I know, all you care about is the fishing, but this newly renovated structure has everything you could ever want in a fishing pier except it isn’t open all night long.
That’s OK, because the Gandy Pier (oops, closed!), Sunshine Skyway, and Clearwater piers are open all night long.
I remember fishing from the old St. Petersburg Pier before they renovated. There were always sheepshead and small snapper to be caught and there were always tourists walking around so one could get into some good conversations now and again.
Today the fishing pier in St. Pete has been ultra-renovated and looks as modern as any I’ve ever seen and they’ll still let you fish there!
What Time Does the St. Pete Pier Open? Close?
5 am. every morning the pier opens to anyone who wants to walk its length, run, fish, or whatever. The pier closes daily at 11 pm. Sorry, there is no overnight fishing here and that’s a huge drawback in my eyes because if I’m fishing at night I definitely want to stay past 11 pm.!
How Big is the Fishing Area?
The full area approved for fishing from the pier is just 62 meters (204 feet) in length in total. This is not a big place and you’re going to feel crowded most days unless the weather turns foul and nobody comes out to fish.
50 people fishing at this pier would be crowded. 20 people would be the most the spot could handle. Probably not the ideal place to go on the weekend when there would be a lot of people shoulder-to-shoulder.
What Fish Can You Catch?
My prime target at the St. Pete Fishing Pier is sheepshead because I love them on a sandwich with Swiss cheese, tomatoes, pepper, lemon, and probably some onions. You can also catch Mangrove Snapper, redfish, flounder, Spanish mackerel, and ladyfish and pinfish.
Does the Pier Have a Bait Shop?
Yes, Gator Jim’s Bait and Tackle is on the first floor of the building at the end of the pier. It looks as if they only sell drinks and ice-cream, but that’s just the stand in front of it.
You can walk inside and buy frozen bait (no live bait), lures, nets, and some other fishing accessories. The shop opens at 10 am.
There are many bait shops around St. Pete Pier where you can find live pinfish – an excellent bait.
Places to Eat? Restroom?
The pier has a nice restaurant on top of the building at the end of the pier above the fishing area that is pricey but has nice views. There is also a pizza and ice-cream place on the way and near the parking areas.
Vendors line the first part of the pier though most are not selling food or drinks, just other non-food items.
Yes, there’s a public restroom in the building at the end of the pier.
A great addition to the fishing area is a very large wet countertop and sink to fillet and scale fish, complete with hoses and running water. I wasn’t expecting that, but they made the effort to make it more comfortable for anglers, though with this small space they didn’t give us much.
Is a Fishing License Included in the Fee?
There is no fee, it’s free. No, the St. Pete Pier is wide open for anyone to come and fish but you must have your saltwater fishing license sorted out before you begin fishing.
I cannot find whether or not the bait shop sells State of Florida Saltwater Fishing Licenses or not. I think not. If anyone has the info, do let me know so I can update readers. Thanks!
Is Rental Gear (Rod and Reel) Available?
One comment I read from 2022 said that the bait shop at the pier has rental gear. It would definitely make sense for them to invest in some, so that is likely correct.
Can You Play Music? Grill? Bring Chairs?
Unfortunately, there just isn’t room to do much here. You can’t do any of the following activities here. The fishing area is not that big and I think there must be rules posted somewhere about what you can and can’t do while fishing.
You can bring whatever you want to the Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier, so if you need some of the above, try there!
- Chairs, stools, benches
- Fires, grill
- Pets (dogs on leash ok)
- Swimming around the Pier
- Beach Umbrellas
Where is the Pier Located?
Right off Bayshore Boulevard in downtown St. Petersburg on the water of course. There is a park, a sandy beach, and lots of sand volleyball courts. I used to play volleyball here every Sunday.
Good to see the courts are still here.
Here’s a map to get you there. Here are the GPS coordinates of the building at the end of the pier. [27.77364580987282, -82.62219556809136]
Is a Live Web Cam on the Pier?
Yes there is, here. However, it doesn’t show the fishing area at the end of the pier, just the boats at the docks. You can see generally how the weather is, but little can be known from this web cam.
Where’s the Closest Fishing Pier to Me?
If you live in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, or Tampa you have your choice of the amazing fishing piers very close to you and all listed below. Info pages coming shortly on all of them.
- St. Pete Pier
- Clearwater Fishing Pier
- Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier
On both sides of the pier are large areas to park. Unless you’re coming on a weekend you will be able to find a place for your vehicle. This makes the walk only five minutes to the pier fishing area. You’ll want a wagon or fishing cart if you have bait in buckets or other heavy stuff.
Video of the St. Pete Pier Fishing Area (after 20m33s)
St. Pete Pier Website and Social Media
Sorry, their website is so bad and devoid of useful information that I cannot link to it here. These other links below will help a bit.
- Their Facebook page is here.
- You can follow their social media account on Twitter here.
- An Instagram search turns up thousands of photos. The place has a lot to see and people are keen to take pictures of themselves enjoying the place.
Fishing Piers Close to the St. Pete Pier
- Clearwater Pier 60
- Fort Myers Fishing Pier
- Gulf Fishing Pier at Fort De Soto State Park
- Naples Pier
- Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier
- Venice Fishing Pie
[Image credits: Images not marked with credits taken from their official website, videos, and FB pages.]