Florida’s Top 10 Fish to Catch

Ask any fishing enthusiast and you are bound to find one universal matter of agreement: Florida has some of the best fishing spots in the world. Its close proximity to tropical waters and overall accessibility to hundreds of fishing spots, both inshore and offshore, make the Sunshine State one of the best places for fishing activities.

If you’re looking for things to do while staying on Siesta Key, go fishing then serve your catch for dinner, for an authentic ocean-to-table experience.

boys fishing on a boat

While we can’t guarantee the catch of the day, we can give you a handy list of some of the top fish to reel in off the coast of Siesta Key, no matter what kind of boat you take out on the waters. Below are ten that will keep you casting that line to the sea until you bring one – or many – home.

1. Grouper

The Grouper fish is possibly Siesta Key’s crowning achievement for fishing. Grouper can be found year-round on the Gulf Coast – gag grouper can be found in the flats and mangroves, while you’ll have to go further offshore to find Black and Red grouper. Though somewhat rare, it’s not unheard of for dedicated amateur anglers and families bring one in if they know where to go. A fishing charter might be your best bet if you’re dedicated to catching this species.

2. Red Snapper

Red Snapper are a prize of Siesta Key fishing. For a few weeks in the fall, you can reel in a Red Snapper – a treat for any savvy angler. Tight regulations and their small seasonal window make them a rare and highly coveted catch.

3. Snook

Like Grouper, Snook is another top fish you can expect to find biting year-round. Snook is more common than Grouper and can be easily found around bridge and pier pilings, mangrove shorelines, grassy areas, and passes and inlets.

fishing rods on a Florida fishing boat

4. Tarpon

Between May and August, the Tarpon fish bite hard and often in Florida. Tarpon is a very resilient fish, thriving in both fresh and saltwater. They can often be found in brackish waters during the summer.

5. Tripletail

The Tripletail, fondly referred to as Steamboat, are both a delicacy and excellent sport. These large fish are often seen floating by on their sides, and typically gravitate toward structures near and offshore. You’ll have more luck with Tripletail from March to November, but because of the warm Floridian waters, it’s possible to catch them year-round.

6. Blue Fish

If you’re looking for things to do on your vacation, reeling in a Blue Fish could be a good goal. Rare and delicious, Blue Fish are a hot commodity in Florida fishing. You’ll spot anglers pulling out all the stops to bring one to shore during the winter season.

7. Yellowtail Snapper

The Yellowtail snapper is one of Florida’s quintessential gamefish, is common yet delicious. Yellowtail snapper is often found in the Keys and South Florida waters but also in Sarasota and can weigh up to 5 pounds or more. This delicious fish is worth trying to catch if your fishing charter captain knows the secret spots.


8. Kingfish

Kingfish are commonly found in the Sarasota waters during the summer. Kingfish is a migratory mackerel that swims south when the waters get cold further north and is an important fish to both commercial and recreational fishing industries in the state.

9. Cobia

Cobia, also known as Black Salmon, is another popular Florida fish. Commonly caught in the spring to the summer in Sarasota, these fish can be monsters, measuring upwards of two meters in length. Because of their size, they can put up quite a fight when hooked – consider this fair warning.

10. Speckled Trout

Catching a Speckled Trout is a good entry-level goal for new anglers. Speckled Trout can be found year-round, and respond well to plastic minnows and light weights. You can find them in a variety of bodies of water, including small canals and estuaries near many Siesta Key vacation rentals.

Fishing off the west coast of Florida is a bit different than fishing off the east, but when you’re in Sarasota on a Siesta Key vacation you’re bound to reel in one of these popular fish. For more information about fishing licenses, Siesta Key boating or accommodations, please call us at (941)-349-7777.

Contact Us

Peppertree Bay Association
6056 Midnight Pass Road
Sarasota, Florida USA 34242

T 941.349.7777
F 941.346.0371


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