Fishing Pier 60: Clearwater Beach's Fishing Pier


Image of Clearwater Beach with Pier 60 in the background

Pier 60, situated in the heart of Clearwater Beach, Florida, is a gateway to some of the best saltwater fishing experiences on the Gulf Coast. Renowned for its stunning sunsets, vibrant nightly festivals, and, most importantly, its abundant fishing opportunities, Pier 60 offers both novice and seasoned anglers a chance to cast their lines into the bountiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Discover which species anglers can target here, along with the amenities that make it a must-visit destination for fishing enthusiasts.

Target Species and Seasonality

Fishing at Pier 60 is a year-round activity, with the changing seasons bringing different species into reach. The pier's waters are teeming with a variety of fish, providing anglers with a diverse fishing experience.

Spring and Summer: 

These warmer months are ideal for targeting Spanish mackerel, spotted sea trout, and the prized tarpon. The warmer waters also attract snook and redfish, offering excellent inshore fishing opportunities. Spanish mackerel can be targeted with spoons or plugs, typically retrieved quickly and somewhat erratically. A wire leader can help prevent these toothy fish from breaking off. Tarpon are a real challenge from the pier. Heavy, shark fishing tackle is recommended, as you do not have the luxury of pursuing a hooked fish by boat. Landing a tarpon from the pier entails walking it down to the beach, which can be a nuisance to fellow anglers. If you plan on targeting tarpon, show up very early to beat the crowds and maximize your chances of landing one.


As the water begins to cool, flounder become more prevalent, along with continued catches of snook and redfish. The fall migration also brings king mackerel closer to the pier. King mackerel will go after the same lures that the Spanish mackerel do, but you will certainly want to rig up a wire leader with these brutes. A heavier action rod paired with a high capacity spinning reel with a good drag system will improve your chances in battle with a King. Snook and redfish can be caught on artificials such as swimbaits and jigs. Anglers also have success with large bucktails for snook near the pier pilings. Alternatively, live or fresh cut pinfish and mullet can yield a strike from Snook and Redfish. 


Though the waters are cooler, fishing at Pier 60 doesn't disappoint. Sheepshead, black drum, and whiting are among the species more commonly caught during these months. Jigging a live shrimp near the pilings will draw out a Sheepshead bite, while bottom fished shrimp can be effective for black drum. Finally, whiting will be found in the surf closer to the beach, and will also hit shrimp or artificials. 

Pier 60 Fishing Tips


Live bait, such as shrimp or small fish, tends to attract more bites, but artificial lures can also be effective, especially for species like snook and mackerel. A good assortment of artificials while fishing the pier would be spoons, plugs, swimbaits, bucktails, and soft baits on a jig head. 


An “all-around” setup would be a medium-heavy action rod paired with a 3500-4000 series spinning reel spooled with 20-30 pound braided line with a 40 pound fluorocarbon leader. Although this would be overkill for sheepshead or whiting, it is important that your tackle is strong enough to pull a fish away from the pier pilings if need be. If you are targeting the toothy Spanish or King mackerel, opt for a heavier or wire leader. If you are targeting tarpon, you will want to employ a heavy action rod with a 6000 series reel spooled with 50+ pound braid and a 100 pound fluorocarbon leader. 


Always check the current Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) regulations for size and bag limits, as these can change.

Nearby Amenities

Pier 60 isn't just a fishing destination; it's a hub of activity and amenities that enhance the fishing experience.

Bait Shop: 

Located near the pier, the bait shop offers live and frozen bait, fishing gear, and expert advice on what's biting and where.

Daily Sunset Festival: 

Every evening, Pier 60 transforms into a festive marketplace with street performers, vendors, and artisans. It's a perfect way to relax after a day of fishing.

Playground and Park: 

Adjacent to the pier, a well-equipped playground and park offer a great spot for families to enjoy the beachside setting.

Food and Refreshments: 

Various restaurants and concession stands are located near the pier, serving up everything from quick snacks to full meals, ensuring you stay energized for your fishing adventure.

Pier 60 in Clearwater Beach offers a fishing experience like no other, with its rich diversity of target species, year-round fishing opportunities, and an array of nearby amenities to make your visit enjoyable. Whether you're casting your line in the hopes of landing a trophy fish or simply soaking in the vibrant atmosphere of the Gulf Coast, Pier 60 is a destination that promises memorable moments and potentially rewarding catches. Remember to fish responsibly, respecting both marine life and fellow anglers, to preserve this cherished fishing locale for generations to come.

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