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Stump Pass Beach is located
on Manasota Key, off the coast of Englewood, at the south end of the island. It is the remotest of Manasota’s four
beaches and is considered the best for snorkeling and shelling.
Due to the varied marine habitats and diversity of sites,
Florida has historically been one of the most popular snorkel and dive destinations for vacationers.
Coral reefs and grass flats line Florida's Gulf with almost 600 artificial reefs from the panhandle south to Key West.
To access the area, a boat or a 1.3 mile one-way hike, either on a nature trail or along the sloped beach is required. Once at the end of the Key there’ll be two uninhabited isles…that of Peterson Island and Whidden Key with protected channels for marine life viewing.
Visitors who make this trip are rewarded with one of the most pristine, deserted stretches of sand and water in the
State. Recommended Accommodations
Venice - With an established artificial reef program, Venice’s wrecks and reefs are worth seeing. They are home
to a wide variety of sea life including jewfish, barracuda and grouper. Visibility is generally good allowing you to
enjoy all the underwater beauty. Fossil enthusiasts like to dive for the teeth of the ancient giant sharks,
Bayronto wreck: This is a 450 foot (137 meters) German freighter that sank in 1914 and became
a beautiful wreck site. The wreck is intact but upside down. At a depth of about 100 feet (30 meters) you’ll find soft
and hard corals covering the hull attracting amberjack, snapper, jewfish, groupers and barracuda. This is an advanced
site and the visibility is generally good.
Army tanks: 5 intact army tanks were sunk in the area at a depth of 60 feet (18 meters). The visibility is great but it does
require advanced certification. The site is home to plenty of sea life.
Natural Ledges: The ancient river beds make a great home for underwater creatures while one of
the best beach dives is right off
Venice beach in the 15-20 foot depth range. Many extremely large Megalodon teeth are found by simply using a
spaghetti colander to scoop the bottom sands while others simply swim the length of the beach, searching for anything
Another area for shark teeth can be found at
Casperson Beach where a series of ledges are at the 22 foot depth. These ledges are frequently cleared of sand by
wave action, exposing teeth on the bedrock.
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Attn. Intl. Visitors
(listed north to south)
Anna Maria Island