Surf casting from all local public beaches away from designated swimming areas is permitted.
Some allow, some don’t – keep an eye on the signs.
With parking and amenities, these spots make for easy fishing. Places to try:
Whitaker Gateway Park: 1455 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (pier, restrooms, pavilion, playground)
Ernest “Doc” and Eloise Werlin Park: 420 John Ringling Causeway, Sarasota (under the Ringling Bridge with Hart’s Landing bait and snack shop, restrooms and playground)
Nora Patterson Bay Island Park: 946 Siesta Drive, Sarasota (under the Siesta Key North Bridge)
Piers are favorite places for fish to hang out and provide over-the-water access. Some favorite piers with amenities:
Bradenton Beach City Pier: 200 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach (bait, tackle and restrooms nearby)
Bradenton Riverwalk Fishing Pier: 452 Third Ave. W., Bradenton (restrooms, park amenities)
Rod & Reel Pier: 875 N. Shore Drive, Anna Maria (bait and equipment on the pier, as well as the Rod & Reel Restaurant, overlooking Tampa Bay)
Tony Saprito Fishing Pier: 420 John Ringling Causeway, Sarasota (near Hart’s Landing for bait, tackle and refreshments)
Venice Fishing Pier: 1600 Harbor Drive S., Venice (equipment, bait and snacks available on the pier)
Wading in the bay in three feet of water is popular. Shallow flats are home to crabs, shrimp and other small fish that bigger fish eat. Some spots to try: Overlook Park and Buttonwood Harbor on Longboat Key, north Sarasota’s Indian Beach and Sapphire Shores neighborhood at Stephens Point and in front of the Ca’ d’Zan, Roberts Bay on Siesta Key and Ken Thompson Park.
Bait and Tackle Shops
These Sarasota shops can help you obtain a fishing license and provide all the gear you need for fishing.
New Pass Grill & Bait Shop on City Island: 1505 Ken Thompson Parkway
Harts Landing at the Ernest “Doc” and Eloise Werlin Park: 920 Ringling Causeway
All About Fishing: 1115 S. Tamiami Trail
Economy Tackle: 6018 S. Tamiami Trail
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters: 1249 Stickney Point Road, Siesta Key (also rents boats)