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Visit Sarasota

by @nextfish.co

It's hard to keep great fishing a secret with all the big mouths around!

Nestled between Tampa and Fort Myers, Sarasota County is a hot spot for visitors with more than 2.7 million visitors annually. As a premier destination on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sarasota County offers up a ridiculous diversity of activities and attractions, both indoor and outdoor! Siesta Key, Longboat Key, St. Armands, Lido Key, Casey Key, Venice, Manasota Key, Englewood, in addition to Sarasota, itself, make up a seemingly endless list of opportunities for adventure to visitors near and far.

Soak Up The Old Florida Heritage

Six barrier Islands with more than 35 miles of coastline border the beaches of Sarasota County, giving visitors multiple options to check out the wildlife within or the sunsets that happen daily! It’s a great place to search for shark teeth and other fossils that all are mixed within the soft, white sand. Aside from the epic attractions, like Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium where you can interact with marine life or Sarasota Jungle Gardens and Big Cat Habitat, getting out on the water offers up such a unique opportunity to take in wildlife in its true form.

Ridiculously Good Fishing

Whether you’re staying in one of the bays or traveling up Phillippi Creek or the Myakka River, you’ve got a shot at landing trophy fish, such as trophy Snook or a mammoth-sized Tarpon! Built just like a sanctuary for fish, Sarasota Bay to Lemon Bay, with everything in between, offers up a protected environment for inshore and near-shore species to flourish. Multiple passes offer up great structure for a number of species sure to put a smile on an angler’s face!

Events Happening Here

There’s always something happening on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Find out what events will be going on during your stay, or take a look at some of our favorite annual festivals!

Let's Get Connected

VISIT SARASOTA COUNTY 301 N Cattlemen Rd, Suite 203 Sarasota, FL 34232 Local: 941-955-0991

Nate Sweetman Communications and Public Relations Coordinator Email: nsweetman@visitsarasota.org Cell: 813-439-9898

For More Information on Lodging, Events, and Attractions, Visit Us Online: www.visitsarasota.com

Places To Catch Some Fish

Sarasota Bay

Sarasota Bay is a truly diverse fishery with a wide variety of species for anglers of all skill levels to hook up with! At nearly 10 miles long and 3 miles wide, it’s covered in shallow grass flats, oyster bars, and mangrove decorating the shoreline of just about the whole thing! With two connections to the Gulf of Mexico, you can expect a flux of near-shore species, as well as a hunting ground for large inshore species, as well!

Little Sarasota Bay

More restricted than the larger Sarasota Bay, Little Sarasota Bay has a more limited flux of nomadic species, but offers a plethora of inshore species that call this place their home for the most part. The northern part of this bay includes Robert’s Bay which is the connecting body of water to Sarasota Bay. Inside Little Sarasota Bay is the mouth of Phillippi Creek. This creek is a known Snook hot spot, so don’t sleep on your shot at a slot or better!

Lemon Bay

A well-known destination for a variety of outdoor recreational activities, such as kayaking, birding, wading, and fishing. At 13 miles long and 3 quarters of a mile wide, this 8,000 acre body of water is home to more than 250 species of fish. Among all the bottom-dweller species you can expect to see if you’re using cut bait, when you make the jump to artificial or even some live baits, you’ll be sure to see some Redfish, Snook, Trout, and even some Flounder, Pompano, and Cobia!

Myakka River

Otherwise known as “Snook Haven”, Myakka River is on the south side of the county that opens up into Port Charlotte Harbor. Myakka River is a truly scenic river that expressed wild nature in its truest form. Anglers will have a shot at a trophy Snook, as the river provides a freshwater outlet into the saltwater from North Port, as well as freshwater species from time to time!

Myakka River State Park

Dammed up at the top of the Myakka River, Upper Myakka Lake is formed. A great spot for bass fishing, panfishing, and just sight seeing, in general. Grab your fly rod and get ready to hook up and have some fun! Below the dam is Lower Myakka Lake which offers up a plethora of species, including the prized Snook that everyone is after.

Fishy Facts About The Area

Surprisingly shallow throughout, Lake George’s average depth is only 8 feet, which is wild to think about considering it’s the second largest lake in Florida, spanning 6 miles by 11 miles.

Because the water is brackish, many parts of Lake George and just south into the St. Johns River are known for Blue Crabs.

In addition to the St. Johns River, Lake George is fed by three freshwater springs to the west. Salt Springs to the north, Silver Glen in the middle, and Juniper Springs to the south all feed into the lake.

While you might think about freshwater species, such as Largemouth Bass, Shellcracker, Crappie, Catfish and others, these Lake George and the St. Johns also serve Redfish, Snook, Flounder, Striped Bass and more!

The St. Johns River spans over 300 miles in length, with a huge chunk of it happening along the West Volusia County border. Many fishing enthusiasts like to refer to this segment of the St. Johns River as the “Bass Fishing Capital Of The World!”

Places To Lay Your Head

Siesta Key Beach Resort & Suites

Villas, Resort & Suites

Sarasota Modern Hotel

A Tribute Portfolio Hotel

The Resort At Long Boat Key Club

Beachfront Vacationing at its Finest

Places To Eat Good Food

Sharky’s On The Pier

Beachfront Seafood Restaurant & Bar

Michael’s On East

Sophisticated New American Cuisine

Bijou Garden Cafe

Upscale Modern Continental Cafe

Things To Do

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Research & Education Driven Aquarium Experience

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Bayfront Sanctuaries & Historical Exhibits

The Ringling

Museum of Art, Circus Museum, and Bayfront Gardens

For More Information on Lodging, Events, and Attractions, Visit Us Online: www.VisitSarasota.com

Some Good Reading Material


An Old Florida Hidden Gem

Deland is known for it’s attachment to the St. Johns River, which is a vast river, spanning half the state of Florida, as it adds a lot of historical value to the experiences you’ll find in this area.

Check Out The Article >>

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