Fishing Siesta Key : The BEST Fishing Spots
Siesta Key offers exceptional year-round fishing for a variety of species due to our sub-tropical climate, variety of habitats and interconnected waterways originating from the steams and rivers of three surrounding counties (Charlotte, Manatee and Sarasota).
Whether fishing from a beach, boat, bridge, drift or pier, Sarasota and Siesta Key provide unlimited opportunities for anglers of any age or skill level, with plenty of Bass, Catfish and other species to be found in area fresh waters. Jack, Snook and Tarpon abound in the brackish waters where freshwater meets saltwater, while area saltwater provides a home to a variety of fish including Drum, Grouper, Mackerel, Snapper, Trout and many other saltwater species.
So many fish species abound the area, including Blue Fish, Cobia, Flounder, Grouper, Jack Crevalle, Kingfish, Lady Fish, Mangrove Snapper, Pompano, Red Fish, Sharks (Bonnet Head, Hammerhead, Nurse), Sheepshead, Snapper, Snook, Spanish Mackerel, Tarpon, Trout, and Whiting.
A recreational saltwater fishing license is required for residents and nonresidents to take or attempt to take saltwater fish, crabs, clams, marine plants or other saltwater organisms (other than non-living seashells and lion fish with certain gear).
Licenses for Fresh Water fishing and Salt Water fishing can be picked up at local bait shops and sporting goods stores, some marinas and hardware stores, and online at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Big Pass is a long and narrow inlet which separates Lido Key (to the north) from Siesta Key, and is accessible via boat or the Shell Beach public beach access. The smooth, rocky bottom of Big Pass is known as a great place to fish for Flounder, Grouper, Jacks, Ladyfish, Sheepshead, Snapper and Snook, among other fish species. Live baits including Whitebait and Shrimp are good bets for this area, as well as jigs and spoons for those who prefer artificial bait.
The Shell Beach public beach access is family-friendly and offers some parking, trash and recycle receptacles, a bench, and beach for swimming. (See our Blog for more information on Siesta Key Public Beach Access locations)
BLIND PASS / TURTLE BEACH LAGOON
Blind Pass, or Turtle Beach Lagoon, is located on the south end of Siesta Key in the Turtle Beach Park, and connects to Little Sarasota Bay. Located near the Neville Marine Preserve, it offers some of the best Blue Fish and Mackerel fishing on the island and provides anglers a choice of fishing the lagoon via pier or seawall or, on calmer days, fishing the surf can yield great action.
This park offers plenty of parking, a boat ramp, and other amenities including restrooms, playground, a nice beach for swimming, picnic tables, and grills for outdoor cooking.
LITTLE SARASOTA BAY
Little Sarasota Bay separates the south end of Siesta Key from the mainland and is primarily accessible via boat. This area is comprised of creeks, docks and many grass beds which attract a variety of species including Ladyfish, Pompano and Trout. Oyster bars also populate the area, providing a haven for Jacks, Reds, Snook and Trout, particularly during the cooler weather of Winter and Spring seasons. Flounder, Redfish and Sheepshead are also caught regularly in this habitat.
NORTH BRIDGE at SIESTA DRIVE
The northern bridge from Sarasota to Siesta Key (on Siesta Drive) is a popular fishing destination due to the variety of angling options, great views of the bay, and adequate parking. A portable restroom is located at Bay Island Park as you cross the bridge to Siesta Key.
Whether fishing from watercraft, the seawalls on either end of the bridge, the bridge itself, or the northern tidal flat, this location offers a variety of structure-seeking fish species including Grouper, Ladyfish, Pompano, Sea Bass, Snapper, Snook, and Trout. Best fishing times coincide with the tides early in the morning, and later in the afternoon or evening.
OLD MIDNIGHT PASS at PALMER POINT
Anglers with an advanced skill set will enjoy fishing for Cobia, Flounder, Grouper, Kingfish and other species about a half-mile south of Turtle Beach, where a narrow stretch of the island connects Siesta to Casey Key, offering bay and gulf fishing opportunities.
Turtle Beach Park provides plenty of parking, restroom and picnic facilities, and includes a boat launch and playground. Park your car here and walk south to Old Midnight Pass and Palmer Point.
During cooler months, the mouth of Philippi Creek is an excellent place to reel-in Jacks and Snook, while the rock ledges of the channel are brimming with Sheepshead, Snapper and other species. This location is best worked from the bay via small fishing craft.
POINT OF ROCKS
Arguably the best gulf fishing on Siesta Key’s coastline may be found at Point of Rocks, near Crescent Beach on the south end of the island. This location offers the only rocky deposit in the coastal area, with underwater coral, rock ledges and karst formations which attract a wide variety of bait and game fish species including Flounder, Mackerel, Snapper and Snook. Many other fish species may be found at this location as well, depending on season temperature and water clarity.
This spot may be accessed via Public Beach Access #13, which does have restroom facilities or public parking. Visitors with gear will want to utilize Public Beach Access #12 which provides parking for up to 20 vehicles. Be cautious when casting, as this is also a popular swimming and snorkeling spot on the island.
Roberts Bay is best accessed via watercraft and contains a variety of fish-friendly habitats including docks, grass flats, mangroves and oyster bars. These structures attract Jacks, Ladyfish, Redfish, Snook and Trout to name just a few. Baits range from artificial lures to jigs, live bait and topwater plugs, depending on tide and habitat.
SIESTA KEY BEACHES
Siesta Key beaches offer some of the best fishing on the gulf coast during calm, clear seas. A variety of species may be found year-round, however each season can attract particular fish. Summer is an excellent opportunity to fish for Snook. Fall is a great time to fish for Ladyfish, Mackerel and Pompano.Winter is great for Flounder, Trout, and Whiting.
STICKNEY POINT BRIDGE
Connecting Siesta Key to the mainland on the south end of the island is the Stickney Point Bridge, home to CB’s Saltwater Outfitters which is the largest bait and tackle shop in the area. Here you will find everything you need for a day on the water including bait and tackle, jet ski and boat rentals and fishing charters, apparel and equipment, licenses and provisions.
Shore fishing is available at the park, providing access to a variety of species including Drum, Flounder, Ladyfish, Sheepshead, Snapper, Snook and Trout. Fish the tides in early morning or evening for best results, or look to hook a snook under the bridge at night!