(Last Updated On: January 5, 2023)

Pier during sunset at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

If you love fishing then the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park has to be high on your bucket list.

Providing a total area of 4.7 miles in which to fish, the pier stands proudly as the longest in the world.

Just 15 minutes from downtown St. Petersburg, it attracts anglers from all over Florida and the neighboring states, many of whom love the fact they can park their vehicles within a few feet of this awesome fishing destination.

Open 24 hours, every day of the year, the pier provides excellent opportunities to catch a wide range of fish. As it is lit up at night it is accessible at all times – so it really doesn’t matter when you get there!

As well as fishing, this Florida state park is popular with birders. Photographers also flock here at sunrise and sunset to capture the wonderful hues that light up the sky. In addition, many people also choose to run and walk along it as part of their exercise routine too.

History

The first incarnation of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge was opened in 1954. Fifteen years later a similar structure was constructed alongside it, therefore turning it into a four-lane bridge.

Up until 1980 many thousands of boats and big ships floated underneath the structure effortlessly. Then on May 9, 1980 a tragedy happened. In the middle of a powerful thunderstorm, a freighter called the Summit Venture smashed into one of its columns. Sadly 35 people were killed as some 1200 feet of bridge collapsed.

A completely new bridge was built in 1987. But rather than dismantle and remove the old one, what remained of the original structure was renovated and opened up as Skyway Fishing Pier State Park in 1994.

The bridge on a sunny day at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

Activities

Here are just a few of the many things you can do at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park:

Fishing at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

As there are almost five miles of fishing area on the pier there is plenty of space available for you to cast a line.

To do so, you may need a fishing licence. So be sure to check with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission with regards to their policy on fishing in Florida.

You will also need to abide by their rules and regulations which relate to the size, number, season and method of capture of fish.

During your time on the pier you can expect to catch a range of fish including snook, grouper, Spanish mackerel, cobia, sheepshead, red snapper, pompano, black sea bass, tarpon and king mackerel.

Birding at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

While fishing is the main attraction at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, another popular activity here is birding.

The likes of herons, pelicans, terns, seagulls and ducks can all be seen on a regular basis, while other migratory species often use the pier as a temporary rest stop too.

If a bird stops near you resist the temptation to offer them human food or fishing bait. You might think this is a cute thing to do, but it only dissuades them from trying to catch their own food.

Sadly, pier managers also often have to rescue injured birds who have become entangled on fishing lines after trying to eat the bait on them.

Once rescued, these birds have to be sent for medical attention to a sanctuary hospital. Sadly some do not survive.

Great Egret with a fish in its mouth at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

Walking and running on the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

It is not only fishermen and birders who visit the pier. With almost 5 miles of length to traverse, it is a popular spot for exercising and being active too.

This mainly takes the form of walking and running on it, although some people choose to roller skate or skate board.
If you plan to do any of these activities, please be mindful of other people.

Site seeing and photography at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

The sheer length of the pier provides outstanding opportunities for site seeing and photography.

Principally the amazing sunrises and sunsets that you can see from both sides of the pier are the main drawcard.

However the structure is also a good spot for boats and people watching. Many people also come here to just relax and reflect while looking out into the water.

Picknicking on the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

The pier is a nice spot to enjoy a packed lunch or picnic while admiring the watery views.

You will find several benches you can sit on along the structure. There is also a nice covered picnic area for you to enjoy an al fresco meal near the bait shop.

The consumption of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited anyway on the pier.

Fishing pier in the distance at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

Pets at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

Unfortunately pets are not allowed on the Skyway Fishing Pier.

So you will have to leave them at home if you intend to visit the structure.

Camping at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

There is no camping accommodation available directly on or immediately around the pier. However, within a 3 mile drive you will find the Fort Desoto Campground.

This massive 238-site campground overlooks the beach and waterfront. It features a range of sites that come with RV hookups for water and electricity.

Amenities at this campground include individual modern restrooms with hot showers, picnic tables, grills, a laundrette with washing machine and dryers and a sanitary disposal station.

You will also find play areas and a camp store there.

Should you prefer to stay at a hotel, motel or Vrbo, several options are available in nearby St Petersburg.

Amenities at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

For visitors convenience restrooms are located at the pier.

You can also purchase snacks and drinks, as well as fishing supplies including bait on it as well.

Park Location

Skyway Fishing Pier State Park
4905 34th St. South #5000
St. Petersburg FL 33711
Phone: 727.865.0668

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park: