You can't miss the iconic Venice Fishing Pier when you dine at Sharky's on the Pier. Why? The Venice, FL waterfront dining destination is located right at its base! You can take a sunny stroll and bask in the gorgeous Gulf breeze, bait a hook and cast a line or soak in a spectacular sunset with the Pier silhouetted against a colorful sky. Whichever you choose, the Venice Fishing Pier is a must-experience Southwest Florida locale.
Besides during inclement weather, the Venice Fishing Pier is open 24/7. The massive structure is a whopping 720 feet long, 22 feet wide and 20 feet high. First constructed in 1966 for just over $133,000, it was destroyed in July of 1981's "No Name Storm." The Pier was rebuilt in 1984, and its restoration - which included raising the Pier to 20 feet to avoid most storm surges - was finished in 2004, a $1.75 million investment.
When Hurricane Irma roared across the Suncoast in September of 2017, the Venice Fishing Pier was again heavily damaged by the Category 2 storm's strong winds. Its latest renovation occurred in the fall of 2019, which repaired Irma's destruction, upgraded materials, installed lights under handrails and built fish-cleaning stations and benches.
The Venice Fishing Pier is lit up all night long for after-hours fisherman. The light poles are sea turtle-friendly and include shields. This allows the Pier to stay bright from May through October, which is sea turtle nesting season.
Fisherman flock to the Pier for some of the best fishing on the Gulf Coast. Better yet - it's free to fish! No fishing license is required, as the City of Venice foots the bill to take care of everyone who wants to fish. You can land grouper, snapper and redfish year-round. Other seasonal finds include cobia, kingfish, amberjack, Spanish mackerel and tarpon. Shark fishing has been banned at the Venice Fishing Pier since November of 2019.
If you don't have your own fishing rod or need to stock up on bait, Papa's Bait Shop has everything you need for a fantastic day on the Pier. Operated by Sharky's, the shop is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., weather-permitting. Rent a rod for $15 per day, purchase live or frozen bait, fuel up on snacks to stay sharp or snag some of your favorite Sharky's apparel.
Not in the mood to fish? You can also rent a Florida Snow Shovel at Papa's Bait Shop and sift through the sand to hunt for shark's tooth treasure. After all, Venice is the Shark's Tooth Capital of the World! Make sure to stop by Sharky's for a bite to eat, tropical cocktails and live entertainment for the full ex-PIER-ience.
Sharky’s on the Pier specializes in local seafood and homemade desserts along with tropical drinks and fantastic frozens served at the Tiki bar overlooking the Venice Fishing Pier. This fun, family-friendly and festive atmosphere offers some of the best Gulf and sunset views on the Southwest Florida coastline. Sharky’s is located at 1600 Harbor Drive S., Venice, FL 941-488-1456, www.SharkysOnThePier.com.