A wooden footbridge leading to the beach

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Where To Fish In Sarasota

If you’re an angler, you’ve chosen well: Longboat Key and the Sarasota area host some of the best fishing in the Sunshine State. We’ve got offshore and deep sea in the Gulf, freshwater fishing from inland lakes, and the unique ecosystem provided by Sarasota Bay—an estuary—and its Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). You can fish from piers, bridges, grassy flats and boats. You can fish alone or with others, your tackle box well stocked from one of many suppliers in the area. In short, your wildest fishing dreams can come true here.

We’ve compiled a list of the best-of-the-best spots to fish, so dive right in.

Best Spot In Longboat Key: New Pass

New Pass is one of three passes connecting Sarasota Bay with the Gulf of Mexico. This is the one between Longboat and Lido Keys, and its bridge is an excellent spot for fishing. The New Pass Grill & Bait Shop is the perfect place to stop before fishing New Pass.

Best Kept Fishing Secret: Snook Alley

The waters are charmed with snook here, in this area south of Blackburn Bay in the ICW between Sarasota and Venice. Pro tip: Fish in the evening, and from the lighted dock areas where snook like to congregate.

Most Scenic Angling: Bird Key Park

Just across from the prestigious Bird Key development on your way out to St. Armands, this park at the end of the Ringling Bridge is known for its grass beds and seawalls which create the perfect environment for a variety of fish. Bonus: These might just be the most spectacular views of the city of Sarasota.

Best Pier Fishing: Venice Fishing Pier

You’ll find this popular angling place on Casperson Beach. The fishing is free and from an awesome vantage point to see what’s swimming below. Find mackerel, pompano, jack and flounder at the end of your line, and if you need to set yourself up with a rod, reel and bait, hit Papa’s Bait Shop in the middle of the pier. You don’t need a fishing license here, either. The city of Venice has taken care of that for you.

Most Fishing Options: Siesta Key Bridge 

As bridges go, you can’t do much better than Siesta Key’s northern one. You can fish from the bridge, along the seawall or in the flats themselves.

Best Access to Big Pass: South Lido Park

The best way to fish Big Pass is to take up a spot in the sand at South Lido Park. Early morning and late at night are best for catching tarpon, snapper and grouper.

The area offers many charters manned by experienced captains who know exactly where to find the fish. Some deep sea charters navigate 20-60 miles out into the Gulf, so rest assured that if you go this route, you’ll be guaranteed to come home with a haul. Others like Wolfmouth Charters will guide you in inshore or coastal fishing. If you want to stick closer to land, try Suncoast Fishing Charters to tap into shallow harbor water that hosts snook, redfish, trout and more.