Best 7 Lido Key Fishing Spots

Best 7 Lido Key Fishing Spots

This article will share the Best 7 Lido Key fishing spots. Lido Key offers anglers a wide variety of fishing opportunities!

Lido Key is a barrier island that lies just west of the resort town of Sarasota, Florida. St. Armand’s Circle is famous for its restaurants and shopping. The fantastic beaches of Lido Key attract many tourists as well. Lido Key is surrounded by waters that offer excellent fishing! Sarasota Bay lies to the east and the Gulf of Mexico lies to the west. Big Sarasota Pass and New Pass connect these bodies of water. Lido Key offers anglers excellent fishing all year long.

Best 7 Lido Key Fishing Spots

Capt. Jim Klopfer has been a full-time fishing guide in Sarasota since 1991. He fishes hundreds of days a year and is very familiar with all of the best fishing spots. He will share these in this article. These are the actual spots that he fishes daily on his Lido Key fishing charters.

Capt Jim has been a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida since 1991. Anglers who are interested in purchasing the equipment that he uses and writes about in his articles can do so HERE on the PRODUCTS page.

Ken Thompson Park

Ken Thompson Park is number one on the list of the best 7 Lido Key fishing spots. While not on Lido Key, it is very close. The park offers anglers several different fishing options in both location and technique. New Pass Bait and Tackle shop is on the left just as you pull in. There is also a very nice boat ramp for anglers who bring their own boat. The ramp is also a good place for charter boat captains to pick up their clients.

There are several public docks on the north side of Ken Thompson Park. These are very accessible with parking close by. There is a covered picnic table as well. These piers jut out into New Pass. The water is quite deep here, by Florida standards. Also, the current flow is strong when the tide is running. Anglers can fish the submerged structure with live or frozen shrimp for variety of species. Spanish mackerel will be caught out in the middle of the channel as well by anglers drifting shrimp or casting spoons.

Shallow grass flats expand out from the south and east side of Ken Thompson Park. There is excellent parking as well as a very nice restroom. A playground will give young children a break from the fishing. The best approach at this spot is to wade out into the shallow grass flats in search of speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, and other species. Soft plastic jigs and live shrimp under a popping cork are the best bets.

Overlook Park on Longboat Key

Overlook Park is a very nice park at the very southern tip of Longboat Key, just across the New Pass Bridge. There is excellent parking very close to the fishing area. It is third on the list of the best 7 Lido Key fishing spots. Anglers can cast out into New Pass and fish for Spanish mackerel and pompano. They can also reach the bridge pilings and fish for sheepshead and snapper. Anglers who prefer to wade will do well working their way east along the shallow grass flat towards the point. Live shrimp or bait fish produce at the spot.

North Lido Beach

North Lido Beach Park can be an excellent fishing spot! It is next on the list of the seven best Lido Key fishing spots. Anglers will have to walk a little bit to reach this spot from the public parking area. It is probably a 10 minute walk. This section of New Pass is shallow with a lot of sandbars. These are prime areas for the desirable pompano, as well as Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and other species. Jigs, spoons, and live bait all work well. Anglers should keep a sharp eye out for bait fish as well as fish working on the surface.

CAUTION: Anglers need to be very careful when waiting here, the tides are quite swift!

Lido Key Public Beach

The public beach on Lido Key offers some great fishing opportunities and is number four on the list of seven best Lido Key fishing spots. Anglers must avoid the prime swimming times and give way to anyone swimming in the water. Therefore, the spot is best fish early and late in the day. In the cooler months, whiting, sheepshead, flounder and other species will take a shrimp fished on the bottom. Artificial lures such as plugs, jigs, and spoons will produce ladyfish, Spanish mackerel, and more.

South Lido Beach

South Lido Beach is a fantastic fishing hole! It gives anglers access to the beach on the Gulf of Mexico, Big Sarasota Pass, and some excellent grass flats as well. This is probably the best fishing spot on Lido Key for anglers without a boat. There is excellent parking, facilities, a snack bar, a playground, and picnic tables in the shade. South Lido Park is number five on the list of the best 7 Lido Key fishing spots.

Most anglers who fish South Lido Park go straight to the southwest point. This is an excellent fishing spot as the tide has cut a deep channel very close to shore. Fish such as pompano, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, bluefish, jacks, snook, and more will migrate through these cuts. Both live bait and artificial lures will produce here. Anglers can also work their way north and fish the beach.

CAUTION: wading is prohibited at this spot, as occurrence are quite swift!

As anglers work their way east along the shoreline, the water gets quite deep close to shore. Anglers do well all along this stretch fishing live bait on the bottom as well as casting artificial lures. It is best to fish the spot at the turn of the tide when currents are not quite as swift.

At the far east end of this area, the pass gives way to shallow grass flats. These are outstanding spots to wade for speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, and other species. A soft plastic bait on a 1/4 ounce jig head works well as does live shrimp either free lined or fished under a float.

South Lido Nature Park and kayak launch

This park is located at is most often used by kayakers and is number six on the list of best 7 Lido Key fishing spots. There is an excellent launching area for anglers who have their own kayak. This is a large area of very shallow grass with some deeper holes to the north. Parking is good and there are facilities. Anglers can wade these flats, though the bottom tends to be a bit muckier then does the spots closer to the passes. Speckled trout, redfish, and snook will be found in the potholes and edges of the flats.

Ringling Bridge Causeway Park

The Ringling Bridge Causeway Park is last on the list of the seven best Lido Key fishing spots. It is an excellent spot and offers anglers several different options. There is plenty of parking close to the water as well as portable restrooms. Anglers can wade the flats on the north side of the park. A deep channel runs through this area just a short ways offshore. The best approach is to wade out near the edge and fish the drop off with jigs or live shrimp.

Anglers can also access both the Ringling bridge and the twin bridges from this part. Anglers are prohibited from fishing off of either bridge. However, they can fish underneath these bridges and cast towards the pilings. Live shrimp fished on the bottom will produce sheepshead, snapper, jacks, snook, mackerel, ladyfish, and other species. A bait shop, Hart’s Landing, is on the mainland side of the bridge.

In conclusion, this article on the seven best Lido Key fishing spots will help visiting anglers be more productive when in Sarasota!

Jim Klopfer

Capt Jim Klopfer has been a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida since 1991. He grew up in Maryland, fishing the Chesapeake Bay waters. Capt Jim has been creating an writing articles about fishing for decades, contributing to many regional and national publications. He also lives part time in the North Carolina mountains where he fishes for trout and other species. Capt Jim Klopfer is a wel rounded angler with 50 years fishing experience, and he loves to share what he has learned with other anglers!

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