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With it's prime location on the Gulf of Mexico, it's no surprise that Sarasota, Florida is a great destination for deep sea fishing. From the most popular species you can catch to where you can find them, here's everything you need to know about Sarasota deep sea fishing.

offshore fishing

The 5 Best Spots to Deep Sea Fish in Sarasota:

  1. The Sarasota Middle Grounds: This area is located approximately 40 miles offshore and is known for its large grouper and snapper.

  2. The Venice Jetties: This area is located near Venice, Florida and is known for its excellent kingfish and tarpon fishing.

  3. The Sarasota Bay Reef: This artificial reef is located in Sarasota Bay and is known for its excellent snapper and grouper fishing.

  4. The artificial reefs off Longboat Key: These artificial reefs are located just offshore of Longboat Key and are known for their excellent snapper and grouper fishing.

  5. The nearshore Gulf of Mexico: This area is located within a few miles of the Sarasota coastline and is known for its excellent kingfish, Spanish mackerel, and shark fishing.

Offshore Fishing for Grouper in Sarasota

red grouper in Florida

If you’re looking to head out deep and hook into some grouper, Sarasota and the surrounding areas are the spot for you. There are several species of grouper that can be caught off the coast of Sarasota, including the red grouper, black grouper, gag grouper, and scamp grouper.

To catch grouper, anglers typically use bottom fishing techniques, such as dropping live or cut bait down to the ocean floor and waiting for a bite. Jigging and trolling are also effective methods for catching grouper.

Some popular locations for catching grouper in Sarasota include the artificial reefs and wrecks offshore, as well as natural ledges and rocky outcroppings. The Venice Jetties, located at the southern end of Sarasota County, are also a well-known spot for catching grouper.

When fishing for grouper, it's important to be aware of fishing regulations and size limits. For example, in Florida, the minimum size limit for red grouper is 20 inches, and the daily bag limit is two per person on the Gulf.

Overall, offshore fishing for grouper in Sarasota is an exciting and rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. With the right techniques and knowledge of the area, you can land some impressive catches and create unforgettable memories on the water.

Deep Sea Fishing for Snapper in Sarasota

Sarasota Snapper

Offshore fishing for Snapper in Sarasota is a popular pastime for a ton anglers. Located on the west coast of Florida, Sarasota has a diverse range of Snapper species that can be targeted. Some of the Snapper species that can be caught offshore in Sarasota include Red Snapper, Lane Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, and Yellowtail Snapper.

To catch these snapper species, anglers use a variety of techniques such as bottom fishing, drift fishing, and trolling, with bottom fishing being the most popular technique used. This technique involves dropping baited hooks to the bottom of the ocean floor where Snapper are known to congregate. Live or dead bait such as shrimp, squid, or sardines are commonly used to attract Snapper.

Drift fishing involves using live bait and drifting over an area where Snapper are known to be present. This technique can be effective for targeting larger snapper species like red snapper. Trolling is another technique used to catch snapper, which involves towing lures or bait behind a moving boat to attract fish.

Throughout the Gulf, some popular spots to catch snapper include artificial reefs, natural ledges, and wrecks. The artificial reefs are created by sinking old ships, barges, and other structures to provide habitat for marine life, including snapper. The natural ledges and wrecks are also popular spots for snapper because they provide shelter and a source of food.

One of the most popular locations to catch snapper in Sarasota is the “Snapper Banks" — a group of artificial reefs located about 10-20 miles offshore. These reefs are home to a variety of snapper species, including red snapper, mangrove snapper, and lane snapper. Another popular spot for snapper fishing is the “Lido Key Drop-off,” a natural ledge located about 3 miles offshore that attracts snapper and other bottom-dwelling species.

Offshore fishing for snapper in Sarasota offers a fun and challenging experience for anglers of all skill levels. With a variety of snapper species and techniques to choose from, there is always an opportunity to hook into something exciting. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner, Sarasota offers some of the best snapper fishing in Florida.

Trolling and Bottom Fishing for Kingfish in Sarasota

Florida Kingfish

Offshore fishing for kingfish in Sarasota is a popular activity among anglers due to the abundance of these fish in the area. Kingfish, also known as king mackerel, are fast-swimming and aggressive predators that can grow up to 6 feet in length and weigh over 100 pounds. To catch these fish, anglers use a variety of techniques that involve the use of live bait, lures, and fishing tackle.

One of the most popular techniques used to catch kingfish in Sarasota is trolling. This involves pulling a fishing line behind a moving boat with a lure or bait attached to it. The lure or bait mimics the movement of a small fish, which attracts the attention of the kingfish.

Anglers can use a variety of lures and baits, such as silver spoons, feather jigs, and live baitfish like sardines and pinfish. Trolling can be done at different depths, depending on where the Kingfish are located in the water column.

Another technique that is commonly used to catch kingfish in Sarasota is bottom fishing. This involves anchoring the boat in an area where kingfish are known to be present and dropping a line with live bait or a lure to the bottom of the ocean. Kingfish can be found at different depths, so anglers may need to adjust the depth of their lines to find the right spot. Bottom fishing can be a very effective way to catch kingfish, especially when combined with chumming, which involves throwing small bits of bait into the water to attract the fish.

Some popular locations to catch kingfish in Sarasota include the artificial reefs off Lido Key, New Pass, and Longboat Pass. These reefs provide habitat for a variety of marine species, including kingfish. Anglers can also find kingfish around natural structures like ledges, drop-offs, and wrecks. Kingfish tend to be more active during the early morning and late afternoon hours, so these are often the best times to fish for them.

