Shore and Kayak Fishing

January 11, 2024 at 10:20 a.m.

A New Launch For The New Year!

The new launch at Scherer Thaxton Preserve.

A while back, driving to Sarasota on Honore Avenue to avoid I-75, we noticed construction at the Scherer Thaxton Preserve. We drove by this park again and noticed it was open and featured a new kayak launch on an unnamed, clear, deep freshwater lake. Since then, we have looked for a chance to get on that water and check out the bass population.

That chance came the day after Christmas after a few days of rain. It was overcast and cool but not too windy, so we loaded up our kayaks and headed that way. Unlike most new “kayak launches” that feature a floating ADA dock, this launch is fitted with stairs leading down to a shell/sand shore. The wooden stairs make sliding a kayak up or down easier and less abrasive than sand, concrete, or shell surfaces. Stairs do make dollies impossible but there is space on the side of these stairs for them.

In addition to this launch, the restrooms and parking are brand new and located near the launch. The pedestrian t

rail around the lake provides some access for shore fishermen but kayaks got us to the places shore bound anglers couldn’t fish. This lake was dredged for fill to use on nearby construction and has a sandy bottom and shoreline that makes it easy to find spots to stand up and stretch. The water is amazingly clear with abundant vegetation that should provide great habitat. 

Kim fishes along shore at Scherer Thaxton Preserve.


We worked that northern area of the lake pretty hard with Zoom “Trick Worms” mostly in black and brown. We caught over a dozen bass though most were small. We did catch a couple of larger fish but nothing over 2 lbs. We found fish evenly distributed throughout the north and south reaches of the lake. Surprisingly, these bass would pick up the worm and swim along with it back towards the kayak. Even after a long wait, when we finally tried to set the hook, most were just holding the tail. This behavior may have been due to a rapid drop in water temperatures during the few days prior to our trip. 

In any case, the clean water left our boats spotless, and no cleanup was necessary, which was a treat after our recent saltwater and swamp outings. The 45-minute drive back to Englewood passed quickly as we took the back roads around Venice to North River Road. 

We recommend this spot and anticipate the fishing will get a lot better after the promised stocking by Sarasota Parks Department. Check out Scherer Thaxton Park if you are looking for a protected spot to find bass, but maybe give it a month or two until after the stocking.