed his first pompano of the season Feb. 16 on a yellow-and-white leaded jig.
Gus Deones, who has fished from the pier since 1957, says Spanish mackerel are starting to show.
Whiting and silver trout are the main ticket and can be caught on small pieces of dead shrimp fished on the bottom.
Retired St. Petersburg resident Dan Dziendzielewski and fiancee Terri Conforti spend the weekend nights fishing for grouper, shark, snook and practically anything else from the North Skyway Fishing Pier. Dziendzielewski's technique is to outfit up to six rods with different baits.
"I'll put out live pinfish, squid, shrimp and cut bait," he said.
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