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 springtime haunts and are on the feed. Strong moving tides are the best times to target these springtime linesiders. Fish of all sizes are being caught, with the most abundant being 20-26 inches. Slot and over-slot fish are being caught, but with less frequency. They didn’t get big by eating every shiner that has a hook in it.
Spotted seatrout are beginning their spawn, which can produce some trophy-size fish. Generally, when we catch large trout, we call them “gator” trout, and right now we’re catching “gators.”
Over-slot trout, especially fish exceeding 24-inches are quite a trophy in our waters. Typically these larger fish become loners, leaving the school to roam the flat and hunt independently. This being said, finding these big trout can be challenging. Coming across one happens more at random than on purpose. Also, remember, these big trout are typically egg bearing females so watch how many, if any, that you put on ice in the cooler.
Finally, cobia are popping up throughout our region. Local reefs and wrecks are a good place to begin your search. Also, keep your eyes peeled when running from spot to spot. You never know when you might see one of those brown bombers cruising the flat or in Tampa Bay in open water.