There are about 1000 species of fish in our Gulf, bays, lakes, rivers and streams. You can go deep-sea trolling, drift fishing, surfcasting, bridge fishing or while wading the grass flats.
Non-residents will need a fishing license unless under age 16 or on a boat charter. There are minimum lengths, limits and closed season restrictions with licenses that are available at the Sarasota County Courthouse or local bait shops and sporting goods stores.
Good places to throw a line:
Siesta Bridge – Northern bridge connecting Siesta Key to the mainland is very popular, with plenty of parking but no facilities.
Bay Island — On the Gulf side of Siesta Bridge with benches located around the seawall for your sitting pleasure.
North Shell Road — Shore fishing off Higel Ave. on Siesta Key into Sarasota Big Pass offers a nice family spot with white sand beach and swimming.
Stickney Point Bridge — Southern bridge connecting Siesta Key to the mainland, Bait & Tackle Shop nearby.
Point of Rocks — The only rock formation on Siesta Key, just south of Crescent Beach, is a fabulous place for fishing (but be very aware of swimmers in the area!) Great for snorkeling too. Lots of rocks and underwater caves, some coral too, so bring extra tackle. No parking, no facilities, but worth getting to anyway.
Turtle Beach Lagoon — A mile or so south of Point of Rocks, this is where you can fish from shore, seawall or pier, with scads of parking, grills, restrooms and a playground for children.
Old Midnight Pass — For the serious fisherman, at the southern end of Siesta Key (walk south from Turtle Beach about a half-mile) with great fishing from both Gulf and bayside.
Fishing Rules, Regulations and License for Siesta Key
If you are going to go fish in the waters off Siesta Key you MUST purchase a fishing license and you have to obey the fishing regulations.
Siesta Key Saltwater Fishing Licenses
It is necessary to buy a saltwater fishing license when fishing in the coastal waters of the state of Florida (or taking marine species). The waters off the shores of Siesta Key are no exception. The license is required for finfish, shellfish and shells. Separate permit stamps are required for taking Snook and crawfish. A special stamp is needed to take and possess a single tarpon. No stamp is needed to catch and release Snook or tarpon. Go to MyFlorida.com or Call 1(888) Fish-Florida.
Freshwater Siesta Key Fishing Licenses
All non-Florida residents who are 16 or older, fishing in freshwater or brackish water for freshwater fish must have a Florida State Freshwater Fishing License. To obtain a Fishing License, you may go to local bait & tackle shops, sporting goods departments at discount stores, some marinas and hardware stores, as well as any tax collector office.
Who is Exempt from Purchasing a Fishing License in Florida?
- Children younger than 16
- Florida residents older than 65
- Florida residents fishing in saltwater from land
- Florida residents fishing in saltwater from a structure fixed to land
- Non-Florida residents fishing from a pier that has paid a license fee
- Persons fishing with a licensed operator of a boat charging fees for fishing
- For saltwater licenses, any Florida resident wading in less than 4 ft. of water
- Handicapped residents and residents certified totally and permanently disabled
- State of Florida department of veterans and community affairs or worker compensation notice of action
- Florida residents who are members of the United States Armed Forces, stationed out of state and home on leave
A good rule of thumb is that if you have to pay to fish, you don’t need a license, but ALWAYS make sure.
Where to Get a Fishing License
To purchase a fishing license to fish Siesta Key waters, Click HERE
(You can also purchased licenses at any Wal-Mart or Kmart stores in Sarasota County.)
If fishing with a Charter
Persons fishing with a licensed operator of a boat, charging fees for fishing, are not required to purchase a fishing license.
No matter the season, there’s always something biting!