Anna Maria Island Fishing - Southernaire Fishing Charters

Thunderstorm, snook, old fisher: My night at AMCP

Thunderstorm, snook, old fisher: My night at AMCP Published in the Islander September 19, 2017 It was nearing 6 o’clock in the evening as I steered the boat toward the Mainsail Marina. My clients sat in front of me, talking about how many fish they had caught and enjoying the warm air that was […]

Locate clean water free of red tide to find the fish

Locate clean water free of red tide to find the fish.

Head north to Tampa Bay to find clean water and fish

Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistent to the north. Fishing Tampa Bay and the Manatee River is yielding many species of fish —most of which are fleeing red tide. Speaking of red tide, I am hearing reports that things are starting to clear up. Areas around Longboat Pass and Coquina Beach are showing signs […]

Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains good despite red tide

There are plenty of fish to be caught in areas where red tide doesn’t exist. In these areas, I’m noticing the water to be clean, clear and holding plenty of fish. Whether fishing inshore or slightly offshore, the key is getting to your spot without running through patches of red tide. Avoiding these patches or […]

Move to clean water to avoid red tide, find success

Although red tide is still present in our local waters, fishing around Anna Maria Island may hold a few surprises for anglers with a little perseverance and luck.
For those who have fished in these conditions before know that if you can find clean water you’re most likely going to find fish.

Be in the know — Avoid the red tide to find the fish

Despite being overtaken by red tide, Anna Maria Island fishing can still be productive.  Fishing the outer boundaries of the red tide or traveling north to where there is no contaminated water is key to finding the bite. The highest levels of red tide seem to be remaining from the Manatee Bridge south to Sarasota […]

Fishing remains red hot as red tide stays south of AMI

Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistent — at least for now. With red tide devastating the waters south of Sarasota down to Charlotte Harbor it’s as if a grey cloud looms over us. Every day I wonder if it’s going to find its way up here. But, as for now, it hasn’t, and the […]

Varied weather results in consistent catches

Fishing around Anna Maria Island not only offers a wide a variety of species to catch but also a wide variety of weather. If you’ve been out in the boat or fished from the shores of Anna Maria Island this past week, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve seen everything from calm, clear waters […]

Dodge rainstorms to stay dry and to hone in on the fish

Fishing around Anna Maria Island is proving to be quite good as long as you’re willing to dodge the frequent rain showers — and I mean frequent. Actually, the numerous showers are brief which is kind of nice because they cool everything down a little. Just remember to watch for lightning. When you see it, […]

Fishing Report July 18, 2018

Summertime fishing pattern finally settles in Fishing around Anna Maria Island has finally settled into a good summertime pattern. Light breezes from the east combined with morning high tides are producing some stellar inshore fishing. The deeper grass flats of Tampa and Sarasota bays are loaded with post-spawn trout. You may have to catch 20-30 […]

Fishing Report July 4, 2018

Head out to the Rod & Reel for some R&R — and great catch-and-release snook action With near perfect weather, fishing around Anna Maria Island is proving to be stellar — especially at the Rod & Reel Pier on Tampa Bay. Clear, emerald green waters and light breezes from the west are the perfect recipe […]

Fishing Report June 20, 2018

Weather, fish falling into normal summertime pattern Falling into our typical summertime pattern of calm east breezes in the morning followed by thunderstorms in the evening is proving to provide excellent fishing around Anna Maria Island. Inshore fishing is providing good action on spotted seatrout and catch-and-release snook. Deep grass flats are holding many trout […]

Fishing Report June 13, 2018

Variety of weather conditions produced variety of catches around Anna Maria Island Fishing around Anna Maria Island is host to many varieties of conditions. During the past couple of weeks, we have experienced every spectrum of weather including tropical storm-like conditions from Tropical Storm Alberto. Prior to Alberto, we had some exquisite weather consisting of […]

Fishing Report June 6, 2018

Recent rain not putting a damper on fishing Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistent as long as you don’t mind fishing in the rain. Numerous “rain days” have enveloped our little island but that doesn’t seem to bother the fish. At least most of them. Inshore fishing is proving to be good for spotted […]

Fishing Report May 30, 2018

Inconsistent weather results in consistent fishing action Anna Maria Island fishing remains excellent for yet another week. Despite numerous afternoon rain showers the waters remain clear and the fishing is good. Tarpon season is slowly improving, although the large numbers of fish have yet to show. Still, those eager to tangle with the “silver king” […]

Fishing Report May 23, 2018

Rainy conditions put damper on tarpon fishing With the arrival of tarpon, fishing around Anna Maria Island has just about all it can offer when it comes to fishing in west central Florida. The inshore bite is still going strong for spotted seatrout and catch-and-release snook. Other inshore species include Spanish mackerel, big jack crevalle […]

Fishing Report May 15, 2018

The return of the silver king – Tarpon return to Anna Maria waters With the recent arrival of tarpon, I’d say the plate is now full for anglers visiting and fishing around Anna Maria Island. Although the bite is just beginning, the smell of tarpon is in the air. It’s time to dust off your […]

Fishing Report May 9, 2018

May brings consistent weather, fishing conditions Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistently good for yet another week. With the mild air temperatures and water temps still hovering in the mid 70s which is a welcome sight. Spotted seatrout and catch-and-release snook are responding positively to the conditions — a perfect recipe for spending a […]

Fishing Report May 2, 2018

Endless fishing possibilities await us in May As we begin the month of May, fishing around Anna Maria Island can have endless possibilities. With water temps still hovering in the mid 70s, inshore fishing is proving to be excellent. Spotted seatrout seem to be dominating the bite. Fishing the lush grass flats of Sarasota Bay […]

Fishing Report April 25, 2018

As weather continues to improve so does the fishing   With some of the best weather of the year upon us, Anna Maria Island fishing is following suit. The inshore bite is proving to be nothing less than excellent. That is, of course, if you’re lucky enough to be in the right spot, on the […]

Fishing Report April 18, 2018

Outbreaks of spotted fever surround Anna Maria Island waters   Fishing around Anna Maria Island is causing anglers to see spots before their eyes – and the spots are on the spotted seatrout. The local grass flats stretching from the Sunshine State Skyway Bridge south to New Pass are being invaded by the famous spotted […]

Fishing Report April 11, 2018

Inconsistent weather remains consistent on the water   Fishing around Anna Maria Island this week remains consistently inconsistent. On warm, calm days, fishing is exceptional, especially in the bays and Intracoastal Waterway. On the windier days during the cold fronts, fishing is sporadic due. There are just too few places to fish out of the […]

Fishing Report April 4, 2018

Spring break is here, but no break from windy days   Fishing around Anna Maria Island is producing action for visiting and local anglers despite numerous windy days. And I do mean numerous. Fishing the flats for snook and spotted seatrout is proving to be productive. Using live shiners as bait is attracting attention from […]

Fishing Report March 28, 2018

Plenty of fishing despite falling temperatures   With yet another blast of cold air up them, Anna Maria fishers brace themselves for more wind and falling water temperatures. But, don’t be discouraged, there is still plenty of fishing action to partake in as long as you are able to target the right species. You may […]

Fishing Report March 20, 2018

Cold fronts make for perfect sheepherding conditions As yet another cold front engulfs Anna Maria Island with cold temperatures and windy conditions, visiting and local anglers endure the elements in search of a bite. And luckily, there is one — and in comes in a black and white striped package. Yeah, you guessed it. The […]

Fishing Report March 14, 2018

Warm weather or cold weather, fishing remains hot around Anna Maria Island   Local and visiting anglers are experiencing both end of the spectrum of fishing while venturing out into the waters surrounding Anna Maria Island. Spring-like conditions — where mild temperatures in the low 80s are prevalent — is providing excellent action on the […]

