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 caught. And if you’re a visitor to our sleepy little island, a lazy day on the water always beats a day at work. Unless you’re me, that is.
With air temps approaching 100 degrees and water temps in the highest of the 80s, fishing the flats can be challenging at best. If you are fishing the flats, the morning is your best bet. Fishing from 6-10 a.m. when the air and water temps are lower will increase your odds of finding fish that will bite. Spotted seatrout and snook are both worthy candidates during these hours. Try free-lining live shiners or rigging shiners with a popping cork to attract a bite.
Now with water temps up so high you may want to venture to deeper water. In depths of 20-50 feet, the water temps are slightly cooler. This being said, fish such as snapper and grouper will be more apt to feed, even throughout the day. Again, live bait such as shiners or pinfish are a great attractant. You may even employ the use of a frozen chum block just to get that fish-attracting aroma in the water to get the snapper in the mood.
Finally, one species that is excelling in the warm water is shark. Black tips can be found amidst the large bait schools of glass minnows, which are just offshore. Diving birds are a dead give away to find these bait schools. You should hopefully see jack crevalle or Spanish mackerel breaking the surface while feeding. This is a good indicator that sharks are present. To get hooked up, rig your favorite shark leader and a chunk of cut mackerel and cast into the frenzy. Hang on tight because the bite usually occurs quickly.