Right below the furthest western tip of Siesta Key sits an old dilapidated pier. It leaves a lot to be desired at a quick glance, with its rugged nature and modest gaps in the construction. But, this pier is a cultural classic, still being quite functional for some of the most astonishing coastal gulf fishing in Florida.
There’s a lot that visitors don’t know about this fishing spot on Siesta Key, so the Old Siesta Key Fishing Pier is an easily overlooked activity of the area. It’s unique to look at, but it’s the fishing that really draws visitors back time and time again. It has become one of the best yet most off-the-radar outdoor activities on Siesta Key.
Where is it located?
The address of the Old Siesta Key Fishing Pier is at 10 Beach Road End, Avenida Messina, just two miles from Peppertree Bay’s vacation rentals. It is also referred to as Siesta Key Beach Access #2. It is one of several beach access points along the Gulf side of Siesta Key, including Siesta Beach, and Point of Rocks, Turtle Beach, and many others.
Can you still fish here?
You can absolutely still fish here! However, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The pier itself is old and rickety, which is amazing for adding an old-school fishing ambiance to the day, but it does not bode so well for utmost safety. Watch your step and wear good shoes. There is no lifeguard on duty, which may be another concern, so it’s a good idea to leave non-swimmers behind.
What are the rules and regulations?
The Old Pier is a very quiet area, and the rules and regulations are built more on an honor system of respecting the area and your safety.
Swimming is not allowed. The beach is quite small and rocky. There is a small parking area near the pier for you to access some nearby activities, but the beach and pier itself are for foot traffic only.
As for the fishing itself, both residents and non-residents should be covered with a fishing license. You must pay a license fee if you are a non-resident fishing off a dock. Florida residents can apply for a recreational saltwater shoreline fishing license at no cost. Non-residents can receive a 3-day, 7-day, or annual fishing license pass at reasonable prices.
Though residents and non-residents need a fishing license if they are fishing from shore or a pier, this does not necessarily incorporate and cover specific fishing requirements regarding size, species, etc.
There are some exceptions for non-residents. For example, children under 16 do not need to pay the fishing fee. Contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for specific details at (863)-648-3200. Licenses can be ordered online and will activate immediately.
What can you catch?
The fish in Siesta Key are what really bring people to the shores many times over. It’s a tour-de-force of rare fish, tropical marine life, and other gamefish you would buy on a menu for $35 or more a plate.
Like fishing anywhere, Siesta Key is reliant on the season. But unlike many other parts of the world, rare and exceptional gamefish bite year round. Species you might find inshore and fishing off the pier include flounder, tarpon, pompano, sheepshead, bluefish, redfish, snook, Jack crevalle, ladyfish and many others.
Many other anglers can be found surf or bridge fishing in other public areas, such as the Siesta Drive Bridge and Turtle Beach. Many non-locals are not even aware of the pier at all, making it a subdued and worthwhile afternoon trip for any fishing enthusiast, conveniently located near many beachside vacation rentals. Don’t miss out on exploring the Old Siesta Key Pier as you search for the perfect fishing spots along the shore!