Fishing between cold fronts results in winter bounty
Once again fishing the calm weather before the cold front is proving to supply some excellent fishing experiences for the fishers of Anna Maria Island. Venturing out into the Gulf of Mexico seems to be the ticket for the most consistent action. Bottom fishing around ledges, reefs, wrecks, and hard bottom is resulting in a variety of species including Key West grunts, hogfish, gag grouper, amberjack, kingfish and tuna. Also present are a variety of snappers — mangrove, lane, vermillion, and yellowtail. Most catches are occurring on live bait such as shrimp or shiners, although artificials — surface poppers and lipped plugs are drawing a bite — especially for the migratory fish — kings, tunas, and amberjack.
In the back country, live shiners free-lined under a cork are attracting spotted seatrout, bluefish and Spanish mackerel. Fishing is over deep grass flats seems to produce the most action for these fish. In the bays, casting shrimp around residential docks and seawalls is resulting in sheepshead, black drum, redfish and flounder.