Little Gasparilla Island Fishing

I am in need of some fishing tips. I am heading down to Little Gasparilla Island from Destin in a few days with family. I will be staying in a house with a lighted dock on the southern end of the island next to a few small channels across from Bird Key. I will be a block from the beach and a few blocks to the southern point of the island. I do not have access to a boat. I understand that red tide has been bad in your area. I plan on packing some light to medium heavy gear.

Any suggestions on bait/lures? What spots do you recommend on the island? I'm not sure if live shrimp is available because of the red tide. It does not really matter what types of fish I catch. I just will need some away time from the family!

Any advice/suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Replies

  • RobARobA Posts: 55 Deckhand
    I'm very familiar with the south end of the island. I don't know about fishing the beach, but the docks on the south end will have snook.

    At night, spec rigs (all white) reeled slowly through the dock lights will catch snook if they are down there. You may see the occasional shrimp running through at night as well, which you can net. you can also get shrimp from Gasparilla Marina or Eldred's.

    During the day, cut shrimp into small pieces and catch sheepshead off the pilings of your dock.

    Red tide hasn't been an issue lately for me.
  • SCFD rtrd.SCFD rtrd. Posts: 1,369 Officer
    Try fishing in the surf and shallow water at the inlet for Pompano. Use a "Silly-willy" pink. Just cast out and bump it back, letting it hit the bottom.
  • onbeachtimeonbeachtime Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    Thank you both for the help!

    Rob: I will definitely try fishing at night off the lighted dock for snook. I've never caught one so I hope I can get it done.

    SCFD: Is the inlet you are talking about the pass between LGI and Gasparilla? Also, where can I find a "silly willy jig"?

    Thanks!
  • SCFD rtrd.SCFD rtrd. Posts: 1,369 Officer
    Thank you both for the help!

    Rob: I will definitely try fishing at night off the lighted dock for snook. I've never caught one so I hope I can get it done.

    SCFD: Is the inlet you are talking about the pass between LGI and Gasparilla? Also, where can I find a "silly willy jig"?

    Thanks!

    Now I'm confused. Is Little Gasparilla Island and Don Padro Island the same thing? Anyway the pass I'm referring to is Gasparilla Pass. You can buy the silly-willy at most bait shops or Walmart. It's just a lead jig shaped like a banana with a hook. Bounce it off the bottom.
  • LGILGI Posts: 348 Officer
    You should be able to dip shrimp off your dock at night. Then use them for snook. You will catch more if you let your shrimp free drift with the tide to the next dock down. I always have better luck fishing just on the outside of the lights, you do not want to cast right in to the light.
  • onbeachtimeonbeachtime Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    SCFD: I was referring to Gasparilla Pass. I will definitely pick up some Silly Willys and give it a shot. Have you ever fishing live bait in that area?

    LGI: What else can I catch besides snook on the dock and the beach?
  • ruskinredneckruskinredneck Posts: 1,121 Officer
    SCFD: I was referring to Gasparilla Pass. I will definitely pick up some Silly Willys and give it a shot. Have you ever fishing live bait in that area?

    LGI: What else can I catch besides snook on the dock and the beach?
    Trout, redfish, tarpon, sheephead, flounder, shark... You name it.
  • TrevfishinTrevfishin Posts: 538 Officer
    Was there in November, caught trout, reds, snook, blues, flounder, lady fish. We were staying close to the end of the island closest to Gasparilla Pass as well, maybe .25 mile up from the pass. Caught blues (they came in a huge school chasing the bait fish), lady fish, and a flounder from the surf. On the back side we caught trout, snook, reds, pompano, and lady fish. Granted we had a boat and a kayak, but we would walk out on the dock at night and the lady fish were thick, mixed with some reds too. Shrimp is definitely the ticket though. Although I had caught 15 blues on top water one morning on the flats just north from where you are staying.
  • LGILGI Posts: 348 Officer
    Trout, redfish, tarpon, sheephead, flounder, shark... You name it.

