13 photos
(via Turtle Beach)
8918 Midnight Pass Rd.
Siesta Key, Little Sarasota Bay
Sarasota, Fla. 34242
941-861-PARK (861-7275)

Little Sarasota Bay provides a haven for many species of fish during the winter and spring months. Oyster bars, docks and creeks make it a great area for snook, trout, ladyfish, redfish, flounder or sheepshead during cooler weather. 

Bird Keys is surrounded by many small mangrove islands. There are several twisty trails leading through the mangroves in the Jim Neville Wildlife Preserve.

Midnight Pass, a once free-flowing natural inlet between Siesta and Casey Keys, has a stormy history. After much hoopla and litigation, the pass was closed in 1983. What remains is a 50 foot wide stretch of sand separating Little Sarasota Bay from the Gulf of Mexico and an interesting place to paddle.

For easy paddle put-in/take-out, there's Turtle Beach Park, located on the south end of Siesta Key. This 17-acre park is known as a more natural beach with a history of being a prime location to witness sea turtles nesting. There are two separate concrete double-lane boat ramps with docks and the park boasts an array of amenities, including bay and beach access, birding, camping, fishing, horseshoes, picnicking, shelters, playground, restrooms, swimming, and volleyball.