Fishing Report March 4, 2018

March welcomes warm weather, clear waters, great fishing   Fishing around Anna Maria Island keeps getting better and better as the days grow warmer and the waters remain clear. Fishing the lush grass flats that carpet the surrounding bays and Intracoastal Waterway is proving to be nothing less than exceptional. Snook season is now open […]

Fishing Report February 28, 2018

Sunshine and light breezes perfect combination for success The quality of fishing continues to increase as warm sunny skies and light breezes surround Anna Maria Island. Backwater species — snook, trout and redfish — are gradually making their way back to the grass flats in the bays, rivers and Intracoastal Waterway. Live shiners as bait […]

Fishing Report February 21, 2018

February fishing action as hot as the temperature With temperatures in the mid 80s in mid February, Anna Maria Island fishers are enjoying springtime conditions. God, I love it down here in Florida. Water temps are on the rise, which is allowing the flats to host some excellent fishing, particularly for those targeting snook and […]

Fishing Report February 14, 2018

Fog might put a damper on boating, but not fishing   Well, how about that fog? Yes, I was fortunate to have charters numerous days and go fishing in near-zero visibility. It’s not that the fog affects the fishing one way or the other, but it sure makes it hard to get around. And, remember, […]

Fishing Report February 7, 2018

Winter might last another six weeks, but fishing is heating up   Fishing around Anna Maria Island is providing some good wintertime action, especially between cold fronts. Most everyone is using live shrimp as bait as it seems to be the top ticket for a variety of species. Casting shrimp under docks and residential canals […]

Fishing Report January 31, 2018

Wintertime fishing productive inshore, offshore Fishing around Anna Maria Island continues to follow a wintertime pattern for yet another week. Spring doesn’t arrive until March 20. With water temperatures both in the bays and in the Gulf of Mexico striving to reach the upper 50s, fishing may require a little patience. On the calm days, […]

Fishing Report January 24, 2018

Don’t let the cold weather put a damper on your fishing plans After experiencing some of the coldest weather of the year, it’s hard not to get discouraged when trying to catch some fish. But, you’re in luck. Wintertime fishing around Anna Maria Island can be quite productive if you practice some tried and true […]

Fishing Report January 17, 2018

Careful timing can put you on the trail of fish   Fishing around the barrage of cold fronts we are experiencing can be quite good — if pick the right days. You can pick your fish. You can pick your days. And the days have to be the calm ones in between fronts. A lot […]

Fishing Report January 10, 2018

Weather cools off fishing action for area anglers   Due to the recent arctic blast we experienced to start off 2018, there’s really not a lot to report. With temperatures and chill factor ranging from the 30s to the 50s, most anglers in our area are staying indoors, rather than venturing out looking for a […]

Fishing Report January 3, 2018

Mild winter temps produce stellar fishing action   For yet another week, mild temperatures and stellar fishing conditions make the little paradise we call Anna Maria Island attractive to visiting and local anglers alike. Fishing nearshore and offshore is producing a variety of species, ranging from bottom dwellers — grouper, snapper and hogfish — to migratory […]

Fishing Report December 27, 2017

Fishing between cold fronts results in winter bounty Once again fishing the calm weather before the cold front is proving to supply some excellent fishing experiences for the fishers of Anna Maria Island. Venturing out into the Gulf of Mexico seems to be the ticket for the most consistent action. Bottom fishing around ledges, reefs, […]

Fishing Report December 20, 2017

A string of windy days puts damper on fishing   Fishing around Anna Maria Island is proving to be challenging when dealing with numerous windy days back to back. Finding sheltered areas on these days is usually a good bet if you’re trying to bend a rod. Look for areas such as canals where numerous […]

Fishing Report December 13, 2017

Fishing action hot prior to cold front   Fishing prior to the cold fronts is producing excellent action for Anna Maria Island anglers. Fishing the flats is proving to be good for redfish, spotted seatrout and catch-and-release snook. Inshore fishing around docks and shallow water structure is also providing action on sheepshead, snapper and gag […]

Fishing Report December 6, 2017

Pleasant weather provides promising fishing action   Fishing around Anna Maria Island is as pleasant as the weather. With a light easterly breezes and calm seas both inshore and offshore adventures are promising. Fishing inshore around the bays and Manatee River is providing good action on spotted seatrout and snook. Redfish are being caught — […]

Fishing Report November 29, 2017

Various weather conditions result in varied catches   Fishing around Anna Maria Island is proving to be nothing short of “all over the charts.” Fishing warm, mild days prior to cold fronts is proving to be on the exceptional side, while fishing during and shortly after the fronts is yielding mediocre catches and discouraged anglers. […]

Fishing Report November 22, 2017

Northeast winds won’t affect fishing, but choose the right spot   The constant northeast winds blowing at 10-20 mph are excellent for someone who wants to fly a kite. Unfortunately, this is an article about fishing, not kite flying.  But don’t be discouraged. Luckily, the winds are out of the northeast, which usually means most […]

Fishing Report November 15, 2017

Mild temps and calm waters result in hot fishing action Fall fishing around Anna Maria Island is getting better and better as we experience these mild temperatures and calm waters. As a result of the two cold fronts we’ve recently experienced, the waters have cooled down just enough to trigger fish to start feeding in […]

Fishing Report October 31, 2017

Night time tarpon fishing at Rocky Bluff We talked for a while longer and the conversation drifted until finally Luther had to go. I stayed alone and finish cleaning the boat and thinking about those tarpon. It was dinner time and I found myself at Danny’s Pizzeria in Beachway Plaza waiting on a couple of […]

Fishing Report October 25, 2017

Fast-action species keep Anna Maria Island anglers busy   Fall fishing around Anna Maria Island is host to some fast-action species that are sure to keep local and visiting anglers occupied. While patrolling the beaches, I’m seeing schools of Spanish mackerel as close as 100 yards from the shore to about a mile of the […]

Fishing Report October 18, 2017

Fall fishing pattern starts up, seasonal species arrive Fishing around Anna Maria Island is holding into its fall pattern with the arrival of seasonal species. Kingfish are making a showing along the beaches of Anna Maria as well as the artificial reefs. Slow trolling large shiners or threadfin herring on a light wire rig is […]

Fishing Report October 11, 2017

Cooler weather forecast, great fishing to come   A slight drop in temperature around Anna Maria Island has local and visiting anglers anticipating some great fishing. Cool breezes and cooler water temps are finally settling into our coastal areas and with them comes a forecast for some great fishing. Snook are starting to meander back […]

Fishing Report October 4, 2017

Persistence, patience key players in catching keepers   Fishing around Anna Maria Island is now settling back to a normal September-like pattern. In fact, some areas are producing catches of 30–40 trout. That being said, a lot of the trout are coming in at 13-14 inches, which is just under slot. I am managing to […]

Fishing Report September 27, 2017

Weather, fishing improve after Hurricane Irma    For most of us the chores that follow a storm, such as Hurricane Irma, can be long and lengthy. It’s kind of hard to say, “honey, I’m going out fishing for the day.” When your yard is full of fallen tree limbs, sections of fence blown down, boarded up […]

Fishing Report September 17, 2017

Thunderstorms, snook and other adventures at the City Pier   It was nearing six o’clock in the evening as I steered the boat towards the Mainsail Marina. My clients sat in front of me talking about how many fish they had caught while enjoying the warm air that was blowing over the hull as we […]

Fishing Report September 10, 2017

Redfish here, there, everywhere and taking the hook   Despite the threat of Hurricane Irma, fishing around Anna Maria Island is nothing less than exceptional. If you can break away from watching the “weather on the 9s” for a moment, you might discover that the redfish have finally arrived. Although they aren’t as abundant as […]

Fishing Report September 3, 2017

Crystal clear waters replaced by sweet water, fish don’t seem to mind   If you’re looking to go fish the crystal-clear waters surrounding Anna Maria Island, it’s not going to happen this week. Of course, you can go fishing, but as for the clear water, you may have to wait a little while for Lake […]

