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 well, although small pinfish are good when you feel it’s time to switch baits. Sometimes the snapper will get wary of the same bait being presented to them. So keep a few tricks up your sleeves.
Since we’re talking about inshore structure, we should bring up flounder. The voracious flat fish are taking up residence in the same sort of spots — under structure. Fish up to 24 inches are not uncommon, although you should expect to catch more of the 14-18 inch fish. Either way, when the flounder are biting, it’s hard to pass them up.
Another species inhabiting inshore structure is Spanish mackerel. Most structures will have macks on patrol. Pull up in a boat and throw a few chummers, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s not uncommon. Remember, if you’re fishing live bait, use a long shank hook. These hooks will save you from having to tie a new rig every other bite or so.