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Sunshine Skyway fishing piers

By TERRY TOMALIN, Times Outdoors Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 5, 2000


photo
[Times photo: Maurice Rivenbark 1996]
The Sunshine Skyway fishing piers are packed on weekend afternoons.
You don't need a boat to catch grouper, tarpon and kingfish. Local anglers are blessed with two great fishing piers that offer access to species once considered off limits to land-based anglers.

The state took the rubble from the old Skyway Bridge, damaged by a freighter in 1980, and used it to build artificial reefs on the western sides of the north and south fishing piers. The hard and soft corals, barnacles and sea anemones that attached themselves to the concrete attract a variety of large and small fish.

The artificial reefs run perpendicular to the structure, which gives anglers more area at which to cast. Placed about 100 feet apart, the reefs vary in length from 100 feet to 300 feet and begin about 100 feet from the edge of the old roadway.

Admission is $2 per person and $3 per vehicle, which is comparable to the rates at most private fishing piers. Seniors and children get a discount.

Call the North Pier at (727) 865-0668 or the South Pier at (941) 729-0017 and ask for the bait shop. They will tell you what's hot and what's not.

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