Fishing Report August 27, 2017

Fish early — fish more accommodating, easier on angler Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains productive despite the heat and the 90 degree water temperatures. Fishing early morning around sunrise is most favorable when the winds are calm and the tide is right. Not to mention that it’s slightly cooler than trying to fish at […]

Fishing Report August 20, 2017

Temps still hot, fishing results in mixed bag Despite water temps in the high 80s, flats fishing is still productive as long as you fish early morning as opposed to midday. Spotted seatrout and catch-and-release snook seem to be the predominant bite, especially during swift-moving, early morning tides. Redfish are present, although the numbers of […]

Fishing Report August 13, 2017

Brave the heat to hook up inshore, nearshore and offshore   If you can deal with the heat, there is some great fishing in store around Anna Maria Island and it’s surrounding waters. Venturing offshore is resulting in numerous snappers — yellowtail and mangrove. Keeper and red grouper are being caught with some consistency. And […]

Fishing Report August 6, 2017

Tropical Storms and bad etiquette can ruin a day of fishing Fishing around Anna Maria Island is proving to be slightly challenging in the wake of Tropical Storm Emily. Our clear emerald green waters are now the color of iced tea — since we are in the south I guess its “sweet tea.” Anyway, persistence and […]

Fishing Report July 30, 2017

Correct tide and bait produces productive fishing   Fishing around Anna Maria is proving to be consistently good for those willing to go out and brave the heat. I am noticing that a couple of factors fall into play though. For one, a swift moving tide is definitely in your favor. In fact, I’ve noticed […]

Fishing July 23, 2017

Hot weather, fishing requires preparation for a successful outing   Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains hot for yet another week. If you’re planning on spending time on the water this month, plan accordingly. First, be ready to catch fish. Second, make sure you protect yourself from the sweltering conditions that are in store for […]

Fishing Report July 16, 2017

Storms put a damper on afternoon fishing, morning fishing remains hot   Although the afternoon outgoing tides look nothing less than stellar for fishing the flats, the pop-up thunderstorms we are experiencing are making it tough to be out on the water. Don’t be discouraged — the morning tides are producing a bite. I’m finding […]

Fishing Report July 2, 2017

Intense heat, humidity and fishing spell out summertime   The humidity is up, the heat is intense and the fishing is following suit. Whether inshore or offshore, there is plenty of productive fishing. Red grouper, snappers and permit are being caught around nearshore and offshore structure. Also in these areas are flounder, goliath grouper and […]

Fishing Report June 25, 2017

Winds, rain from Tropical Storm Cindy put brief damper on fishing action   Despite the daily thunderstorms and frequent windy days caused by tropical storm Cindy, fishing around Anna Maria Island is still managing to put smiles on visiting and local anglers alike. Fishing inshore is slightly challenging although spotted seatrout and catch-and-release snook are […]

Fishing June 18, 2017

Rainy weather stops, fishing action returns to normal   Well, after a week-long soaking of rain and thunderstorms, fishing around Anna Maria Island is finally starting to fall back into it’s summertime pattern. Fishing the flats for catch-and-release snook and spotted seatrout is proving to be effective. For the snook, mangrove shorelines where good tidal […]

Fishing Report June 11, 2017

Heavy rains, windy conditions put damper on fishing action Well, it looks like its back to the old drawing board for anglers who plan fishing around Anna Maria Island this week. After numerous days of long-lasting thunderstorms and strong winds, fishing our local waters is proving to be nothing less than challenging. Murky water is […]

Fishing Report June 4, 2017

Weather heats up nearshore inshore fishing action Fishing around Anna Maria Island is finally falling into the true summertime pattern. Tarpon are finally — although a little late — making a fair showing. Numbers of fish are increasing by the day. Flats fishing for catch-and-release snook is proving to provide great action for inshore anglers. […]

Fishing Report May 28, 2017

Recent wind affecting number of silver king hookups   Despite much wind and a few thunderstorms, fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistent. Tarpon is on most anglers agendas, although windy conditions is making it difficult to target them. Catches are occurring in the passes and along the beaches. Live crabs, threadfin herring and large […]

Fishing Report May 21, 2017

Fishing inshore and near as hot as recent temperatures With summer like temperatures finally settling in, the fishing is heating up much like the weather. Fishing the flats for redfish, spotted seatrout and catch-and-release snook is in full swing. You can also start finding snook in the passes and along the beaches during calm mornings […]

Fishing Report May 14, 2017

Calming winds results in great fishing action Well, aside from the afternoon sea breeze, it looks as if the winds have finally subsided, which is great for fishing around Anna Maria Island. The anticipation of tarpon fishing is still on everyone’s minds, although the large groups of fish have yet to show. Few catches are […]

Fishing Report May 7, 2017

May brings hot temps and hot fishing action inshore and nearshore Fishing around Anna Maria Island is heating up as we slide into the month of May. The anticipation of the elusive silver king is the buzz among most of our local anglers. A few tarpon sightings along the beaches are being reported. I’m seeing […]

Fishing Report April 30, 2017

Fishing around Anna Maria Island is holding strong in both the backcountry and offshore Flats fishing for catch-and-release snook is pretty darn good as long as the tide is moving. The same applies for spotted seatrout. Live shiners cast into sandy potholes on deep grass areas are a surefire way to get onto these fish. […]

Fishing Report April 23, 2017

Inshore, offshore fishing results in a variety of species  Despite the abundance of boaters throughout our region, fishing around Anna Maria Island is proving to put smiles on both local and visiting anglers. The inshore bite on snook and spotted seatrout is especially good with limits of trout being caught daily and rallies on snook. […]

Fishing Report April 16, 2017

Clear waters, perfect weather, tough fishing   Although the weather is beautiful and the waters are clear, fishing around Anna Maria Island is slightly challenging at the moment. Some blame it on the last cold front we experienced, others blame it on the full moon. Well, whatever it is, the fishing is tough. That being […]

Fishing Report April 9, 2017

Winds don’t stop steady fishing action   With the winds blowing up to 25 mph for what seems like an eternity, fishing around Anna Maria Island is maintaining a steady bite for those of us who are determined or just don’t know any better. Spotted seatrout are being found in respectable numbers throughout the flats […]

Fishing Report April 2, 2017

Exceptional spring time fishing results in rallies inshore, nearshore and offshore   Fishing around Anna Maria Island is finally settling into nothing short of exceptional. Whether fishing inshore for snook, reds and trout, or venturing offshore for permit and kingfish, anglers are returning to the dock with smiles of their faces — and plenty of […]

Fishing Report March 26, 2017

Spring break might be over, but no break in hot fishing action   Fishing around Anna Maria Island is finally shaping up again after the last cold front we experienced a couple of weeks ago. Water temps are on the rise and so is the fishing. Respectable numbers of snook are taking up residence on […]

Fishing Report March 19, 2017

Despite the recent cold, fishing remains hot With March upon us, spring break visitors from far and wide are visiting our sleepy little town called Anna Maria. Most visitors are here to escape the cold of the north with hopes of enjoying the warm Florida sun, the beaches and especially the fishing. And despite the […]

Fishing Report March 12, 2017

Warm weather produces early spring fishing bounty With such a mild Florida winter, springtime fishing around Anna Maria Island is shaping up to provide some of the best bounty our waters have to offer. Snook fishing is already proving to be red hot and we haven’t even seen it at its best yet. Spotted seatrout […]

Fishing Report March 6, 2017

The common snook — a common hookup for area anglers With snook season now open, anglers from far and wide are visiting Anna Maria Island with hopes of hooking into the most famous of the famous among the back country — the common snook. Encouraging numbers of fish are making a showing in their typical […]

