By Terry Gibson
Four of the state’s best and most easily accessed public fishing opportunities are found within a short drive of each other in Palm Beach County.
They are: the Lake Worth Pier, Palm Beach County’s Ocean Inlet Park in Boynton Beach, the new Lantana Bridge piers, and the Lake Worth Bridge piers.
Lake Worth Fishing Pier
This fabled pier recently was rebuilt. The Gulf Stream current comes right to Lake Worth Beach, bringing species you don’t typically find close to shore right into the surf.
As far as I know, it’s the first place an angler caught a sailfish from land. When the northwest winds blow in winter, a few diehard anglers launch live baits clipped to kites and fly the baits out to deeper water.
This pier is also a legendary snook fishing spot. Plenty of pompano, cobia and snappers are caught as well. You can rent tackle and buy bait right there. And check out the great food and drinks at Dave’s Last Resort, which is just over the bridge in downtown Lake Worth.
Fishing Pier at Ocean Inlet Park
This park in Ocean Ridge near Boynton Beach offers abundant fishing opportunities. You can fish from the beaches (except from the life-guarded beach), from inlet’s north or south jetty, or along the seawall on the Intracoastal Waterway.
It’s legendary for big snook and jumbo red drum. The structures also produce plenty of sheepshead, snappers and grunts. Sand perch are a saltwater panfish regularly targeted in the Lake Worth Lagoon. You will need to bring your own bait and tackle. Baits including mullet and pilchards can often be harvested with a castnet near the bridge and in the lagoon. Mole crabs, known locally as “sandfleas” are readily available in the beach sand.
Lantana Bridge Pie
This bridge and its piers on the west side in Lantana are brand new, but word’s getting out that they’ve attracted snook and tarpon.
There’s enough growth on them already that the sheepshead are on the pilings, as are mangrove snappers. Great eats and drinks are right next door at the Old Key Lime House.
Snook Islands Fishing Pier
The Snook Islands Project in Lake Worth will go down as one of the greatest environmental restoration projects in history.
About 15 acres of mangrove and spartina marsh were established here. Snook, speckled trout and redfish have returned to these habitats, among many other species.
There’s a 590-foot fishing pier parallel to the bridge on the west side of the Lake Worth Lagoon. Fishing at night for tarpon and snook is especially productive.
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