Outing Preview: Urban Outing, St. Pete's North Shore Park

Our next outing is our urban outing and it will take place on Saturday August 19 with lunch at noon at Flora Wylie Park in downtown St Pete.

Our designated fish award goes to the member catching the longest seatrout. Also, the annual tournament contest is still in play. The fishing boundary extends from the entrance to Coffee Pot Bayou on the north to Demens Landing Park on the south. You can fish as far to the east as you want so long as you can see North Shore Park.

In previous outings in this location our members have caught ladyfish, trout, snook, redfish, mangrove snappers, and sheepsheads. On the flats my first choice for flies would be EP minnows or my favorite deceivers in Chartreuse and white. And no one can go wrong by using Clousers. If it is calm you might try some top water poppers.

The flats right in front of the park and just outside of Coffee Pot Bayou provide good fishing for trout and ladyfish. The marked channel out of Coffee Pot Bayou and the deep dredge holes along the western edge of the flat are good areas to try for redfish and snook. The docks, seawalls and mangroves in Coffee Pot are great habitat for snook and reds. Snook and mangrove snapper are known to frequent the rocky jetties and shorelines around the yacht basin and the airport.We will have different sized fly rods for members to cast. Tom Gadacz will provide casting tips and instructions. This was a real hit last time, and I hope that everyone will take a turn at casting 3-weights through 10 weight rods.

There is an interesting history on the Blackthorn Memorial rest stop: The USCGC Blackthorn (WLB-391) was a 180-foot seagoing buoy tender which sank in 1980 in a collision near the Tampa Bay Sunshine Skyway Bridge, resulting in 23 crew member fatalities.

On 28 January 1980, while leaving Tampa Bay after the completion of an overhaul, she collided with the tanker SS Capricorn. Shortly after the collision, Blackthorn capsized, killing 23 of her crew. The cutter was raised for the investigation, but ultimately was scuttled in the Gulf of Mexico after the investigation of the accident was complete. She currently serves as an artificial reef for recreational diving and fishing 20 miles offshore. - Bob


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