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St. Pete Pier area reopens to public

St. Pete Pier area reopens to public

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (TBO.com) — The south side of the inverted pyramid pier was James Ward’s favorite fishing spot for more than 10 years until the pier was closed and fenced off in June.

Not only did he frequently haul in catches of sheepshead, snapper and black grouper, Ward also enjoyed encounters with curious tourists from as far afield as Russia, Sweden and Italy.

On Monday, Ward was back at his old hunting ground, dangling bait of fiddler crab and oysters for unsuspecting fish.

“It’s good scenery; it’s open water,” said Ward, 51. “It’s a great place to fish.”

Anglers, cyclists and walkers braved Monday’s cold and blustery weather to take advantage of Mayor Rick Kriseman’s decision to re-open the pier head while the city deliberates over its replacement. The 10-foot chain-link fence that sealed off the pier head was removed Sunday. The pier approach was inspected and the boat slip area fenced off before the public was allowed access.

The inverted pyramid building will remain closed and the city is still paying for round-the-clock security that officials previously said will cost $240,000 this year.

Photo Credit TBO.com

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