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Beach to Blue Water: Somebody's Always Catching Something at Juno Pier

Juno Beach Pier offers a convenient cross section of Southeast Florida's great coastal fisheries.

Beach to Blue Water: Somebody's Always Catching Something at Juno Pier

At any given moment, something is probably biting off the Juno Pier.

South of Jupiter sits Juno Beach Pier, one of Florida’s favorite fishing piers.

Walk out and you’ll find folks always seem to be catching something. The water is often a clear blue out at the end, with a murkier, powder blue at the beach when a mild surf is breaking. Folks at the pier store, where you pay admittance, are helpful enough, but getting information from pier customers can be elusive. It’s possible they don’t want to share their great spot with the rest of the world, since the pier and casting distance are finite. However, you’ll undoubtedly meet kindred spirits with a broad spectrum of anglers of all age.

pier fishing
A big jack for this angler when a Florida Sportsman photographer walked out for a quick visit.
IF YOU GO
  • Juno Beach Pier: 11775 US Hwy. 1, Juno Beach, FL 33408
  • Admission: $5 fishing, $2 for spectators
  • Hours: Beginning March 1, sunrise to sunset. (Night fishing is offered only from November through February, to limit light exposure to nesting and hatching sea turtles.)
  • For fishing information: (561) 855-6185
  • What’s There: Two roofed areas with benches, offering shade from a glaring sun. Bait and tackle store rents rods and reels for $15, which includes pier entry. Saturday morning youth group pier fishing trips are available. Register online at the Juno Pier website.
  • Pier Rules: No directed shark fishing, no balloons, no straws, no alcohol, three rods maximum. Any sharks hooked must be brought in close and the line cut.
  • Live Views Online: To view current weather and wave and fish action, a live webcam of Juno Beach Pier can be viewed here.

The local “pier rats” (slang for regular customers) are dialed in with their buddies when the action heats up. Weekends are more crowded of course, but there always seems to be ample elbow room. When a big fish is hooked, folks are courteous enough to make way.

Like the water below, the pier itself has three distinct ecosystems:

The first includes anglers who fish close to the beach, hoping for pompano and whiting. Those fish are mostly caught between the sandbars marked by breaking waves. Double-hook leaders baited with fresh or live shrimp, or with sandfleas, are the ticket.

Mid-pier anglers are often after Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Flashy spoons and silvery Gotcha stick lures, modeled after the old Seahawk, are highly productive. Action can be fast and furious; I’ve seen coolers filled with both species on this pier. Visitors should be sure to wear a hat and sunglasses, and stay alert for casters slinging hardware without first looking behind them. Fish sometimes fly over the rail, too. You don’t want to be smacked in the gob by a snapping bluefish.

Out at pier’s far end on the T-head, anglers are after bigger game. Many use sabiki rigs to catch plentiful pilchards and sardines flashing below, since baitfish love to mill around structure. These lively baits are then lobbed way out there for kingfish, cobia, big jacks, even occasional sailfish and tarpon. In the old days, this is where shark fishermen set up their heavy gear with tackle that would stop a Volkswagen, but times have changed. Heavy shark tackle and chumming is now prohibited. (Swimmers on the beach appreciate that.) Balloons previously used here to float baited hooks farther offshore are prohibited as well, to benefit sea turtles which are known to eat balloons, thinking they’re tasty jellyfish

Snook fishing is perhaps the biggest draw of all on Juno Pier, and by late spring the schools are beginning to mass up all along the pier. Bring livebait rigs, patience and a hoop net to land and release fish. Many of the snook will be oversize.


  • This article was featured in the March 2024 issue of Florida Sportsman magazine. Click to subscribe.



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