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Shark options from the surf at night

What's up fellow gulf coasters?

I've become more and more interested in shark fishing off the beach the past few months and have enjoyed some productive night time sessions kayaking baits out off Pass-a-Grille beach. I'm including pics of a nice 37" snook from this past summer and a sandbar shark I picked up on the beach, for your viewing pleasure.

I love Pass-a-Grille because it's productive and quiet, but I've got 2 main qualms with it:

1.) I've lost several large sharks as my line rubbed the swim buoys off the beach,


2.) I live on the east side of Brandon, so it's a long haul to get out there, and I'm usually pretty tired on the drive home in the wee hours.

So I wonder if you all could help me with some general suggestions.

1.) Any recommendations on gulf coast beaches with decent night time access and no swim buoys to contend with?


2.) Any suggestions on shore-based shark fishing in Tampa Bay proper, where the time committment to get out is a little less onerous?

I've spent some time at the Apollo Beach power plant and hooked a few nice bulls and some blacktips and bonnetheads, but it can be crowded on weekends. I've also pulled a few decent sharks off the west side of the Gandy bridge, but that drive is just about as far as the gulf coast beaches, and the mouth of the Alafia is decent if I can spend an hour kayaking out to it.

Anyway, not looking for honey holes, just wondering if anyone has some general areas with decent night time foot access to suggest.

*I've wondered about that dog beach in the Pass-A-Grille channel, inland from Pass-a-Grille beach, just south of the Merry pier. Anyone have some experience there?

Wishing you all tightlines this fall. Appreciate any suggestions.




  • JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimming Posts: 256 Deckhand
    Firstly great fish!

    I've new to beach shark fishing but thought I might give my 2 cents.

    Are you sure you the line is rubbing on the swim buoys and not on a sandbar? I'm not sure of your set up, are you using braid on mono? or a combination of both?

    I'm not sure about beaches with good access that don't have swim buoys. Coquina beach will have swim buoys but there might be enough space to fish between them or you could fish the far end near the inlet. You could probably avoid the buoys at that end of the beach. I would only fish this from the evening onwards as it will be busy during the day. The current around there is very strong near the inlet, so probably best to scope it out during the day at least once.

    You could also head south across the bridge from there and fish the beach off north shore rd off gulf of mexico drive. I was there this morning and didn't see any swim buoys. It's also fairly quite most of the time during the week. I'm sure it busy on a weekend. I'm not sure how much depth there is around there and I think you can only stay there until 11 or 12pm. From this beach you could also walk south along the beach, i'm guessing it would be quiet even during the day on a weekend. As long as you stick to the mean high water line you are allowed to be there.

    Bean Point would probably be worth checking out which is North of these places. I've fished it once but only on the inside due to the weather at the time. I can't remember if you had to leave by a certain time or not.

    I haven't fished Tampa Bay. But I'm guessing the hours might be similar anywhere you go around there. I was actually thinking about asking a cop the next time I see one about how strict there are about not allowing people to park around these places after midnight.

    Not sure how far these places are from you but I hope it gives you some ideas.
  • suprastevesuprasteve Posts: 183 Deckhand
    Unless rules have changed recently, Coquina Beach park closes at sunset and you'll be run out of there if you try night fishing. Not sure about just over the bridge, but I can all but guarantee you'll get a visit from the LBK PD checking out what you're doing (not much to patrol on that island, most excitement they will probably get all night). South side of the pass is very busy on weekend days with people partying along the sand spit. Not aware of any time restrictions by Bean Point. Emerson Point or Desoto Point may be decent options, but also only open during the day. From Brandon, maybe the pass at the small bridge on the south end of the Skyway approach would be worth a shot? When targeting sharks, we're usually in Terra Ceia or Manatee River by boat.
  • JustKeepSwimmingJustKeepSwimming Posts: 256 Deckhand
    As I wasn't sure about hours. I did a quick google search. It appears you can stay until midnight at coquina beach

  • Master of BaitMaster of Bait Posts: 71 Deckhand
    Awesome guys, thanks so much for the helpful feedback. I'll definitely head down towards bean point and check that out. Caught a bunch of little 4 foot bull sharks at Apollo beach recently, so that was fun! Tight lines.
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