The Boca Grande Pass

Photo of the Boca Grande Pass

The Boca Grande Pass, just off the southern tip of Gasparilla Island State Park, is world-famous for sportfishing, particularly tarpon. The pass connects the Charlotte Harbor to the Gulf of Mexico and is one of the deepest natural passes in Florida, reaching depths of 80 feet. Fresh water from the Peace and Myakka rivers flows into the Charlotte Harbor, creating the brackish water and mangrove habitat critical for juvenile fish and marine life.

Tarpon and other fish spawn in the estuary and swim through the pass into the gulf. These deep waters connecting the estuary to the Gulf of Mexico are filled with marine life, especially fish, dolphin and sharks. Sport anglers from around the world come to fish for tarpon, snook and goliath grouper. From May to June, the pass is filled with anglers out to catch their prize fish.

Boca Grande Pass and rocks


A large variety of fish can also be caught just off the shore to the pass, making shoreline fishing a popular activity at the park. Sheepshead, redfish and whiting are among the most common fish caught along the shore. Please respect Florida’s fishing regulations and don’t forget to get your fishing license from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.