Fishing Report March 1, 2017

  Fishing action shaping up to be great as spring approaches Fishing around Anna Maria Island is constantly improving as we approach springtime and with snook season opening in March 1, in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico state and adjacent federal waters, and remaining open through April 30, it’s only going to get better. With the weather […]

Fishing Report January 1, 2017

    Well, here we are. It’s 2017. Although it’s supposed to be wintertime, our weather is resembling springtime. And so is the fishing. With day after day of mild temperatures and calm seas the fishing around Anna Maria Island is nothing better than excellent. Offshore and nearshore fishing are proving to be exceptional with catches […]

Fishing Report December 18, 2016

December fishing providing anglers with a variety of catches       Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistent for another week. With mild temperature and moderate seas, a variety of fishing can be done. Whether venturing offshore for grouper and snapper or just casually fishing the flats in the local bays local anglers are finding […]

Fishing Report December 11, 2016

Winter is coming — time to bait with shrimp for a hookup       Using the ever-famous live shrimp as bait is now becoming a reality due to falling water temperatures and recent cold fronts.     There are still shiners to be caught on the flats, but, in most instances a substitute of live shrimp […]

Fishing Report December 4, 2016

Despite a couple of recent cold fronts, fishing around Anna Maria Island is holding fast. With shiners still available to be caught and used for bait, many anglers are finding success both in the back country and out in the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing the flats for snook and trout is still going strong. I’m […]

Fishing Report November 27, 2016

Cold fronts don’t cool down red hot fishing around Anna Maria       Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains fairly consistent despite the recent cold front just prior to Thanksgiving.     A couple of nights with air temps in the mid-50s has had an impact on fishing, although anglers with a little knowledge and a […]

Fishing Report November 20, 2016

Cooler weather sends fish on the move          With the cooler November weather nipping at our heels, you may find a number of species on the move, especially in the backcountry.     Snook are hastily making their way towards their wintertime haunts and in the process are voraciously on the feed so […]

Fishing Report November 13, 2016

Fall fishing pattern shows up in November     A little taste of fall weather is a welcome sight to the fishing community of Anna Maria Island and Bradenton.     We’re finally settling into our fall pattern, which promises some great fishing for both inshore and nearshore anglers alike. Bait is found in abundance, which […]

Fishing Report November 6, 2016

October bite shows up during first week of November       The first week of November is showing potential for some great fishing in our local waters.     To be honest, it seems to me that the typically long awaited October bite is finally happening, which is a welcome sight. Better late than never, I […]

Fishing Report October 30, 2016

Persistence, faith and a little luck key to hooking up       With winds persistently blowing 10-20 m.p.h. for what seems like an eternity, fishing around Anna Maria Island still manages to put smiles on the faces of local and visiting fishers alike. Especially the visiting anglers because they don’t know any better.     Whether […]

Fishing Report October 23, 2016

Red Tide and Wind – avoid both for a hook up        With an influx of red tide and windy days, fishing around Anna Maria Island could be termed “hit or miss.”     On calmer days, venturing out into the Gulf of Mexico can be satisfying for anglers in search of a bent […]

Fishing Report October 16, 2016

  Goodbye red tide — hello red hot fall fishing action       Fishing around Anna Maria Island is looking better and better now that we are slipping into our fall pattern,     Water temps are slowly dropping and reports from locals are saying that the red tide is seemingly starting to disperse.     Spanish […]

Fishing Report October 9, 2016

Red tide lingers, but fish can be found and caught   Although the red tide continues to linger in our area both inshore and offshore fishing are holding their own. Most inshore fishing is occurring north of the Manatee Bridge. As for the offshore bite, the water seems to be less toxic once you get […]

Fishing Report October 2, 2016

Red tide not putting a damper on fishing – yet       Well despite there being some patches of red tide on our local waters, fishing around Anna Maria remains fairly good.     Finding areas where the red tide is not present is key to finding the bite and typically, if you can find these […]

Fishing Report September 25, 2016

  Once again, the highlight of the week is redfish.     Schooling reds are arriving in our local waters wreaking havoc on baitfish, shrimp and any other flats inhabitants in their path. Most of these redfish are over-slot, although lucky anglers are managing to catch a random fish that is keeper-size. The pressure on these […]

Fishing Report September 18, 2016

  Clear water results in great fishing action   Our local waters are beginning to clear up and with this so is the fishing. Fishing along the beaches and out to the inshore reefs is proving to be good for a number of species including mangrove snapper, flounder and Spanish mackerel. The waters along the […]

Fishing Report September 11, 2016

  Freshwater invades our local waters, but doesn’t dampen fishing   Despite our waters being a dark tannic color resembling Coca Cola, as a result of the millions of gallons of freshwater draining from Lake Manatee, fishing is still productive. Snook fishing is proving prosperous if you know where to look. Hundreds, if not thousands […]

Fishing Report September 4, 2016

  Hurricane Hermine drops rain, puts damper on fishing   In the wake of Hurricane Hermine it is expected that post-storm fishing will be slightly challenging. My best guess is to start where you left off prior to Hermine and work your way from there. It will be interesting if the numerous schools of redfish […]

Fishing Report August 28, 2016

  Reds and flounder filling time and the cooler   The arrival of redfish is a welcome sight to our local waters. Schools of reds are being reported from just about every body of water from Miguel Bay to southern Sarasota Bay. Most schools are containing at least a couple of fish which is encouraging […]

Fishing Report August 21, 2016

  August fishing pattern in full swing, variety being caught. Fishing around Anna Maria Island is settling into a typical August patter. Mangrove snapper can be found throughout our waters around any structure — including reefs, rock piles, bridges and docks. Even on the flats keeper-size mangoes are being caught. Spotted seatrout are also in […]

Fishing Report August 14, 2016

Rain, rain go away — it’s time to go fish today.     Despite the monsoon that covered up our local waters for nearly a week, fishers are still managing to find a good bite. Fishing the flats for spotted seatrout is still a good bet. Most catches are falling between 12-14 inches, which although […]

Fishing Report August 7, 2016

Rain leads to interesting catches in local waters   Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistent for a variety of inshore species. Fishing deep grass flats during time of good tidal flow is producing rallies of spotted seatrout. Live shiners free-lined or under a cork are the bait of choice. Determination is key if targeting […]

Fishing Report July 31, 2016

Mangrove snapper top the list of catches this week   Mangrove snapper appear to be a common catch among anglers working Anna Maria Island’s surrounding waters. Whether fishing from land or by boat, mangrove snapper are dominating the bite on the reefs, flats and around any structure in Tampa Bay and in the Gulf of […]

Fishing Report July 24, 2016

Spotted seatrout — fun to catch and good on the plate Spotted seatrout remain the consistent catch for anglers fishing the flats around Anna Maria Island. Deeper grass flats during moving tides are producing respectable numbers of trout. I’m noticing an abundance of undersized fish, in fact even more so than slot fish. In one […]

Fishing Report July 17, 2016

Fishing action and temperatures on the rise   Despite the scorching temperatures, fishing around Anna Maria is on the rise. The reason for this is the arrival of baitfish. Whether on the flats or out in Tampa Bay, you should notice the vast schools of baby shiners, or as we call them “hatch bait.” With […]

Fishing Report July 10, 2016

Fish early to find the fish and avoid the heat   With temps in the mid 90s and the heat index topping out at 110 degrees, Anna Maria Island fishers are heading out to fish early in the morning to beat the heat. Leaving at sunrise and returning to the dock before noon not only […]

Fishing Report July 3, 2016

Summer pattern – Hot Temps and hot fishing If you haven’t noticed, we’ve finally fallen into our summer pattern and by pattern I mean hot. Temperatures in the mid to upper 90s are an everyday occurrence now which in turn is brining those water temps up too. Flats fishing is still producing a bite, although […]

Fishing Report June 26, 2016

Recent fishing action as hot as recent temperatures Despite temperatures steadily hovering in the 90s this week, plenty of anglers are on the water in search of a bite. Early morning or evening fishing is becoming a popular idea since these times tend to be slightly cooler than “high noon.” Fishing the flats for catch-and-release […]

Fishing Report June 19, 2016

Tarpon return, other species taking the hook Although tarpon took a brief hiatus from our waters after Tropical Strom Colin they are definitely back and in greater numbers, too. The sand bars of Passage Key and Bean Point are hot to hundreds of fish — if you’re there at the right time. Stealth plays a […]

Fishing Report June 12, 2016

Tropical Storm Collin dampens fishing action In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Collin, Anna Maria fishers are still managing to catch some fish. I’m not saying the fishing is as good as normal, but with a little persistence and a little knowledge, having a successful day on the water is still attainable. Fishing inshore on […]

Fishing Report June 5, 2016

Variety of bite keeps local fishers busy Tarpon fishing remains the main attraction for yet another week on Anna Maria Island. Tarpon fishers from Tampa to Boca Grande — and beyond — are flocking to our little island to get a taste of what our local waters have to offer. Some say the tarpon fishing […]

Fishing Report May 29, 2016

Tarpon remain in the spotlight, but other species still attainable Tarpon remain in the spotlight for yet another week for fishers near Anna Maria Island. Talk of Bean Point resembling the famous Boca Grande Pass is becoming commonplace among most tarpon fishers in the area. The sheer numbers of boat present during the morning tarpon […]

Fishing Report May 22, 2016

The cure for tarpon fever — go out and catch one. The tarpon fever epidemic is rapidly spreading throughout the small barrier island of Anna Maria. Local fishers as well as fishers around the world are experiencing sleepless nights due to the intoxicating anticipation of doing battle with the elusive silver king. Other symptoms of […]

Fishing Report May 15, 2016

The return of the king — tarpon being hooked in local waters Anna Maria fishing is host to a new arrival this week. That’s right. The silver kinds have returned. Although the quantity of fish is still in its infantile stages, small groups of fish are being found along the beaches as well as in […]

Fishing Report May 8, 2016

Snook – Out of season but good catch-and-release sportfish Although snook season has come to an end, catch-and-release action on linesiders still remains better than average. Many snook in the 20-26 inches are being caught along mangrove shorelines especially up under the bushes during the extreme high tides we are experiencing. Larger fish are mixed […]

Fishing Report May 1, 2016

Windy conditions force fishers to backwater Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistent although numerous windy days are keeping most fishers in the backwaters of the local bays and the Intracoastal Waterway. That being said, reports of snook and spotted seatrout are abundant. The same applies for mangrove snapper being caught within a mile of […]

Fishing Report April 24, 2016

Temperatures, fishing action heating up Fishing around Anna Maria Island is definitely heating up as the spring season progresses towards summer. Whether fishing the flats or venturing out into the Gulf of Mexico, you can rest assured that there is action waiting to be had. On my own fishing trips with Southernaire Fishing Charters, my […]

Fishing Report April 17, 2016

Why can’t April last all year? April fishing is finally shaping up around Anna Maria Island. In fact, shaping up is putting it lightly. With calm winds, clear waters and the arrival of baitfish both in the Gulf and in Tampa Bay, the fishing is nothing less than outstanding. Now’s the time — drop everything […]

Fishing Report April 3, 2016

  Beautiful weather and accommodating fish — a fisher’s dream come true Springtime fishing is in full spring for Anna Maria Island and its surrounding waters — and so are the springtime boaters. In fact, I can’t remember a spring when I’ve seen as many boats as I’ve seen this year. Despite all of the […]

Fishing Report April 10, 2016

  Inconsistent weather is the only constant while fishing local waters Inconsistent weather is resulting in a sporadic bite in the waters surrounding Anna Maria Island this week. Within four days of fishing I have seen the wind blow in four different directions. Adaptability, knowledge of the local waters and persistence are all playing a […]

Fishing Report March 27, 2016

  No (spring) break for hot fishing action Spring fishing around Anna Maria Island remains outstanding for both inshore and nearshore fishers. Although a late cold front slowed the fish down for a few days, water temps are back in the rise and so is the bite. Snook from 14-40 inches are being spotted in […]

Fishing Report March 20, 2016

  Warmer Water Temps heats up local fishing action Water temps are on the rise, which is a welcome sight to local fisher and tourists alike. And with these rising water temps came a whole new batch of species and techniques. The most prominent backwater species making a showing is snook. It’s time to start […]

Fishing Report March 13, 2016

  Windy days producing varied catch Despite numerous windy days fishing around Anna Maria Island is producing a variety of catches. Those fishing from the local piers are cashing in on the abundance of sheepshead. Live shrimp, fiddler crabs or sand fleas as bait are allowing even the most novice anglers to bend a rod. […]

Fishing Report March 6, 2016

  Big fish come in small packages If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this picture of my 5-year old daughter, Isabel, is worth a million to me. Don’t worry, I’m not going to write a million words, but I am going to do a little bragging — what proud father wouldn’t? Heck, […]

Fishing Report February 28, 2016

  Unfavorable weather creates rough fishing conditions   Windy conditions and numerous cold fronts are causing fishing around Anna Maria Island to be hit or miss. On the calm days in between fronts, fishing offshore around the artificial reefs is proving to be quite productive. Fishing in Tampa Bay and the rock piles and reefs […]

Fishing Report February 21, 2016

  Sheepshead fishing remains the targeted species in local waters   Sheepshead fishing around Anna Maria Island is on the verge of becoming unhinged. Increasing herds of sheepies are invading our local waters especially around the residential docks, canals and the local fishing piers on the north end of the island. The rock piles, reefs […]

Fishing Report February 14, 2016

  Think outside the box for fishing success   With numerous cold fronts and strong winds from what seems like every direction, finding a window of opportunity to get out on the water seems futile. With choppy seas consistently making boating a challenge, getting the motivation to venture out can be like pulling teeth. Well, […]

Fishing Report February 7, 2016

  No Mas El Nino Por Favor   Thanks the El Nino, our weather is consistently inconsistent, however the fishing around Anna Maria Island is holding true for February — as long as you can make it out on the water. Typically this time of year is known for its abundance of sheepshead. And despite […]

Fishing Report January 31, 2016

  Falling water temps results in new targeted species Numerous cold fronts and falling water temperatures have ushered in a new species for both residents and visiting anglers to target. That’s right — it’s sheepshead time once again. Herds of these vertically striped back and white fish are congregating in preparation for their spawn. Hot […]

Fishing Report January 24, 2016

  Winter weather requires changes in locations and tactics to find the fish   Although I hate to admit it, winter is finally here. And with the cold comes some changes in techniques and methods for those of us who fish the local waters. Dock fishing is starting to become an attraction. Redfish, black drum, […]

Fishing Report January 24, 2016

  Winter weather requires changes in locations and tactics to find the fish   Although I hate to admit it, winter is finally here. And with the cold comes some changes in techniques and methods for those of us who fish the local waters. Dock fishing is starting to become an attraction. Redfish, black drum, […]

Fishing Report January 17, 2016

  Sitting on the dock of the bay   Well, you may not be sitting on the dock, but I’ll bet you’ll be fishing it. And probably a lot of them too. Dock fishing, especially in the winter months can be a productive way to make a tough morning’s fishing somewhat productive. More than not, […]

Fishing Report January 10, 2016

  Changing weather patterns results in change in fishing tactics —Is it summertime yet?   If you haven’t noticed, winter is finally upon us. Cold northeasterly winds and falling water temps are going to cause us to adapt to the conditions, which will change the way we’re fishing and even the species we’re targeting. Shiners […]

Fishing Report January 3, 2016

  December and 2015 ended with tight lines and great weather With temperatures in the mid 80s for the last week of December, both local and visiting fishers found themselves flocking to Anna Maria Island to celebrate the mild temperatures and excellent fishing conditions. Whether fishing the flats for snook, trout and redfish or venturing […]

