With its pristine, white sandy beaches and sparkling blue waters, Sarasota is the perfect destination for any Florida vacation. Whether you're looking to enjoy some time on the beach or explore what Sarasota has to offer, there's always something new to do! One of our favorite things about this area? The vast number of fishing spots that are available within minutes of where we live. If you are looking to get in some fishing while on vacation, don't worry! Check out our guide to the best publicly available spots.
Enjoy beautiful views of downtown Sarasota while wetting a line off of the seawall at Ernest and Eloise Werlin Park, or duck into the shade to toss out a line under the bridge. The park is located just before the Ringling Bridge out of the downtown area, conveniently adjacent to Hart's Landing Bait Shop. There is also a pier just off the grounds that offers an opportunity for anglers. The park is very accessible, and the fishing grounds are wide open, making this a great spot to take the kids to enjoy a day on the water!
Address: 420 John Ringling Cswy Sarasota, FL 34236
Located about ten minutes from the downtown area over the Ringling Bridge, Ken Thompson park offers tons of scenery and convenience. The pier is behind MOTE Marine, near where the Bay meets the Gulf. After some fishing, be sure to check out the nature boardwalks! This is another good spot for family fishing, as the pier is not typically too busy.
Address: 1700 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236
Between downtown Sarasota and St. Armands Circle is Bird Key Park. Situated on the side of the John Ringling Causeway, this park offers a great opportunity to relax, enjoy the views, and get some fishing in. Wade fishing is typically more productive on the grass beds at this spot, so others on the list may be better suited for a day out with kids or inexperienced anglers. That being said, the views and scenery are tough to beat!
Address: 200 John Ringling Causeway, Sarasota, FL 34236
At the southern tip of Lido Key lies one of the best land-based fishing spots in the area! Anglers are able to fish the mouth of Big Pass as it opens into the Gulf of Mexico, making it a high traffic area for fish. Artificials and live or frozen bait will both produce here. New Pass bait shop is on the other end of the island near previously mentioned Ken Thompson Park, but it is only a 7 minute drive. This spot may take a bit more technique in terms of battling currents, but the reward in terms of species variety makes it well worth it. Anglers will be targeting redfish, trout, mackerel, snook, tarpon, and more!
Address: 2198 Benjamin Franklin Dr, Sarasota, FL 34236
Phillippi Estate Park is home to the historic Edson Keith Mansion, and is a great location for fishing and a picnic. There is a small pier on the grounds that allows anglers to drop a line in Phillippi Creek; a prime spot for snook, black drum, redfish, jack, and sheepshead among the mangroves. Although the fishing may not be as fast-paced here, it makes for an incredibly relaxing outing. Be sure to walk the grounds and take in the sites before heading out.
Address: 5500 S Tamiami TrailSarasota, FL 34231
Off of Siesta Key's "North Bridge," Nora Patterson Bay Island Park offers another opportunity to drop a line in Sarasota Bay. Beyond the fishing area, guests can explore nature trails, the kids can play on the playground, and lunch can be enjoyed on the available picnic tables. Live shrimp under a popping cork over the flats can yield a strike from trout, redfish, or snook.
Address: 946 Siesta Dr, Sarasota, FL 34242
Although the pier is technically in the city of Venice and not Sarasota (however, still in Sarasota county), this list would be incomplete without a mention. At 720 feet long and 20 feet above the water, this pier allows anglers to fish for a variety of species year round. With a bait and tackle shop on the pier itself, this is your one-stop Southern Sarasota fishing spot! Big fish can certainly be targeted here, but the young ones in the group can also drop frozen shrimp straight over the side for sheepshead, grunts, and blue runners off of the pilings. Not to mention, the sunset views are incredible!
Address: 1600 Harbor Dr S, Venice, FL 34285
North Jetty Park is located at the southern tip of Casey Key, and offers anglers an opportunity to hook into some awesome fish! The jetty extends into the Gulf, with rocks on each side providing habitat for bait fish, which attract the predators. A fast retrieve on the beach side with a Gotcha Plug or spoon will usually yield a Spanish Mackerel hit. And if the Mackerel are running, plan to repeat this all day long! Fishing with live pinfish on the pass side can produce some quality snook action as well.
Fishing is done off of the rocks here, which can be a bit challenging to younger anglers, or anglers with balance or mobility issues. Also, be very cautious of wet algae on the rocks before stepping on them, as the algae will be extremely slippery.
Address: 1000 S Casey Key Rd, Nokomis, FL 34275
On your way to North Jetty Park, just over the bridge to Casey Key, you will pass a public parking area on a seawall along the Intracoastal Waterway across from a marina. Casting straight into the ICW can yield jacks, sheepshead, and redfish. Anglers targeting snook will want to head left of the parking lot to a small beach that allows you to cast at the bridge pilings. Live shrimp works well here. If you are fishing the seawall area, conditions are easy for the whole family! Nokomis public beach is just across the road as well. Do some fishing in the Intracoastal, then head to the beach to catch some rays for a great, laid back day!
If you're looking for a fishing spot in Sarasota, Florida that's easy to get to and offers great scenery, there are plenty of options. Whether it's fishing off the coast or casting into the Intracoastal Waterway near your hotel, these spots should offer some good opportunities for catching your next meal, or just spending a great day in the sun!