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Picnic Island Report.. Opinion.. Whatever..

I'm sure there are many out there familiar with this area but for those who are not - google it.

Picnic Island Tampa,
Water quality can be questionable at times but the fishing is usually pretty good. I'm not going to go into details of when I like to go out there or what I look for to signal that I need to be there but when you figure it out (for me at least) it has consistently yielded many fun, fish fighting experiences.

The last two trips have produced multiple snook, trout, reds, flounder (of course), snapper and a couple large-ish spaniards.

Most recent outing I had 6 shrimp left and decided to burn through them real quick. Tied on a popping cork and went to work a spot that I had been eying for a while. With my trusty Loomis and Stradic I may have have been the only one out at the moment who could cast and reach this spot. Quickly eaten shrimp later I was a redfish short of a slam, grabbed an OK trout and of course, 1 giant pinfish :)

Just thought I should contribute a little something to the on-foot forum. Anyone else have other recent trips to picnic island?


  • barrynflabarrynfla Posts: 592 Officer
    Nice report! I wade PI often but haven't been having much luck. Last time (end of last week) I got a couple of slot reds but that was it. Got 'em on pins that I picked up at Gandy B&T. A couple of times before that I got skunked! Hot water, I reckon. I did well in the spring and early summer. Three slams and some nice fish. 33" and 34" snook, 20" flounder, a few trout over 20", and reds up to 26".

    If you ever want some company out there (weekdays) send me a PM.

  • Stonecrab_23Stonecrab_23 Posts: 209 Deckhand
    I went there and the only thing I caught were big mullet with a cast net but I guess I went at a bad time and the mosquitoes were bad
  • Power SnapperPower Snapper Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    Bummer about the mosquitos. I've never had them pester me much out there.

    Nice catches Barry! On the flounder - I went out there back to back weekends a while back and the flounder were all over. We had a 20 incher and the rest were good sizes and good eating for sure! Pitching from the pier there seemed to be a hole just filled with a bunch of em'. They were eating cut mullet, squid, shrimp and DOA shrimp. Pretty much anything, they were hungry!

    PS - I think they banned net throwing and crabbing from the pier recently. Watch out cause the word is they are enforcing the rule with a steep fine in the 1-200 range. I don't like relying on a sabiki for bait but it does get frustrating - people throwing nets all over the place while others are trying to coax skittish gamefish into eating. Not hating on net throwing so don't get me wrong. I just think the net ban has at least some sort of silver lining.

    N E way - tight lines!
  • barrynflabarrynfla Posts: 592 Officer
    PS..........thanks for the info on the cast netting. I've done it several times but without a lot of success. Hard to get to the whitebait as they're usually right under the pier and I'm not that good throwing that I can get the net under there far enough. Banning the nets really isn't a bad idea. It should just be a fishing pier without the disturbances.

    Nice going on the flounder!! :-)
  • TB421TB421 Posts: 271 Officer
    You guys are fishing from the pier there? I've always fished the south end of the park near the little jetty deal and through the mangroves to the beach that's back north a little bit. Did good there earlier this year, but have only fished there a few times since then and skunked out.
  • Power SnapperPower Snapper Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    I've fished primarily from the pier. From the shallows next to the boat ramp all the way down the pier. Keep your eyes open in the shallows for snook, trout and stray mangos.

    I walked out into the south end of the park that you're talking about a couple times with little success. Heard multiple stories though about the redfish that hideout down that way. I am a little wary of getting in the picnic island water - it's been advised to NOT go in the water multiple times because of the poo quality... I mean poor quality......

    On the pier side past the fence along the rocks to the north I've seen tailing redfish. Couldnt cast to them though. Just out of reach.

    I sure wish that business to the north was lax about trespassing and the fence had not been repaired...
  • barrynflabarrynfla Posts: 592 Officer
    TB421 wrote: »
    You guys are fishing from the pier there? I've always fished the south end of the park near the little jetty deal and through the mangroves to the beach that's back north a little bit. Did good there earlier this year, but have only fished there a few times since then and skunked out.

    I don't fish from the pier. Depending on the tide stage I fish from the end of the beach south to the point or else fish the potholes along the beach. I'm always looking for the transition from grass to sand.
  • Homer47Homer47 Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    I know what you mean about the cast netting on the pier. I was there one night and spotted a trout under the lights and was casting a lure to him when some yahoo with a cast net ignored me and threw right on top of him and me. I managed to keep my jig out of his net and the trout escaped, which made me want to laugh out loud. I have seen nice size cobia swim close to the pier so you might keep an eye out for them as well. I used to wade the flats off the south end of the park and catch a few trout and a ton of ladyfish fly fishing with poppers and streamers.
  • Stonecrab_23Stonecrab_23 Posts: 209 Deckhand
    I had no clue about the net ban thanks for the heads up and i also know how annoying it is when people are trying to fish an idiot is castneting a couple of yards away scaring the biggans your hopinging to hook but the best thing to happen is when they do it and you tell them to watch where they throw their nets and they say Ill throw where ever they want to and they cast into an oyster bed . :idiot
  • maz7869maz7869 Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    I went off the south end a few hundred yards into the bay and caught a half dozen flounder on shrimp and DOA Cals Sunday. It was my first time there I'll definitely return.
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