Siesta Key Beach (rated #1 beach in the U.S.A. in 2011) provides rich fishing environments including New Pass, Big Pass, and inshore Gulf of Mexico. The fishing is plentiful offering redfish, snook, trout, cobia, king fish, sheepshead, pompano, jacks, and even tarpon–a thrilling game fish that can weigh up to 200 lbs. Tarpon come in Mid-May-July to scout prey off the Point of Rocks, Crescent Beach, Turtle Beach, Lido Beach, and Siesta Beach feeding on crabs, pilchards, mullet, and other small bait fish. Sarasota truly is a gem, providing tournament class fishing for anglers of all ages and experience levels.
Here is a list of some of the fish that we target on Sarasota inshore trips:
The common Snook (Centropomidae) are a favorite among Florida locals. Snook are famous for their aggressive fighting styles and loud surface pops. They spawn in the summer and cannot deal with water temperatures below 60 degrees. During spawning season, snook school in the passes and off the beaches. Snook have large mouths and eat ladyfish, pilchards, menhaden, mullet, shrimp, and other small bait fish off the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and inshore.
Redfish (red drum) are game fish found in both the Gulf of Mexico and Florida inshore waterways. Redfish have dark red backs that fade to a white belly. Redfish may have a single spot on their tail–some have many, but they all usually lose spots with age. When redfish reach around 27 inches, they are officially called “bull reds”. Typically, red drum feed on crabs, shrimp, mullet, menhaden, pinfish, and other small baitfish.
The speckled trout (spotted sea trout) is a game fish found along the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico that swim through the passes to inhabit shallow water grass flats inshore. Speckled trout eat shrimp, pilchards, menhaden, and other small baitfish. Male speckled trout average around 19 inches while females are about 25 inches. Trout prefer oyster beds, grass flats, and mangroves. Speckled trout are fun to catch and provide excellent food value.
Tarpon also known as “The Silver King” weigh around 80-200 lbs. and inhabit the warmer Florida shores off the Gulf of Mexico during Mid-May to July. Tarpon have greenish-blue backs and metallic silver sides; they can survive when oxygen levels are low by gulping air through their bladders, giving them an advantage compared to other game fish. Tarpon are remarkable fighters because of their strength–they are so strong they can spring out of the water–creating a stunning display for the entire family.
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