I lived in Tampa for 6 years and fished there often. Evenings, over night, and sun up are great. I've seen BIG 7 ft plus sharks caught there, HUGE snook in the 30 pound class, loads of great eating sea trout, mackeral, man, just about anything that swims in salt water.
I wasn't real into fishing there the way I am now. I just had a medium spinning outfit with 10lb test line. Spray the reel good with WD40 or the salt water will eat it up.
I had a lot of great times there with my family and friends I made while down there. I always did best all the way out to the end and off to the left side, far corner. Lots of trout out there. Flounder too.
Go to Albertson's grocery store and buy squid for bait. It's cheaper than at the bait house.
Non-residents of Florida need a saltwater fishing license on the shore or in a boat. You do not need a license to fish from a pier that charges a fee to fish.
Tightlining is the most common method of fishing from a pier or in the surf. You can also cast and retrieve live shrimp using a popping cork for speckled trout, or bounce a lead head jig along the bottom tipped with a live or dead shrimp.