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Capt. Tommy Thompson's Saltwater Angler's Guides

Don’t have a boat? Give Cedar Key’s fishing pier a try!

by Capt. Tommy Thompson on Oct.28, 2010, under Cedar Key

You may not catch a grouper or a king mackerel from the pier, but its location on the south end of town and its proximity to some deeper water makes it productive–and fun–for the boat-less angler.  It’s free, has bathrooms and is close to town and parking.  You’ll likely catch inshore species like ladyfish (shown), black drum, red drum (redfish), whiting and in winter months, some nice sheepshead.  A few items to be sure to take along are a stout rod and reel (Just in case a whopper comes by and eats your bait!), a supply of sinkers, some hooks and some bait.  I recommend live or frozen shrimp, which are available at Doug and Wendy Rains’ tackle and bait shop just north of the Jiffy Store on your way into Cedar Key.

Fun atop the Cedar Key Fishing Pier

Cedar Key Fishing Pier

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3 comments for this entry:
  1. Jami Yarbrough

    Hey! This is my son, Jagger Yarbrough. My husband, Chris and my son Jace is in the background. My Daughter Jordan and I(Jami) were busy painting at the time this photo was taken. I paint a lot of the murals in restaurants and signs along Dock Street.

    We love to visit Cedar Key and we enjoy fishing on the pier, the boys have caught many different types of fish, red fish, sheephead trout and Jace has even caught a 35 lb drum. That was fun!
    We absolutely LOVE Cedar Key and consider it our home away from home and the friendly locals and business owners our family.
    Thanks for the great photo!
    Jami Yarbrough

  2. Charlie Hayes

    My wife and I plan to come down the first week of April for s few days. It is my Spring Break from school. I would like to fish the pier. What is biting at that time of year from the pier? What is the bait of choice? Should I fish a particular time of day or fish the tide? If tide, which is better to fish the pier? Also, is there a fresh water place to fish lighter tackle? Bait? Lures? For each of these, what kind of license will I need and where can I get it? Cost?

  3. Capt. Tommy Thompson

    Charlie….no particular part of the tide phase is better there, but I do suggest fishing moving water rather than slack tide. Best bait is live shrimp on a “knocker rig” fished near the bottom for black or red drum, maybe a sheepshead. I’d also fish early in the day or late in the afternoon as that’s when saltwater fish bite best. There are some good roadside spots along the way to the airport (not hard to find) where you might consider fishing live shrimp under corks over the oyster bars that edge the road. There, you’ll want to fish high tide no matter the time of day. You can get a non-resident license online at myfwc.com and bait and tackle at Doug and Wendy Rains bait shop next to the Jiffy Store on Hwy 24 (at the road that takes you to the airport). It’s always good to check with the locals to see what’s biting when you arrive. Doug Rains will give you the information you need. Good luck!

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