Fishing Report December 27, 2015

  Find your way out of the wind to find the fish Despite having a string of windy days, fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistent if you know what to look for. Finding clean or semi-clear water is a good place to start. Typically, when we have strong winds they stir up the water […]

Fishing Report December 20, 2015

  As Red Tide diminishes – fishing improves With concentrations of red tide diminishing in our waters, fishing is improving — especially along the Gulf beaches and out to the nearshore reefs. White bait, although starting to thin out, is still available to be caught in a number of areas both on the flats and […]

Fishing Report December 13, 2015

  Avoid areas with red tide to find the fish   With red tide still being reported throughout our region, opportunity for the local fishing may seem bleak. Don’t be discouraged. Finding fish that will bite may be more challenging, but there are fish to be caught. On my charters, I’m migrating to the Gulf […]

Fishing Report December 6, 2015

  Red Tide go away — please, don’t come back   Although patches of the dreaded red tide are still present throughout our areas, fishing still remains consistent. The key to finding a bite is in the water quality. Areas where clear, clean red-tide free water exists is a great place to start your search. […]

Fishing Report November 29, 2015

  Thanksgiving leftovers are gone — time to fill the fridge with fillets   Now that all of the leftover turkey is finally gone, maybe there’s space in the fridge for some fish fillets. And, while we’ve seen a drop in water temps and some gusty winds, we should still be able to catch some […]

Fishing Report November 22, 2015

  Strong breezes, red tide puts a damper on fishing action   Strong breezes from the south are still managing to allow traces of red tide to linger in our local waters. Despite this occurrence, fishing remains consistent, especially in waters north of the Anna Maria Bridge on Manatee Avenue. As long as you can […]

Fishing Report October 2, 2015

  Mangrove snapper still hot but harder to find The fall mangrove snapper bite is going strong, although concentrations of fish seem to be on the move. On a recent excursion with my father-in-law, Paul Leighton, and his friend, Earl Range, we had to do a little searching to find the bite. After catching an […]

Fishing Report September 26, 2015

  Shorter days, cooler weather — fishing remains hot Fishing at the nearshore structure that surrounds Anna Maria Island is shaping up nicely as we fall into autumn. The abundance of mangrove snapper is astonishing. Limits of these tasty fish are being caught on most visits into the Gulf or the bays. Live shiners free-lined […]

Fishing Report September 19, 2015

  September fishing is consistent for flats and migratory species This week marks the beginning of fall, and the overnights temps are falling. Fishing around Anna Maria remains consistent for the month of September. Fishing structure for snapper and flounder and the flats for trout, reds and snook are proving worthwhile during morning incoming tides. […]

Fishing Report September 12, 2015

  Mangrove snapper — the ace in the hole Mangrove snapper fishing is still going strong around inshore, nearshore and offshore structure. On a recent morning, while fishing with Steve Phelps, chef/owner of Indigenous restaurant in Sarasota, we experienced the bite firsthand. We started around seven in the morning along the beaches of Anna Maria […]

Fishing Report September 5, 2015

  September — back to school for local and visiting anglers September fishing around Anna Maria Island looks to be shaping up nicely for local and visiting anglers hoping to get some action. Although the heat is quite intense out on the water right now, there is still a bite to be found. Schooling redfish […]

Fishing Report September 1, 2015

Snook – Its what’s for Dinner As of Sept. 1, snook season is open in our region. So, from now until December 1, those anglers wanting to harvest a snook within the designated slot of 28-33 inches may do so. That being said, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FWC, is encouraging anglers who do […]

Fishing Report August 23, 2015

  If I have to fillet another snapper…   If I have to fillet another snapper…kind of sounds like a complaint but actually it’s the complete opposite. I love catching mangrove snapper, and I love eating them, too. And, as a charter captain, I can speak for my clients by saying they like to catch […]

Fishing Report August 16, 2015

  Weather and fishing fall into August pattern   Fishing the nearshore reefs and wrecks is resulting in mangrove snapper, flounder and juvenile grouper. Migratory fish such as Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle and blue runner can also be found around structure this month. For all of these species, live shiners are the bait of choice. […]

Fishing Report August 9, 2015

  Stop watching the radar and go fish   The weather is back to normal and the fishing is following suit. Light east winds in the morning followed by a sea breeze and 40% chance of rain in the afternoon. Ahhh. A sigh of relief. If you haven’t been out since the storms dissipated, here’s […]

Fishing Report August 2, 2015

  Rain, rain go away — please stay out of Tampa Bay If you like fishing in the rain, this past week was your week. Like clockwork, thunderstorms developing in the Gulf of Mexico were taking landfall every morning usually before 10 a.m. Does this affect the fishing you ask? No too much, the fish […]

Fishing Report July 26, 2015

  Summer fishing – hot in more ways that one Fishing around Anna Maria Island in the heat of July can be a challenging venture to say the least. With water temps hovering in the mid to upper 80s choosing the right time and spot are imperative. Most fishers in the backcountry are making an […]

Fishing Report July 19, 2015

Hatch bait increases, bringing migratory species to area Fishing around Anna Maria Island is improving compared to the bite of last week. An influx of hatch bait is appearing in Tampa Bay, which is in turn attracting a multitude of migratory fish. Around these large schools of bait are Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, blue runners […]

Fishing Report July 12, 2015

Beat the heat — fish early or go deep Well, if I said fishing around Anna Maria Island is good as it gets, I’d be lying. Or better yet, let’s say I’d be slightly exaggerating the truth — that sounds better. Although the fishing is not exceptional, that doesn’t mean there aren’t fish to be […]

Fishing Report July 5, 2015

  Bye bye tarpon, it’s time to catch dinner As you probably already know, gag grouper season opened as of July 1. The season is set to run through December 2 and close on December 3, 2015. Size and bag limits are as follows — you are allowed two gag grouper within the four grouper […]

Fishing Report June 28, 2015

Water temps heat up and so does the snapper bite If you can stand the heat, fishing around Anna Maria Island is favorable, especially for mangrove snapper. Whether fishing around artificial reefs, wrecks, rock piles, bridges, rivers or jetties you are bound to find some mangrove snapper. I’m even finding snapper on the flats while […]

Fishing Report June 21, 2015

Put some snapper in your mullet wrapper An abundance of mangrove snapper is a welcome sight in our local waters. Most artificial reefs, wrecks and rock piles in Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico are prime spots for these tasty fish. To catch these snapper, a number of baits can be used. The two […]

Fishing Report June 7, 2015

  Tarpon remain center stage for yet another week around Anna Maria Island Schools of fish are being reported from as far south as New Pass in Sarasota all the way north to Egmont Key. Preferred baits are crabs, threadfin herring or live shiners. Targeting fish around the passes before sunrise is a sure fire […]

Fishing Report June 14, 2015

Tarpon or bust — the craze for the silver king continues Once again, tarpon are center stage for yet another week. Tarpon junkies from near and far are flocking to our local waters just for the opportunity to match wits with the elusive silver king. If you haven’t seen the pass at Bean Point on […]

Fishing Report May 31, 2015

  Once a tarpon fisher, always a tarpon fisher   A gleaming mass of chrome fury erupts skyward amidst an orange sunrise on the horizon of Anna Maria Island. A sequence of aerial acrobatics followed by a series of drag-screaming runs that put the strongest angler to the test. Multiple jumps, skyrocketing, thrashing, twisting in […]

Fishing Report May 24, 2015

  Tarpon remain targetable in waters surrounding Anna Maria Island      Tarpon fishing along the Gulf beaches is in full swing now. Schooling fish can be found along the beaches of Anna Maria Island and Long Boat Key with frequency. You can also spot schools in Longboat Pass, Bean Point and the southwest pass […]

