Fishing action and temperatures on the rise
Despite the scorching temperatures, fishing around Anna Maria is on the rise.
The reason for this is the arrival of baitfish. Whether on the flats or out in Tampa Bay, you should notice the vast schools of baby shiners, or as we call them “hatch bait.” With this migration of bait come the predators.
Around both fishing piers on the north end of the island, the bait schools have congregated to the point where the water is literally black with bait. While this is occurring, many species including Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper and snook are gorging themselves on this smorgasbord.
The same is occurring on the grass flats in Tampa Bay and throughout the Intracoastal Waterway. In these bait schools you may find a host of predators including spotted seatrout, mackerel, bluefish and ladyfish.
On my recent adventures on Southernaire Fishing Charters, we are targeting mangrove snapper around reefs and wrecks both in the Gulf and in Tampa Bay. While bottom fishing for snapper, I’m also seeing decent numbers of Spanish mackerel feeding in the chum slick. For the macks, I’m free lining live shiners in the chum to attract a bite. Other catches include flounder, juvenile grouper, cobia and permit.