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Sarasota Yacht Club and/or its officers and/or members offers this information on this site solely for the entertainment and review by its readers, and does not offer any claims concerning its reliability for navigational, educational and/or safety purposes.

The information provided is not intended for navigational use and should not be relied upon for such purpose. Always navigate by reference to a current navigational chart or map. In no event shall Sarasota Yacht Club have any liability arising out of any navigational use of any of the information provided.

Big Pass Information

Big Pass Information as of March 23, 2014.  The depths are unchanged from August 13th but the course has shifted slightly to the southwest to bypass the encroaching shoal. Mark BP 3 in its new position and BP 2 are on station and   BP 1 is still missing.    The County is expected to replace it in several weeks.   The course heading out starts 109 yards WNW of Red BP 8 at 27°16.679'N  082°34.365'W. It runs on a heading of 178M for  .44 nm to 27°16.256'N  082°34.338'W which is about 10 feet off BP3. As you approach BP3 you need to insure you are on the track as there is a shallower spot which has about 5' to port (see image and also kmz file for more details.) From there you proceed on a heading of 194M for .33nm  to a point in deeper water at 27°15.936'N  082°34.440'W between BP2 and where BP1 should be located.  The course appears to have a controlling depth of about 5.5'at MLLW. Traverse this route slowly on a rising tide, mid-tide or above depending on your draft.  As with any course, changes including shoaling have occurred and will continue. 

The coordinates were taken with GPS/WAAS, but your readings could be different. 

Please note that the actual MLLW may be less than the predicted MLLW on any given day. To see how the tide is running you can check St. Petersburg or Port Manatee for an approximation.

I have included a detailed picture of the area approaching BP3 which is the shallow area as you proceed out. It is highly advisable to take the next steps and view the .kmz file so you can see all of the detail.  To get the actual detailed depths you will need to use Google Earth. It is a free program which can be downloaded from this link. . Once you have Google Earth installed, click on the following link to get the depth details of the most recent runs.   Click on the .kmz file of interest and then download it to your system. You will need to scan to Siesta Key and enlarge the route to see all the depths from both sounders. If you see some atypical soundings they can be caused by wakes of other boats or temporary malfunction of a given sounder.

Use this information to make your decision whether to attempt Big Pass or not. 


For the latest weather conditions you can check

 and click on the area of the map in which you are interested. In addition, be aware that when the wind has been blowing strongly with any northern or easterly component within the past day or two, that the water tends to get blown out of the pass thereby lowering the water level. Finally, if there is a swell running remember that the trough will be that much lower.  Changes, including shoaling, can and will occur. 

The following LAT/LON list has been updated by Sarasota County on 3/5/14




Marker "BP-1"  MISSING

27°15.957'N  082°34.477'W

Marker "BP-2"  

27°15.921'N  082°34.407'W

Marker "BP-3"  

 27°16.245'N  082°34.351'W

Marker "BP-8"

27°16.676'N  082°34.301'W

Marker "BP-16"27°18.313'N  082°33.650'W

Not for navigational purposes

Flat Earth Society Big Pass Course as of June 12, 2013 from the Gulf of Mexico to near SYC sign :



Deeper Water

27°15.921'N  082°34.421'W


27°16.256'N  082°34.338'W


27°16.676'N  082°34.325'W

BSP Point

27°16.770'N  082°34.272'W


27°17.057'N  082°33.930'W

BSP 11

27°17.250'N  082°33.830'W

BSP 13 

27°17.550'N  082°33.700'W

Near SYC Sign

27°18.277'N  082°33.633'W


Not for navigational purposes

Mike Solum & County Coastal Resources staff repositioning marks in Big Pass

4/16/2014 11:59:19 AM EST

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