Tuna Fishing in Sarasota

Offshore fishing for Tuna in Sarasota is an exciting and challenging experience for any angler. The Gulf of Mexico is home to various species of tuna, including blackfin, yellowfin, and skipjack.

Blackfin tuna is the most common tuna caught in the Sarasota area. They can be found in large schools, weighing between 10-30 pounds. Yellowfin tuna, on the other hand, are larger and can weigh over 100 pounds. They are often found in deeper waters and are known for their aggressive fighting.

To catch tuna, anglers typically use a variety of techniques, including trolling, chunking, and live baiting. Trolling involves using artificial lures or baits to entice the fish, while chunking involves cutting up pieces of bait and tossing them into the water to attract the fish. Live baiting involves using live baitfish such as pilchards, herring, or blue runners to attract the tuna.

Some popular locations for catching tuna in Sarasota include the deep-water ledges and drop-offs located offshore, as well as the offshore oil rigs and artificial reefs. The ledges and drop-offs provide ideal feeding grounds for tuna, while the oil rigs and artificial reefs create habitats for baitfish, which in turn attracts larger predatory fish like tuna.

Offshore fishing for tuna in Sarasota is an exciting adventure that requires patience, skill, and persistence. With the right gear, guide, techniques, and location, anglers can experience the thrill of catching these powerful and delicious fish.

Mahi-Mahi Offshore in Sarasota

mahi mahi jumping

Mahi-mahi, also known as dolphinfish, are a highly sought-after game fish found in the waters off Sarasota, Florida. Anglers from all over the world come to Sarasota to try their luck at catching these beautiful and delicious fish.

Offshore fishing for mahi-mahi in Sarasota typically involves trolling, as these fish are known to be attracted to moving lures and baits. The most popular technique is to use a combination of trolling and chumming, which involves throwing small bits of fish into the water to create a scent trail that will attract the mahi-mahi.

Another technique used to catch mahi-mahi in Sarasota is to use live bait, such as small fish or squid, and casting it out into the open water. This is a more active approach and can be very effective when the mahi-mahi are in feeding mode.

When it comes to finding the best locations to catch mahi-mahi in Sarasota, anglers typically look for areas of open water where there is a lot of current or structure, such as weed lines, floating debris, or buoys. These areas tend to attract schools of mahi-mahi, which are often found swimming just below the surface.

Some of the most popular locations for mahi-mahi fishing in Sarasota include the offshore reefs and ledges, such as the Middle Grounds and the Sarasota Ledge. Other productive areas include the Gulf Stream, which is located approximately 50 miles offshore, and the deep waters around the oil rigs.

Offshore fishing for mahi-mahi in Sarasota is a popular and exciting activity that requires a combination of skill, patience, and a bit of luck. Whether you prefer trolling or casting, there are plenty of techniques to try and many locations to explore in search of these colorful and awesome-to-eat fish.

Offshore fishing for Amberjack in Sarasota

Amberjack fishing in Florida

Fishing for amberjack in Sarasota is a popular pastime among anglers due to the abundance of these game fish in the area—and their aggressive behavior when hooked. They are powerful swimmers that can grow pretty large, with some species reaching weights of over 100 pounds.

When hooked, amberjack will often make long runs, diving deep and pulling hard on the line. They are known for their stamina and endurance, which means that catching one can be a challenging and rewarding experience. Additionally, amberjack are often found in schools, which can make for next level fishing action as multiple fish may be hooked at once.There are various techniques used to catch amberjack, including trolling, live baiting, and vertical jigging.

Trolling is a popular method of catching amberjack. Anglers will use artificial lures, such as diving plugs or skirted baits, and drag them behind the boat while moving at a slow to medium speed. This technique is effective because it mimics the movement of a fleeing baitfish, which amberjack find irresistible.

Live baiting is another technique that can be used to catch amberjack. This involves using live baitfish, such as pilchards or blue runners, and dropping them to the bottom using a weighted rig. Amberjack are known to stay close to the bottom, making this an effective way to target them.

Vertical jigging is a third technique used to catch amberjack. This method involves using a heavy jig, typically weighing between 6 and 12 ounces, and dropping it down to the bottom. The angler will then quickly lift and drop the jig, imitating the movement of a wounded baitfish. This technique can be effective when amberjack are schooled up in deep water.

When it comes to popular locations for catching amberjack in Sarasota, anglers often head offshore to deeper waters. The reefs and wrecks off the coast of Sarasota are known to hold large populations of amberjack, making them a popular spot for anglers to target these game fish. Some popular locations include the Artificial Reef sites off Lido Key and Siesta Key, as well as the various wrecks and natural bottom structures found in the Gulf of Mexico.

Offshore fishing for amberjack in Sarasota offers anglers an exciting challenge and the opportunity to reel in one of the Gulf of Mexico's most prized game fish. Whether using trolling, live baiting, or vertical jigging, there are various techniques to try and many popular locations to explore in the pursuit of amberjack.

Offshore Fishing Charters in Sarasota

Offshore Sunset

If you’re looking to head out deep, it's always a good idea to hire a seasoned fishing guide in Sarasota who knows the local waters well. This’ll help ensure a successful and safe deep sea fishing experience. It’s hard to have a bad day on the water with a damn good guide putting you on the fish!

It's important to mention that fishing regulations change frequently, so it's a good idea to check the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website for up-to-date information on bag limits and size restrictions for each species before heading out to fish.