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Suncoast Beaches Fishing Article

Fishing In The Suncoast Beaches

  By: Kris Purzycki

With fleets of deep-sea charters, lofty piers, winding waterways and lush parkland, it is no surprise that Sarasota is one of Florida’s most cherished fishing destinations!

For an all-day adventure of sportfishing out on the open ocean, take advantage of Sarasota’s incomparable charter and boat rental services. Seek out schools of grouper and red snapper or search for offshore challenges like swordfish and tuna. Sarasota is home to world-class charter excursions led by knowledgeable and friendly captains eager to help you find adventure.

Spend some time among anglers spanning the area's spacious fishing piers, where no license is required. Based off Brohard Park in Venice, the amazing 700-ft. Venice Fishing Pier attracts schools of red snapper. Stretching into Sarasota Bay, Tony Saprito Pier is located in Causeway Park at the end of John Ringling Causeway in Sarasota. Constructed a century ago, the wooden expanse of the historic Anna Maria City Pier has seen a lot of anglers as well as its share of sunset strollers. After a major renovation, Bradenton Beach City Pier has once again become a favorite grouper and flounder hotspot.

A saltwater fishing license is required for all nonresidents ages 16 and older. Licenses are $17.50 for three days, $30.50 for one week and $47.50 for an annual permit. Snook ($10.50) and crawfish ($5.50) stamps are optional. However, nonresidents fishing with a licensed charter skipper are exempt.

Whatever your ideal fishing arena, the Suncoast promises you’ll land a prized Sarasota memory!

Possession of saltwater fish, shellfish and crabs is regulated. Federal, state and local laws may apply for certain areas and seasons. Tackle shops will provide current rules. Prices are subject to change. This chart is for Catch & Release.

Fish Where How Season Bait
Barracuda Gulf, reefs Trolling, casting All year Live bait, lures
Black Drum Bays, passes Bottom Winter, Spring Crabs, shrimp
Bluefish Gulf, passes Trolling, casting Fall, Winter Jigs, flies, spoons
Cobia Gulf Casting Spring, Fall Shrimp, pinfish, flies, jigs
Flounder Gulf, bays Bottom All year Shrimp, cut bait, jigs
Gag Grouper Gulf Bottom All year Pinfish, jigs
Kingfish Gulf Trolling, drifting Spring, Fall Spoons, plugs, Spanish sardines
Mangrove Snapper Gulf, bays Bottom All year Shrimp
Permit Gulf Casting Spring, Summer Jigs, crabs, shrimp, flies
Pompano Surf, passes Casting Spring, Summer Shrimp, sand fleas
Red Grouper Gulf Bottom All year Pinfish, jigs
Redfish Bays Casting All year Jigs, spoons, shrimp, flies
Sheepshead Gulf, bays Bottom All year Shrimp, crabs, sand fleas
Snook Gulf, bays, creeks Casting Feb.-May; Sept.-Dec. 15 Jigs, minnows, flies, plugs, shrimp
Spanish Mackerel Gulf, passes, bays Trolling, casting All year Jigs, spoons, flies, live bait
Speckled Trout Bays Casting Jan.-Oct. Shrimp, jigs, spoons, flies
Tarpon Gulf, bays Casting, bottom May-July Pinfish, crabs, flies
Tripletail Gulf, bays Casting Nov.-Feb. Shrimp, jigs, flies
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