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Got to the pier @ 6:00am and set up gear.
Water was very still.
Bait was everywhere but was determined to use artificials. Gotcha plugs only. Wanted some Macks.

There was only @ eight of us on the pier. Four people were a Husband and wife with tow kids. A boy @ 8 and a girl @ 5.

With all the bait around and the young boy getting bored I had to turn to live bait. Offer the kid $0.10 a greenback. Over the next 15 minutes I have three in my bucket. Free-lined one out for a while and nothing.

Back to my gotcha looking for some macks. Little Boy now more interested playing with the fish in the bucket.

By now it is getting close to 8:30 and note one bite for me. One guy land a 3ft bonnet-head.

Al of a sudden there is close to 250 people walking up the pier. Seems the local YMCA is having a fishing tournament on pier 60. In no time at all it was elbow to elbow from the bait house all the way you the south side, up to and across the T and back down the north side to bait house. ( I do not know how the pier supported all these people.. They would of had to close the NSP or SSP with all the added wait).

The YMCA supplied each child with a rod and reel as well as bait and they chummed the whole pier every five feet with store bought chum bags. The also supplied squid for all the children. There must have been 150 kids pus their parents.

At 9:00 am it was all lines in. Fish were come over the rail on each cast. You should of seen these kids faces. Looks like I saw the next generation of fisherman and fisherwoman. I must say our way of living is safe.

I stayed until 11 but I stopped fishing @ 9:15. It was more fun helping the parents bait the hooks and helping the little ones.

This one boy, first time fishing, caught a 7inch and 9in grunt. You should of saw his face carry his fish up to the weigh in. Man that is was fishing is all about.

Some of the fish announced as caught.

Grunts,
Snapper,
Black see bass
15 in flounder
Trout,
24 inch lady fish.
10 in redfish
Hermit Crab.
Stone crab.
Many many Pinfish,
Two mothers and four fathers hooked.

I am not sure when the tournament was over or the final tally of fish but five seconds did not go by without the tournament organizers announcing and making a big deal out of every catch. These guys ran a first class tournament.

Oh remember that little boy who was catching bait for me.? Well he caught a 14 inch mack on a sabiki rig before the tournament and was not allow to keep it so his father offered it to me. ( Had to give the kid a buck for it. It was only right.).

So Went home with one Mack ( Ate it for lunch)
Helped a few kids fish
Saw many fish come over the rail.
100 plus happy kids.
WHAT A DAY FISHING> We live in a great place!!!!!!!!
 

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Man, that is awesome. I'll have to give my buddy Tom Leonard, the pier manager a call and get his take on the kid's tourney. LOL He works on Sundays. I bet he had a blast as well and was busier than a one legged man in a you know what. LOL
 

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Always wanted to make a road trip to the Tampa Bay are to fish the piers and bridges down that way. Looks as if iI ever make it down there Pier 60 is definitely on the list of places to try.
 

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Thanks for the story. We are coming down in July to visit some family in Tampa. My 9 yr old son loves to fish so I plan on doing some Pier 60 fishing with him. Can't wait. I plan on bringing down some gear with me. Am I good with a medium action 6' to 7' rod and 15 to 20 lb test? Thanks for any help!
 

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Thanks for the story. We are coming down in July to visit some family in Tampa. My 9 yr old son loves to fish so I plan on doing some Pier 60 fishing with him. Can't wait. I plan on bringing down some gear with me. Am I good with a medium action 6' to 7' rod and 15 to 20 lb test? Thanks for any help!
For fishing off the pier, that outfit should work just fine for 99% of the species you'll catch. Make sure you check your line for frayed areas and nicks though. Mono is cheap, so if it's old (over a year) you may want to re-spool. Also, since I don't know your reel capacity, you want to make sure you have enough capacity to handle a "run" or two (or three). Make sure you rinse off the rod and reel after each use with fresh water (I'm assuming you have freshwater equipment, living where you do). If they don't have an outlet at the pier, just put it in the shower when you get back to your hotel. Above all else...have a ball and catch a bunch! Larry
 

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Thanks for the reply Sprtsracer! I also want to say I'm sorry to Montylfl. I never meant to Hi-jack your thread. I just happened to see this thread and thought it was a nice story. I only hope we can have as much fun as you all did in your story!:D
 
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