Tips on how to fish Clearwater FL?

I'm taking the family to Clearwater tomorrow, and would like to take my fishing gear. What tips would you give to someone who has only fished freshwater?

What type of rigging/bait do you find most successful from off of the shore? We may rent a boat, but aren't positive, so most of my fishing will be landlocked.

Also, how do you handle saltwater fish? I usually fish trout, crappie, catfish, and bluegill. Normally I just grab them shits by the mouth and take the hook out, can I do the same with what I catch down there?

Are you fishing off the pier at Clearwater Beach? I've never had much luck off of there, but it may have just been the time I was there. I've had realy good luck at piers farther up the golf shore. They do rent rods and tackle at the pier but not great quality and you don't need to buy a license.

If you do bring your own gear and fish off the pier, bring a light pole with 8lb mono and get a couple pompano jigs to catch bait fish. And a large pole with with 20lb mono and a steal leader, I like to use octopus hooks and hook the bait through the back. Some heavy 2oz weights are also good to have on hand.

I've never shore fished the gulf, some other guys may have better advice.

There are a shit ton of piers to fish off.

Snook, Trout, Red and Black Drum, Cobia and a sometimes snapper can all be caught off a pier (sharks too)

You can also hire a guide to take you on a 1/2 day to fish the flats for cobia, trout, snook, reds and the occasional tarpon. Best bang for your buck as you will also see dolphins and shit.


Have fun

Here is a good page on pier fishing the golf.

Live shrimp will catch just about anything in or off shore.

Thank you for the tips and links! I'm going to get a 7-day license ($30) for beach fishing. I get checked where I live by conservation police almost every where, every time.

I'm definitely going to try off of Pier 60 with live shrimp. Don't care what I catch, it'll make the 4 year old happy whatever it is. Just don't want to get poisoned!

i love the Florida Fish and Wildlife app


getting the license through the app is so easy and user friendly.....has cool little features such as fishing reports, tide charts, etc


all your licenses on your phone