It was a little cool for the end of March when we left in the morning for St. Petersburg and Bradenton Florida. The temperature read a brisk 48 on the dash of the Equinox. But as usual in Florida, it warmed up quick and we got to the Skyway Bridge State Park around 10:00. The state turned the old bridge into a fishing pier when the new bridge was built. It is always crowded with anglers on the weekend.
The first section of the park is a rest area on the St. Petersburg side of the bridge, that has some nice areas to fish form the shore. This is my preference since I only fish with artificial lures on my quest to fish the state parks. The tide was low, and wading was the natural choice. I fished off a point close to rest area. It was difficult throwing my normal Yozuri jerkbait, since the grass was near the surface, and the wind was howling at about 15-20 mph. I managed only a few Pinfish with my bait, which were barely larger than what I was throwing……. Here are a few shots of the park.
Next we crossed the bridge and took a small road off 19 and found a secluded park called Terra Ceia Preserve. This park doesn’t even have a sign or admittance. It is a nice marshy area with winding creeks around mangrove islands. I was able to walk around some of the area and cast to some of the mangrove islands.
I used the Yozuri, and right off the bat this nice snook nailed my lure, and the fight was on!
It happened to be the only bite I had in the two hours we visited the park, but still put up a nice fight and made the trip!
to be the only
This park has a nice Marina and is located on a canal that runs into Tiger Cove on Lake Kissimmee when you run east. The canal dead ends if you go west out the marina since there is a lock on the canal. The canal does run to lake Rosalie, but it is not accessible by boat.
I fished the canal near the Marina first, and saw a feeding bass bust some minnows, but was unsuccessful in getting him to bite. I was using a fluke, trick worm, and ultra-vibe speed worm. I worked the canal by the lock and bridge, and did get a bite on the trick worm. I missed the fish as he must have spit it before I set up on him. It looked like a real “fishy” area, but I never did get another bite. Here is a picture of the canal area from the bridge going west towards Rosalie.
Below is a view of the marina.
Delnor-Wiggins is a beach front park near Naples Florida. It has a large boat channel that runs along the north side where most people fish. I decided to walk along the channel side and get as close to the mangroves and close to the channel drop off.
I used the Yozuri L-Minnow jerk-bait and within a few minutes I caught a nice Lady fish. There was current in the channels the tide was going out. I moved further into the channel but never got another bite.
Since this park is located near Naples, it is a nice viewing site for some large boats and very popular with the beach crowd. I guess if I was fishing with some live bait, it could be good for fishing, but that is not what I am doing on my State park’s tour. I only fish with lures, and only fish for an hour or two in each park.
Driving along Estero Blvd. from Bonita Springs is a beautiful drive with the ocean on one side and Estero Bay on the other. We pulled into the south entrance to the park and drove up to the parking area where the canoe/kayak launch is located. We ate lunch and Sharon looked for a place to paint. She decided to go,over to the beach side by tram, and I liked the bay side to fish. The bay was clear with mangroves lining all sides of the twisty creek like bay.
I was excited to see this kind of water, since it is more red fish and snooky looking…… There were a bunch of different cuts in the mangroves, but they were spaced a fair distance apart. I walked to each spot and waded. I could only wade a few steps out since it dropped off pretty quick. It took about an hour, but as I walked down to a spot near the bridge, I saw a red and spooked him. I made a few casts and had a follow. A few more cast with my Yozuri L minnow p, and wham! I had a red on! I was hing the red did not try to take me into the mangroves, or I would surely lose this battle. But, he didn’t and pulled hard to deep water. It is my best fish of the tour, and weighed close to 5 pounds.
On my way back to the car, I noticed a few manatees swimming near the bridge and took a short video. I hope you enjoy.