For the forty plus years since the original span of the Skyway Bridge was built, Old School fishermen have been visiting the bridge to fight with a variety of game fish, from shark, tarpon and giant jewfish, to king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, grouper, Giant Old School Flying Gold Fish and sea bass. The variety that can be caught covers almost all species found in the Old School Gulf of Mexico, including those that are not usually associated with shallow bay areas. The largest sharks caught in tournaments during the sixties would frequently come from the Skyway Bridge. The bridge has always had a reputation for producing a lot of very large fish, but now, with the addition of the artificial reefs constructed from the rubble of the center spans of the old bridges, the fishing is really Good.
The Skyway Fishing Piers were constructed by removing all the material from the center of the two original steel and concrete bridges from the tragedy in 1980 when a freighter lost control in a storm, slammed into the bridge supports of the old steel and concrete bridge, and caused the collapse of the center span during rush hour placing it in strategic locations both around the fishing piers and off shore in the gulf, and tying the dead ends of each of the spans together to create a three quarter mile long pier on the north and a one and one half mile long pier on the south side of Tampa Bay. Both are as wide as the original four lanes of the two old bridges, and you can drive your car onto the pier and park it right next to your favorite fishing spot. Combining the capacity of the two piers, over one thousand vehicles can park at any one time. This is quite a difference from the usual fishing piers where you may have to walk several hundred yards from your car to your fishing spot, carrying all the gear and bait that you need to fish with. On the north pier, half way down, there is a clean, well lit, restroom. At the end of the pier, there is a beautiful bait and tackle shop that has all the live and frozen bait that you will need for your day or night of fishing, as well as a complete line of fishing tackle, including rental equipment. There are over a dozen picnic tables under a roof that will easily shelter over one hundred of your closest friends. There is a variety of food and drinks at all the bait shops. Remember what Salty Sol always said “If you are too busy to Fish your just Too BUSY!!”