Fishing Report May 17, 2015

  Tarpon reign again as king in local waters   Tarpon addicts from all over are heading to the waters around Anna Maria with hopes of connecting with a silver king. Whether you’re a tarpon junkie— an angler who waits all year for a fix, or a tarpon novice — someone who has no idea […]

Fishing Report May 10, 2015

  May brings increasing numbers of tarpon and fishers to local waters   It’s May and around Anna Maria Island, May means tarpon. Although it’s early in the month, tarpon catches are being reported. You may not experience those days of 10 hook ups in one morning — yet — but they’re coming. In the […]

Fishing Report May 3, 2015

  May brings productive fishing for backwater and reef species   What does the month of May have in store for the ever-famous fishing destination of Anna Maria Island? With water temps on the flats exceeding 80 degrees, fishing for backwater species — snook, redfish and spotted seatrout —should be consistently good. Keep in mind, […]

Fishing Report April 26, 2015

  How long will it last?   For yet another week, fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistently good for fishing the flats as well as venturing out to the nearshore reefs and wrecks. Live bait fishing with shiners and pinfish is proving prosperous for a variety of fish. In the backcountry, snook fishing is […]

Fishing Report April 19, 2015

  Springtime fishing is hit for spring breakers   Springtime fishing around Anna Maria Island and its surrounding waters remains consistently good for a variety of species. Whether fishing the flats or out in the Gulf of Mexico, Island fishers are getting their fill of what our waters have to offer. On the flats, snook […]

Fishing Report April 12

  As snowbirds leave, migratory species arrive   Springtime fishing around Anna Maria is heating up with a host of migratory species making a showing in our local waters. Kingfish, Spanish mackerel and cobia can be found in depths as shallow as 20 feet of water as well as on out to deeper water. Casting […]

Fishing Report April 5, 2015

  No more cold fronts — please   Water temps are on the rise once again, and, once again, the bite is improving. Last week’s water temps fell into the mid 60s after the cold front, which kind of put a damper on the bite — especially the snook bite. But, don’t fret, water temps […]

Fishing Report March 29, 2015

  Snook, redfish and trout — no break on hot fishing action for this trio   Fishing the flats around Anna Maria Island is proving to be as good as it gets. Live bait fishing with shiners is providing sizzling flats action for spotted seatrout and snook. Large quantities of snook are appearing in their usual […]

Fishing Report March 22, 2015

  No (spring) break for hot fishing action on snook, redfish and trout Springtime fishing around Anna Maria Island is in full swing. Both back country and migratory species are being caught with regularity. On the flats, snook and redfish are devouring baits such as shiners and pinfish. Throughout southern Tampa Bay, migratory fish such […]

Fishing Report March 15, 2015

  Warm waters means hot fishing Springtime fishing around Anna Maria Island is living up to its reputation. Warmer waters and light breezes are providing some of the best fishing our region has to offer. Whether fishing with live shrimp or love shiners as bait there are fish to be caught. Artificials such as soft […]

Fishing Report March 8, 2015

March Madness — Anna Maria style March is here and with it comes warm southern breezes, longer days, hoards of tourists and best of all — spring time fishing. Amidst jet skis, tour boats, rental boats and parasailers, eager fishers are venturing out to do their homework in anticipation of the springtime bite. Water temperatures […]

Fishing March 1, 2015

  February ends with the beginning of sheephearding season Well, it’s that time again— The sheep herding has begun. Respectable numbers of fish are being reported throughout our region. Most of the nearshore reefs are holding fish as well as any other rock pile in the bay and in the shallows of the Gulf of […]

Fishing Report February 22, 2015

Hold out — fishing will improve will with warmer weather Wintertime fishing around Anna Maria Island remains dependent on the frequent of cold fronts sweeping down from the north. Although water temps are hovering between 57-60 degrees there is still a bite to be found. That is if the winds permit it. On days with […]

Fishing Report February 15, 2015

  Wintertime Bite Settles in The wintertime bite around Anna Maria Island is settling in with a cast of the usual suspects we expect to see and catch for this time of year. Sheepshead are beginning to congregate around the Rod & Reel Pier, which is a sure sign that they are beginning their spawn. […]

Fishing Report February 8, 2015

  Patience, Persistence and Warm Clothing Pays off With water temps ranging between the high 50s and low 60s, fishing our local waters is requiring patience, persistence and a lot of warm clothes. Strong winds from the north are cold and cause rough seas, which sometimes can make fishing feel more like a chore than […]

Fishing Report February 1, 2015

  I spoke too soon — winter is now upon us The cold weather is upon us. The lack of cold fronts and rough seas I spoke of in last week’s fishing report are now coming back to haunt me. I kind of feel like a weather forecaster – expect light wind and warm temperatures. Not […]

Fishing Report January 25, 2015

Is it really January— Even the fish seem confused. Is winter finally going to settle in for Anna Maria Island? Mild temperatures and calm waters have made most of our winter season feel like fall never ended. As I sit writing this article my thermometer outside reads seventy-eight degrees. Clear blue skies accompanied by a […]

Fishing Report January 18, 2015

  Pompano are the species to target in January Typically, January fishing around Anna Maria Island brings one thing to mind for me — pompano. During this month, we start to see a concentration of these tasty fish foraging along our shorelines and through the flats. Although these fish are abundant, it seems to be […]

Fishing Report January 11, 2015

Hot fishing action in new year despite cold weather January fishing is proving to be productive in our local waters despite recent cold fronts. If you haven’t noticed, mild temperatures and calm waters are out numbering cold windy days and, although unexpected in January, we’ll take what we can get. I’m patrolling the beaches of […]

Fishing Report January 7, 2015

  Great mangrove snapper bite rings in 2015 Wintertime fishing around Anna Maria Island is in full swing. Especially for those fishers who like to target mangrove snapper. Most every rock pile or artificial reef in our local waters is holding good numbers of these feisty fish. If you can’t make it to the reefs, you […]

Fishing Report December 21, 2014

  Merry Christmas and happy fishing Those of you who are out fishing rather than getting your last minute Christmas shopping done, know trying to get a bite this time of year can be challenging. Don’t be discouraged though, for there can be some of the best fishing you’ll ever come across, if you know […]

Fishing Report December 14, 2014

  The holiday season brings pompano to area waters With the Christmas season approaching, another season is doing the same. Yes, that’s right — it’s time to start stalking the shorelines for pompano. The beaches of Anna Maria Island are a great place to start searching. Despite the beach renourishment totally changing our local shoreline, […]

Fishing Report December 7, 2014

  Keep your bait options open to hook up this winter Although a lot of fishers are using shrimp as bait due to cold water temps, keep your options open. On cold, windy days, shrimp are the perfect bait but we also get warm sunny days in Florida in the wintertime. If we happen to […]

Fishing Report November 30, 2014

  Thanksgiving leftovers are gone — time catch a fish dinner Now that the leftover turkey has finally run out, I imagine it’s time to start hunting down some fish for dinner. With recent cold fronts and falling water temps, it’s time to start looking around back bays and in the Manatee River to find […]

Fishing Report November 23, 2014

  A variety of weather conditions results in a varied catch For yet another week we are experiencing a wide variety of wind and weather. Days reaching high temp of 50 degrees are not uncommon although days in the mid 80s can occur as well. Needless to say, finding consistency in weather and water temps […]

Fishing Report November 16, 2014

  Don’t miss your window of opportunity for good fishing With recent cold front sweeping across Anna Maria Island, fishing patterns are all over the boards. Not for better, and not for worse, these changes are triggering backwater fish to again head deeper into the bays, the Manatee River and Intracoastal Waterway. So you’ve done […]

Fishing Report November 9, 2014

  Make the best of those nasty cold fronts What better way to celebrate our first real cold front then to sit down to a sheepshead dinner? For those of you who enjoy catching and eating sheepies, you know what I’m talking about. There’s something that clicks in my mind every fall when temperatures drop […]

