The extensive grass flats surrounding Longboat are a magnet for game fish. Be sure to explore the variety of habitats that line Longboat Pass and New Pass, including the bridges, rock jetties and points where the water flow is the strongest.

One of the easiest places to fish is the beach. Concentrate on the surf line and the slue that parallels most of the strand. Snook, whiting, flounder, ladyfish, pompano, jack cravelle and flounder are a few of the fish found cruising the surf.

If fishing by boat, anglers will find powerful tarpon roaming just off the beaches during May, June and July. Within sight of the beach there are schools of Spanish Mackerel, bonito, King mackerel and cobia. During the spring and summer, dolphin, sailfish, tuna and wahoo inhabit the deep gulf waters.

In warm months, the best time to fish is early and late in the day. In winter, the tides rule all fishing.

For best results, hire a knowledgeable fishing guide.

Non-residents will need a fishing license unless under 16 years of age or on a boat charter. There are minimum lengths, limits and closed season restrictions with licenses available at local bait shops and sporting goods stores.

By boat or on shore, don’t miss out on Longboat Key’s fantastic fishing!

If fishing with a Charter
Persons fishing with a licensed operator, who charges fees for fishing, are not required to purchase a fishing license. Reservations can be made by phone or at the dock with your bait and license included in the fare. It is recommended that you bring a hat, sun block, sun glasses, a rag for slimy hands, and if the weather looks questionable, a poncho or other rain protection. Early morning temps may be cool, so it’s advisable to dress in layers.

One never forgets the heart stopping thrill of catching a 50-150 pound Tarpon found in the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay from May through November.

Fishing Rules, Regulations and License for dropping a line
If you are going to go fish on your own, you MUST purchase a fishing license and you have to obey the fishing regulations.

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 Lido 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.

If Freshwater fishing…a License is required
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 the tax collector office.

Go HERE or Call (888) Fish-Florida

Who is Exempt from Purchasing a Fishing License in Florida?

  • Children under sixteen
  • Florida residents older than 65
  • Florida residents fishing in saltwater from land
  • Florida residents fishing in saltwater from a structure fixed to land
  • Persons fishing with a licensed operator of a boat charging fees for fishing
  • Florida residents who are members of the United States Armed Forces, stationed out of state and home on leave.
  • State of Florida department of veterans and community affairs or worker compensation notice of action.
  • Handicapped residents and residents certified totally and permanently disabled.
  • Non-Florida residents fishing from a pier that has paid a license fee.
  • For saltwater licenses, any Florida resident wading in less than 4 ft. of water.

A good rule of thumb is that if you have to pay to fish, you don’t need a license, but ALWAYS make sure.

No matter the season, there’s always something biting!

Fishing Calendar

SPECIES JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
BLUE FISH          
BONITA            
COBIA            
GROUPER                        
KINGFISH            
REDFISH                  
SNAPPER                        
SNOOK                        
SPANISH MACKEREL              
SPECKLED TROUT                        
TARPON      
TRIPLETAIL        

 

For freshwater fishing at the Myakka State Park, Click: HERE

For freshwater fishing at the Oscar Scherer Park, Click: HERE