The War Memorial Park is located in Bay Pines (St Petersburg) adjacent to the C. W. Bill Young Veterans Hospital. The land, 122 acres on Boca Ciega Bay was donated as surplus federal property in 1963. Some of the tributes to veterans located in the park are a four man tank nicknamed the “Walker Bulldog” used in the Korean war, a battlefield cross monument, and an Equatorial sundial.
The park includes a 24 hour boat ramp, playgrounds, pavilions, picnic tables, grills, and nature walks. Turtle Crawl point, within the park is a good place for land based fishing. To the East of the point is kayak/canoe launch with fresh water wash down and easy entry points for wading anglers.
This area has mangroves full of snapper, sheepshead, and snook. There is a small canal that opens to a nice area with three small spoil islands. Red fish and snook hold in there on higher tides. Wading anglers should be aware, many sections are very mucky and get deep during high tide.
For the most effective fishing, go on a incoming or high tide. Using a #1 circle hook, 30 lb fluorocarbon, Cajun Thunder and live shrimp. Cast directly in front of or underneath the mangroves. Pop the Cajun Thunder and in minutes it will be “fish on”. If the float is any further than a couple of inches away from the mangroves, cast again or the fish will not bite.
Admission to the War Veterans' Memorial park is free, the boat ramp costs $6 to launch and $2 for car parking. The park is open for 7 A.M. To dusk. Take advantage of these wonderful, free resources, the fish are waiting!
Published by Coastal Angler Magazine (December Edition)
Copyright Paul Presson