    :Agree If it swims in our area you can catch it off the docks of LGI. I know someone who filled a cooler with sheephead last week, so they are there for sure right now. You can scrape barnacles off the pilings with a hoe or shovel to get them chummed up, then lower down a cut piece of shrimp.
  • onbeachtimeonbeachtime Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    Thanks for everyone's advice. I've heard the docks where I'll be staying are really good so I'm ready to hit them pretty hard! I will start with live shrimp and go from there. Do you think it's even worth buying live pinfish or white bait?
  • DemarzacDemarzac Posts: 204 Officer
    Every June we stay just north of where you'll be, on the IC side. In addition to snook, we've caught some nice gag and black grouper at the end of the dock where we stay. Granted the dock is long and ventures into some deeper water, probably 6-8 feet or so, but if your dock fits that description then yes, the pins and pilchards will work as that is exactly what we've caught 'em on. A shrimp-tipped jig of the sturdier variety will work as well. Good luck.
    "If you want to play an up-tempo, fast-skating game, we can play that game. If you want to muck and grind in the corners and along the boards, we can play that game too."-Famous Coach
  • onbeachtimeonbeachtime Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    The dock where I will be staying is one of the longer docks from the looks of it on google earth. Hopefully it is holding some fish. I can't wait to get down there and give it a try!
  • TrevfishinTrevfishin Posts: 538 Officer
    Ok, don't buy pins, get some sabiki rigs #6 or #8, tip with shrimp and wait, they are there...as many as you want, we caught them by the bucket full when we were down there in Nov.
  • onbeachtimeonbeachtime Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    Update: first 2 days and nights here have been slow. Last night under the lighted dock we caught only catfish and ladyfish.

    Today during the day we caught 2 keeper sheepshead.

    Tonight we caught nothing but **** catfish again under the lighted dock.

    We are using white and pink artificials, live shrimp, dead shrimp, and cut bait.

    No sign of red tide where we are. Not sure if the colder temps have the fish scattered.

    Any tips?
  • yellowdogyellowdog Posts: 147 Deckhand
    Weather is gonna warm up down there the next few days. The colder temps will slow the fishing down, but they normally bite pretty good after it warms back up. Might want to try a couple other docks if its not too crowded down there. Just make sure its not a private dock. A lot of the docks down there are the "shared" type, used by multiple home owners and you can probably get by trying a couple of those without ticking somebody off. You could take the water taxi back to the mainland and go fish the tressles. The sheepshead fishing is probably still going strong over there. You can also rent kayaks in Placida and the flats just outside Gasparilla Marina down toward Catfish Creek usually hold some trout. If you go there, take live shrimp and fish them under a cork. Good luck.
  • TrevfishinTrevfishin Posts: 538 Officer
    If you rent a kayak, the flats just north from where you are holds trout, reds, snook, flounder, pompano. Troll a grub while you are on the way and you'll catch trout and lady fish. I caught a 19'' one doing that and picked up a few smaller ones. The nice thing about the kayak is you can get up there at low tide and hit the pot holes. It also allows you to drift over the flats too. I picked up a couple of reds between the backside of LGI and those flats. I want to say that there is flats direct across from you as well around Bird Island. The channel that runs between Bird Island and Boca Grande Pkwy holds a good number of fish as well.
  • beargonefishinbeargonefishin Posts: 64 Deckhand
    Keep a couple ladyfish and use as cut bait. You will catch some catfish but could also attract a nice red. Throw out a handful of pieces to get the scent going. If there is a hungry red in the area, it will find it. Throw one out and let it sit while you use a different rod w something else.
  • onbeachtimeonbeachtime Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    Have torn up the sheepshead the past few days. Still way too many catfish at night. The end of my dock was packed with snook last night but I didn't get a chance to go out there. Tonight I will hopefully tear some snook up!
  • aquasport190aquasport190 Posts: 337 Officer
    Trout, redfish, tarpon, sheephead, flounder, shark... You name it.

    We stayed near there (maybe same house?) a few years back and also caught jack crevalle, ladyfish, spanish mackerel, whiting, stingray, bonnethead shark and spadefish.

    Dock snook were tough. They're very spooky. Tippy-toe out there. Drift live shrimp on the dark side of the edge of the light.
  • SwflfSwflf Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    Hi I am new here, I wanted to give this thread a bump because I will be staying on LGI for the month of May and was looking for some surf fishing advice. I am basically hoping to catch the biggest fish I can from the beach. Is it feasible to catch tarpon? I will have a kayak so I could kayak my bait out. What all can you catch in the surf? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
  • FlyrodToddFlyrodTodd LongmontPosts: 1 Greenhorn
    Bump.  Heading there in 2 weeks... staying on the north end right off the beach... anyone do any shark fishing?  Do the tarpon cruise the beach or do we need to go down to the pass on the south side?

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