Redfish here, there, everywhere and taking the hook
Despite the threat of Hurricane Irma, fishing around Anna Maria Island is nothing less than exceptional. If you can break away from watching the “weather on the 9s” for a moment, you might discover that the redfish have finally arrived. Although they aren’t as abundant as I think they could be, there are a few nice schools of fish out there to go out and play with. A lot of these fish are over-sized so you want to handle them with care — quickly snap a photo and place them back in the water. Spend ample time reviving them, and let them go. Remember, the water is hot, we’re hot, everything’s hot right now and that heat takes its toll on these big reds so again, handle with care.
Spotted seatrout are also worth mentioning. These are making a showing and how. On one of my morning charters this past week we sat on a grass flat and caught trout after trout for about an hour and a half. I’m talking, every bait, that is, unless the angler was asleep at the reel and missed the bite. Now, most of these trout are coming in right at 14 inches. Yeah, one inch short of being a keeper. But, don’t be discouraged, there’s bigger ones mixed in. Usually enough for a couple of limits to put in the cooler. And frankly, who need more fish than that for dinner?
Snook fishing is also hot right now. I’m fishing mangrove shorelines where good tidal flow exists and even an oyster bar or two. Most of the linesiders I’m seeing reeled up are schooley fish up to 26 inches, but there’s a few keeper-fish mixed in there, too. The strong outgoing tides are producing the best action.
Lastly, I’m amazed at how many mangrove snapper my clients are catching. And the best part about it is they are catching them on the flats. This bite is happening as we are targeting trout on the deeper flats. Snapper up to 15 inches are being reeled up in this fashion, which are a great bonus. I think just about anyone would rather eat mangrove snapper over trout — I know I would.