TRAVEL BEST PLACES TO FISH By: wfn Hot Fishing Spots - Sarasota, FL World renowned beaches, picturesque golf courses, historical architecture and beautiful sunsets – this is what most people think of when Sarasota, FL, comes to mind. With several nearby barrier islands, native bird species, dolphins, manatees and other aquatic wildlife, Sarasota is truly an outdoorsman’s paradise. On top of that, the diversity of habitat, interconnected waterways, and sub-tropical climate combine to make this part of Florida’s west coast a top-notch fishing destination! The Sarasota skyline. The mangroves provide habitat for snook, sheepshead, mangrove snapper and redfish that find food and safety in the shelter of the roots. Oyster bars, common at the mouths of rivers and streams, also provide excellent feeding grounds for many species especially redfish and snook. Shallow flats of sea grasses provide a nursery for fishes, crustaceans and invertebrates, which in turn feed spotted seatrout, redfish, tarpon and flounder. There is also an extensive artificial reef program in place. Piles of steel and concrete structures ranging from bridge spans to culverts have been deployed in the bay and offshore in an effort to enhance fishing. These reefs are regular haunts for cobia, jacks, mackerel, snappers, groupers and grunts. The passes and channels are also productive fishing areas, giving up groupers, tarpon, snook, pompano, jacks and spotted seatrout. Next time you make your way to the sunshine state, be sure to cast a line, and check out the latest Sarasota fishing reports on Fishidy before heading out! Fishidy map of Sarasota. Here are some tips for catching different species of fish in and around the bays of Sarasota: The grassy bottoms just outside of Stephens Point are good for spotted seatrout. Tandem jig rigs are very effective as are red and white MirrOlures when kept just above the grass. Live pigfish or pinfish on a popping cork rig also produce. Sitting in about 10 to 12 feet just off the northwest corner of Bird Island is Pop Jantzen Reef. It attracts sheepshead, snapper and small grouper as well as Spanish mackerel, pompano, bluefish and permit. Fly-lined shrimp, pinfish and white baits are all productive. Big Sarasota Pass is a rocky-bottomed pass that is rich in tarpon, big mangrove snapper, grouper, jacks and snook among others. Drifting live baits including thread herring, whitebait, or shrimp can pick up any number of species. Fishidy is your digital fishing guide with thousands of online waterway pages across the U.S. containing maps with proven Fishing Hot Spots®, local fishing reports, and advanced tools to help you catch more fish.