Shutting Down Fishing At One Of The Busiest Fishing Piers Due To This???

Can you imagine shutting down fishing at a fishing pier?

The irony is not lost on us…

But sadly, the talk about shutting down the Skyway Bridge Fishing Pier (one of the most visited and largest fishing piers in the state of Florida) is real.


Mostly due to pelicans being tangled, mangled, and even killed due to irresponsible actions by a small number of anglers who don’t know the proper way to safely release a bird if it does get hooked.

But before you dismiss this, please listen in to hear what we can do as anglers to help educate others and ensure that our piers, jetties, and public fishing spaces are safe places for both humans and nature.

Find out more in the episode below!!

You can watch the video version of this podcast below (which I highly recommend), listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

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Shutting Down Fishing At Busy Pier [PODCAST]

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Here is a timestamped version of this important episode:

  • 2:00 – Shutting Down Fishing At The Skyway Fishing Pier
  • 6:50 – What To Do When You Hook A Bird
  • 10:38 – Fishing Docks or Bridges
  • 11:31 – FWC Data and Statistics
  • 13:25 – Bird Behaviors
  • 19:00 – Important Things To Remember
  • 22:30 – FWC Resources & Contacts
  • 23:30 – Don’t Feed The Wildlife
  • 24:16 – Precautions YOU Can Take
  • 25:37 – What can be considered FEEDING the birds
  • 27:32 – Using Artificial Lures
  • 31:28 – Topwater Lures
  • 34:20 – Handling Pelicans (bring a Towel with you on every trip!!)
  • 36:55 – Showing Beginners The Basics
  • 39:36 – Learn more about Hubbard’s Marina

Shutting Down Fishing At Busy Pier [VIDEO]

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How To Properly Rescue A Hooked Pelican [VIDEO]

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It is our responsibility as anglers to first take care of our marine ecosystems and to also educate others on how to best interact with wildlife.

The answer is education and showing everyone the resources available to them so we all can enjoy fishing.

Please keep these lessons in mind and share this podcast with anglers of all skill levels to help spread awareness and educate those that do not yet know.

Do you have any additional questions about this episode?

We’d love to hear your feedback down in the comments!!

What more do you think should be done to solve this issue?

And if you know someone who wants to learn more about shutting down fishing at a busy pier, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Ahmad Aghar
1 year ago

I totally agree that education is key in preventing birds’ injury and other consequences to the fishing community:
Many people do not know how to safely unhook a bird, are scared or puzzled by it, or simply freak out!
With some patience and a little help the situation can be resolved without causing any damage.

Thank you for bringing that up Salt Strong!

Alan Thomas
1 year ago

I fish the Skyway Bridge, but had not heard about it possibly being shut down. That would be devastating to our area. I have actually witnessed several occasions of birds being hooked. Thanks so much for sharing the “How to Video” I will be sure to help someone If this happens in the future.

1 year ago

Thank you thank you to all of you for talking about this! You are bringing this real issue into the light with calm rational thoughts! Best conversation I’ve heard yet on this topic on the fisherman side! Y’all rock! Tight lines! And our seabirds thank you! ❤️❤️

John Thomson
1 year ago

Thank you so much for this discussion. As anglers, we must recognize we are also stewards of our waterways and the creatures that inhabit them. You get it and that is why I am a Salt Stonger!

Dave Rafter
1 year ago

I have been paralyzed from the chest down since1980 and recently retired to the Gulf Coast after 40 years of working. I have been looking forward to fishing some of the piers and parks as transferring from my wheelchair to a boat seat probably requires two able-bodied adults (I weigh about 165 lbs. if there are any volunteers!). Without piers and platforms, I would most likely be shut out of one of my favorite pastimes I have been looking forward to enjoying after buying a home here. Let’s hope common sense and education can overcome the challenge of a society dumbing down all around us.

Ahmad Aghar
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Rafter

Hope you’ll be fishing for a long time 🙂

Michael long
1 year ago

The hypocrisy of local and state governments is amazing. True it is shame that a certain amount of wild waterfowl are killed and hurt by sport anglers and fishing line but surely the negative impact on the wild marine fowl population is a thousand fold more due to the unchecked and greed inspired constant waterfront property developers destroying the environment and the corrupt local and state government officials are all behind it so they can line their pockets and try and hide their true colors by enacting window dressing “environmental “ policies like this .

Rob S
1 year ago

With large influx of non-English speaking people crossing the southern border, transported to FL by the federal gov’t., and not understanding the English language, educational content in Spanish or signs promoting a more universal message might help curtail some of this undesirable behavior. With more court-ordered community service and low-risk incarcerated, perhaps making this a choice would serve the common good without closing down public facilities that assist many working and/or disadvantaged people, veterans, children, disabled people, etc. whom have never hooked a bird, or possibly a fish.

Dominique Sauvage
1 year ago

I fish the Gasparilla Island State Park and the Boca Grande Fishing Piers at least 3 times a week and I am disgusted at the amount fishing line I found in these areas. The ranges and I chat regularly and they agree with my statement.

Neal Hagood
1 year ago

I don’t know what to think about the pier closures- too many facets to weigh in on -BUT…
I TRULY Thank you for this educational presentation & accompaning Ed Video.. I have never read or heard any official comments/methodology on dealing with hooking birds here in Texas. I have had the fear & close calls – wondering what I would do.
I now feel much better about being able to handle the situation WHEN it actually happens. I know, through first aid trainings and experiences, that mental composure is crutial. AND that mental composure comes from Education, Expectation and Experience. The first 2 out of 3 of the “E‘s on the first experience will gain you that final “E“.
‘Share this message & assist when needed & help train others’ were great take-away messages as well!
Joe, Luke, Justin & Cptn Hubbard
Thank You!

Mark R Johnson
1 year ago

There have been times where the seagulls will follow my top water lure. If I sped up , slowed down or even stop the lure, the seagulls will still follow the lure. There have been a few times where they have actually picked the lure up by it’s feet, but once realizing it wasn’t real, they just dropped it. Can also happen with sub surface lures. Any suggestions?

One time I was pier fishing and the person next to me was using cut bait. The bait board was part of the pier. I seagull came down and stole a piece of bait right off the bait board. We we standing right next to the bait board and that didn’t bother the seagull. He wanted a free meal. I suggested they cover the cut bait with a towel.

On a side note.. If you ever get to Ocean City, MD, Need to stop at . The birds love them as well. Don’t ever drop one on the ground. You’ll be surrounded by the birds. They will fight each other for those scraps. They will stand at your feet waiting for you to drop one or begging you to give them one!


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