Fishing Report June 4, 2017

Weather heats up nearshore inshore fishing action

Fishing around Anna Maria Island is finally falling into the true summertime pattern.

Tarpon are finally — although a little late — making a fair showing. Numbers of fish are increasing by the day.

Flats fishing for catch-and-release snook is proving to provide great action for inshore anglers. Also inshore are numerous spotted seatrout as well as Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Finally, offshore fishing in really heating up. Reports of American red snapper are nothing short of exceptional. Gag and red grouper are being caught with regularity.

My fishing experiences on Southernaire fishing charters are proving to be full of action. Fishing grass flats with depths of 2-3 feet of clear, clean water is resulting in rallies of snook. Morning sessions on the schooley-size snook are resulting in catches of 40-60 fish. Screaming drags and smiling anglers are a result of this bite.

Fishing deeper grass is producing great numbers of spotted seatrout. Numerous fish just in the 15-20 inch slot are being caught as well as a few larger fish. Jack crevalle, bluefish, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel are mixed in with the trout.

Fishing nearshore structure is proving to be worthwhile. Mangrove snapper are finally starting to show in numbers around the reefs and wrecks. Most catches are 15-18 inches. Spanish mackerel, flounder and barracuda on also being caught in these areas.

Finally, last but not least, the tarpon are showing up in better numbers. I’m seeing numerous schools of fish in my travels through the passes of Bean Point, Longboat Key and Egmont Key as well as along the beaches. Live pass crabs are working best as bait during the pre-dawn bite. Once the sun starts getting high in the sky, I’m switching to threadfin herring to attract a bite.