Beautiful weather and accommodating fish — a fisher’s dream come true
Springtime fishing is in full spring for Anna Maria Island and its surrounding waters — and so are the springtime boaters. In fact, I can’t remember a spring when I’ve seen as many boats as I’ve seen this year. Despite all of the boat traffic, the weather is beautiful and the fish are biting.
This week on my excursions on Southernaire Fishing Charters I’m targeting snook on the grass flats. With water temps reaching the mid 70s, the snook are on the feed. Live, free-lined shiners are resulting in fish 20-32 inches. Most catches are falling in the 20-26 inch range, which is typical, although slot-size snook are being caught too. On the morning low tides, I’m fishing the edges of sand bars where the shallow flats make a slight drop to deeper water. On the afternoon high tides, its time to target mangrove edges right along the shore. Both tides are producing excellent action.
Spotted seatrout are also on the menu this week. Numerous trout 18-22 inches are being found in water depths of 2-4 feet. Live free-lined shiners are not lasting long when cast in areas where these big specks are present. On morning lows I’m finding these big trout in the same areas I’m catching snook. During afternoon tides, sandy potholes on shallower flats are holding concentrations of fish.
Finally, mangrove snapper are providing great action on nearshore structure. Limits of fish 12-20 inches are a great confidence builder to start off your day. It seems like the fishing always gets a tad bit easier when you’ve got an ample amount of fish in the cooler this bite should remain steady for the weeks to come. Live shiners or fresh-cut dead ones on a 1/2-ounce knocker rig are working just fine.