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 or bottom-fished are like candy to the snapper — especially if you chum them up.
Spanish mackerel are making a showing around reefs, passes and piers in abundance. Look for bait schools and you should be able to find macks in the vicinity. A live shiner on a long shank hook is working, although simply casting artificials such as spoons and jigs will provide the best action. Jacks, blue runners and ladyfish are being caught, adding some variety to your fishing session.
Finally, on the flats, redfish and snook are beginning to stage up. Schooling reds are being found from Miguel Bay south to Sarasota Bay. Good numbers of snook are being found around mangrove islands and entrances into the bays and the Manatee River. Both species are reacting to free-lined live shiners.