Naples a century ago was very different from Naples today: the town housed only 80 people in seasonal increments. And the area’s amenities were minute: a post office, a hotel, a convenience store and a 600-foot fishing pier on the Gulf of Mexico.
Of all four amenities, the Naples fishing pier proved most important. So much more than a scenic space to watch the tide roll in, the pier served as a port. It received steamship passengers and cargo freight. It even featured rails that reached from end to end, allowing easy transport of goods and luggage. And when each guest settled into their accommodations, they returned to the pier to cast a line and enjoy a beautiful Southwest Florida sunset.
Before the pier emerged in 1888, the hotel was dormant and visitors struggled to make it to shore. But it wasn’t long after the pier’s presence until the town exploded with activity. Children skipped up to the end of the pier and peeked over the railing as fishermen sat at the edge, waiting for a bite. And it still serves this purpose, over a century later.
But this historical landmark certainly faced the tests of time. It remained intact until 1910 when a hurricane struck the Naples Gulf Coast. Since then, two more hurricanes destroyed parts of the pier, calling for reconstruction in 1926 and 1960. Still to this day, the Naples fishing pier stands as an emblem of old and new Naples. Its presence is a reminder of the birth of what is now a prosperous Southwest Florida city.
Today the Naples fishing Pier remains one of the most popular attractions in Naples. In fact, it’s rated third of 101 things to do on Trip Advisor. Though it no longer functions as a boat dock, the pier draws both locals and tourists with its license-free Naples fishing, excellent bird watching and the occasional dolphin sighting.
Now the pier extends 1,000 feet, and it hosts restrooms, concessions and a bait shop. What’s more, the city promises more exciting renovations in the near future.
Experience More Naples Fishing
While the fishing pier offers fun for the whole family, Naples nearshore and backwater fishing charters present abundant opportunities to catch keepers. To schedule your fishing adventure, contact the knowledgeable team at Chasin’ Tales Fishing Charters at 239-216-0378. Chasin’ Tales specializes in nearshore and backwater fishing in Naples, Marco Island and the Ten Thousand Islands.