May 19, 2020
You can’t travel in the state of Florida without seeing at least one Cocoa Beach billboard. Whether it’s for a local surf shop, restaurant, or the beach itself – the tourist industry is strong in Cocoa Beach. And there’s no doubt why… it’s a great place for families to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. If you’re looking for family fun, this is the place for you!
And if you’re looking for outdoor adventure, Cocoa Beach has that too. Surfers flock to Cocoa Beach’s annual surf contest each Spring; and sunbathers enjoy the sandy beaches year round. Anglers also like to get in on the action, casting lines both inshore and offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.
If you don’t have a boat, visit the world famous Cocoa Beach Pier. Not only can you spend a day sporting and sunning, there’s also really good fishing happening at the pier.
There’s a lot of activity at the Cocoa Beach Pier. Some days you’ll see rows of chairs set-up on the beach for an upcoming wedding, on the southside of the pier are sand volleyball courts with at least a game or two in play, and of course pedestrians walking, shopping, and eating on the pier.
But we know what you’re really interested in: fishing the pier. First of all, yes – fishing does happen on the pier, you just have to get to that section of the pier, past all the shops and restaurants. Please note, there is an admission fee for fishing the pier, with discounts for those under 12 or over 55 years of age. There are also week, month, and year passes available for those who know they will be a frequent visitor.
And a frequent visitor you should be! Cocoa Beach may be a popular place for surfers, but it’s equally favorable to fishermen and women as well. You can fish here twelve months of the year, and almost always walk away with a smile on your face, if not a cooler full of fish. The pier opens at 6am, the best time to start targeting the feeding fish. Depending on the season, you can catch redfish (also known as red drum), black drum, speckled trout, croaker, grouper, snapper, sheepshead, flounder, bluefish, amberjack, pompano, tarpon, and more. There is no shark fishing from the pier; no chumming as there are several surfers in the area.
If you show up empty handed but realize the fish are calling your name, then you’re in luck. There is a store that will rent rods and tackle for a small price. You can buy the bait you’ll need for the day and have everything you need to drop a line. The staff of the bait and tackle shop are friendly and knowledgeable, they can help you get the gear you need and possibly even give an inside tip to fishing the pier. Remember to keep an eye on the surfers in the water, and no casting overhead as there are several people on the pier behind you. Just drop a line, keep an eye on the fish, and get your net ready to pull up your catch.
The time of the tide will be the best indicator for when the fishing is on fire. You can check the surf reports or ask someone at the bait and tackle shop. Generally, fishing is best when the tide is coming in or going out, and not so much at the highest or lowest points of the tide. Also, how far out over the water you are will determine what you’re pulling in. Closer to the shore is better for redfish and trout, while further out is where you’ll see wahoo and amberjacks.
Now that you’re ready for some pier fishing, make your way to the pier off the famous A1A highway (bonus points if you have the Jimmy Buffett album of the same name playing). Turn onto Meade Avenue where there is a large parking lot for the pier (there is a fee). If you’re staying in a nearby hotel, walking to the pier is also an option. The pier is 800 feet long and offers a variety of opportunities for locals and visitors alike. Bring the family for a great day at the Cocoa Beach Pier.
The pier has been around for quite a long time. Since 1962, in fact. It was originally called “Canaveral Pier” and has had several changes in the past five decades. But it’s always been a fun place for families to gather, spend time together, and enjoy the best of Cocoa Beach.
Whether you visit Cocoa Beach for a day, week, or a month, you’ll soon find that Cocoa Beach Pier is a place with great shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Anglers can spend the morning fishing, and the evening listening to live music while eating a delicious meal. It’s more than a place to reel in your next catch, it’s a place to enjoy all that Florida has to offer: sun and fun with those you love.
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