Fishing Report November 2, 2014

  Cooler weather brings kingfish near Kingfish are finally making a showing just off the beaches of Anna Maria Island out to 5-6 miles off shore. Look for diving birds to find the bait schools, which in turn will lead you to the kings. While targeting kings, expect to experience Spanish mackerel, bonito and even […]

Fishing Report October 26, 2014

  A mysterious night of snook fishing on the Manatee River Night fishing in our local waters is an experience any avid saltwater angler should experience, especially those anglers who like to target snook. Snook, especially big snook, are nocturnal feeders, so what better time to target them than at night. This brings to mind […]

Fishing Report October 19, 2014

  Cooler temps didn’t cool off local fishing action Flats fishing remains consistent in our local waters for yet another week. Our last cold, as mild as it was, didn’t seem to rock the boat too much. Most spots I’m fishing did not seem to be affected by the slight drop in water temperature. Snook […]

Fishing Report October 12, 2014

  If you can’t get any nookie try catching some snooky The aftermath of our first cold front has had a positive impact for fishers targeting snook. Although the bite the first day after the front was challenging at best, all of the days after have been exceptional. Our local snook have gotten a taste […]

Fishing Report October 5, 2014

  Cooler temps bring hot fishing action The first cold front of the year is usually a good indicator that fall is on the way. Look for backwater species such as snook, redfish and trout to really go on the feed. Fishing the flats should be wide open this month for both fishers using live […]

Fishing Report September 25, 2014

  Lower water temps, bite improving If you haven’t noticed, or haven’t been on the water lately, water temps are beginning to fall. Not drastically, but just enough to trigger a migration in our local, inshore species of fish. Schooling redfish are being found throughout our region. Breeder-size trout are moving from the Gulf beaches […]

Fishing Report September 14, 2014

  Area fishing remains hot for redfish, snook, snapper and seatrout Fishing around Anna Maria remains consistent, especially for redfish. Schooling fish are being reported from Miguel Bay to the north, all the way to the southern beaches of Sarasota Bay. Live baits such as live shiners are a great way to get connected, although […]

Fishing Report September 7, 2014

  Anna Maria Redfish Magic If Chef Paul Prudhomme were fishing in Anna Maria Sound this week, he’d definitely experience some “Redfish Magic.” That statement is exactly right. Schooling redfish are being herded like cattle into our local bays via the Gulf of Mexico. And there’s no shortage of redfish cowboys in tow of the […]

Fishing Report August 3, 2014

  Limitless amounts of mangrove snapper Well, there may not be “limitless amounts” but I’ll bet you can catch your limit. Mangoes are still abundant around just about every rock, dock, chunk and channel marker in Tampa Bay. Heck, they’re all around the bridges and piers and even on the flats. Most catches occurring inside […]

Fishing Report August 31, 2014

  Snook season reopens, memories of Green Bridge fishing resurface Snook season is officially open as of Sept. 1. You now have through Nov. 31 to harvest slot-size fish, if you are lucky enough to catch one, that is. The slot for keeper snook is 28- to 33-inches which means they much fall between those […]

Fishing Report August 17, 2014

  Despite rain, fishing remains hot Despite numerous rainstorms, fishing around Anna Maria Island remains bright. Whether fishing inshore or nearshore, most days are resulting in enjoyable days on the water and keeper fish for the cooler. Mangrove snapper are still top of the list. Limits of these tasty fish are being caught around reefs, […]

Fishing Report August 10, 2014

  Fishing remains hot — Enjoy it while it lasts   Once again, mangrove snapper seem to be the topic upon arrival at the dock. On nearly all of my recent charters, limits of snapper are being filleted at the cleaning table. Sizes of these fish are ranging 12-18 inches, which is a welcome sight […]

Fishing Report July 13, 2014

  Mangrove snapper and gag grouper cause Reefer Madness   Despite the frequent thunderstorms, fishing around Anna Maria Island is providing excitement for inshore and nearshore anglers. In between the weather, most fishers are venturing to the nearshore reefs in search of mangrove snapper. With an ample amount of “hatch bait” available — which is […]

Fishing Report July 20, 2014

  Unpredictable weather results in a mixed bag of fish Hot temperatures and unexpected thunderstorms popping up in the past week have made fishing around Anna Maria Island challenging. When fishing the summertime months, it’s wise to keep a close eye on the weather radar while you’re out on the water or while planning a […]

Fishing Report July 27, 2014

  Fish structure for mangrove snapper action Mangrove snapper remain a mainstay for local fishers for another week around Anna Maria Island. Just about any kind of structure you can find, whether you’re in Tampa Bay, Anna Maria Sound, Sarasota Bay or the Gulf of Mexico is going to have snapper on it. These tasty […]

Fishing Report May 20, 2014

  Despite the slow moving tides we experienced prior to the May 14 full moon, fishing the shallows has been fairly productive. I found during these incoming tides that redfish, trout and catch-and-release snook were readily responding to free-lined shiners on our hooks. Also, most areas where I searched for fish contained at least two […]

Fishing Report April 30, 2014

   Knowing April 15 was the full moon, maybe you’ve looked at your tide chart and you too are excited to see what’s in store this week. The afternoon outgoing tides should produce some of the best backwater fishing we’re going to see this spring.    Snook fishing should prove prosperous this week. Try using […]

Fishing Report – 3/2014

I’m seeing decent amounts of linesiders gathering along mangrove shorelines, docks and canals, where the bite is occurring on live shrimp and shiners. Typically, since the water temps are still in the upper 60s to low 70s, the best bite is occurring during the afternoon outgoing tides. By this time of day, the sun has […]

Fishing Report – 2/2014

   Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains constant as long as the weather follows suit. Calm days and clear water are prime opportunities to get out and target nearshore and inshore species.    Pompano are readily available and are being caught on a variety of live baits and artificials, or a combination. Small pompano jigs […]

Fishing Report – 10/2013

   October is finally here and the long-awaited cooler weather is around the corner. The water temps in the Gulf of Mexico have dropped to around 80 degrees. This slight drop has triggered a feed. Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, blue runners and bonito are corralling bait schools around the beaches. Look for diving birds to locate […]

Fishing Report – 9/2013

  In September, we experience afternoon thunderstorms on around Anna Maria Island on a regular basis. You can expect to see at least a 40 percent chance of afternoon showers five days a week.   Granted, these small squalls may last up to an hour although usually the duration is only 20 minutes or so. […]

Fishing Report – 8/2013

Inshore fishing around Anna Maria Island is shaping up for the month, especially around structures. Just about any structure you can find is holding mangrove snapper. Whether you’re fishing bridges, piers, artificial reefs or wrecks, now is the time to catch your limit of this tasty, hard-fighting fish. Small live shiners or shrimp are working […]

Fishing Report – 4/2013

  Sheepshead are still biting good from the skyway bridge all the way down Longboat Key.  Artificial reefs seem to be holding bigger fish than docks.  Live shrimp combined with a knocker rig consisting of a 1/2 oz egg sinker and a 1/0 circle hook are getting the job done. John Quill of Maryland has the […]

Fishing Report – 3/2013

   On last week’s trip with Jen Kroeger and her daughter Evelyn, we dock-fished for reds using a knocker rig baited with live shrimp. A knocker rig usually has a free-sliding egg sinker located just above the hook or above a swivel.       This trip was on Friday the 1st which was the beginning of […]

Fishing Report – 2/2013

The cooler weather has allowed for my clients and I to enjoy a great snapper and sheepshead bite. Grouper are also being caught near any Tampa Bay structure. Shrimp and pinfish are the key baits, and smaller hooks or 1/2 ounce jigheads have been my preferred tackle in these conditions. I imagine that the bite […]