Fishing Report March 27, 2016

No (spring) break for hot fishing action

Spring fishing around Anna Maria Island remains outstanding for both inshore and nearshore fishers.

Although a late cold front slowed the fish down for a few days, water temps are back in the rise and so is the bite.

Snook from 14-40 inches are being spotted in numerous areas ranging from Miguel Bay south to the Ringling Bridge in Sarasota. Spotted seatrout are also making a strong showing throughout the Intracoastal Waterway and Sarasota Bay. Finally, fishers venturing out into the Gulf are being rewarded with limits of respectable-sized inshore mangrove snapper.

On my fishing trips with Just Reel Fishing Charters, I’m centering in on the spotted seatrout bite. This bite is fairly consistent which is always a plus when you’re trying to put a few fish in the cooler for dinner. My clients are enjoying multiple hook ups on fish 15-24 inches. Hard hits combined with surface breaching headshakes are keeping flats fishers coming back for more.

Snook fishing is also exceptional, especially during the peak of the tides and beginning of the outgoing. Rallies of fish 20-26 inches are common. Slot-size fish aren’t, but I’m managing to get one here and there. Free-lined live shiners can’t be beat for bait.

Lastly, fishing structure in Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico is resulting in some sizzling mangrove snapper action. Fish up to 20 inches are being taken on live shiners sent to the bottom on a knocker rig. Juvenile and keeper-size grouper are lurking in the same areas, which is adding to the fun.