Fishing Report March 19, 2017

Despite the recent cold, fishing remains hot

With March upon us, spring break visitors from far and wide are visiting our sleepy little town called Anna Maria.

Most visitors are here to escape the cold of the north with hopes of enjoying the warm Florida sun, the beaches and especially the fishing. And despite the recent string of cold days, the spring breakers still endure.

Although we experienced a recent cold front, fishing around Anna Maria is shaping up to its full springtime potential. Flats fishing for snook is previewing what will most likely be a stellar season. Rallies of snook are not uncommon when free-lining shiners around mangrove shorelines and lush grass flats.

Also on the grass flats, spotted seatrout are making their presence known. Live shrimp or shiners under a popping cork are quickly being inhales by hungry trout, and be ready to encounter bluefish, ladyfish and jack crevalle in between trout bites. These fish may not be prime eating like trout, but they sure provide much better action on light tackle.

During the recent cold front we experienced, fishing remained good as long as you were willing to change your tactics. I fell back into a wintertime pattern of targeting sheepshead, redfish and black drum around residential docks and canals. By using live shrimp as bait, I was able to find action during even the coldest mornings we had. Although dock fishing may not be the most glamourous of backwater fishing, it provided consistent action for my visiting clients and put fish in the cooler to them to take home for dinner.

Now, with the temperatures back to normal levels for March, it’s time to start stalking the backwater flats once again. Snook, redfish and spotted seatrout will be on the feed and be targetable for the weeks to come. It’s also about time to start checking nearshore structure for mangrove snapper. Keep your eyes peeled for cobia, kingfish and Spanish mackerel, which will also be around the reefs.