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.

Artificial reefs, oyster bars and residential docks are also hosting these zebra-striped fish. Offerings of live shrimp, fiddler crabs and tubeworms are a great way to tie into a fish fry.

Pompano, although sporadic, are making a showing along the beaches of Anna Maria and on the flats of Anna Maria Sound and Sarasota Bay. This bite should improve in the weeks to come, so stock up on your favorite pompano jigs. It’s always good to tip your jigs with a small piece of shrimp to entice these high-speed fish. If you can find sand fleas, cast one out on a small hook along the beaches and you might get a surprise.

Finally, redfish and snook are congregating around residential docks and canals with black, muddy bottom. Both species will attack a soft plastic on a jig head if fished in front of their noses. If that doesn’t work, try a select shrimp, free-lined amongst the fish to trigger a bite.