Correct tide and bait produces productive fishing
Fishing around Anna Maria is proving to be consistently good for those willing to go out and brave the heat.
I am noticing that a couple of factors fall into play though. For one, a swift moving tide is definitely in your favor. In fact, I’ve noticed the strong the tide, the better when fishing the flats for trout, redfish and catch-and-release snook.
I’ve also noticed that fishing earlier is better. Early morning when temperatures — both air and water — are slightly cooler is when the fish seem to be more active. Plus, it’s a little easier on the angler, too.
Lastly, the size of your bait can play a major role, especially when on the flats. Most of the shiners in the bar are small right now. We call them “hatch bait” because basically they are still juvenile. When on a good bite, I’m experimenting by casting one rod with a small bait and one with a normal or large-size bait and just about every time the small bait is being eaten first when the large bait is hardly being eaten, if even at all.
On my own Southernaire charters, I’m giving my clients a thrill by having them target black tip sharks in Tampa Bay. Most of these sharks are 3-4 feet, although fish up to six feel are not uncommon. For the small sharks, sight casting with medium weight tackle is nothing short of addictive. Small chunks of Spanish mackerel on a light wire rig and a circle hook are attracting quite a bit of attention from these small sharks. For the bigger stuff, I’m beefing up the tackle to extra-heavy spinning gear. Large chunks of mackerel soaked on the bottom during quick moving tides are being devoured usually within 15 minutes of being cast out. These large sharks are averaging six feet are talking 20-30 minutes to reel in, which really puts some of the visiting anglers to the test. This ain’t like catching blue gills and bass in the pond back home, son.