Trips start at $100.00
Max guests: 8
Trips start at $250.00
Max guests: 4
Trips start at $500.00
Max guests: 4
Trips start at $500.00
Max guests: 6
Trips start at $295.00
Max guests: 6
Trips start at $350.00
Max guests: 3
Southwest Florida offers tons of fishing opportunities to locals and tourists alike. Travel south from Tampa on I-75 and stop anywhere along the coast to cast your line. But there’s something special about Venice, Florida. Located pretty much right in-between Tampa and Fort Myers, Venice is all about outdoor activities and beautiful wildlife. Whether you fish Roberts Bay or travel offshore to the Gulf of Mexico, there’s something for everyone in Venice.
Technically an island, Venice is surrounded by water. Roberts Bay and the intercoastal waters to the east and Gulf of Mexico to the west. It offers subtropical climates that draw snowbirds in the winter and tourists throughout the year. Often dubbed the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World,” many have walked the coastline and combed the sandy-white beaches for a tooth.
Sharks are definitely a draw for those fishing the waters of Venice. Anglers typically target blacktip, atlantic sharpnose, and bonnethead sharks. Most captains practice catch-and-release. These can be taken fairly close to shore either from a boat, pier, or surf fishing. For smaller sharks, lines in the 20-30 pound range work well; for larger ones use up to 50 pounds. Needless to say, because of their sharp teeth, use caution when reeling them in and dehooking. Bait for sharks include live or cut bait such as sardines, bonito, mullet, or squid.
There’s 14 miles of coast in Venice, from Casey Key to Manasota Key. Nearshore and inshore fishing will have you chasing redfish, snook, spotted seatrout, and flounder. A favorite for Venice anglers is the silver king, tarpon. Tarpon fishing trips are full of adrenaline rushes, near misses, and stories of “the one that got away.” That’s because these inshore beauties will thrash and jump to throw the line as soon as the hook is set. Fishermen and women will more likely count how many tarpon hook-ups they have than the number reeled in, as it’s a much better story to tout.
If you don’t have a boat, check out the Venice Fishing Pier to catch your inshore species. Extending 720 feet into the Gulf, it gets anglers to the fish. The pier stands 20ft above the water, so make sure your lines are long and you have a long handled net to help get your catch to the pier. It’s free to fish from the pier and admission is free. There’s a tackle shop that will sell you tackle and rent rods and reels if you’re unprepared (or the unexpected happens). From the pier you can catch Venice favorites such as Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, redfish, pompano, flounder, cobia, and tarpon.
Around the pier and other structures you’ll also find sheepshead. These inshore fish are truly one of a kind, with vertical stripes down the sides of their body and teeth in their mouth! They are a fun species for new anglers to target. Use cut shrimp, clams, or crab for bait and a strong hook. And watch out for those chompers when dehooking!
The Gulf of Mexico is excellent grounds for offshore fishing excursions. Its unique depths, topography, and water temperatures provide habitats for a variety of species. Amberjack, tuna, mahi mahi, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, barracuda, grouper, and snapper are just a few of the species you’ll see. Amberjack are recognized by the dark strip on their head from nose to fin and amber horizontal strip along the middle of their body. They are generally found 60-250ft deep near natural and artificial reefs. Sometimes you can chum for amberjack, they are not usually very picky eaters. They are tough fighters, though. So be sure to have medium to heavy tackle and get ready for a struggle. But it’s worth the fight, as they are excellent on the grill.
During the summer months everyone is after red snapper. That’s because FWC regulates the season, which typically runs June 1 to August 1. They are fun to catch and even more fun to eat. Find a local Venice fishing charter to put you on these bottom feeders, they’ll know where to go and what the regulations are. Red snapper will hit cut bait, but live baits such as squid, pogies, or minnows are better options. For those trophy sized, 20 or 30 pound red snapper, use larger live bait and get ready to start reeling in your line! You can still catch red snapper out of season, just make sure to release back into the wild.
Venice fishing charters are ready to get you hooked up on the adventure of a lifetime. Whether you’re looking to target the silver king himself, or fight amberjack in the deep waters of the Gulf, a local Captain can take you to the right spot. Don’t forget to walk the beach and find a shark tooth or two while in town. Start your Venice fishing charter with the right guide for your trip, book today!