Anna Maria Island Fishing Report May 21, 2017

Fishing inshore and near as hot as recent temperatures

With summer like temperatures finally settling in, the fishing is heating up much like the weather.

Fishing the flats for redfish, spotted seatrout and catch-and-release snook is in full swing. You can also start finding snook in the passes and along the beaches during calm mornings or evenings.

Fishing offshore is heating up with reports of black fin tuna, cobia, permit and king mackerel. Days with light winds or no with at all are most favorable when migrating out into the deep waters. Grouper and snapper are also being caught.

On my own adventures with Just Reel fishing charters, I’m finding numerous spotted seatrout throughout the flats of southern Tampa Bay and its surrounding waters. Live shiners free-lined over deeper flats of 6-8 feet where clear water from the Gulf is flowing into the bay is proving to be most productive. Spotted seatrout up to 22 inches are being caught in these areas with most catches falling16-18 inches.

Catch-and-release snook fishing remains a favorite pass time for my clients. Spending an hour or so rallying on 20-26 inchers is a great way to get warmed up and take the edge off in the morning. While targeting these snook, I’m finding the redfish bite. Although sporadic, it’s still a bite. Most catches are falling between 16-24 inches.

Lastly, fishing nearshore structure is finally starting to produce some mangrove snapper. Live shiners on a ½-ounce knocker rig are attracting mangoes up to 18 inches in as little water as 15 feet. Mixed in with the snapper are flounder and juvenile grouper.