Anna Maria Island Fishing Report April 4, 2018

Spring break is here, but no break from windy days

Fishing around Anna Maria Island is producing action for visiting and local anglers despite numerous windy days. And I do mean numerous.

Fishing the flats for snook and spotted seatrout is proving to be productive. Using live shiners as bait is attracting attention from both the snook and the trout, especially during the latter parts of the day then the water has had a chance to warm up.

Redfish are in the mix, too, although they are not quite as abundant as the snook and trout.

The sheepshead have spawned out, but fishers using live shrimp as bait are still managing to catch some fish around the reefs and wrecks and at the Rod & Reel Pier.

On my Just Reel fishing charters, I’m spending extra time to find sheltered areas that are out of the wind. Mangrove shorelines, oyster bars and channel edges are all great spots to do this. They key is trying to find the sheltered areas where there are fish. Casting around mangrove shorelines is resulting in some slot-size snook as well as many snook in the 20- to 24-inch range for my clients.

Trout fishing is proving to bend a rod with most catches falling in the slot of 15- to 20-inches. I’m also finding redfish around some of the local oyster bars, although getting them to bite is a challenge. While targeting reds in clear, shallow water, patience is a virtue.

Lastly, fishing structure with live shrimp is producing a few sheepshead for my anglers. This will likely be the last week to catch sheepies in numbers since they have already spawned and will begin  to disperse throughout our local waters.